BREAKING: Bronx Man, OLR and Others Have Prison Sentences Commuted By Obama

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama shortened sentences for 209 people and pardoned 64. Among them:

  • William Ortiz, a Bronx, man, convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin. His prison sentence commuted to expire on May 17, 2017.
  • Chelsea Manning, who released a trove of U.S. documents to WikiLeaks to incite “worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms,” will be freed on May 17.
  • Oscar López Rivera, which will now also expire on May 17. López Rivera is a Puerto Rican nationalist and one of the leaders of the FALN.
Many Puerto Rican elected officials, including City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Assemblyman Jose Rivera, and community activists had campaigned for López Rivera’s release.
Many of the other people who won commutations from President Obama were felony drug offenders. One murderer, Dwight Loving, had his death sentence commuted to life imprisonment. Loving, a private in the United States Army, was sentenced to death following his conviction for murdering two taxicab drivers on December 12, 1988. He was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas at the time of the murders.
The President also issued 64 pardons, including baseball Hall of Famer Willie McCovey (of a 22-year-old tax evasion conviction) and night club owner, Ian Schrager of Manhattan.

A complete list of the 209 people given commutations and the 64 individuals issued pardons may be found here.

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