| Last updated
President Joe Biden has granted the first three pardons of his presidential term, with one granted to a former Secret Service agent who claims to have been a victim of a racist conspiracy.
Abraham Bolden Sr served under John F. Kennedy and became the first Black agent to serve on presidential detail.
The now-86-year-old was charged with federal bribery after he allegedly attempted to sell a copy of a Secret Service file for $50,000.
However, Bolder believes the conviction was racially charged, saying he was frequently subjected to racist abuse.
The charge placed on Bolder came after he complained about his colleagues drinking on the job, chasing women, and believing they failed to provide adequate security for the president.
Today, I granted pardons to three people and commuted the sentences of 75 people.— President Biden (@POTUS) April 26, 2022
America is a nation of laws, but we are also a nation of second chances, redemption, and rehabilitation. pic.twitter.com/TolNuKNtQt
The agent’s first trial ended in a hung jury, however, the second found him guilty after witnesses admitted they lied at the request of the prosecutor.
Bolden never received a retrial and served several years in prison.
Betty Jo Bogans and Dexter Jackson were the other two to receive Biden’s first pardons.
Bogans was convicted for possession with intent to distribute cocaine in Texas after being caught transporting drugs with her boyfriend.
She received a seven-year sentence despite having no prior record.
Jackson was convicted in 2002 for allowing his pool hall to be used by marijuana dealers for trafficking.
After being released from prison, Jackson contributed greatly to his community, renovating homes, and converting his business into a cellphone repair service that provides young adults with work experience.
In addition to the pardons, Biden also reduced the sentences of 75 other people who had been convicted for nonviolent drug-related crimes.
I applaud President Biden for issuing these pardons and commutations—including 3 in Alabama—to give those convicted of non-violent offenses a second chance.— Rep. Terri A. Sewell (@RepTerriSewell) April 26, 2022
In the words of Bryan Stevenson, “each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.” https://t.co/LMCnF5EEK7
Many of those were facing lengthy sentences as a result of the 2018 bipartisan sentencing reform brought into place by the Trump administration.
In a statement, Biden said: “America is a nation of laws and second chances, redemption, and rehabilitation.
“Elected officials on both sides of the aisle, faith leaders, civil rights advocates, and law enforcement leaders agree that our criminal justice system can and should reflect these core values that enable safer and stronger communities.”
Biden continued: “While today's announcement marks important progress.
“My Administration will continue to review clemency petitions and deliver reforms that advance equity and justice, provide second chances, and enhance the wellbeing and safety of all Americans.”
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read