John Legend Asks Obama To Commute Sentences For Nonviolent Drug Offenders
John Legend has penned an open letter to Barack Obama begging him to commute more sentences of nonviolent drug offenders before he leaves office in January.
In “Rolling Stone” Friday, the singer pleaded with the president to “use your clemency and pardon powers to bring justice to the thousands of families of non-violent drug offenders who have waited far too long for Congress to act.”
“More action is needed to dismantle the unjust policies of the past 40 years,” Legend wrote.
“An estimated 36,000 non-violent drug offenders housed in federal prisons have sought relief under your clemency initiative and it is unclear how many of the remaining cases will be reviewed before you leave.” (RELATED: John Legend: The National Anthem Is ‘Weak’)
“As the Surgeon General noted, drug addiction is not a moral failing but a chronic health issue deserving of our compassion. What is a moral failing, however, is the War on Drugs and America’s addiction to incarceration which has not increased safety but needlessly torn families apart.”
“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,” Legend continued.
“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.”
In October, Obama commuted the sentences of of 102 federal prisoners, 75 of which were arrested and imprisoned on cocaine-related charges. (RELATED: Obama Lets 75 Coke Dealers Out Of Prison Early)