With 100 days left in office, (give or take) President Barack Obama is working dilligently to commute the time of non-violent offenders who were given long sentences. As of Monday (Oct.17), the Obama administration thought it commuted the sentences of 775 inmates. The math however was off when Arnold Ray Jones declined Obama’s clemency, making it 774.
According to USA Today, Jones applied for a clemency along with 29,000 others and on Aug.3 he received his request. However, the stipulations surrounding the shortened sentence require Jones, 50, to enroll in an intense drug treatment program. Had he accepted the conditions, Jones would’ve been the 92 person with this specific stipulation.
The White House and The Justice Department aren’t too keen on speaking about the refusal, but records Jones submitted as part of his plea show he used crack cocaine weekly. The Bureau of Prisons Residential Drug Abuse Program is a rigorous one and separates the rehabilitated patient from the general public for nine months. During that time, four hours a day is spent in community-based therapy programs.
Jones isn’t too pressed though. He still has six years left on his 2002 drug trafficking sentence. Had he agreed to the clemency, he would’ve been out in two. But according to reports, Jones is banking on an early release with good behavior that may have him home as early as April 2019, which is still eight months longer than if accepted the commuted sentence.
Guess there’s a first time for everything.