People who are arrested for drug-related crimes in Tennessee can understandably feel scared and unsure about what their future may hold. It is important at this time for people to remember that every person, including them, is guaranteed a proper defense under the law. This defense may help them fight criminal charges altogether or possibly reduce original charges.
Another part of the law that some people do not always remember can come in the form of clemency later on. Not always used, U.S. Presidents have the ability in some cases to alter sentences for some people convicted of crimes. That is precisely what the current President has just done. His action will actually affect a total of eight people from Tennessee. Many of the defendants were put in custody based upon convictions for offenses involving cocaine or other drugs.
Four people from the eastern part of Tennessee were scheduled to serve anywhere from 20 years to life in prison. Now some of them will be released as early as the end of this year. Others will be released in roughly two years. In making his decision, the President reportedly indicated his belief that keeping these people in prison longer put an undue burden on them, the taxpayers and the criminal justice system.
Remembering that they have rights is hard but should be done by anyone after an arrest. Talking with an attorney may be a helpful thing when first facing criminal charges and deciding what can be done.
Source: WBIR.com, “Obama issues record-breaking 214 commutations: 4 in East TN,” Gregory Korte, August 3, 2016