Obama grants clemency to four Mississippians

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Four Mississippians were granted clemency by President Barack Obama this week.

In all, Obama commuted the sentences of 153 people and pardoned 78 others on Monday, the most ever by an American president in a single day.

Obama has issued more commutations than 11 of his presidential predecessors combined. Most have involved drug-related offenses. The president has said he wants to bring existing sentences of inmates more in line with current laws, which are less strict than previous strict mandatory minimum sentences mostly related to non-violent drug crimes.

The Mississippians granted clemency:

• Tietti Onette Chandler (formerly Tietti Chandler-Shelton) of Columbus is the only Mississippian to receive a pardon from the White House. Chandler was convicted of  embezzlement of mail matter by a postal employee and sentenced to three years’ probation, conditioned upon the performance of 150 hours of community service in 1999.

• The sentence of Peter Christian Boulette of Hattiesburg was commuted to a term of 180 months’ imprisonment. Boulette’s convictions include: possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine; possession with intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine (two counts); possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime (two counts); felon in possession of a firearm, all in the Northern District of Alabama; and possession of a firearm by a convicted person and possession of an unregistered firearm in the Eastern District of Arkansas.

• Malcolm Hartzog of Prentiss had his prison sentence commuted to a term of 144 months’ imprisonment on the condition he enroll in residential drug treatment. Hartzog was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

• Stanley Knox of Blue Mountain had his prison sentence commuted to a term of 191 months’ imprisonment, on the condition he enroll in a residential drug treatment program. His charges included continuing criminal enterprise; distribution and possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; use of a communication facility to facilitate distribution of cocaine base (seven counts); attempted possession with intent to distribute cocaine; possession with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine base (two counts); distribution of cocaine base within 1,000 feet of a high school (two counts); use of a communication facility to facilitate the attempted distribution of cocaine base (two counts).