Memphian 1 of 102 commuted sentences by President Obama

Memphian 1 of 102 commuted sentences by President Obama

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Memphis man is one of many who received a gift from President Barack Obama just months before his term is to end and he will leave the White House.

Thursday, President Obama granted clemency to 102 inmates in an effort to continue releasing federal inmates who are serving lengthy prison sentences.
The inmates are sentenced for nonviolent drug offenses and the commutations makes a total of 774 federal inmates to receive the benefit from President Obama, with 590 of those coming this year.

Among those 102 was Philander Butler of Memphis.

Butler was sentenced to life in prison for possession of 120 grams of cocaine base with intent to distribute. His commutation was reduced to 262 months.

Butler was convicted of multiple drug offenses in 1989 and 1990. He pleaded guilty to drug possession charges and was later convicted of federal crimes.

His state convictions were used to enhance his sentence to a life sentence.

In August 2008, he tried to obtain habeas corpus relief for his state sentences in 1989 and 1990, but was denied by the court.

President Obama has commuted more federal inmates in total than 11 presidents before him. In August, he commuted the sentences of 325 inmates, which was a record for the president.

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