Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09)
October 21, 2020
Thousands of non-violent offenders are still waiting
MEMPHIS – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, applauded today’s commutation of the life sentence being served by 70-year-old Curtis McDonald but urged President Trump to use a more systematic approach to release thousands of similarly situated non-violent offenders before he leaves office.
Congressman Cohen made the following statement:
“I’m pleased that Curtis McDonald has been released after 24 years for a non-violent offence and hope that President Trump will free the thousands upon thousands of non-violent offenders deserving of similar clemency. I wrote to President Trump and to President Obama seeking Mr. McDonald’s commutation and it is past time for the prison doors to open for him as they did for his co-defendant, Alice Marie Johnson, in 2018. I know that Alice Marie Johnson asked the President to commute Mr. McDonald’s sentences and it’s possible Kim Kardashian did too. But it shouldn’t take the influence of a reality television star, as happened with Ms. Johnson — or of a congressman – to see that these non-violent offenders receive the justice long overdue them. I hope that President Trump will use his pardon power to release thousands more before he leaves office, as President Obama did in the closing days of his final term in office.
“I hope that President Trump’s future grants of clemency won’t go, as I expect they will, to the kinds of well-connected donors and white-collar sycophants who he has favored in the past.”
Curtis McDonald was one of five people whose sentences were commuted by the President today.