Seven Californians Granted Shorter Sentences by President Biden – NBC Los Angeles

President Joe Biden used his presidential clemency powers for the first time in his administration, granting pardons to three people and commuting the sentences of 75 others.

The executive clemency powers are, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, part of “the President’s constitutional power to exercise leniency toward persons who have committed federal crimes.”

The three people who received pardons have been formally forgiven by the president, a condition given to people who accept responsibilities for their crimes and who “established good conduct for a significant period of time after conviction or completion of sentence,” according to the DOJ. Those pardoned can vote, hold state or local office, and sit on a jury, despite their convictions in federal court.

The 75 people whose sentences were commuted, on the other hand, now have shorter times in prison or on house arrest. However, they still cannot vote, hold state or local office, or sit on a jury.

Among those 75 individuals are seven Californians, all from Southern California. They, like the others whose sentences Biden commuted Tuesday, were convicted of nonviolent drug-related charges.

Here are their names, sentences and commutation grants.

As President Trump’s administration winds down, speculation is turning to which family members or aides he may choose to pardon in his last days in the White House. Jeffrey Crouch, an expert in presidential politics at American University, joined LX News to explain how far Trump’s powers extend. (Spoiler alert: Pretty far.)

Maria Isabel Arreola of San Bernardino was convicted in the Eastern District of Texas of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute, and convicted in the Middle District of North Carolina of conspiracy to distribute cocaine hydrochloride.

For the Texas conviction, she was sentenced on March 24, 2016 to 121 months of imprisonment with a three-year term of supervised release. For the North Carolina conviction, on Nov. 17, 2016 she received 130 months of imprisonment, also with a three-year term of supervised release.

Her sentence has been commuted “to expire on April 26, 2023, with the remainder to be served in home confinement, leaving intact and in effect the three-year terms of supervised release,” according to a White House release.

Roberto Barrio of South Gate was convicted in the Western District of Oklahoma of conspiracy to possess cocaine base and cocaine powder with intent to distribute, four counts of interstate travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise, and two counts of using a telephone to facilitate the distribution of cocaine base and cocaine powder.

He was sentenced on October 23, 2000 to a life of imprisonment, with a three-year term of supervised release.

His sentence has been commuted “to expire on August 24, 2022, leaving intact and in effect the three-year term of supervised release,” the White House said.

Ruben Lopez Cazares of Chula Vista was convicted in the District of Nebraska of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.

He was sentenced on June 7, 2007 to 300 months of imprisonment, with a five-year term of supervised release. That original sentence was amended on Jan. 12, 2016 to 262 months of imprisonment, still with a five-year term of supervised release.

His sentence has been commuted “to expire on April 26, 2023, with the remainder to be served in home confinement, leaving intact and in effect the five-year term of supervised release,” the White House said.

Paul Hernandez Contreras of Perris was convicted in the District of Colorado of conspiracy to distribute “a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine and a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine,” according to the White House. He was also convicted of possession of the substance with intent to distribute 500 grams or more.

He was sentenced on Jan. 8, 2019 to 108 months of imprisonment with a three-year term of supervised release.

His sentence was commuted “to expire on April 26, 2023, with the remainder to be served in home confinement, leaving intact and in effect the three-year term of supervised release.”

Terri Kelly of Rialto was convicted in the Eastern District of Kentucky of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams of methamphetamine.

She was sentenced on Nov. 30, 2009 to 240 months of imprisonment, with a 10-year term of supervised release.

Her sentence was commuted “to expire on August 24, 2022, leaving intact and in effect the 10-year term of supervised release.”

Angelica Marquez of Apple Valley was convicted in the District of Kansas of conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. She was also convicted of possession with intent to distribute.

She was sentenced on April 23, 2018 to 117 months of imprisonment, with a five-year term of supervised release.

Her sentence was commuted “to expire on April 26, 2023, with the remainder to be served in home confinement, leaving intact and in effect the five-year term of supervised release.”

Charles Arnold Thomas of Inglewood was convicted in the Southern District of Texas of conspiracy to posses, with intent to distribute, “100 grams or more of phencyclidine, or one kilogram or more of a mixture containing a detectable amount of phencyclidine,” the White House said. He was also convicted in the Eastern District of Arkansas of possession of a prohibited item by a prison inmate.

For the Texas conviction, he was sentenced on Aug. 4, 2011 to 210 months of imprisonment, with a five-year term of supervised release. For the Arkansas conviction, he was sentenced on April 25, 2018 to an additional seven months of imprisonment.

His sentence was commuted “to expire on April 26, 2023, with the remainder to be served in home confinement, leaving intact and in effect the five-year term of supervised release.”

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