President Biden to pardon 1, commute sentences of 7 people from Georgia
For the first time since his presidency began, President Joe Biden has used his clemency power to issue 75 sentence commutations and three pardons.
Seven of the sentence commutations and one pardon have been issued to people from Georgia.
"Today, I am pardoning three people who have demonstrated their commitment to rehabilitation and are striving every day to give back and contribute to their communities," a White House release read.
Athens Banner-Herald: Athens man among three receiving pardons from President Joe Biden
The Augusta Chronicle: 2 convicted in 2017 in Columbia County drug case among 78 granted clemency by Biden
All of President Biden's commutations target people serving sentences for low-level drug offenses, according to a release. The Biden administration announced they would be taking new steps to support people re-entering society after incarceration, such as expanding services and granting opportunities for employment.
What is clemency, and what does this mean for recipients?
Clemency is the authority under the constitution given to presidents to issue pardons and sentence commutations.
A pardon is relieving criminal charges for someone who has either been convicted or is facing a criminal conviction. A pardon represents a full legal forgiveness for a crime, removing any remaining prison sentence, probation conditions or unpaid fines as well as collateral consequences, according to USA TODAY.
Biden said in a White House release that the three people pardoned have each "demonstrated their commitment to rehabilitation and are striving every day to give back and contribute to their communities."
A sentence commutation is a narrower grant of mercy used to shorten a prison sentence while leaving the conviction intact. Nearly one-third of the commutation recipients would have received lower sentences if they had been charged today under the First Step Act, according to senior Biden administration officials.
Who from Georgia received clemency?
Tellas Levallas Kennedy – Glennville, Georgia
Carry Le – Duluth, Georgia
Stephanie McMurphy – Adel, Georgia
Tony Lee Stanfield – Villa Rica, Georgia
Courtney Donnell Zeno – Warner Robins, Georgia
Where can I find the full list of clemency recipients?
The full list of people who received pardons and commuted sentences from President Biden can be found at whitehouse.gov.
Olivia Ali is a digital producer with the USA Today Network. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @OliviaNAli.
This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: President Biden grants pardon, sentence commutations to Georgians