President Joe Biden pardoned 11 people and commuted the sentences of five others. All were convicted of non-violent drug offenses

  • 11 got pardons and 5 had their sentences commuted
  • White House called them ‘deserving individuals who were convicted of non-violent drug offenses’ 

Jason Hernandez used to sell dime bags of pot out of a Texas convenience store. Then he got a sentence of life without parole. 

Now, he has received a pardon from President Joe Biden after demonstrating ‘exemplary rehabilitation’, after turning that very store that was once the hub of his drug activities ‘into a market that provides good quality and affordable food.’

He is one of 16 ‘deserving individuals’ who received clemency Wednesday after the White House released the list.

They are a fraction of the more than 1 million Americans in prison, in an election year where fights parties are clashing over store thefts and violent crime, as well as crime trends and how Americans perceive them.

Biden pardoned 11 people and commuted the sentences of five others. 

President Joe Biden pardoned 11 people and commuted the sentences of five others. All were convicted of non-violent drug offenses

President Joe Biden pardoned 11 people and commuted the sentences of five others. All were convicted of non-violent drug offenses

Biden is using his authority ‘to advance equal justice under law,’ according to the White House, with the list focusing on people who either served time or got long sentences under decades-old crime laws that Biden helped shape as a senator.

Brief statements about the people who got pardons, including Bobby Darrell Lowery of Jackson, Mississippi. He was convicted of a non-violent drug offense at 25, but since completing his sentence ‘has maintained steady employment and actively volunteers at his church and at various community-based organizations.’

Another church-goer who got a reprieve was Pilar Alejandra Yelicie-Rodriguez of Fairfax, Virginia. 

The 48-year-old woman pleaded guilty to a non-violent drug offense, completed her sentence and jail time, and now has ‘maintained steady work and has dedicated her time to her family and volunteered at her church.’ People call her reliable and a ‘devoted mother,’ according to the White House. 

Hernandez, who turned his drug corner into a story, first got his sentence commuted by President Barack Obama. 

The U.S. has 5 percent of the world’s population but looks up a fifth of the worldwide total. The White House crafted a policy to reduce ‘unnecessary’ incarcerations. At the same time, he has faced pressure from congressional Democrats to deschedule marijuana from a list of Schedule 1 controlled substances like heroin and LSD.

‘Many of these individuals received disproportionately longer sentences than they would have under current law, policy, and practice,’ Biden said in a statement.

Jophaney Hyppolite of Miami, Florida had his sentence commuted, after being convicted of conspiracy to manufacture and to possess with intent to distribute more than 280 grams cocaine base, getting a life sentence.

According to court documents, he was part of a crack distribution organization. 

His sentence was commuted to 360 months. 

‘The pardon recipients have demonstrated their commitment to improving their lives and positively transforming their communities. The commutation recipients have shown that they are deserving of forgiveness and the chance at building a brighter future for themselves beyond prison walls.

‘Like my other clemency actions, these pardons and commutations reflect my overarching commitment to addressing racial disparities and improving public safety. While today’s announcement marks important and continued progress, my Administration will continue to review clemency petitions and deliver reforms in a manner that advances equal justice, supports rehabilitation and reentry, and provides meaningful second chances.’

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