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4 South Carolina residents released from federal prison

On Aug. 30, it was reported that four South Carolina residents who had been imprisoned following nonviolent drug convictions had their sentences reduced by President Barack Obama. Their release date was schedule to be in late December.

One Blacksville resident, a 39-year-old man, was sentenced to federal prison in 2003 for possession to distribute cocaine and a cocaine base. He was expected to remain incarcerated for 20 years. The second person, a 57-year-old resident from Spartanburg, was sentenced to life in prison in 2004 for assisting with the possessing and distributing of crack cocaine. An Anderson resident was sentenced in 1999 for possession of cocaine and cocaine base with intent to distribute. He was supposed to remain in prison for 360 months. The remaining inmate is a 36-year-old Summerville resident who was sentenced to life in prison in 2006 on similar charges.

The White House counsel stated that these individuals have worked towards being rehabilitated and have earned a second chance. Additionally, he added, the sentences that they have received were deemed too harsh and were based on laws that are now outdated.

Those who have been handed drug charges that involved possession with an intent to distribute may be facing serious consequences that could included incarceration and heavy fines if convicted. A criminal defense attorney may argue that the authorities did not follow proper procedure when the person was taken into custody. This could include challenging the search that led to the seizure of the drugs as being conducted without probable cause. If successful, the drugs could be held inadmissible as evidence, which could possibly lead to the charges being dropped.

Source: The State, "4 Convicted SC Drug Traffickers Among 111 Awarded Early Release", Rachael Myers Lowe, Aug. 30, 2016

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