Decades-Long Prison Sentence For Marijuana Cut Short By Michigan Governor’s Commutation

The governor of Michigan has granted clemency to four currently incarcerated people who are serving time for non-violent drug offenses, including one 69-year-old man whose lengthy sentence for marijuana has been widely criticized by advocates and the state’s attorney general.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) office announced the commutations on Tuesday, and the men could see a release as early as January.

Three of the four people who are receiving clemency are incarcerated over cocaine-related convictions, with decades-long sentences. Michael Thompson, meanwhile, faced a 42-60 year sentence for selling three pounds of cannabis to an undercover police officer and for firearms charges.

“These commutations offer a second chance to four individuals who have accepted responsibility and paid their debts to society and whose sentences span decades for non-violent offenses,” Whitmer said in a press release. “We still have a lot of work to do, but today is a step in the right direction, and I’m confident that Michigan can continue to be a national leader in smart justice.”

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