The Vast Majority Of America’s Prisoners Won’t Get The Mercy Obama Gave This Single Mom

Post Date: September 3, 2013

(Business Insider) — The Justice Department has taken the huge step of reforming America’s draconian drug sentences, but President Barack Obama has shown mercy to just one prisoner during his time in office.

Obama’s lone commutation cut short the 22-year prison sentence of single mom Eugenia Jennings. (He’s also issued relatively few pardons, which are given to people who have already served their time.)

It’s not entirely clear why Obama has been loath to grant mercy to prisoners, especially since so many people are serving long sentences for drug crimes. The one person whose sentence he did commute had an incredibly sympathetic story, though.

Eugenia Jennings, 36, got more than two decades behind bars in 2011 for selling 13.9 grams of crack cocaine, according to Families Against Mandatory Minimums. Jennings, who was abused horribly as a child, became addicted to crack by the age of 15. She later had three kids and started selling crack to support them.  Read more