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Grateful Dead fan serving double life sentence for selling LSD could be free after latest round of commutations by President Obama

September 2, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Grateful Dead fan serving double life sentence for selling LSD could be free after latest round of commutations by President Obama

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A fan of the famous band Grateful Dead, who was convinced that he would die in jail after receiving a double life sentence for dealing LSD, may be a free man in just one year after President Obama issued 111 commutations

The New York Daily News reported that Timothy Tyler, who was 25-years-old at the time of the crime, was found for the third time dealing LSD, a hallucinogenic, and because of required minimum sentencing laws, was sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars without the possibility of parole back in 1994.

Obama handed down the commutations to Tyler, along with 110 additional federal inmates, on Tuesday. Most of the prisoners were behind bars on lengthy drug crime convictions.

Timothy Tyler’s punishment is now scheduled to be terminated in August 2018, although his younger sister, Carrie Tyler-Stoafer, told the New York Daily News that he could be released in just one year if he successfully concludes a nine-month drug treatment program that is set to begin in a few weeks.

Critics had protested against the Connecticut native’s jail sentence as an example of lengthy prison terms being handed to non-violent offenders, and over 420,000 individuals had signed a petition asking Obama to offer him leniency.

His sister believed that she would never be able to see the now-47-year-old again outside of a prison cell and that he was unaware that there was a mandatory minimum sentence of life behind bars when he accepted a guilty plea to dealing several thousand hits of LSD to an acquaintance in Florida, who was an undercover informant

The woman called her brother after the news went viral and stated that “he actually has happiness in his voice.”

A fund-raising page has been launched to assist him in readjusting to society after over 20 years in prison, and Tyler-Stoafer stated that she and her brother are planning to start a business together when he relocates to live with her in Las Vegas.

Tyler’s sentence in federal prison has not been smooth, with his sister stating that he has encountered periods of up to three months in solitary confinement and has suffered harassment after coming out as homosexual.

Although Tyler’s case has attracted national attention from groups who are against mandatory minimum sentences, his sister says that he is only “one of many” who remain incarcerated from harsh laws that were placed into effect in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

“They need to fix all the sentences that were way too high since Nixon and Clinton crime bill,” she stated, continuing that she anticipates thousands more to be released for similar convictions.

To date, Obama has issued 625 prison commutations, more than any other President in history.

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