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Convicted drug trafficker Arnold Ray Jones becomes first inmate to reject commutation by President Obama

October 17, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Convicted drug trafficker Arnold Ray Jones becomes first inmate to reject commutation by President Obama

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Convicted drug trafficker Arnold Ray Jones has become the first man out of 775 inmates to reject President Obama’s offer to have his sentence commuted.

Arnold Ray Jones, who has six of his 20-year sentence remaining, declined the offer to be released from a low-security prison in Texas, in two years.

He was convicted in 2002 of drug trafficking and was a frequent user of crack cocaine.

His apparently bizarre decision to decline his own release might be because he would have to enroll in a residential drug treatment program if he accepted Obama’s commutation, according to USA Today.

It may also be because he is hopeful that he may get released for good behavior in April 2019, only eight months after he would be freed under Obama’s offer.

President Obama commuted the sentences of 102 inmates last week, bringing the total amount during his administration to 775 – greater than any president in approximately half a century.

The Department of Justice updated its web records, reporting a first under Jones’ name, which stated: “Condition declined, commutation not effectuated.”

Records indicate that Jones once used crack cocaine every week, and his previous attempts to stay off drugs after completing treatment programs were ineffective.

Obama’s deal might not even make a big difference to Jones if he is hoping for an early release.

The commutations which are granted to those who have been convicted of nonviolent drug crimes have frequently been offered with strings attached.

Among the inmates who are given reduced sentences, 92 are expected to complete an exhaustive drug program for nine months, where they will engage in four hours of therapy programs every day.

Although a pardon clears the individual’s record, a commutation reduces their sentence despite the fact that the conviction remains on their record. Civil rights such voting or jury duty are also not restored.

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