Eight Georgians on Biden’s first list of presidential pardons, commutations

President Joe Biden, in executing clemency power for the first time since taking office in January 2021, pardoned an Athens man on Tuesday and commuted the sentences of seven other Georgians. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

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President Joe Biden, in executing clemency power for the first time since taking office in January 2021, pardoned an Athens man on Tuesday and commuted the sentences of seven other Georgians. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WASHINGTON — An Athens man convicted of allowing his pool hall to be used as a marijuana distribution point is among the first three people to receive pardons under President Joe Biden.

Dexter Eugene Jackson pleaded guilty in 2002, served time and returned home to start a cellphone repair business where he provides job-training opportunities to local high school students. Jackson, 52, also builds and renovates properties in an effort to increase affordable housing in the community.

The presidential pardon sets aside any further punishment or legal actions related to Jackson’s conviction. Others pardoned include the first Black U.S. Secret Service agent to serve on a presidential detail, who said he was falsely accused of bribery in a 1964 case. Biden also pardoned a single mother who was convicted of drug charges after being caught transporting crack cocaine on behalf of her boyfriend and another accomplice, neither of whom were charged.

Seven Georgians, all of them convicted of nonviolent drug offenses, also had their sentences commuted by Biden. These residents of Adel, Augusta, Duluth, Glennville, Villa Rica and Warner Robins were among 75 people whose confinement terms were shortened by Tuesday’s announcement.

Biden in a statement said that many of the people on the commutation list had been under house arrest during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them would have been eligible for shorter prison terms if they had been charged after a 2018 law that changed sentencing guidelines for certain crimes.

“America is a nation of laws and second chances, redemption, and rehabilitation. Elected officials on both sides of the aisle, faith leaders, civil rights advocates, and law enforcement leaders agree that our criminal justice system can and should reflect these core values that enable safer and stronger communities,” Biden said in a statement on Tuesday. “During Second Chance Month, I am using my authority under the Constitution to uphold those values by pardoning and commuting the sentences of fellow Americans.”

This is Biden’s first use of clemency power since taking office in January 2021.

As of April 12, the federal Office of the Pardon Attorney had 3,441 applications pending for pardons and 14,854 for commutations.


Georgians on Biden’s clemency list:

PARDONED

Dexter Eugene Jackson, 52, Athens

COMMUTED SENTENCES

Tellas Levallas Kennedy, Glennville

Carry Le, Duluth

Stephanie McMurphy, Adel

Rickey Wayne Norton, Augusta

Shannon Ann Norton, Augusta

Tony Lee Stanfield, Villa Rica

Courtney Donnell Zeno, Warner Robins

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