President Barack Obama has commuted the prison sentences of 58 drug offenders, including four from Tennessee.
Efrem Rahoman Douglas of Knoxville, Cintheia Denise Parra of Memphis, Trevis Love of Harriman and John Herbert Talley of Chattanooga will see their sentences expire Sept. 2, the White House announced Thursday.
“As a country, we have to make sure that those who take responsibility for their mistakes are able to transition back to their communities,” Obama said in a statement. “It’s the right thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do. And it’s something I will keep working to do as long as I hold this office.”
Douglas was serving a sentence of 300 months in prison and 10 years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute at least 50 grams of cocaine base. He was convicted in 2005 in U.S. District Court in East Tennessee.
Parra was sentenced in 2006 in federal court in Northern Mississippi to 235 months in prison and five years of supervised release for possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine. The sentence was amended last year to 188 months in prison.
Love was serving a sentence of 240 months in prison and 10 years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute at least five kilograms of cocaine. He was convicted in 2005 in federal court in East Tennessee.
Talley was sentenced in 1995 to life in prison and 10 years of supervised release for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine base and for using a phone in the commission of a felony. He was convicted in federal court in East Tennessee.
To date, Obama has commuted the sentences of 306 people — more than the previous six presidents combined — and said he will continue to review clemency applications. But he said only Congress can bring about lasting changes in federal sentencing through criminal justice reform.