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~ FedCURE NEWS ~

04th July 2016 [Updated]

-|- In + Prayer -|-

~ BARBER AMENDMENT ~

New Science: Gene Editing (CRISPR) Drug Addiction
A.L.E.C.  |  INNOVATION  | 

New Report Offers Ways for State Legislators to Expand Access to Prescription Opioids while Fighting Opioid Abuse

Access to abuse-deterrent opioids may provide pain treatment and lower opioid abuse

Abuse-deterrent opioids may reduce long-term healthcare costs, according to a new paper released today by the American Legislative Exchange Council. The paper, “Optimizing the Abuse-deterrent Opioids Market,” written Dr. Wayne Winegarden, finds that abuse-deterrent formulations (ADFs) of opioids treat pain and help prevent abuse.

Prescription opioid abuse accounted for an estimated $55.7 million in healthcare, workplace and criminal justice costs in 2008, with an estimated 15.7 million people aged 12 or older having used prescription drugs non-medically in the past year.

“The health challenge is to balance the legitimate need for opioid medications for pain patients while minimizing problems created by prescription opioid abuse,” wrote Dr. Winegarden in the report.

According to the report, more Americans suffer from chronic pain than from diabetes, heart disease, cancer and stroke combined. An estimated 100 million Americans live with some form of chronic pain.

Patients with untreated chronic pain make more emergency room visits and incur higher treatment costs (including medication, therapy and surgeries) than people without chronic pain. Health care costs for chronic pain are estimated between $261 billion and $300 billion.

Chronic and temporary pain cost Americans even more in lost productivity and reduced quality of life. Pain accounts for 50 million sick days per year, and lost productivity and workplace expenses due to chronic pain cost between $299 billion and $335 billion.

Abuse Deterrent Formulations (ADFs) could be part of a cost-efficient solution. Prescription opioids are powerful pain killers and doctors may recommend them to patients along with other patient-specific treatment methods. People with severe chronic pain tend to pay thousands of dollars more on healthcare than people with moderate pain. The possibility of managing severe pain with a single medication that deters abuse is profound.

The report finds that abuse-deterrent prescription opioids may help protect patients from addiction. ADFs are designed with one of three defenses: the “fortress approach,” the “neutralizing approach” and the “aversive approach.” The first two approaches delay or neutralize the opioid in case of tampering. The aversive approach releases an unpleasant agent into the body in case of overdose.

The report identifies three reasons that ADF usage has been slow to take off. As patented medication, most ADFs are currently more expensive than non-patented, non-deterrent pain treatments. Legal barriers prohibiting the use of abuse-deterrent opioids also make the medicine more expensive, and could keep prescription opioids out of the hands of patients who might benefit from them. Regulatory requirements often require a patient to begin treatment with a non-deterrent opioid, only if the first opioid fails do they qualify for an ADF.

States can help provide abuse-deterrent opioids to people who need them by removing the requirement that a patient begin treatment with a non-deterrent opioid. Requiring a written permission from a healthcare professional before the prescription can be switched is also a potential solution.

“Effective and targeted legislation can address these disincentives, allowing the abuse-deterrent opioids to compete in the medical marketplace based on their medical efficacy,” write Dr. Winegarden in the report. “Correcting the disincentives that discourage appropriate use of abuse-deterrent opioids is a reform opportunity that addresses an important health need, reduces overall healthcare expenditures, lowers criminal justice costs, and beneficially impacts overall workplace productivity.” The full report can be found here.

http://www.alec.org/publication/2016opioids/ 

 

SOURCE:  https://www.alec.org/article/new-report-offers-ways-for-state-legislators-to-expand-access-to-prescription-opioids-while-fighting-opioid-abuse/
But Compare with New Science. 
 
For Example:   GENETICS, state-of-the-art Genetic Editing (CRISPR) and Drug Addiction: 
 
 

Volume 137, 2016, Pages 229–252

The Molecular Basis of Drug Addiction

Chapter Eight – Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model to Study the Molecular and Genetic Mechanisms of Drug Addiction

Abstract

 

Drug addiction takes a massive toll on society. Novel animal models are needed to test new treatments and understand the basic mechanisms underlying addiction. Rodent models have identified the neurocircuitry involved in addictive behavior and indicate that rodents possess some of the same neurobiologic mechanisms that mediate addiction in humans. Recent studies indicate that addiction is mechanistically and phylogenetically ancient and many mechanisms that underlie human addiction are also present in invertebrates. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has conserved neurobiologic systems with powerful molecular and genetic tools and a rapid rate of development that enables cost-effective translational discovery. Emerging evidence suggests that C. elegans is an excellent model to identify molecular mechanisms that mediate drug-induced behavior and potential targets for medications development for various addictive compounds. C. elegans emit many behaviors that can be easily quantitated including some that involve interactions with the environment. Ethanol (EtOH) is the best-studied drug-of-abuse in C. elegans and at least 50 different genes/targets have been identified as mediating EtOH's effects and polymorphisms in some orthologs in humans are associated with alcohol use disorders. C. elegans has also been shown to display dopamine and cholinergic system–dependent attraction to nicotine and demonstrate preference for cues previously associated with nicotine. Cocaine and methamphetamine have been found to produce dopamine-dependent reward-like behaviors in C. elegans. These behavioral tests in combination with genetic/molecular manipulations have led to the identification of dozens of target genes/systems in C. elegans that mediate drug effects. The one target/gene identified as essential for drug-induced behavioral responses across all drugs of abuse was the cat-2 gene coding for tyrosine hydroxylase, which is consistent with the role of dopamine neurotransmission in human addiction. Overall, C. elegans can be used to model aspects of drug addiction and identify systems and molecular mechanisms that mediate drug effects. The findings are surprisingly consistent with analogous findings in higher-level organisms. Further, model refinement is warranted to improve model validity and increase utility for medications development.

 

Keywords

  • addiction; 
  • Caenorhabditis elegans; 
  • ethanol; 
  • nicotine; 
  • cocaine; 
  • methamphetamine;
  • behavior; 
  • genes; 
  • model
Corresponding author.
 
 

 
For Immediate Release

President Obama Grants Commutations and Pardons

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, President Barack Obama granted commutations of sentence to 95 individuals and pardons to two individuals.

The President granted commutations of sentence to the following 95 individuals:

  • Donald Allen – Lynn Haven, FL

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; possession of a firearm during a felony drug offense (Northern District of Florida)

Sentence:  Life plus five years’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Aug. 17, 1998)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Royal Deandre Allen – Houston, TX

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (Southern District of Texas)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release; $17,500 fine (May 13, 1996)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016, and balance of the fine remitted.

 

  • Sandra Avery – Sarasota, FL

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine base; possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (three counts); possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine; possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine base (Middle District of Florida)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Jan. 3, 2007)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016. 

 

  • Jose Aviles – Chicago, IL

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine (Middle District of Florida)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment (Apr. 23, 1993)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 18, 2016.

 

  • George Andre Axam – Atlanta, GA

Offense:  Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (Northern District of Georgia)

Sentence:  180 months’ imprisonment; four years’ supervised release (Jun. 12, 2007)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Ray Bennett – Hazlehurst, GA

Offense:  Knowingly conspiring to distribute cocaine base (commonly known as “crack”); knowingly possessing with intent to distribute and causing to be possessed with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine base (commonly known as “crack”) (Middle District of Florida)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Nov. 22, 1991)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Wendell Edward Betancourt – Washington, D.C.

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute “crack” cocaine (Northern District of West Virginia)

            Sentence:  220 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Jun. 11, 2002)

            Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Edward B. Betts – Carbondale, IL

Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute in excess of 100 kilograms of marijuana (Southern District of Illinois)

Sentence:  360 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (Jul. 27, 1992)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016, and eight-year term of supervised release commuted to two years of supervised release.

 

  • Anthony Bosley – Spokane, WA

Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (Eastern District of Washington)

Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Jun. 13, 2006)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Ramona Brant – Freeport, NY

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute a quantity of cocaine and cocaine base (Western District of North Carolina)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Feb. 2, 1995)

            Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Ivory Charles Brinson – Wabasso, FL

Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base (Southern District of Florida)

Sentence:  360 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (Nov. 15, 2004)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Carolyn Yvonne Butler – San Antonio, TX

Offense:  Armed bank robbery (three counts); using a firearm during a crime of violence (three counts) (Western District of Texas

Sentence:  48 years’ imprisonment; three years’ supervised release; $1,200 fine; $3,339 restitution (Jul. 30, 1992)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016. 

 

  • Arnold Charles Cabarris – Victoria, VA

Offense:  Distribution of cocaine base; conspiracy to distribute cocaine base (Eastern District of Virginia)

Sentence:  262 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Feb. 19, 1999)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Jimmy Lee Carter – Okeechobee, FL

Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (Southern District of Florida)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Jul. 21, 1993)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Sherman Dionne Chester – St. Petersburg, FL

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine; conspiracy to possess and distribute heroin; distribution of cocaine (six counts); distribution of heroin (five counts); possession with intent to distribute cocaine (Middle District of Florida)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment (Feb. 11, 1994)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 18, 2016.

 

  • Herbert Lee Christopher, Jr. – Cordele, GA

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (Middle District of Florida)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Oct. 4, 1991)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016. 

 

  • Jawariel Coffie – Hollywood, FL

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base (Northern District of Florida)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Oct. 5, 1993)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Michael Reese Coffman – Milton, FL

Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine (Northern District of Florida)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Jul. 21, 2005)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Oscar Cole, Jr. – Bessemer, AL

Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute fifty (50) grams or more of a mixture and substance containing cocaine base and cocaine hydrochloride (Northern District of Alabama)

Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Sep. 21, 2006)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016. 

 

  • Alex Contreras – Anchorage, AK

Offense:  Drug conspiracy; distribution of a controlled substance (four counts); possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance (four counts); using, carrying, possessing firearm during drug trafficking crime (three counts) (District of Alaska)

Sentence:  481 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Jul. 11, 2002); prison sentence amended to 480 months’ imprisonment (May 27, 2008)

            Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Eddie Lee Cooks – Monroe, LA

Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute cocaine base; distribution of cocaine base (three counts) (Western District of Louisiana)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment (May 24, 1994)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 18, 2016.

 

  • Lelus Crawford – St. Louis, MO

Offense:  Distribution of cocaine base (“crack”) (two counts); possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack”) (Eastern District of Missouri)

Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Jun. 15, 2007)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Dewayne Crompton – Bakersfield, CA

Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (Western District of Wisconsin)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment (May 28, 1993)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 18, 2016.

 

  • Charles Frederick Cundiff – Altoona, FL

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana; attempt to possess with intent to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana (Northern District of Florida)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment (Jan. 8, 1992)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 18, 2016.

 

  • Thomas Daniels – Philadelphia, PA

Offense:  Distribution of cocaine; distribution of cocaine base ("crack cocaine") (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment (Jun. 26, 1996)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 18, 2016.

 

  • Joe Nathan Darby – Salters, SC

Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute and distribution of five grams or more of crack cocaine (two counts); possession with intent to distribute and distribution of 50 grams or more of crack cocaine (District of South Carolina)

Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (May 25, 2006)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Alphonso Davis – Ridgeway, SC

Offense:  Conspiracy to violate narcotic laws (crack) (Western District of North Carolina)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Feb. 12, 1996)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • William Ervin Dekle – Lake City, FL

Offense:  Conspiracy to import 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana; importation of 100 kilograms of marijuana (four counts); possession with intent to distribute 100 kilograms of marijuana (four counts) (Northern District of Florida)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release; four years’ special parole (Jun. 7, 1991)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Dianne Demar  -- St. Petersburg, FL

Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute in excess of 100 grams of methamphetamine; possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine (two counts); unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine (two counts); possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime (Northern District of Georgia)

Sentence:  Life plus five years’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Dec. 13, 1991)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016. 

 

  • Eric T. Downs – Mansfield, OH

Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (Northern District of Ohio)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment (July 18, 1996)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 18, 2016.

 

  • Ernest R. Eads – Seneca, MO

Offense:         1. Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (Western District of Missouri

                        2. Felon in possession of firearms (Western District of Missouri)

Sentence:        1. Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Mar. 7, 1997)

                        2. 12 months’ imprisonment (consecutive) (Mar. 7, 1997)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentences commuted to expire on April 16, 2016. 

 

  • Reginald Gerard Ennis – Mobile, AL

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine (Southern District of Alabama)

Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Apr. 22, 2004)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Jimmy Lee Fields – Dundee, FL

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base (Middle District of Florida)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment (Jan. 16, 1996)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 18, 2016.

 

  • Pedro Figueroa – Philadelphia, PA

Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute controlled substance; distribution of controlled substance, aiding and abetting (three counts); possession of controlled substance with intent to distribute, aiding and abetting (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)

Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; $1,000 fine (Jul. 15, 2003)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Donald Lee Gill – Cincinnati, OH

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine; possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and aiding and abetting; carrying firearm during a drug trafficking crime (Eastern District of Kentucky)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment (Aug. 20, 1997)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 18, 2016.

 

  • Calvin C. Gillings – Chicago, IL

Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, “crack”; possession with intent to distribute cocaine (Southern District of Iowa)

Sentence:  360 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (Jul. 18, 1997)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Glenn D. Gold – Clarksville, TN

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base; use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime; felon in possession of a firearm (Middle District of Tennessee)

Sentence:  Life plus 60 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Apr. 23, 1997)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Alberto Gonzalez – Philadelphia, PA

Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine; distribution of 1,003 grams of cocaine (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)

Sentence:  262 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (May 19, 2003)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Willie James Griffin, Jr. – Pensacola, FL

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute cocaine (Northern District of Florida)

Sentence:  252 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release; $1,000 fine (Dec. 2, 1999); prison sentence amended to 240 months’ imprisonment (Apr. 14, 2008)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016 and balance of the fine remitted. 

 

  • Doyle Grimes, Jr. – Miami, FL

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute a detectable amount of cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base (Middle District of Florida)

Sentence:  292 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Apr. 8, 2003); prison sentence amended to 240 months’ imprisonment (Dec. 5, 2014)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Kenneth Hamlin, Jr. – Pittsburgh, PA

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of in excess of 50 grams of cocaine base, in excess of 100 grams of heroin, and a quantity of marijuana; possession with intent to distribute and distribution of in excess of 100 grams of heroin

(Western District of Pennsylvania)

Sentence:  360 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Mar. 4, 1999)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Glenn A. Harris – Elizabeth City, NC

Offense:  Distribution of more than five grams of cocaine base (crack) (Eastern District North Carolina)

Sentence:  188 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; $2,100 restitution (Aug. 8, 2005)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016, and balance of the restitution obligation remitted.

 

  • Lisa Harris – Arcadia, FL

Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute fifty grams or more of cocaine base, crack cocaine; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base, crack cocaine (Middle District of Florida)

Sentence:  235 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Nov. 30, 2005)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Antorrian Adrionne Hawkins – Lilburn, GA

Offense:  Felon in possession of a firearm; possession with intent to distribute cocaine; possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime (Eastern District of Michigan)

Sentence:  300 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Apr. 12, 2005)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Eugene L. Haywood – Peoria, IL

Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute cocaine base (crack); possession of cocaine base (crack) (Central District of Illinois)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Jul. 12, 2002)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Jerome A. Jackson – Washington, DC

Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base: unlawful distribution of cocaine base (two counts) (District of Columbia)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Feb. 18, 1994)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.  

 

  • Gloria Louise James – Fort Madison, IA

Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (Southern District of Iowa)

Sentence:  188 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Feb. 9, 2004)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Angie Jenkins – Klamath Falls, OR

Offense:  Conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine; manufacture of methamphetamine; possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine (District of Oregon)

Sentence:  360 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Sep. 22, 1998); prison sentence amended to 324 months’ imprisonment (Jan. 29, 2015)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Allen Johnson – Live Oak, FL

Offense:  Distribution of five grams or more of cocaine base (Middle District of Florida)

Sentence:  188 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Oct. 3, 2003)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Javon Tyrone Johnson – Saginaw, MI

Offense:  Distribution of 50 grams or more of cocaine base (Eastern District of Michigan)

Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Sep. 30, 2004)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Mario Alonzo Johnson – Stockton, CA

Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine (Eastern District of California)

Sentence:  288 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Jan. 20, 1999)

            Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence to expire on April 16, 2016.    

 

  • Tommy Lynn Johnson – Athens, TX

Offense:  Conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine; conspiracy to possess a listed chemical knowing it will be used to manufacture a controlled substance; possession of a listed chemical with intent to manufacture a controlled substance (two counts); possession and distribution of a listed chemical with intent to manufacture a controlled substance (two counts); use, carrying and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime (two counts); possession of an unregistered firearm (Eastern District of Texas)

Sentence:  511 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Jul. 21, 2003); prison sentence amended to 481 months’ imprisonment (Oct. 6, 2015)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Sharanda Purlette Jones – Terrell, TX

Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute cocaine base (Northern District of Texas)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Nov. 10, 1999)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Ryan O’Neil Lansdowne – Haymarket, VA

Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (Eastern District of Virginia)

Sentence:  292 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Oct. 20, 2000); prison sentence amended to 262 months’ imprisonment (Apr. 28, 2009)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Chad Robert Latham – Tacoma, WA

Offense:  Conspiracy to manufacture marijuana; manufacturing marijuana (Western District of Washington)

Sentence:  180 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Jan. 18, 2006)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Jimmy Ewell Lee – Bonifay, FL

Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine (actual) and more than 500 grams of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine (Northern District of Florida)

Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (May 4, 2005)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Carlos Lopez – Lawrence, MA

Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute cocaine base; distribution of cocaine base (four counts); possess and carry a firearm during a drug crime; possession of firearm by a prohibited person; possession of firearm with an obliterated serial number (District of New Hampshire)

Sentence:  300 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (May 14, 2003)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Kevin McDonald – Lawrenceville, NJ

Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute cocaine base “crack” (Eastern District of Virginia)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment (Oct. 17, 2005)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 18, 2016. 

 

  • Terry Dennard McNeair – Lexington, NC

Offense:  Possess with intent to distribute cocaine base (crack) (Middle District of North Carolina)

Sentence:  360 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Nov. 18, 1996)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Michael McRae – Wadesboro, NC

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base (Western District of North Carolina)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (May 22, 2006)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Juan Fernando Mendoza-Cardenas – Houston, TX

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana (Northern District of Georgia)

Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Jan. 28, 2004)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Billy R. Mercer, Jr. – Slapout, AL

Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; use/carry firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime (Middle District of Alabama)

Sentence:  292 months’ imprisonment; 72 months’ supervised release (May 24, 2006)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Alton D. Mills – Chicago, IL

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine base and cocaine and conspiracy to use communication facilities in the commission of drug trafficking offenses; use of communication facility to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base (two counts); possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (Northern District of Illinois)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; (July 14, 1994)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 18, 2016.

 

  • Alphonso Ravon Morrison – Lincolnton, NC

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute, a quantity of cocaine and cocaine base (Western District of North Carolina)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (May 7, 2001)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Matthew Murphy, III – Moreno Valley, CA

Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute in excess of five kilograms of cocaine (Western District of Pennsylvania)

Sentence:  360 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Nov. 13, 1997)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Darnell Jamar Nash – Ardmore, OK

Offense:  Drug conspiracy (Eastern District of Oklahoma)

Sentence:  264 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Mar. 18, 2004)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016, and 10-year term of supervised release commuted to three years of supervised release.

 

  • Eric L. Orington – Danville, IL

Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of (crack) cocaine (Central District of Illinois)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release; $2,000 fine (Sep. 1, 1995)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Lynette Owens – Lehigh Acres, FL

Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute five or more grams of cocaine base, “crack cocaine” (Middle District of Florida)

Sentence:  188 months’ imprisonment; four years’ supervised release (Jan. 22, 2007)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • David Padilla – Philadelphia, PA

Offense:  Conspiracy; possession with intent to distribute cocaine; carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment plus 60 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Nov. 18, 1997)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • LaShawn D. Patton – Cahokia, IL

Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute cocaine; felon in possession of firearm; possession of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime (Southern District of Illinois)

Sentence:  180 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (Feb. 24, 2006)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016, and eight-year term of supervised release commuted to four years of supervised release.

 

  • Donald Lamont Postell – Miami, FL

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms of cocaine (Western District of North Carolina)

Sentence:  600 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release; $20,000 fine (Feb. 1, 1989)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016, and balance of the fine remitted.

 

  • Lalanda Price – Wellington, FL

Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base (Northern District of Florida)

Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Nov. 29, 2004)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Lamar Roberson – Savannah, GA

Offense:  Conspiracy; distribution of cocaine (two counts) (Southern District of Georgia)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Dec. 6, 1991)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Kenneth Cordell Robinson – Houston, TX

Offense:  Distribution of cocaine base (Southern District of Texas)

Sentence:  262 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; $5,000 fine (Apr. 21, 2000)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Amador Rodriguez – Chicago, IL

Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute cocaine (Northern District of Illinois)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; $25,000 fine (Apr. 24, 1991)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 18, 2016.

 

  • Felix Roman, Jr. – Reading, PA

Offense:  Possession of five grams or more of cocaine base “crack” with the intent to distribute; possession of marijuana with intent to distribute (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)

Sentence:  262 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Apr. 15, 2003)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.        

 

  • Angel Sanchez – Atlantic Beach, FL

Offense:  Possession with intent to deliver five or more grams of cocaine (crack); possession of a firearm during or in relation to a drug trafficking crime; felon in possession of a firearm (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)

Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release; $1,000 fine (Mar. 13, 2006)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016, and balance of the fine remitted.

 

  • Timothy Bernard Sanchious – Richmond, VA

Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, to wit: “crack” (Eastern District of Virginia)

Sentence:  204 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Dec. 16, 2004)        

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Michael Santoyo – Saginaw, MI

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine; possession with intent to distribute cocaine (three counts) (Eastern District of Michigan)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 20 years’ supervised release; $80,000 fine (May 24, 1993)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Wilbert L. Shoemaker – Tallulah, LA

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base and marijuana (Western District of Louisiana)

Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Feb. 2, 2004)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Marcus Stovall – Etowah, TN

Offense:  Possession of cocaine base with intent to distribute (Eastern District of Tennessee)

Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Oct. 21, 2002)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Daron Benjamin Swygert – Gaston, SC

Offense:  Possessing with intent to distribute cocaine base (District of South Carolina)

Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Apr. 13, 2001)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Billie Marie Taylor – Houston, TX

Offense:  Did knowingly and willfully conspire, combine, confederate and agree together, with each other, and with other persons, to manufacture methamphetamine; did knowingly and intentionally possess a listed chemical, namely ephedrine, with intent to manufacture methamphetamine; did knowingly use and carry a firearm, namely, a 12 gauge Harrington and Richardson, Inc. shotgun, serial number AX492667, during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime for which the defendant may be prosecuted in a court of the United States, namely, conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine; did knowingly possess a firearm, namely, a 12 gauge Harrington and Richardson, Inc. shotgun, serial number AX492667, with a barrel length of less than 18 inches and a weapon made from a shotgun with an overall length of less than 26 inches, and such firearm was not registered to the defendant in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (Eastern District of Texas)

Sentence:  412 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Feb. 28, 1992); prison sentence amended to 355 months’ imprisonment (Jul. 15, 2015)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016. 

 

  • Eric Desmond Thomas – Houston, TX

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine; possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (Southern District of Texas)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release; $20,000 fine (Sep. 26, 1996)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016, and balance of the fine remitted. 

 

  • Raymond Allen Thomas – Fairbanks, AK

Offense:  Possession of controlled substance with intent to distribute (District of Alaska)

Sentence:  265 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (Feb. 7, 2005); prison sentence amended to 216 months’ imprisonment (Mar. 4, 2015)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Bruce Lamar Thompson – Dalton, GA

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute in excess of 500 grams of methamphetamine after sustaining a prior felony drug conviction (Northern District of Georgia)

Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Jul. 30, 2004)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Keith Demond Thompson – Eastpointe, MI

Offense:  Distribution of five grams of more of cocaine base (two counts) (Eastern District of Michigan)

Sentence:  188 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (May 24, 2006)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Otis Lee Thompson, Jr. – Houston, TX

Offense:  Possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; possession with intent to distribute codeine (Southern District of Texas)

Sentence:  195 months’ imprisonment; eight years’ supervised release (Dec. 6, 2005); prison sentence amended to 180 months’ imprisonment (May 20, 2008)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Charles Lee Torian – South Boston, VA

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base; possess with intent to distribute more than five grams of cocaine base (two counts); possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of cocaine base (Western District of Virginia)

Sentence:  300 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Apr. 19, 2002)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Maurice Junior Turpin – Lynchburg, VA

Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base (Western District of Virginia)

Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release; $500.00 fine (Jul. 19, 2007)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Tommie Sand Tyree – Birmingham, AL

Offense:  Distribution of 50 grams or more of “crack” cocaine (Northern District of Alabama)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 96 months’ supervised release (Feb. 7, 2007)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Alfonzo Samuel Wallace – Lake Worth, FL

Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute cocaine base; possession of cocaine base with intent to distribute, distribution and manufacturing of cocaine base (three counts); possession of cocaine (Southern District of Florida)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Oct. 23, 1997)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • John Thomas Watters – Midlothian, TX

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substance (two counts); maintaining drug involved premises; felon in possession of firearms (Northern District of Oklahoma)

Sentence:  240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (May 26, 2006) Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Monica Ann White – Rock Island, IL

Offense:  Conspiracy to distribute cocaine base (“crack”); possess with intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack”); distribute cocaine base (“crack”) (Southern District of Iowa)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Nov. 17, 1998)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

  • Shelton L. Williams – Galveston, TX

Offense:  Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine; possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine (Southern District of Texas)

Sentence:  Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (May 1, 1997)

Commutation Grant:  Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 16, 2016.

 

The President granted pardons to the following two individuals:

 

  • Jon Dylan Girard – Centerville, OH

Offense:  Making counterfeit obligations (Southern District of Ohio)

Sentence:  Three years' probation, with the special condition of six months' home confinement (Nov. 7, 2002).

 

  • Melody Eileen Homa, fka Melody Eileen Childress – New Kent, VA

Offense:  Aiding and abetting bank fraud (Eastern District of Virginia)

Sentence:  Thirty days’ home detention; three years’ supervised release conditioned on performance of 200 hours of community service (Dec. 16, 1991)

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/12/18/president-obama-grants-commutations-and-pardons


President Obama Has Shortened the Sentences of
More People Than the Last 5 Presidents Combined

Summary: 
The President has now granted a total of 184 commutations.

Today, President Obama is commuting the federal prison sentences of 95 men and women, most of whom committed nonviolent offenses. With this step, the President has now granted 184 commutations total -- more than the last five presidents combined. Take a look:

Commutations chart
  
Source: U.S. Department of Justice
 
President Obama is committed to restoring the sense of fairness at the heart of our justice system. In 2010, he signed the Fair Sentencing Act, a bill that reduced the sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine offenses. Most of the commutations the President has granted have been to non-violent offenders sentenced under those unjust -- and now outdated -- drug crime sentencing rules. If these individuals had been convicted for the exact same crime under today's laws, nearly all of them would have already finished serving their time.
 
The President shared his thoughts in a personal letter to each of the 95 people receiving a commutation today, writing,  "I believe in your ability to prove the doubters wrong, and change your life for the better."

Acts of clemency alone will not reduce the burden of our federal prison population or make our criminal justice system fairer. That's why President Obama and his Administration have taken a number of steps already to fight for a fairer and more efficient justice system, including:

  • Signing the Fair Sentencing Act to ease the disparity in the amounts of powder cocaine and crack cocaine required to trigger certain penalties in the federal system, including the imposition of rigid mandatory minimum sentences.
  • Creating a Task Force on 21st Century Policing to review current police practices and to identify and implement best practices with the goal of promoting community trust in law enforcement.
  • Through the Attorney General, launching the Smart on Crime initiative to ensure federal laws are enforced more fairly and efficiently, including Department of Justice efforts to modify its charging policies on mandatory minimum sentences for certain federal low-level drug-related offenses, improve diversion and re-entry policies, strengthen protections for the most vulnerable.

Learn more about President Obama's push for meaningful criminal justice reform:

Melanie Garunay is Associate Director for Digital Outbound for the Office of Digital Strategy


 
 
-|- IN PRAYER -|-

||| FCN |||

R.I.P.: With regret, we inform you of the passing of Anthony J. Varca (Pop) at a young 91, FedCURE's most Senior Director, Advisor & Fellow.

09/10/1924-06/11/2015 ~ CONDOLENCES.

CONDOLENCES for Masteo*Antonio (Nano~Pop) Di Carlo Varca, mail to: A. Varca, Dir., FedCURE, P.O. Box 15667, Plantation, FL 33318-5667. 

For special condolences: in person and or delivery address requests, mail to:  http://www.fedcure.org/contact.shtml.

Dio Benedicto,

FedCURE.

 

Federal Bureau of Prisons

FBOP: Change in Leadership ~ New AD, ADM and AD, HSA

 
BOP Monday Morning Highlights 11 May 2015
Washington, DC


We are drafting a position paper on the CORRECTIONS Act (S.467).

Summary and full text here:   https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/467/all-info

Your comments are respectfully requested, by C.o.B. on Friday, 15 May 2015.

A smart.pdf of the Congressional Record for 11 February 2015 on S.467, is available here:

 

Testimony Submitted-- Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections
 
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Washington, DC


||| FedCURE SPECIAL REPORT |||

FedCURE's Elegant Solution to Reduce the Federal Inmate Population to 100,000 Inmates.

What is amazing about the state of federal sentencing reforms is that the absolute amount of intelligence involved in the reform process has yet to unite on just one effective solution to reduce the federal inmate population in the United States.  It seems to us, that after some thirty years, all this intelligence should have yielded a simple solution, but it has not.
 
Whereas, FedCURE's proposal, an elegant solution, would reduce the federal prison population to 100,000 inmates by simply doubling good time allowances, via a Whereas, FedCURE's proposal, an elegant solution, would reduce the federal prison population to 100,000 inmates by simply doubling good time allowances, via a one line legislative amendment to the existing good time statutes.

The BARBER AMENDMENT is a proposed bill to amend Title 18 U.S.C. Section 3624(b)(1) as follows:

By striking the number "54" in the first sentence as it appears and inserting in lieu thereof the number "128"; and in the same sentence, by striking "prisoner's term of imprisonment" and inserting in lieu thereof "sentence imposed." This amendment is retroactive. [END].
FedCURE is calling on the President and Members of Congress to enact the BARBER AMENDMENT to safely reduce the federal prison population by at least 10% (per year), with out disrupting release or reentry processes or risk to public safety, at a cost saving's of $1.2 billion dollars annually. These savings on incarceration can be redirected (within in the bureau's budget) to reentry. http://www.fedcure.org/documents/HR1475.shtml.

Since inmates "earned" the right to be in prison, why can't they also "earn" the right of release and reentry?

The BARBER AMENDMENT would greatly contribute to the healing of our economy and the healing of our nation. There are almost 211,000 people incarcerated in federal prison today and the majority of these are first time non violent offenders, whom under current Federal Bureau of Prisons and U.S. Probation Office procedures, can be safely released via increased good time allowances, with no disruption to existing release and reentry processes or risk to public safety. http://www.fedcure.org/documents/HR1475.shtml


Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 2, 2015
Statement by Attorney General Holder Following Meeting with Bipartisan Coalition for Criminal Justice Reform

Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement Monday after he and Acting Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates met with representatives from the Coalition for Public Safety, a bipartisan organization dedicated to pursuing reform of the nation’s criminal justice system:

“In our ongoing effort to reform our criminal justice system, the formation of a coalition this ideologically diverse represents an important milestone unto itself. Though different concerns may bring us to the table – whether it be the skyrocketing costs of incarceration, or the unfair disparities seen in our prison population – the important thing is the broad consensus in favor of action on this issue. The Justice Department has made real gains in reforming our sentencing policies and reducing the federal prison population, but more work remains to be done. Even at a time of gridlock in Washington, I am actually quite optimistic that criminal justice reform is one issue around which we can unite and make a true difference.”

15-251

Updated March 2, 2015


17th December 2104
 
~ President Obama Grants Eight Commutations & Twelve Pardons ~
FedCURE Note:  To be sure, FedCURE applauds President Obama anytime he grants commutations and or pardons, but eight (8) commutations or twelve (12) pardons hardly does justice to the tens of thousands of people languishing in our federal prison system, deserving of same.  A staggering number serving life sentences for non-violent offenses.  Many for more three (3) decades.
 
Thank you Mr. President, but please, let us see many, many more.
 
Merry*Christmas
 
FedCURE
 

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

President Obama Grants Commutations and Pardons

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today President Barack Obama granted clemency to twenty individuals, consisting of eight commutations and twelve pardons.

The President granted commutations of sentence to the following eight individuals:

  • Sidney Earl Johnson, Jr. - Mobile, AL
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; use of a communication facility to commit a felony (Southern District of Alabama)
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Apr. 13, 1994)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on June 12, 2015.
  • Cathy Lee Jones - Portsmouth, VA
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribute heroin and cocaine base (Eastern District of Virginia)
Sentence: 262 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (Apr. 29, 2003)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 15, 2015.
  • Rickey Marcell McCall - Birmingham, AL
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute in excess of 50 grams of a mixture and substance containing cocaine base; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (two counts) (Northern District of Alabama)
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 120 months’ supervised release (Jan. 11, 2001)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 15, 2015.
  • Larry Nailor - Memphis, TN
Offense: Possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute approximately 50 grams of cocaine base (Western District of Tennessee)
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Nov. 7, 1997)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 15, 2015.
  • Antonio Gromyko Reeves - Kennett, MO
Offense: Distribution of five grams or more of cocaine base (Eastern District of Missouri)
Sentence: 188 months’ imprisonment; four years’ supervised release (May 21, 2004)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 15, 2015.
  • Jennifer Regenos - Muscatine, IA
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (Southern District of Iowa)
Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (Mar. 25, 2002)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 15, 2015.
  • Barbara Lammsies Scrivner - Portland, OR
Offense: Conspiracy to manufacture, possess with intent to distribute, and distribute methamphetamine; possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine (District of Oregon)
Sentence: 360 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (July 3, 1995)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on June 12, 2015.
  • Israel Abel Torres - Dallas, TX
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances; possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (Eastern District of Texas)
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release; $1,000 fine (Dec. 4, 1998)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 15, 2015.
The President granted pardons to the following twelve individuals:
  • Roy Norman Auvil - Bartonville, IL
Offense: Possession of an unregistered distilling apparatus; working a distillery on which the required sign is not placed (District of South Carolina)
Sentence: Five years’ probation (Nov. 16, 1964)
  • Bernard Bryan Bulcourf - McIntosh, FL
Offense: Counterfeiting Federal Reserve notes (Southern District of Florida)
Sentence: 90 days’ confinement in a community treatment center, followed by three years’ probation (Nov. 18, 1988)
  • Steve Charlie Calamars - San Antonio, TX
Offense: Possession of phenyl-2-propanone with intent to manufacture a quantity of methamphetamine (Western District of Texas)
Sentence: 57 months’ imprisonment; three years’ supervised release (May 31, 1989; as amended Apr. 8, 1994)
  • Diane Mary DeBarri, fka Diane Mary Wilhelm - Fairless Hills, PA
Offense: Conspiracy to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine; distribution of methamphetamine (Eastern District of Pennsylvania)
Sentence: 90 days’ imprisonment; five years’ probation conditioned on performance of community service as directed by the court (June 15, 1984)
  • Donnie Keith Ellison - London, KY
Offense: Manufacture of marijuana (Eastern District of Kentucky)
Sentence: Five months’ imprisonment; three years’ supervised release (Sept. 1, 1995)
  • John Marshall French - Clovis, CA
Offense: Conspiracy to transport a stolen motor vehicle in interstate commerce (District of South Carolina)
Sentence: Three years’ probation conditioned on performance of 100 hours of community service and payment of $2,337 restitution (Mar. 2, 1993)
  • Ricardo Marcial Lomedico, Sr. - Point Roberts, WA
Offense: Misappropriation of bank funds by an employee (Western District of Washington)
Sentence: Five years’ imprisonment (Nov. 21, 1969)
  • David Raymond Mannix - Lafayette, OR
Offense: Conspiracy to commit larceny; theft of military property (U.S. Marine Corps general court-martial convened at Camp Pendleton, CA)
Sentence: 75 days’ confinement; forfeiture of $350 pay per month for three months; reduction to Private First Class, pay grade E-2 (Oct. 18, 1989, as approved Mar. 2, 1990)
  • David Neil Mercer - Grand Junction, CO
Offense: Archaeological Resources Protection Act violation (District of Utah)
Sentence: 36 months’ probation; $2,500 fine; $1,437.72 joint and several restitution (Apr. 9, 1997)
  • Claire Holbrook Mulford, fka Claire Audrey Holbrook - Flint, TX
Offense: Using a residence to distribute methamphetamine; carrying a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime (Eastern District of Texas)
Sentence: 70 months’ imprisonment; two years’ supervised release (Dec. 3, 1993)
  • Brian Edward Sledz - Naperville, IL
Offense: Wire fraud; violation of the Commodity Exchange Act (Northern District of Illinois)
Sentence: One year of probation conditioned on payment of $1,318 costs of supervision and $8,297.91 restitution (Apr. 29, 1993)
  • Albert Byron Stork - Delta, CO
Offense: Filing a false tax return (District of Colorado)
Sentence: Six months’ confinement in a jail-type or treatment institution; three years’ probation (May 8, 1987)
 

News Release ~ 12/17/14

Clemency Project 2014 Applauds President Obama for Granting Eight Commutations

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2014 -- President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of eight federal prisoners, and pardoned 12 others on Wednesday. These mark the first commutations the President has granted since the U.S. Department of Justice announced its clemency initiative in April of 2014.

"We commend President Obama for keeping his promise to provide relief for federal prisoners serving excessively long sentences; terms of imprisonment they would not receive if sentenced today," said Cynthia W. Roseberry, project manager for Clemency Project 2014. "Federal sentencing laws and policies have changed, and the country has changed, but thousands of federal prisoners remain incarcerated under antiquated laws and ways of thinking about crime. We urge the President to commute more of the unjust sentences faced by federal prisoners."

Clemency Project 2014 is a working group composed of lawyers and advocates including the Federal Defenders, the American Civil Liberties Union, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, the American Bar Association, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, as well as individuals active within those organizations. It launched in January, after Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole asked the legal profession to provide pro bono assistance to federal prisoners who would likely have received a shorter sentence if they had been sentenced today.

According to the criteria released by the Justice Department, prisoners must:

  • be serving a federal sentence;
  • be serving a sentence that, if imposed today, would be substantially shorter;
  • have a non-violent history with no significant ties to organized crime, gangs or cartels;
  • have served at least 10 years;
  • have no significant prior convictions;
  • have demonstrated good conduct in prison.

Clemency Project 2014 is recruiting and training attorneys on an ongoing, on demand basis on how to screen for prisoners who meet the criteria listed above and assist them in preparing commutation petitions. Several hundred lawyers have volunteered to assist prisoners and are reviewing more than 26,000 requests from prisoners who have asked Clemency Project 2014 for assistance.

For more information and to volunteer for Clemency Project 2014, please visit www.clemencyproject2014.org.

Please direct all media inquiries to media@clemencyproject2014.org.

 

01 November 2014:

The 2014 amendments to the federal sentencing guidelines become effective 01 November 2014. Chair Saris calls the drug amendment an important start toward addressing over-incarceration and prison costs. Read the Chair's full remarks: http://go.usa.gov/7kZj

The new Guidelines Manual is now available online in PDF and HTML formats. Hard copies are being distributed to U.S. Courts. http://www.ussc.gov/guidelines-manual/2014-ussc-guidelines-manual

FedCURE



26 June 2014 ~, 4:48pm

Chrisa J. Mayhew, Director of Social Media, FedCURE, and the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations. Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives. FedCURE's Record Testimony for the Task Force Hearing on Collateral Consequences, held in Rayburn Room 2237, on 26 June 2014:

At 9:30 a.m., the Overcriminalization Task Force convened a hearing on Collateral Consequences at which representatives from the ABA and NACDL testified about their organizations' respective reports.

Immediately thereafter, starting at 11:30 a.m. in Rayburn Room 2226, Representatives Conyers, Scott, and Cohen presented a forum on Personal Narratives of Collateral Consequences. Reps. Conyers and Scott each gave very brief (3-minute) opening remarks. Then, Rep. Cohen introduced the forum participants who all suffer collateral consequences of conviction. He served as the moderator for the Q&A session with the audience after the participants gave their prepared remarks. The forum participants are as follows: Bernard Kerik, Piper Kerman, Lamont Carey, and Anthony Pleasant.

More to come. Stay tuned . . .

Streaming on our Facebook page at: 

http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10203115805509437&id=1035618950

FedCURE TESTIMONY (pdf):  FedCURE-TESTIMONY_TaskForceHearing_CollateralConsequences.25062014.pdf


United States Sentencing Commission

18 July 2014

RETROACTIVITY * APPROVED

The United States Sentencing Commission voted unanimously today at a public meeting to apply a reduction in the sentencing guideline levels applicable to most federal drug trafficking offenders retroactively, meaning that many offenders currently in prison could be eligible for reduced sentences beginning November 2015.

Unless Congress disapproves the amendment, beginning November 1, 2014, eligible offenders can ask courts to reduce their sentences. Offenders whose requests are granted by the courts can be released no earlier than November 1, 2015.

The Commission estimates that more than 46,000 offenders would be eligible to seek sentence reductions in court. These offenders’ sentence's could be reduced by 25 months on average.

For more information on this decision, view the Commission's press release or visit the website:

Join the discussion and the Q & A on our Facebook stream:

[Emphasis:  Underline is FedCURE.]

ALERT! PUBLIC COMMENT Coming up on 07 July 2014:

On April 30, 2014, the U.S. Sentencing Commission submitted to Congress amendments to the federal sentencing guidelines. The Commission seeks public comment on the issue of whether to apply the amendment to the drug quantity table retroactively.

The Commission will receive public comment on this issue through July 7, 2014 (60 days from publication of the Federal Register Notice. Public comment can be e-mailed to public_comment@ussc.gov.

http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/amendment-process/official-text-amendments/20140430_Amendments.pdf

http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/amendment-process/reader-friendly-amendments/20140430_RF_Proposed_Amendments.pdf

http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/amendment-process/federal-register-notices/20140430_FR_Final_Amendments.pdf


04 June 2014

|-|-| FedCURE HOME |-|-| 

||| FCN |||

Commutations Initiative Briefing and Q&A Phone Conference

Please pass this information on to people who may be interested in hearing more information about the Administration’s new Commutations Initiative, particularly attorneys in public interest organizations and minority bar associations. Information has already gone out widely to the federal public defender and large law firm communities, as well as to the ABA membership. Please help make sure no one falls through the cracks!

To: Interested Persons

Re: Commutations Initiative Briefing and Q&A Phone Conference

Thursday, June 19th at 1:00 pm (ET)

Note: This is a nationwide phone conference briefing

Call in number 800-747-5150 code 721 5631#

Please RSVP to justiceroundtable@opensocietyfoundations.org & include your name and state

Several months ago Deputy Attorney General James Cole announced an initiative to review certain outdated prison sentences through the president’s power to commute, or shorten, prison terms. The initiative encourages qualified federal prisoners to submit commutation petitions for consideration. The DOJ’s criteria for selection are that prisoners:

· be serving a federal sentence

· be serving a sentence that, if imposed today, would be substantially shorter

· have a non-violent history with no significant ties to organized crime, gangs or cartels

· have served at least 10 years

· have no significant prior convictions

· have demonstrated good conduct in prison

It has been estimated that approximately 23,000 federal prisoners meet the criteria of having served at least 10 years. The Department of Justice has requested the legal profession to provide pro bono assistance to federal prisoners who petition the Office of the Pardon Attorney pursuant to these criteria.

A new entity, Clemency Project 2014, is coordinating the recruitment and training of volunteer attorneys, and assisting prisoners who feel they meet the criteria to find pro bono legal representation. If you think you may be interested in assisting prisoners via this new commutations initiative, email your name and contact information to clemencyproject@nacdl.org. A mandatory training is being developed that you will be required to complete.

On Thursday, June 19th at 1:00 pm (ET) the Justice Roundtable’s Commutations Working Group will host a nationwide conference call for interested persons to be formally briefed on the Administration’s new commutations initiative, answer any questions you may have, and to let you know how you can plug into this dynamic and fast-moving process. The specifics of the conference call are at the top of this email. Feel free to forward this email to people interested in finding out more information about this major initiative.

###

SOURCE:  Justice Round Table:  Commutations and Pardons Working Group.  FedCURE, sitting member.

06 May 2014

Federal Bureau of Prisons
 
BOP Supports DOJ Clemency Initiative
 
Inmate population provided information regarding filing clemency petitions.
 
Updated 05:30 PM ET, May 6, 2014

 
(BOP) - On May 5th, the BOP provided inmates with information regarding eligibility for the Department of Justice's clemency initiative. DOJ worked with bar associations, criminal defense lawyers, and not-for-profit organizations to provide assistance to certain inmates in filing clemency petitions. Inmates were provided specific criteria concerning the initiative, and they were given access to a survey to assist the outside lawyers assess the cases. All this information was posted on the Inmate Electronic Bulletin Board accessible by most inmates. Inmates who do not have access to electronic messaging may complete a paper version.
 
You may view the notice provided to inmates here.
 
23 April 2014

FedCURE ~  Chairman's Message:
 
FedCURE sits on the OSI/JRT Commutations and Pardons Working Group, along with fellow criminal justice reform coalition members, whom have methodically and steadfastly urged President Obama to exercise his Executive Clemency Powers to commute unjust federal sentences; and along with the thousands of messages you all sent to the President and AG, Holder, over the past two years, we are pleased to report today's announcement, that the President and Mr. Holder have set out to do so with DOJ's Clemency Initiative (see DOJ press release below).  .
 
Thank you Mr. President and Mr. Eric Holder, Attorney General of the United States. 
 
Praise the Lord! and congratulations, to all of our fellow advocates, criminal justice reform coalition and most importantly, the thousands of FedCURE members, supporters and friends.  Job well done.
 
This proves the power of unified advocacy--everyone pulling together to work on the same cause--to reduce federal prison sentences.  Let there be no doubt that, together, we are powerful advocates.  To that end, let us move forward on the BARBER AMENDMENT ~ a measure to retroactively double good time allowances.  Please join the campaign to enact the BARBER AMENDMENT:  http://www.fedcure.org/documents/HR1475.shtml.
 
Respectfully,
 
Mark A. Varca, J.D., Chairman,
www.FedCURE.org

 
 
The United States Department of Justice 
Justice News Banner
 
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole at the
Press Conference Announcing the Clemency Initiative
 
Washington, D.C.~Wednesday, April 23, 2014

 

Good morning and thank you all for being here. I am pleased to announce a Department of Justice initiative to encourage qualified federal inmates to petition to have their sentences commuted, or reduced, by the President of the United States.

 

Last year, the Attorney General launched a new 'Smart on Crime" initiative. Smart on Crime was conceived with an eye toward addressing the crises caused by a vastly overcrowded prison population and with a goal of redirecting some of the dollars we spend on prisons to prosecutors and law enforcement agents working to keep our streets safer. It is designed to strengthen the criminal justice system, promote public safety, and deliver on the promise of equal justice under law.

 

In 2010, President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced unfair disparities in sentences for offenses involving crack cocaine. But the Fair Sentencing Act did not apply to those who were sentenced before its passage. And now there are many people in federal prison who were sentenced under the old regime--and who, as a result, will have to spend far more time in prison than they would if sentenced today for exactly the same crime. The fundamental American concept, equal justice under law, requires that our laws be enforced fairly--and not just going forward, but it is equally important that we extend this fairness to those who are already serving prison sentences for their crimes.

 

Last December, President Obama took steps toward addressing this situation by granting commutations to eight men and women who had each served more than 15 years in prison for crack cocaine offenses. For two of these individuals, it was the first conviction they'd ever received -- yet, due to mandatory guidelines that were considered severe at the time, and are out of date today -- they and four others had received life sentences. Since that time, the President has indicated that he wants to be able to consider additional, similar applications for commutation of sentence, to restore a degree of fairness and proportionality for deserving individuals. The Justice Department is committed to responding to the President's directive by finding additional candidates who are similarly situated to those granted clemency last year, and recommending qualified applicants for reduced sentences.

We are launching this clemency initiative in order to quickly and effectively identify appropriate candidates, candidates who have a clean prison record, do not present a threat to public safety, and were sentenced under out-of-date laws that have since been changed, and are no longer seen as appropriate. While those sentenced prior to the Fair Sentencing Act may be the most obvious candidates, this initiative is not limited to crack offenders.

Rather, the initiative is open to candidates who meet six criteria: they must be

  • (1) inmates who are currently serving a federal sentence in prison and, by operation of law, likely would have received a substantially lower sentence if convicted of the same offense today;
  • (2) are non-violent, low-level offenders without significant ties to large-scale criminal organizations, gangs, or cartels;
  • (3) have served at least 10 years of their sentence;
  • (4) do not have a significant criminal history;
  • (5) have demonstrated good conduct in prison; and
  • (6) have no history of violence prior to or during their current term of imprisonment.

Identifying worthy candidates within our large prison population will be no easy feat. A good number of inmates will not meet the six criteria. But we are dedicating significant time and resources to ensure that all potentially eligible petitions are reviewed and then processed quickly to ensure timely justice.

 

First, we have put in place an extensive screening mechanism. Next week, the Bureau of Prisons is notifying all federal inmates of our initiative and providing them with these six criteria. If an inmate believes he or she fits these six criteria, the Bureau of Prisons will provide them with an electronic survey to fill out that will allow Department lawyers to efficiently screen whether the petition merits further consideration.

 

Second, I am pleased to announce that all inmates who appear to meet these six criteria will be offered the assistance of an experienced pro bono attorney in preparing his or her application for clemency. In January, I gave a speech to the New York State Bar Association in which I called upon private attorneys to volunteer to assist potential candidates in assembling commutation petitions – ones which provide a focused presentation of the information the Department and the President will consider -- in order to meaningfully evaluate whether a petitioner qualifies under this initiative. Since that time, dedicated and experienced criminal defense and nonprofit lawyers have responded to that call. These numerous groups and individual attorneys, who are calling themselves Clemency Project 2014, will be working with inmates who appear to meet the six criteria and request the assistance of a lawyer. I am very grateful for the work of these volunteers and am confident that their commitment and expertise will result in high-quality petitions that the Department of Justice will be able to process on a more efficient basis.

 

Third, the Department of Justice is detailing lawyers to the Pardon Attorney's Office on a temporary basis to review applications for commutation submitted under this initiative. These attorneys -- importantly, to include those with experience as federal prosecutors -- will provide the rigorous scrutiny that all clemency applications must undergo while providing the additional eyes necessary to review the numerous additional petitions that are invariably likely to be submitted. In addition, we are taking the unusual step of working with the Federal Public Defender Service to try to get some of their attorneys detailed to the Pardon Attorney's Office to support this initiative. I will be personally involved in ensuring the Pardon Attorney’s office has the resources needed to make timely and effective recommendations to the President.

 

Fourth, once we have made a preliminary determination that a petition is worthy of serious consideration, we will consult with both the United States Attorney's Office and the trial judge that handled the case to get their views on the propriety of granting the application.

 

Finally, I want to thank Ron Rodgers for his service as the United States Pardon Attorney. Over the past several years, Ron has performed admirably in what is a very tough job. He has demonstrated dedication and integrity in his work on pardons and commutations. In the tradition of Senior Executive Service attorneys in the Department, Ron has asked me to allow him to move on to another assignment within the Department. I told him I would do that, but only after he helped with the transition to new leadership in the Pardon Attorney’s Office. In that vein, I am pleased to announce that Deborah Leff will be coming in to lead the Pardon Attorney's Office. Debby has committed her career to the very basis of this initiative - achieving equal justice under law. As Acting Senior Counselor for Access to Justice, her fundamental mission has been to help the justice system deliver outcomes that are fair and accessible to all. She has worked to increase access to legal counsel and legal assistance for those who are unable to afford lawyers. And, she has also been instrumental in the standing up of Clemency Project 2014. Importantly, she is known in both the Department and the legal community as a dedicated advocate and public servant. I am confident that she will do a wonderful job providing recommendations to me and the President on this initiative and on the clemency process going forward.

 

Let there be no mistake, this clemency initiative should not be understood to minimize the seriousness of our federal criminal law and is designed, first and foremost, with public safety in mind. Even low-level offenders cause harm to people through their criminal actions, and many need to be incarcerated. Our prosecutors and law enforcement agents worked diligently and honorably to collect evidence and charge these defendants, and then fairly and effectively obtained their convictions. These defendants were properly held accountable for their criminal conduct. However, some of them, simply because of the operation of sentencing laws on the books at the time, received substantial sentences that are disproportionate to what they would receive today. Even the sentencing judges in many of these cases expressed regret at the time at having to impose such harsh sentences. And several United States Attorneys are proactively providing names of individuals they believe should be part of this initiative. Correcting these sentences is simply a matter of fairness that is fundamental to our principles at the Department, and is a commitment that all Department of Justice employees stand behind.

 

In the same vein, it is important to remember that commutations are not pardons. They are not exonerations. They are not an expression of forgiveness. Rather, as the President said, they are an “important step toward restoring fundamental ideals of justice and fairness.” He noted that “many of [these individuals] would have already served their time and paid their debt to society” had they been sentenced under current law. For our criminal justice system to be effective, it needs to not only be fair; but it also must be perceived as beingfair. These older, stringent punishments that are out of line with sentences imposed under today's laws erode people’s confidence in our criminal justice system. I am confident that this initiative will go far to promote the most fundamental of American ideals - equal justice under law.

.
Source: http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/dag/speeches/2014/dag-speech-140423.html


Visit Justice Ministries International, FedCURE's faith-based partner at: http://www.jmi.2go.tv/, offering the "Laws of Life" teaching series.  Approved by Texas Department of Corrections.

~ Join the Comment Stream - Oppose S.1675 ~

07 March 2014:  Legislation

S.1675, Recidivism Reduction and Public Safety Act 2013 (Whitehouse, Portman)
 
Ordered Reported By Roll Call Vote, 15-2

Substitute Amendment ALB14155 (Whitehouse, Cornyn)
 
 
Cornyn-backed prison-reform bill clears Judiciary Committee:

Posted on March 7, 2014 | By William T. Brown
 
The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to advance a bill co-sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) that aims to improve the efficiency and lower the population of the federal prison system.

Cornyn said Texas has been at the forefront of prison reform and by "reducing the number of prisoners in the justice system, we have been able to cut costs for the state, and improve the safety of our communities."

Cornyn said he hopes the Senate will vote to follow Texas’ lead with the federal system.

The Federal Prison Reform Act of 2013 calls for the formation and implementation of a system to evaluate the risks and needs of prisoners, enhancing recidivism reduction programs, lowering the probability of repeat offenders and an accumulation of time credits for qualifying prisoners which could lead to shorter sentences in federal facilities.

Prisoners who would be excluded from this program are: all sex offenders, terrorism offenders, violent offenders, repeat offenders, major organized crime offenders, and major fraud offenders.

Prisoners who have an acceptable risk level and accumulate enough time credits by participation in anti-recidivism programs and prison work programs could be released to a halfway house or home confinement once their time credits match the remaining days of their sentence.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D.-Vt.) chairman of the committee, said he backed the measure because "If we do nothing" "if we fail to address our burgeoning prison population" "we will be cutting the very programs that help keep us safe."

Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island , co-sponsor of the bill, said, "States like Rhode Island have shown that it is possible to cut prison costs while making the public safer." When inmates are better prepared to re-enter communities, they are less likely to commit crimes after they are released."

Cornyn said he hopes the bill, approved by the Judiciary Committee Thursday, will soon go to the full Senate for a vote.

http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2014/03/cornyn-backed-prison-reform-bill-clears-judiciary-committee/

11 December 2013

Top Management and Performance Challenges Facing the Department of Justice - 2013: Addressing the Growing Crisis in the Federal Prison System.

Attached to this memorandum is the Office of the Inspector General's (OIG) 2013 list of top management and performance challenges facing the Department of Justice (Department), which we have identified based on our oversight work, research, and judgment. We have prepared similar lists since 1998.  By statute this list is required to be included in the Department's Agency Financial Report.  http://www.fedcure.org/information/DOJ-OIG_Challenges2013.shtml

New GAO-14-121 Report: According to BOP officials, BOP's biggest challenges are managing the continually increasing federal inmate population while providing for inmates care and safety, as well as the safety of BOP staff and surrounding communities, within budgeted levels. BOP officials project continuing inmate population growth and estimate increases in funding needs for the foreseeable future. Consultation with congressional decision makers could help BOP identify what additional information, if any, is needed, such as providing more comprehensive detailed information on projected costs using data already gathered by BOP. This could enhance the transparency of BOP's budget justification and the President's budget request and better inform congressional decision making. See:   http://www.fedcure.org/documents/GAO-14-121-FBOP_BudgetTransparency_041213.pdf

"System-wide, the Bureau is operating at 36 percent over rated capacity and crowding is of special concern at higher security facilities, with 51 percent crowding at high security facilities and 45 percent at medium security facilities."  Charles E. Samuels, Director, Federal Bureau of Prisons.
 
Despite a ten year build out, spending over $1 billion dollars a year outsourcing prison cells from private prison contractors, increased double bunking and triple bunking, since 2003, the overcrowding rate hovers at 38% and FBOP forecasts 44%. The federal prison population was 165,000 in January 2003.  November 2013, it is hovering at 219,200.  America cannot build its way out of crowding.   Private prisons bring in about $3 billion in revenue annually.  Senate Committee Report says "None of these efforts, however, have had a significant impact on prison overcrowding" and says no more prisons. See: Senate Committee on Appropriations FY2014, Report No. 113-000, at pp. 90-91.
 
BARBER AMENDMENT, on its own, or amended to: S.619 and H.R.1695 ~  the "Justice Safety Valve Act,"  to H.R. 2371 ~ the Prisoner Incentive Act of 2013, or S.1410 - the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2013, increasing 54 to 128 days, retroactively, is CURE.   $1.2 billion Incarceration dollars shift to $1.2 billion Re-Entry dollars, annually.
 
"For every dollar we invest in programs like these we are going to save much more in prison costs, an outcome that will enable spending limited law-enforcement resources on other priorities."Attorney General, Eric Holder.
 
"New consideration should be given to the reinstatement of parole for federal offenders to help restore fairness in the criminal justice system and relieve overcrowding in the swelling federal prison system.  The federal system, which holds about 220,000 inmates, is at least 40% over capacity, according to the Justice Department. Parole, which was abolished for federal offenders convicted after 1987 as part of tough anti-crime measures of the time, 'ought to be discussed.'"  Attorney General, Eric Holder.
 

~ 06 November 2013 ~

Oversight of the Bureau of Prisons &

Cost-Effective Strategies for Reducing Recidivismm

Senate Judiciary Committee    |   Full Committee
 
View a webcast of this hearing
 
 
DATE:  Today, 06 November 2013  |  TIME: 10:00 AM  |  ROOM: Dirksen 226

 
OFFICIAL HEARING NOTICE / WITNESS LIST:

October 25, 2013

NOTICE OF COMMITTEE HEARING

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a hearing entitled Oversight of the Bureau of Prisons & Cost-Effective Strategies for Reducing Recidivism for Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Senator Whitehouse to preside.

By order of the Chairman.

Witness List

Hearing before the
Senate Committee on the Judiciary

On

Oversight of the Bureau of Prisons & Cost-Effective Strategies for Reducing Recidivism

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 226
10:00 a.m.

Panel I

Charles E. Samuels, Jr.
Director
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Washington, DC

Panel II

John E. Wetzel
Secretary
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Representative John Tilley
Chair, Judiciary Committee
Kentucky House of Representatives
Hopkinsville, Kentucky

Nancy G. La Vigne, Ph.D.
Director, Justice Policy Center
The Urban Institute
Washington, DC

Matt DeLisi, Ph.D.
Professor and Coordinator, Criminal Justice Studies
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa

Dr. Jeffrey Sedgwick
Managing Partner and Co-Founder
Keswick Advisors
Richmond, VA

Over-criminalization is an issue of liberty.
 
As federal criminal laws and regulations have increased, so has the number of Americans who have found themselves breaking the law with no intent of doing so.
Americans who make innocent mistakes should not be charged with criminal offenses.
 
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.)
Over-Criminalization [bi-partisan] Task Force of 2013

Over 39,000 e-Certified signatories.   Many kind thanks' for your support.
 
|-|-| BARBER AMENDMENT PETITION |-|-|