PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — President Barack Obama is commuting the prison sentences of 61 people, among them a Philadelphia native, who was serving life in prison.
Vernon Harris is one of 61 prisoners serving time for drug-related offenses who had their sentences commuted Wednesday.
Harris, now 53, was sentenced to life in prison in 1996 for possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He’s currently housed at a federal correctional facility in Fairton, New Jersey.
He is set to be released July 28.
According to officials, Harris is only one of several Philadelphia men to have been commuted by the President during his presidency.
The other men, who were also commuted, include: Thomas Daniels, who was sentenced to life in prison for the distribution of “crack cocaine” in 1996.
Pedro Figueroa was sentenced to 240 months in prison in 2003 for several charges, including conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance among others.
Alberto Gonzalez was sentenced to 262 months in prison and eight years supervised release in 2003 for the conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine.
David Padilla was sentenced to life in prison, plus 60 months imprisonment in 1997, for the intent to distribute cocaine and carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.
The latest tranche of commutations brings to 248 the total number of inmates whose sentences Obama has commuted — more than the past six presidents combined. The pace of commutations and the rarer use of pardons are expected to increase as the end of Obama’s presidency nears.
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