While Republican greed, racism and heartlessness keeps low level drug offenders locked up, stigmatized and unable to get meaningful jobs, President Obama is leading by example with what it means to be not just a compassionate President but a decent human being overall.
On Wednesday, President Obama sat down with a group of former inmates to hear their stories before announcing that he would be commuting the sentences of 61 drug offenders in an effort to let them better their lives outside of prison:
By exercising these presidential powers, I have the chance to show people what a second chance can look like….[this] reminded me of how out of proportion and counterproductive so much of our sentencing when it comes to our drug laws are, both at the federal level and the state level
One of the inmates President Obama commuted, Phillip Emmert, served 14 years of a 27-year sentence for intent to distribute methamphetamine. Emmert said President Obama’s compassion has changed his life for the better:
I told President Obama today that you never want to underestimate the power of one act of kindness. It changes people’s lives. When they see that people really do care about them, care about their future, care that they want to see them as a success, it changes people’s lives, especially people as powerful as President Obama.
What Republicans don’t seem to understand is that this overly “tough love” approach they like to give doesn’t really benefit anyone. What Democrats like Obama know is that when you extend a helping hand to someone in need and see the value of their life, good things will happen.
According to CNN, a little over one-third of the 61 individuals Obama commuted Wednesday were serving life sentences.
After these sixty-one commutes, President Obama has now commuted the sentences of 248 individuals, mostly drug related offenders, more than the past six presidents combined.
Featured image via YouTube