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Obama commutes sentences of Maryland prisoners

Five Marylanders are among the 111 federal prisoners whose sentences were shortened Tuesday by President Barack Obama in the latest round of commutations for people convicted of nonviolent drug crimes.

Two of those affected are from Baltimore, and three are from Prince George's County.

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Obama, who has long called for phasing out strict sentences for nonviolent drug offenses, has granted a total of 673 commutations, more than the previous 10 presidents combined. More than a third of the recipients were serving life sentences.

Malik Abuhamid Ibm Wakil Abdunafi of Baltimore was sentenced to 20 years in 2007 for distribution and possession of narcotics and conspiracy to distribute. His sentence will now expire in December.

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Elliott Gray of Baltimore was sentenced to more than 15 years in 2007 for possession with intent to distribute drugs and aiding and abetting.

A federal judge enhanced Gray's sentence because he had two previous state convictions for dealing drugs. Authorities say Gray sold cocaine and heroin to an undercover police officer on five separate occasions in 2006.

His sentence was commuted to expire in 2018.

Derrick Lewis Bynum of Hyattsville was sentenced to 25 years in 2006 for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute drugs, use of a communications device to facilitate narcotics trafficking and possession of a firearm.

His prison sentence was commuted to 20 years.

Marvin K. Holloway of District Heights was sentenced in 2000 to nearly 22 years for possession with intent to distribute narcotics. Rodney R. McCain of Suitland was sentenced in 2006 to 16 and a half years on drug and firearm charges.

Sentences for both Bynum and Holloway were commuted to end in December.

White House Counsel Neil Eggleston said the commutations underscore the president's commitment to using his clemency authority to give deserving individuals a second chance.

He said he expects Obama to continue granting commutations through the end of his administration, but only legislation can ensure the federal sentencing system operates more fairly.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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