President Obama grants early release to 61 prisoners, including 1 from Greensboro

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President Barack Obama

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama granted early releases to 61 prison inmates earlier this week as part of an effort to reduce sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.

The Washington Post reported that three of the inmates who were commuted on Wednesday were from North Carolina, including Reginald Wendell Boyd, Jr. from Greensboro.

Boyd was sentenced to 180 months of imprisonment and eight years of supervised release in 2005 on charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine hydrochloride and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. His prison sentence is commuted to expire on July 28, 2016.

The president has now commuted the sentences of 248 people, according to the White House. He commuted 95 of those back in December and another 46 in July.

“The power to grant pardons and commutations… embodies the basic belief in our democracy that people deserve a second chance after having made a mistake in their lives that led to a conviction under our laws,” Obama wrote in a letter to the 61 individuals receiving clemency.

President Obama has expressed a desire to reduce prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.