President Joe Biden plans to issue his first batch of presidential pardons Tuesday while commuting the prison sentences of 75 nonviolent drug offenders.
The pardon recipients are “three people who have demonstrated their commitment to rehabilitation and are striving every day to give back and contribute to their communities,” Biden said in a statement.
Among them is Abraham Bolden, 86, a Chicago man who became the first African American Secret Service agent to serve on a presidential detail during the Kennedy administration.
In 1964, Bolden was arrested on charges related to attempting to sell a copy of a Secret Service file, an allegation he has consistently denied. He was convicted after two trials, even though key witnesses later admitted lying at the request of prosecutors, the White House said in a fact sheet.
Bolden was sentenced to six years in federal prison and has “been recognized for his many contributions to his community following his release,” the White House said. He has also “received numerous honors and awards for his ongoing work to speak out against the racism he faced in the Secret Service in the 1960s, and his courage in challenging injustice.”
A senior administration official said Tuesday’s action means Biden will have granted more people clemency at this point in his presidency than the last five presidents. Former President Donald Trump issued 143 pardons in his four years in office — 116 of them in January 2021 — and 94 commutations. Former President Barack Obama issued 212 pardons and commuted 1,715 sentences over two terms.
Another pardon recipient is Betty Jo Bogans, 51, a single mom from Houston. She was convicted in 1998 of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine after she attempted to transport drugs for her boyfriend and his accomplice, neither of whom were detained or arrested, the White House said.
Bogans, who had no prior record, was sentenced to seven years in prison.
“In the nearly two decades since her release from custody, Ms. Bogans has held consistent employment, even while undergoing treatment for cancer, and has focused on raising her son,” the White House said.
The third pardon recipient is Dexter Jackson, 52, a Georgia man who pleaded guilty to allowing marijuana traffickers to use his pool hall “to facilitate drug transactions,” the White House said.
After his release from prison, Jackson converted his pool hall into a cellphone repair business, hiring local high school students through a program to give young adults work experience, the White House said. He has also helped build and renovate homes in the community, the White House said.
Biden said the 75 people whose sentences are being commuted “are serving long sentences for non-violent drug offenses.” He said many of them have been moved to home confinement because of the pandemic and “would have received a lower sentence if they were charged with the same offense today, thanks to the bipartisan First Step Act,” the criminal justice reform measure Trump signed into law.
Biden on Tuesday also announced new job training measures and grants to help people re-entering society after prison terms.
“[H]elping those who served their time return to their families and become contributing members of their communities is one of the most effective ways to reduce recidivism and decrease crime,” he said in a statement.
Full List Of Pardons:
Bolden, 86, of Chicago, was the first Black Secret Service agent to serve on a presidential detail.
In 1964, he faced federal bribery charges that he attempted to sell a copy of a Secret Service file. His first trial ended in a hung jury and following his conviction in a second trial, key witnesses admitted to lying at the prosecutor’s request.
He was denied a retrial and ultimately served several years in federal prison. Bolden, who served on President John F. Kennedy’s detail, has maintained his innocence and argued he was targeted in retaliation for speaking out against racist and unprofessional behavior in the Secret Service.
The White House said Bolden has “received numerous honors and awards for his ongoing work to speak out against the racism he faced in the Secret Service in the 1960s, and his courage in challenging injustice.” He has also been recognized for his contributions to his community following his release.
Betty Jo Bogans
Bogans, 51, of Houston, Texas, received a seven-year sentence after being convicted in 1998 of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine after attempting to transport drugs for her boyfriend and his accomplice, neither of whom were detained or arrested.
At the time of her conviction, she was a single mother with no prior record and “accepted responsibility for her limited role in the offense,” the White House said.
In the decades since her release from prison, Bogans has held consistent employment, even while undergoing cancer treatment, and has focused on raising her son.
Jackson, 52, of Athens, Georgia, was convicted in 2002 for using his pool hall to facilitate the trafficking of marijuana. Jackson pleaded guilty and acknowledged he allowed his business to be used by marijuana dealers.
Since his release, Jackson has converted his business into a cellphone repair service and hired local high school students through a program that seeks to provide young adults with work experience. The White House said Jackson has also worked to build and renovate homes in a community that lacks quality affordable housing.
Those whose sentences were commuted:
Sergio Acosta – Montgomery, Alabama
Kathy Marie Albrecht – Jamestown, North Dakota
Maria Isabel Arreola – San Bernardino, California
Roberto Barrio – South Gate, California
Kelvin Beaufort – Charlotte, North Carolina
Brandon Todd Berry – Sikeston, Missouri
Sharon Louise Boatright – Richardson, Texas
Terry Booty – Morgan City, Louisiana
Ramola Kaye Brown – Huntsville, Texas
Julian Burford – Bedford, Ohio
Mark Richard Burton – Odessa, Texas
Nickolas Cano – Amarillo, Texas
Ruben Lopez Cazares – Chula Vista, California
Jose Luis Colunga – Juniata, Nebraska
Paul Hernandez Contreras – Perris, California
Karen Cox – Salt Lake City, Utah
Lori Jean Cross – North Richland Hills, Texas
Mario Cruz – Grand Rapids, Michigan
Christopher Dancy – Prince George, Virginia
Catalina Davis – San Antonio, Texas
Stacie Demers – Constable, New York
Deborah Ann Dodd – Forney, Texas
Manuel Ruben Duran-Pimentel – Miami, Florida
Nova Neal Finau – Fort Worth, Texas
Tina Marie Finazzo – Las Vegas, Nevada
David C. Frazier – St. Louis, Missouri
Julio Garza – Edinberg, Texas
Odell Givens – Certe, Illinois
Dianna Gonzalez-Agosto – Altura de Rio G, Puerto Rico
Virgil Goodman, Jr. – Lexington, Tennessee
Christopher Gunter – Columbia, South Carolina
Rachel Lynn Hanson – Richton Park, Illinois
Stephanie Hernandez – Dallas, Texas
Brandon Jermaine Huguley – Chattanooga, Tennessee
David Charles Jenkins – Beaumont, Texas
Douglas Dean Johnson – Dickens, Iowa
Gregory Jones – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Stephan George Jones – Rosebud, South Dakota
Terri Kelly – Rialto, California
Tellas Levallas Kennedy – Glennville, Georgia
Vincent Edward Kennedy – Surfside Beach, South Carolina
Brittany Krambeck – Fort Worth, Texas
Carry Le – Duluth, Georgia
David Lee – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Rosamaria Lucero – New Braunfels, Texas
Paul A. Lupercio – Blue Springs, Missouri
Angelica Marquez – Apple Valley, California
Eddie Mateus – New York, New York
Stephanie McMurphy – Adel, Georgia
Byron James Miller – St. Louis, Missouri
Bethel Cheyenne Mooneyham – Spencer, Tennessee
Colleen Mossberger – Crest Hill, Illinois
Quang Nguyen – Houston, Texas
Rickey Wayne Norton – Augusta, Georgia
Shannon Ann Norton – Augusta, Georgia
Thomas Perkins – Louisville, Kentucky
Aaron Ponce – Odessa, Texas
Rose Trujillo Rangel – Waco, Texas
Alejandro Reyna – Brownsville, Texas
Fermin Serna – Rio Grande City, Texas
Mackie Shivers – Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Kirstie Marie Smith Israel – Albertville, Alabama
Tony Lee Stanfield – Villa Rica, Georgia
Cleola Sullivan – Tallahassee, Florida
Charles Arnold Thomas – Inglewood, California
Edwin G. Tierney – Council Bluffs, Iowa
Jesse Alan Trimue – Burton, Michigan
Daniel Valencia – Maylene, Alabama
Martin R. Vandemerwe – Price, Utah
James Darrell Walker – Lubbock, Texas
Cindy Noella Williams – Casper, Wyoming
Cynthia Lynn Yeley-Davis – Mills, Wyoming
Andrea Zavala – Waterloo, Iowa
Courtney Donnell Zeno – Warner Robins, Georgia
David L. Zouck – Buffalo, Missouri