President Obama commutes prison sentences for three Kentuckians

03/30/2016 02:32 PM

President Barack Obama is cutting short prison time for three Kentuckians who are serving time for drug offenses, the White House announced on Wednesday.

In total Obama commuted the sentences of 61 people on Wednesday, bringing the total number of people receiving reduced prison time during his administration to 248 people, more than the six previous presidents combined.

In a letter sent to the 61 people receiving clemency on Wednesday, Obama said the measure represents the belief in second chances.

“The power to grant pardons and commutations… embodies the basic belief in our democracy that people deserve a second chance after having made a mistake in their lives that led to a conviction under our laws.”

On Wednesday, Obama was scheduled to meet with commutation recipients from both his Administration and the previous administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

“During the meeting, the commutation recipients will discuss their firsthand experiences with the reentry process and ways that the process can be strengthened to give every individual the resources he or she needs to transition from prison and lead a fulfilling, productive life,” Neil Eggleston wrote in a White House blog post.

According to the White House the Kentuckians receiving commuted sentences include:

• Robert Anthony Anderson – Louisville, KY
Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine; attempt to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, aiding and abetting; Western District of Kentucky.
Sentence: Life imprisonment (August 8, 1994)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on March 30, 2017.

• Robin Evette Shoulders – Louisville, KY
Offense: Possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of cocaine base; possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine; Western District of Kentucky.
Sentence: 240 months’ imprisonment; 10 years’ supervised release (December 16, 2002)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on September 26, 2016.

• Michael A. Yandal – Murray, KY
Offense: Possession with the intent to distribute approximately 50 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing cocaine base; possession with the intent to distribute marijuana; possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; Western District of Kentucky.
Sentence: 195 months’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release (April 24, 2007); amended to 180 months’ imprisonment (December 11, 2007)
Commutation Grant: Prison sentence commuted to expire on July 28, 2016.

The White House says that the President is committed to continuing to issue more grants of clemency as well as to strengthening rehabilitation programs.

Obama also commuted the sentences of three residents of Cincinnati, Ohio on Wednesday.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or



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