When former-President Obama pardoned or commuted the sentences of Carol Denise Richardson and 60 other non-violent drug offenders, he doubtless hoped they would take advantage of the opportunity.
Richardson was released last July after serving 10 years of her original life sentence for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine and two counts of possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine, according to Daily Mail.
That should have been the end of the 49-year-old grandmother’s time in the news, except a Houston judge has ordered her back to prison for violating the terms of her early release.
“This defendant was literally given a second chance to become a productive member of society and has wasted it,” said Assistant US Attorney Ted Imperato in a statement. “She has clearly shown a willful disregard for the law and must face the consequences for her crimes and actions.”
The Texas City native was originally given a life sentence because her conviction involved crack cocaine, thus meriting a higher penalty. However, such sentences have recently come under fire from those believing such sentences are too harsh.
While in prison on her original sentence, Richardson asked for clemency on the basis that she never profited from the sale of drugs and never considered herself a drug dealer. Her case was brought to Obama’s attention by the clemency group CAN-DO, which argued that any involvement Richardson had in the deals came through her relationship with her then-husband.
The argument obviously worked, and Richardson was granted clemency with 10 years of post-release supervision.
POTUS commutes sentences of FAMM members: Ismael Rosa, Jesse Webster, Kenneth Harvey, Carol Denise Richardson. https://t.co/7cLj8xxU1E
— FAMM Foundation (@FAMMFoundation) March 30, 2016
Obeying the terms of which, in the end, turned out to be her undoing.
First came an April 13 theft arrest, then the failing to report the arrest to her parole officer. Then, failing to maintain regular contact with the probation office and failing to let them know she had been fired from a job and had moved.
A total of five violations, none of which impressed US District Judge Keith P. Ellison, the same judge who gave Richardson her original life sentence, as he ordered her back to prison.
Of course, according to CAN-DO, it’s all about addiction and the justice system’s failure to address it.
” The system has failed Carol, yet again,” the group said in a statement.
As if the “system” made Richardson steal stuff and forget to report to her probation officer.
The statement continued: “It will be easy for some to point a finger at Carol and justify their support of harsh mandatory sentences as a necessity to keep people locked up, when we feel Carol’s current situation is proof that we desperately need to overhaul our current drug policy that treats addiction as a criminal issue, rather than a medical issue.”
Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
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