xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement

Obama shortens federal sentences of eight Marylanders, 214 overall

Eight Marylanders are among the 214 federal prisoners whose sentences were shortened Wednesday by President Barack Obama, the White House said. It was the most commutations issued in a single day in more than a century.

The prisoners include four from Baltimore and four from elsewhere in Maryland. All were convicted of drug crimes; five had been sentenced to life in prison.

Advertisement

Obama has shortened 562 sentences — more than the previous nine presidents combined, the White House said. Nearly 200 of the prisoners had been serving life sentences.

White House counsel Neil Eggleston said Obama will continue to grant clemency to inmates during the final months of his presidency and that those who received commutations were imprisoned under antiquated, overly harsh sentencing laws.

Eugene Ernst Jackson of Baltimore was sentenced in 2002 to life in prison for distribution and possession of narcotics, conspiracy to distribute, and aiding and abetting. The sentence was commuted to 20 years in prison.

Matthew Troy Johnson of Baltimore was sentenced in 2003 to 21 years and 10 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base, and aiding and abetting. His term will now end Dec. 1.

Ralph K. Williams of Baltimore was sentenced in 2005 to 30 years in prison and required to forfeit $6 million for conspiracy to distribute cocaine. The sentence was shortened to 20 years and the forfeiture remitted.

James Wright of Baltimore was sentenced in 2006 to 20 years in prison for possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, conspiracy and aiding and abetting. The sentence was shortened to expire Dec. 1.

Marston Edward Blue of District Heights was sentenced in 2002 to life in prison for possession with intent to distribute heroin, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, felon in possession of firearm, and aiding and abetting. His sentence was shortened to end Dec. 1.

Bernard Gibson Sr. of Temple Hills was sentenced in 1996 to life in prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine. The sentence was shortened to 30 years.

Joseph Willie Kennedy of Randallstown was sentenced in 1992 to life in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine and aiding and abetting. His sentence will now end Aug. 3, 2017.

Evans Ray Jr. of Fort Washington was sentenced in 2007 to life in prison for distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine, aiding and abetting, felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and aiding and abetting. His term will end Dec. 1.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

twitter.com/matthewhaybrown

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement