Obama pardons 78, shortens the sentence for 153, including Oklahomans

By: KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press

Updated:
HONOLULU (AP) - President Barack Obama has pardoned 78 people and shortened the sentence of 153 others convicted of federal crimes, the greatest number of individual clemencies in a single day by any president, the White House said Monday.

Obama has been granting commutations at rapid-fire pace in his final months in office, but he has focused primarily on shortening sentences of those convicted of drug offenses rather than pardons. Pardons amount to forgiveness of a crime that removes restrictions on the right to vote, hold state or local office, or sit on a jury. The pardon also lessens the stigma arising from the conviction.

Neil Eggleston, Obama's White House counsel, said Obama has now pardoned a total of 148 people during his presidency and has shortened the sentences of 1,176 people, including 395 serving life sentences.

Eggleston said each clemency recipient's story is unique, but a common thread of rehabilitation underlies all of them. Pardon recipients have shown they have led a productive and law-abiding post-conviction life, including by contributing to the community in a meaningful way, he said.

Commutation recipients have made the most of his or her time in prison by participating in educational courses, vocational training, and drug treatment, he said.

"These are the stories that demonstrate the successes that can be achieved - by both individuals and society - in a nation of second chances," Eggleston said.

The commutations were announced as Obama vacations in Hawaii during the holidays.

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Among those who were granted commutations and pardons were multiple Oklahomans:

Commutations:

Johnny Ray Basham – Tulsa, OK
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; possession of a firearm during drug trafficking crime; possession of a firearm after former conviction of a felony; Northern District of Oklahoma
Sentence: 324 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release; $1,000 fine (January 11, 2001)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.  

Daryl Lain Hook – Muldrow, OK
Offense: Manufacture methamphetamine; possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine; Eastern District of Oklahoma
Sentence: 292 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release (April 2, 1998)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 18, 2017.

Charles Anthony Perry – Lawton, OK
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base; maintaining a place for the distribution of a controlled substance; distribution of cocaine base; Western District of Oklahoma
Sentence: Life imprisonment; five years' supervised release (June 23, 2000)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 18, 2017.

Lawrence Samuels, Jr. – Tulsa, OK
Offense: Possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance; Northern District of Oklahoma
Sentence: 210 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release; $5,000 fine (October 3, 2005)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018, and unpaid balance of the $5,000 fine remitted at the time of his release, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

Steven Blair Speal – Oklahoma City, OK
Offense: Conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance; possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; possession with intent to distribute marijuana; possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime; possession of a firearm by a prohibited person (two counts); District of Kansas
Sentence: Life plus 60 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release; $5,000 fine (October 30, 1997)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on December 19, 2018, conditioned upon enrollment in residential drug treatment.

Delmar Anton Zeigler – Oklahoma City, OK
Offense: Possession of cocaine base with intent to distribute and aiding and abetting; possession of cocaine base with intent to distribute; Western District of Oklahoma
Sentence: Life imprisonment; 10 years' supervised release (August 25, 1998)

Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on April 18, 2017.

 

Pardons:

James Randolph Carter – Wagoner, OK

Offense:  Possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute (Northern District of Oklahoma)

Sentence:  60 months' imprisonment; five years' supervised release (May 30, 1991) (as amended May 15, 1997)

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