President Obama, Pardon Both the Turkey and Drug War Prisoners for the Holidays

Tomorrow (Nov 27) President Obama will continue the recent Thanksgiving tradition of presidents pardoning a turkey.

The National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation, a ceremony at the White House, is where the president of the United States pardons a turkey and sets it free instead of slaughtering it and making it someone’s Thanksgiving dinner.

As someone who has been called a turkey on more than one occasion, and who was granted executive clemency stemming from a drug conviction, I have found a spiritual connection to the subject of the turkey pardon. In 1985, I was arrested when I got caught up in a drug sting. I delivered four ounces of cocaine from the Bronx to Mount Vernon, New York. Twenty cops came out of nowhere and I was placed under arrest. I did everything I could do wrong and was sentenced to 15 years to life under the Rockefeller Drug Laws on New York State. I was set free in 1997 after serving 12 years.

I support and applaud President Obama’s treatment of turkeys. But I have to ask the president: what about the treatment of the more than 100,000 people who are incarcerated in the federal system because of the war on drugs?

“Surely some of these non-violent drug offenders deserve treatment equal to a turkey pardon? I would think so. But if you look at Obama’s record on the use of executive clemency which includes pardons and commutation of sentences, you would have to say that he has more respect for turkeys than drug war offenders. President Obama has granted only 39 pardons so far, which ranks him at the bottom of the pile in presidents who have exercised this power.”

– Read the entire article at The Huffington Post.

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