President Joe Biden on Tuesday granted clemency to 78 people using his executive authority to deliver three pardons and 75 commutations.
Most of the pardons and commutations went to people in prison for drug crimes, including possession and distribution of drugs like cocaine, heroin, meth, marijuana, according to the list.
“America is a nation of laws and second chances, redemption, and rehabilitation,” Biden wrote in a statement released by the White House.
Biden pardoned three people; former Secret Service agent Abraham Bolden, 87 who was sentenced to prison for bribery, Betty Jo Bogans, 51, sentenced for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, and Dexter Jackson, 52, for allowing marijuana dealers to use his pool hall for drug transactions.
“Today, I am pardoning three people who have demonstrated their commitment to rehabilitation and are striving every day to give back and contribute to their communities,” Biden said
The president expressed the need for criminal justice reform, freeing those who were serving long sentences for non-violent drug offensives.
Biden said many of the people he pardoned were serving home confinement as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
He also pointed to the bipartisan First Step Act signed by former President Donald Trump as a successful law allowing people to receive lower sentences for non-violent crimes.
“[H]elping those who served their time return to their families and become contributing members of their communities is one of the most effective ways to reduce recidivism and decrease crime,” Biden wrote.