Outgoing US President Donald Trump has been rushing to do a bunch of chaotic shit on his last day in the job. One of his final moves has been to pardon a massive 73 people, and commute the sentences of 70 more.
While he used the opportunity to help out a few of his mates, he, for some reason, also had the mercy to commutate the sentences of a bunch of people locked up on non-violent weed charges. It’s likely only a fraction of the people in jail for that reason, but it’s still a nice surprise.
Here’s a peek at some of the big names (as well as some of the sadder cases of ordinary people) who Trump decided to let off.
Kodak Black – In 2019 Kodak was sentenced to 46 months in prison for providing false info on gun ownership documents. His sentence was commutated because of he’s “deeply involved in numerous philanthropic efforts” including supporting school students, the families of dead cops and even donating $50,000 in pandemic relief to small businesses in his hometown while still in prison. Gucci Mane, Lil Pump, Lil Yachty all vouched for him, as did a slew of other community leaders including a pastor, a rabbi, a former police commissioner and even a school safety activist.
Lil Wayne – Wayne pled guilty possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon late last year. He was pardoned on the grounds of him being “trustworthy, kind-hearted and generous” and a frequent donor to a bunch of charities, hospitals and foodbanks. Former NFL star Deion Sanders and booze mogul Brett Berish vouched for him.
— C.V Thomas (@lilyachty) January 20, 2021
Elliott Broidy – Broidy is the former Deputy National Finance Chair of the Republican National Committee and a major Trump donor who pled guilty last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying in laws in order to influence the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian donors. He was pardoned on the grounds of philanthropy for cops, veterans, and within the Jewish community, and was vouched for by heaps of people including several politicians, ambassadors (and their relatives), military leaders, Martin Luther King Jr.‘s niece Dr Alveda King, and a whole slew of rabbis.
Steve Bannon – Bannon was last year charged with fraud after he helped run a US $25 million fundraiser to build the wall with Mexico that Trump had in fact promised Mexico would pay for. Trump pardoned him simply because “has been an important leader in the conservative movement and is known for his political acumen.” It seems nobody needed to vouch for him.
Steve Bannon is getting a pardon from Trump after defrauding Trump’s own supporters into paying for a wall that Trump promised Mexico would pay for.
And if that all sounds crazy, that’s because it is.
Thank God we have only 12 more hours of this den of thieves. https://t.co/8i7bjog9Ep
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 20, 2021
My mom is breaking news to me about Steve Bannon’s pardon pic.twitter.com/bVXoZaUTNA
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 20, 2021
Anthony DeJohn – “Mr. DeJohn has served more than 13 years of a life sentence for conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Mr. DeJohn has maintained a clear disciplinary record and has been recognized for his outstanding work ethic while incarcerated.”
Brian Simmons – “Mr. Simmons has served 5 years of a 15 year sentence for a non-violent conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana. Mr. Simmons has had an exemplary prison record and upon release will have strong support from his fiancée and his community.”
Corvain Cooper – “Mr. Cooper is a 41 year-old father of two girls who has served more than 7 years of a life sentence for his non-violent participation in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana.”
Craig Cesal – “Mr. Cesal is a father of two, one of whom unfortunately passed away while he was serving his life sentence for conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Mr. Cesal has had an exemplary disciplinary record and has become a paralegal assistant and a Eucharistic Minister in the Catholic Church to assist and guide other prisoners. Upon his release, Mr. Cesal looks forward to reintegrating back into society and to contributing to his community while living with his daughter with whom he has remained close. Mr. Cesal hopes to be a part of her upcoming wedding.”
Ferrell Damon Scott – “Mr. Scott has served nearly 9 years of a life imprisonment sentence for possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Under today’s sentencing guidelines, it is likely that Mr. Scott would not have received such a harsh sentence.”
James Romans – “Mr. Romans is a father and a grandfather who received a life sentence without parole for his involvement in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Mr. Romans has had an exemplary disciplinary record for the more than 10 years he has served, and has completed a long list of courses.”
John Knock – “Mr. Knock is a 73 year-old man, a first-time, non-violent marijuana only offender, who has served 24 years of a life sentence. Mr. Knock has an exemplary prison history, during which he completed college accounting classes and has had zero incident reports.”
Michael Pelletier – “Mr. Pelletier is a 64 year-old who has served 12 years of a 30 year sentence for conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Mr. Pelletier has maintained a clear disciplinary record, has thrived as an artist working with oil paints on canvas, and has taken several courses to perfect his skill while incarcerated.”
Noah Kleinman – “Mr. Kleinman is a 45-year old father of two children. The mother of his children unfortunately passed away during Mr. Kleinman’s incarceration. Mr. Kleinman has served 6 years of a nearly 20 year sentence for a non-violent crime to distribute marijuana. Mr. Kleinman has had an exemplary prison history and has worked to remain close to his children and his father. Upon release, he looks forward to living with his father, working for the family business, and caring for his children.”
Way Quoe Long – “Mr. Long is a 58 year-old who has served nearly half of a 50-year sentence for a non-violent conviction for conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana. Mr. Long has spent his incarceration striving to better himself through English proficiency classes and by obtaining his GED. Upon release, Mr. Long will reunite with his family and will be strongly supported as he integrates back into the community.”
Who’s missing from Trump’s list?
Tiger King star Joe Exotic was nowhere to be found on the list, despite his lawyers prepping a stretch
pickup truck ute outside his jail.
Trump’s lawyer (and former New York mayor) Rudy Giuliani, who famously melted at one of Trump’s press conferences, was not included either, after their pair’s relationship soured in recent months.
Aussie WikiLeeks founder Julian Assange wasn’t pardoned, either, despite some of his supporters being hopeful it would happen.
Obviously, this is just a fraction of the 143 people Trump set free on his final day. You can browse the full list for yourself over at the White House website.