BRIAN PERRY/Obama’s clemency

Three days before leaving office, President Barack Obama issued 273 commutations and 64 pardons to federal criminals. Two days later, he issued another 330 commutations. He provided clemency relief (commutations shorten a sentence; pardons forgive a crime) to 1,927 people while in office (212 of which were pardons).

Fourteen individuals receiving the President’s mercy were convicted in federal courts in Mississippi (3 pardons; 11 commutations).

In Mississippi, the pardons went to Jimmy Wayne Pharr, convicted of marijuana distribution related crimes; Tietti Onette Chandler (aka Tietti Chandler-Shelton), convicted of embezzlement of mail by a postal employee; and Bobby Joseph Guidry (aka Bob Guidry) for conspiracy to import, possess and distribute marijuana. All three had completed their prison sentences as well as probation or supervised release.

The Mississippi commutations were all drug related as well, mostly cocaine distribution. The combined mercy toward eight of those convictions accounts for 102 less years in prison. The other three were each serving life sentences and had served thirty-three years combined. Now those three have an average of thirteen years left to serve.

Neshoba Democrat