President Joe Biden has pardoned six people who have served out sentences after convictions on a murder charge and drug- and alcohol-related crimes, including an 80-year-old woman convicted of killing her abusive husband about a half-century ago and a man who pleaded guilty to using a telephone for a cocaine transaction in the 1970s, reported The Associated Press.
The pardons, announced Friday, mean the criminal record of the crimes is now purged. They come a few months after the Democratic president pardoned thousands of people convicted of “simple possession” of marijuana under federal law. He also pardoned three people earlier this year and has commuted the sentences of 75 others.
Biden’s stance on low-level crimes, particularly low-level drug possession, and how those crimes can impact families and communities for decades to come has evolved over his 50 years in public service. In the 1990s, he supported crime legislation that increased arrest and incarceration rates for drug crimes, particularly for Black and Latino people. Biden has said people are right to question his stance on the bill, but he also has encouraged them to look at what he’s doing now on crime.
The pardons were announced while the president was spending time with his family on St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The White House said those pardoned are people who went on to serve their communities. It said the pardons reflect Biden’s view people deserve a second chance.
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