John Legend Pens Letter To Obama On Non-Violent Drug Offenders In ‘Rolling Stone’

Rachel Sonis | December 9, 2016 11:01 am

John Legend has penned an open letter to President Obama via Rolling Stone regarding the incarceration of non-violent drug offenders. Legend, who has fervently advocated for criminal justice reform through his #FREEAMERICA initiative, asked Obama “to use his clemency and pardoning powers to bring justice to the thousands of families of non-violent drug offenders who have waited far too long for Congress to act.”

“I urge you to consider issuing categorical commutations to bring an end to the injustice that remains in our federal sentencing schemes,” Legend writes. ” For example, approximately 5,000 individuals are serving sentences based on prejudiced laws which punished drug crimes involving crack cocaine more severely than crimes involving powder cocaine. Rectifying these crack-powder disparities would not only correct the mistakes of the past, but could save taxpayers just over $150 million per year and keep with public sentiment about the over-incarceration and criminalization of drug crimes.”

He continues, “Just as George W. Bush urged you to proactively address clemency on your way to your first inauguration in 2009, I am asking you to bring justice to thousands of families by granting as many clemencies as possible before you leave office. ”

Read the powerful letter here.

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