Biden pardons six, including Columbus woman convicted of murdering abusive husband

The pardons announced on Friday mean the convictions for the crimes have now been cleared.

WASHINGTON. President Joe Biden pardoned six people who had served sentences for murder and drug and alcohol-related crimes, including an 80-year-old woman convicted of killing her abusive husband nearly half a century ago and a man who pleaded guilty to using a telephone to cocaine deals in the 1970s.

The pardons announced on Friday mean the convictions for the crimes have now been cleared. They come just months after the Democratic president pardoned thousands of people convicted of “mere possession” of marijuana under federal law. He also pardoned three people earlier this year and commuted the sentences of 75 others.

Biden’s stance on petty crime, especially petty drug possession, and how these crimes could affect families and communities in the coming decades, has changed in his 50 years of public service. In the 1990s, he supported the Crime Act, which increased arrests and incarcerations for drug offenses, especially for blacks and Hispanics. Biden said people are right to question his stance on the bill, but he also urged them to take a look at what he is currently doing on crime.

The pardon was announced while the president was spending time with his family on Santa Cruz Island in the US Virgin Islands. The White House said those pardoned are people who have continued to serve their communities. It says the pardon reflects Biden’s view that people deserve a second chance.


— Beverly Ann Ibn-Tamas, 80, Columbus, Ohio At 33, Ibn-Tamas was convicted for the murder of her husband. She testified that her husband beat her, insulted and threatened her. She told jurors that she shot him seconds after he attacked her while she was pregnant. The judge declined to give an expert opinion on battered woman syndrome, a psychological condition that victims of domestic violence can develop. Ibn-Tamas received from one to five years in prison, taking into account the time served. Her conversion was one of the first conversions of a person with battered woman syndrome, and her case has been studied by scholars.

— Charles Byrnes-Jackson, 77, Swansea, South Carolina Byrnes-Jackson pleaded guilty to possession and sale of liquor without excise stamps when he was 18 years old, and it was related to a single illegal whiskey deal. He tried to enlist in the Marine Corps, but was turned down because of his criminal record.

– John Dicks Knock III, 72, from St. Augustine, Florida. Knock pleaded guilty to using his property to grow marijuana 27 years ago. He did not grow plants, but received six months’ imprisonment. Now he is a general contractor.

— Gary Parks Davis, 66, Yuma, Arizona When Davis was 22, he admitted to using his phone to do a cocaine deal. He served six months of nights and weekends in the county jail and was placed on probation in 1981. The White House reports that after the crime, Davis graduated and had a stable job, including owning a landscaping business and managing construction projects. He volunteered at his children’s high school and in his community.

— Edward Lincoln de Coito III, 50, from Dublin, California. De Coito, aged 23, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic marijuana. He was released from prison in December 2000 after serving nearly two years. Prior to the attack, De Coito served honorably in the US Army and in the Army Reserves and received many awards.

— Vincente Ray Flores, 37, Winters, California At 19, Flores used ecstasy and alcohol while serving in the Air Force, and later pleaded guilty to a special military tribunal. He was sentenced to four months in prison, the loss of $2,800 in pay, and a reduction in rank. Flores participated in a six-month rehabilitation program that gives selected offenders a chance to return to action after treatment and training. His demotion has been reversed and he remains on active duty, earning medals and other honors for his service.

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