Back in October, President Barack Obama announced shortened sentences for 98 convicted criminals. One of them was a man from Benicia named Rico Mayo.
On Feb. 9, 1998, Mayo was convicted by the Eastern District of California for the possession of five or more grams of cocaine base, the use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime and the possession with intent to distribute cocaine base. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison with five years’ supervised release. Under Obama’s orders, Mayo’s sentenced was commuted to expire on Friday, Feb. 24. The specifics of Mayo’s crimes could not be verified.
In November, the number of commutations granted under Obama had surpassed 1,000: more than those granted by the last 11 presidents that preceded him. The commutations are granted by the president to individuals who he feels were given harsh sentences and possess the potential to rebuild their lives outside of prison.
“We must remember that there are personal stories behind these numbers,” Neil Eggleston, a counsel to the president, wrote in a blog post after the October announcement. “These are individuals -- many of whom made mistakes at a young age -- who have diligently worked to rehabilitate themselves while incarcerated”
For additional information on Obama’s commutations, visit justice.gov/pardon/obama-commutations.