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Biden grants first presidential pardons

President Joe Biden speaks at Green River College in Auburn, Wash., on Friday. Associated Press/Photo by Ted S. Warren

Biden grants first presidential pardons

The White House released a list Tuesday of President Joe Biden’s first clemency actions since taking office. He pardoned three people and commuted sentences for 75 — mostly nonviolent, first-time drug offenders. He pointed out that many might have have received shorter sentences under the First Step Act, passed during President Donald Trump’s administration.

Who was pardoned? Abraham Bolden Sr., 86, of Chicago, was the first black Secret Service agent to serve on a presidential detail. In 1964, he was on President John F. Kennedy’s detail and was convicted of federal bribery charges for allegedly trying to sell an agency file. Later, witnesses admitted they had lied. Betty Jo Bogans, 51, of Houston, was sentenced in 1998 for drug possession with intent to distribute. The single mother had tried to transport crack cocaine for a boyfriend, who was not arrested. Dexter Jackson, 52, of Athens, Ga., pleaded guilty in 2002 to allowing marijuana dealers to use his pool hall to traffic goods. All three had already completed their sentences.

Dig deeper: Listen to Leigh Jones report on the First Step Act and prison reform on The World and Everything in It podcast.

Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a WORLD reporter and a graduate of the World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College. She resides in Washington, D.C.


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