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President Obama Corrects Typo And Reduces Jail Time

Marisa Okano |
April 15, 2014 | 5:37 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

@TheVillageVoice Twitter
@TheVillageVoice Twitter
With a flick of the wrist, President Barack Obama returned Ceasar Huerta Cantu 3 1/2 years of his life. A sentencing document contained a typo that sentenced Cantu 15 years in jail as opposed to the correct 11 1/2 years. Cantu was convicted of intent to distribute marijuana and money laundering.

“Today’s sentence commutation by the president simply corrects [the] mistake,” a White House official told the Wall Street Journal. Because Cantu did not notice the typo “in time,” presidential action was required. He had realized the mistake six entire years following the time of conviction. At first, the judge refused Cantu’s request, stating that the grounds of the statute of limitations had “run out.”

Typically, the president commutes the sentences of multiple convicted criminals simultaneously. Last year, Obama reduced sentence for eight convicted criminals prosecuted for cocaine charges as well as others convicted for federal crimes.

“Given the circumstances of this case and the manifest injustice of keeping a person in federal prison for an extra three and a half years because of a typographical mistake, the president wanted to act as quickly as possible,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said. “This is a matter of basic fairness and it reflects the important role of clemency as a fail-safe in our judicial system.”

Read more at Wall Street Journal.

Follow Executive Producer Marisa Okano on Twitter.



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