Biden pardons six people sentenced for drug, alcohol crimes
President Biden on Friday pardoned six individuals who have served sentences for drug or alcohol related crimes, as well as a woman who had been convicted of second-degree murder while she was in an abusive relationship.
Biden announced the pardons ahead of the new year, marking the third time this year that the president has used his clemency power. He previously pardoned three individuals in April, as well as thousands of individuals in October who were convicted of simple marijuana possession.
“President Biden believes America is a nation of second chances, and that offering meaningful opportunities for redemption and rehabilitation empowers those who have been incarcerated to become productive, law-abiding members of society,” a White House official said, adding that second chances for those who have demonstrated their rehabilitation should be an area of bipartisan agreement.
Biden on Friday pardoned Gary Parks Davis, a 66-year-old who pleaded guilty when he was 22 to an illegal cocaine transaction. Davis served a six-month sentence, completed probation in 1981, earned his bachelor’s degree and has managed his own business and volunteered with community organizations in the decades since.
The president also pardoned Edward Lincoln Do Coito III, a military veteran who pleaded guilty more than 20 years ago to marijuana trafficking charges. De Coito, 50, had served as a courier on five or six occasions, the White House said.
De Coito was released from prison in December 2000. He had previously served in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves, earning various awards during that time. Since his release, he has worked as an electrician and as a pilot.
Biden on Friday pardoned Vincente Ray Flores, who at age 19 consumed alcohol and ecstasy while in the armed forces. He later pleaded guilty at a special court-martial.
Flores, who is 37, participated in an Air Force rehabilitation program. He has since returned to active duty and has received multiple awards for his conduct. He now serves on the Honor Guard and volunteers through Habitat for Humanity and at events for military members returning from deployment, the White House said.
Biden pardoned Beverly Ann Ibn-Tamas, an 80-year-old Columbus woman who was convicted decades ago of killing her husband. Ibn-Tamas was 33 at the time and pregnant, and she testified that her husband physically and verbally abused her and had assaulted her moments before she shot him.
The White House noted that during her trial, the court would not allow an expert to testify about battered woman syndrome and the effects of domestic violence. Ibn-Tamas was sentenced to one to five years in jail. Her case has been studied as an example of battered woman syndrome.
She has worked for years at an Ohio-based health care business, the White House said, and she still works as a case manager there.
Biden also pardoned Charlie Byrnes Jackson of South Carolina, a 77-year-old who pleaded guilty when he was 18 to charges over an illegal whiskey transaction. He was sentenced to five years of probation, and he was unable to join the Marines when he graduated high school because of the conviction.
Jackson completed probation in 1969, and he has been an active member of his church and community, the White House said.
Biden on Friday is also pardoning John Dix Nock III , who pleaded guilty 27 years ago after a building he owned was used to grow marijuana. Nock did not grow marijuana himself and did not play a role in the operation, the White House said.
Nock completed the terms of his community confinement in 1997, and his supervised release ended in 2000. Nock now operates a contracting business and has served as a mentor to contractors and abused young men.
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