President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 102 felons Thursday, including four South Carolinians.
The commutations continue a series of commutations by Obama shortening the prison sentences of defendants convicted of crack cocaine crimes. Critics have said crack crimes carried heavier mandatory sentences than similar cocaine crimes.
▪ Desmond Belle of Columbia, sentenced to 262 months in prison in 2008 for conspiracy to possess and to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine, had his sentence commuted to 188 months, almost 16 years.
▪ Martin Leroy Dwyer of Columbia — sentenced to 262 months for conspiracy to possess and distribute 50 grams or more of crack, five kilograms or more of cocaine and a quantity of marijuana — had his sentence commuted to expire on May 4, 2017.
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▪ Marty Herndon of Jenkinsville, sentenced to 262 months in prison for possession with the intent to distribute five grams or more of crack, had his sentence commuted to expire on Oct. 6, 2018, conditioned upon his enrollment in a residential drug-treatment program.
▪ Lamont Alvin McElveen of Darlington, sentenced to life for possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of crack, had his sentence commuted to expire on Feb. 3, 2017.