Published on: Friday, December 22, 2023

Today, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. is granting clemency to 11 individuals who are serving long sentences for non-violent drug offenses (DOJ press release available here).   

The president also announced he was signing a proclamation to pardon certain marijuana offenses, building on action he took back in 2022 to pardon thousands of Americans who had been convicted of simple marijuana possession.

Of the 11 people who will have their sentences commuted, some were convicted to decades or even life in prison for crack cocaine-related offenses.

"All of them would have been eligible to receive significantly lower sentences if they were charged with the same offense today," Biden said in a statement.

"Just as no one should be in a federal prison solely due to the use or possession of marijuana, no one should be in a local jail or state prison for that reason, either. That's why I continue to urge Governors to do the same with regard to state offenses and applaud those who have since taken action," Biden said.