SAN LEANDRO (CBS SF) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday commuted the sentences of 111 people convicted of nonviolent drug offenses, including the prison term of a man from the East Bay.
Darryl Lamar Reed of San Leandro was among those who received a shorter sentence. Reed was convicted in 1990 for manufacturing and possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.
Mr. Obama changed Reed’s sentence of 35 years of prison to expire on December 28th.
Three other Californians, Barry Renfold Cooley of Los Angeles, Richard Van Winrow of Los Angeles and Orfil Javier Garza of Pacoima also received commuted sentences from the president. Cooley and Van Winrow were both sentenced to life imprisonment.
In a written statement, White House Counsel Neil Eggleston said Obama has granted 673 commutations so far in his presidency, more than the previous 10 presidents combined. About a third of the commutations went to prisoners serving life sentences.
Earlier this month, Obama commuted the sentences of 214 federal inmates, the most in a single day by any president in U.S. history. Among those who received a commutation in early August was Thomas Raymond Ross of Fairfield, who was serving a 20-year prison term for stealing materials to make methamphetamine. Ross will be released in September.
“We must remember that these are individuals — sons, daughters, parents, and in many cases, grandparents — who have taken steps toward rehabilitation and who have earned their second chance,” Eggleston said. “They are individuals who received unduly harsh sentences under outdated laws for committing largely nonviolent drug crimes, for example, the 35 individuals whose life sentences were commuted today.”
Eggleston said he expects the president to continue to grant commutations through the end of his presidency.