3 Floridians granted clemency in Biden’s first presidential pardons


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — For the first time as president, Joe Biden pardoned or commuted the convictions of 78 people this week, granting them clemency and ending their prison sentences. Three of the people who will receive switches are from Florida.

The three Floridians who received commutations will have their time in federal prison reduced. Two of the individuals will see their prison terms end on April 26, 2023, while the third will see their sentences expire on August 24, 2022. All three were found guilty of drug-related charges and will remain on supervised release conditions after their release from prison.

Biden’s three Florida picks are detailed below.

  • Manuel Ruben Duran-Pimentel – Miami, Florida
    Offense: Conspiracy to import controlled substances; laundering of monetary instruments (district of Puerto Rico).
    Phrasing: 151 months of imprisonment, five years of probation (April 20, 2016).
    Switch Grant: Sentence commuted to expire on April 26, 2023, the remainder to be served at home, leaving the five-year probation period intact and effective.
  • mackie chills – ft. Lauderdale, Florida
    Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine; possession with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine (southern district of Florida).
    Phrasing: life imprisonment, 10 years of probation (10 April 2001).
    Switch Grant: Sentence commuted to expire on August 24, 2022, leaving intact and effective the 10-year period of probation.
  • Cleola Sullivan – Tallahassee, Florida
    Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute base cocaine and 5 kilograms or more of cocaine; possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine (North District of Florida).
    Phrasing: 120 months of imprisonment, five years of probation (December 13, 2016).
    Switch Grant: Sentence commuted to expire on April 26, 2023, the remainder to be served at home, leaving the five-year probation period intact and effective.

Since 2017, the United States has designated April as “Second Chance Month”. The declaration of a series of events related to prisoner redemption and community returns after serving their sentences passed the US Congress after receiving bipartisan sponsorship.

In a statement on commutations and three pardons, Biden said he continues to work with leaders on both sides of the political aisle and in multiple communities to reform the criminal justice system. During Second Chance Month, Biden said he would use his authority as president to “support” the values ​​of “second chances, redemption and rehabilitation,” as part of the month’s activities.

Originally, the second chance month was proposed by the Prison Fellowship, America’s largest nonprofit organization for prisoners, ex-prisoners, and families. The organization advocates for justice reform centered on rehabilitation and keeping families together even when some parents are incarcerated. The faith-based organization was established in 1976.

In his statement on the switches, Biden also announced a new strategy for give a second chance to formerly incarcerated persons.

“Leaders on both sides of the aisle recognize that second-chance opportunities provide people who have made mistakes and served their time a pathway to make meaningful contributions to their communities and reduce recidivism,” Biden said in the communicated. “By doing so, we can break the cycle of crime and allow law enforcement to focus their time and resources on the most pressing threats to public safety.”

Part of this strategy is to create employment opportunities for formerly convicted Americans. Its Rehabilitation Strategy statement said there are 600,000 people released from prison every year, and finding a job to make ends meet was “one of the biggest challenges” they face.

Part of the Biden administration’s second chance plan includes a program called Pathway Home. According to a White House statement, $55 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Labor will be used for job training, pre-apprenticeship programs, digital literacy training, and pre- and post-release career counseling to help those who leave the American prison. system.

Additionally, the Small Business Administration has been instructed to “remove eligibility barriers based on irrelevant criminal history for its 7(a), Microloan, and 504 loan programs” to help ex-convicts get started. small businesses. The program “will also provide loans to low-income borrowers and those in underserved communities.”

Formerly incarcerated Americans will also have more opportunities to join the federal workforce, as the Office of Personnel Management is expected to issue new regulations that remove federal employment barriers for those recently released from prison. It will operate under rules established by the “Bipartisan Fair Competition for Jobs Act,” according to the White House. A full breakdown of the Biden administration’s re-entry strategy programs is available online.


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