ACLU Applauds Recent Biden War on Drugs Clemency Announcement – 11 Pardons, 5 Commutations

By Bergen Greenley

WASHINGTON, DC – The ACLU applauded President Biden’s announcement this week that he intends to grant clemency to people sentenced to unjustly long prison sentences because of the War on Drugs, pardoning 11 people and commuting the sentences of five.

Cynthia W. Roseberry, the ACLU’s director of the Justice Division said in a statement, “We applaud President Biden’s decision to grant v to individuals disproportionately sentenced under unjust drug policies. President Biden’s actions signal a critical acknowledgment of the need to remedy the systemic failures that have led to over-incarceration and massive racial disparities in our criminal legal system.”

Roseberry added, “We must continue to push for transformational change to our criminal legal system and shift from a system focused on punishment to one that provides opportunities for redemption. Giving people the support they need to thrive in their communities not only corrects the failed policies of the war on drugs, but it is the key to building safer and stronger communities for us all.”

April is Second Chance Month, bringing awareness to how rarely second chances are given in America’s criminal justice system, according to the ACLU.

“President Biden’s actions today are symbolic of the hope that more of these people given unfair sentences from drug laws will be given second chances in the future,” added the ACLU, noting “the majority of Americans also support clemency,” and encouraging Biden to “continue to use his constitutional authority to heed the will of the people.”

The ACLU maintained in its statement that even though the War On Drugs began over 50 years ago, more than 360,000 Americans are still in prison for a drug-related offense, and about 79 million have some sort of criminal record.

About The Author

Bergen Greenley is a second year Public Affairs student studying at the University of California, Los Angeles. After completing her undergraduate studies, she plans on going to law school and going into the realm of criminal law to become a Defense Attorney. Her areas of interest include combatting mass incarceration and criminal justice reform.

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