It must be nice to have pals in high places? The left-wing Governor of Massachusetts, Duval Patrick, was “lucky” enough to have had his cousin’s drug conviction commuted by none other than President Barack Obama. Naturally, Gov. Patrick, a very close friend of Barack Obama, claims he had nothing to do with the happy event.
The President commuted the sentences of 8 people convicted of crack cocaine charges saying that their crimes did not deserve a life sentence. It happens that one of those convicts was the cousin of his friend and adviser Duval Patrick, the Governor of Massachusetts, a man that Obama almost picked as the U.S. Attorney General.
Gov. Duval Patrick (right) and his criminal cousin (left).
The cousin in question, Reynolds Allen Wintersmith, 39, was convicted and sentenced in 1994. He was given a five year supervised release and charged a fine of $1,000 for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack.
He will now be released from his sentence on April 17, 2014.
Governor Patrick with his close friend President Obama.
In a statement published online following the commutation announcement, Obama said that the eight convicts had been sent to jail because of an “unfair system” and all had served at least 15 years in prison, many under mandatory minimums that required judges to impose long sentences even if they didn’t think the time fit the crime.
“If they had been sentenced under the current law, many of them would have already served their time and paid their debt to society. Instead, because of a disparity in the law that is now recognized as unjust, they remain in prison, separated from their families and their communities, at a cost of millions of taxpayer dollars each year,” the president said.
Governor Patrick has claimed he never knew his cousin and has also claimed that he did not intercede on his behalf with the President.
“There’s a significant age gap between the two, and the governor has no recollection of having met Mr. Wintersmith,” Patrick’s spokeswoman, Jesse Mermell, said.
“Governor Patrick had no involvement in any application for a commutation of Mr Wintersmith,” Mermell told media.
So, we are to believe that Obama’s close associate who had a cousin in jail on drug charges who suddenly got a presidential pardon didn’t talk to his buddy the president ahead of time?
What do YOU think? Tell us in the comments.
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