President Joe Biden used his clemency power on Friday to pardon six individuals convicted of drug and alcohol crimes, along with a woman convicted of second-degree murder who was in an abusive relationship.
It was the third time Biden has used clemency power, including in October when Biden pardoned thousands of people who were convicted of simple marijuana possession.
All of those Biden pardoned served jail time decades ago for their drug and alcohol crimes, then went on to become productive citizens. Some are now serving their communities and helping others handle similar problems.
Who he pardoned
Gary Parks Davis, 66, was convicted at age 22 of an illegal cocaine transaction. He served six months, completed probation, and later got his bachelor’s degree and started his own business.
Edward Lincoln Do Coito III, a military veteran, was convicted of marijuana trafficking charges. He served time and was released in 2000; he has since worked as an electrician and a pilot.
Vincente Ray Flores was convicted of using alcohol and ecstasy while serving in the Air Force at age 19. He went through an Air Force rehabilitation program and now, at age 37, has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and veterans’ events.
Charlie Byrnes Jackson pleaded guilty at age 18, almost 60 years ago, to an illegal whiskey transaction. After completing probation in 1969, he became an active member of his community and church congregation.
John Dix Nock III pleaded guilty 27 years ago to allowing his building to be used for growing marijuana, even though he did not grow it or participate in the operation. He now operates a contracting business and mentors other contractors and abused young men.
Beverly Ann Ibn-Tamas, who is now 80, was convicted of killing her husband when she was 33. At the time of his death, she was pregnant, and she testified that he had assaulted her just before she killed him.
Her case has since been used as a case study for battered woman syndrome, but at the time, testimony about that condition was not allowed. She was sentenced to one to five years in jail for the offense.
Since getting out of jail, she has worked at a health care business.
Rehabilitated and now pardoned
These citizens seem like good uses of a presidential pardon, because they paid their debts to society and became productive citizens who have contributed much to their communities.
Although they at one time were caught in the grip of drugs and alcohol in some way, even if they didn’t all use it, they have been able to break free and find a better way for themselves.
Biden may have been thinking of his son Hunter Biden when he made these pardons, and we can only hope that he will be similarly rehabilitated after years have passed since the time he heavily used drugs and alcohol.