ATLANTA – President Joe Biden pardoned an Athens man Tuesday and commuted the prison sentences of seven other Georgians, all non-violent drug offenders, in the first acts of clemency of his presidency.
Dexter Eugene Robinson, 52, was convicted in 2002 of using his business as a front for the distribution of marijuana. While he wasn’t personally involved in trafficking the drug, he allowed dealers to use his pool hall for drug transactions, according to a statement from the White House.
Since being released from prison, Robinson has launched a cellphone repair service and hired local high school students. He also has worked to build and renovate houses in a community that lacks affordable housing.
Biden commuted the sentences of seven other Georgians still behind bars including:
- Tellas Levallas Kennedy of Glennville, sentenced to 210 months in prison in 2013 for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine. The sentence was later reduced to 168 months behind bars.
- Carry Le of Duluth, sentenced to 120 months in prison in Texas for conspiracy with intent to distribute marijuana plants.
- Stephanie McMurphy of Adel, sentenced to 102 months for distribution of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school.
- Ricky Norton and Sharon Ann Norton of Augusta, each sentenced to 120 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
- Tony Lee Stanfield of Villa Rica, sentenced to 120 months for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
- Courtney Donnell Zeno of Warner Robins, sentenced to life in prison in Louisiana in 2010 for distribution of cocaine base. The sentence was later reduced to 240 months behind bars.
In each case, the commuted sentence will expire April 26 of next year, with the remainder of the sentence to be served in home confinement.
“America is a nation of laws and second chances, redemption, and rehabilitation,” Biden said in a statement. “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.”
In all, Biden pardoned three Americans and commuted the sentences of 73.