Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Convict Released by Obama Charged w/ Attempted Murder

'Multiple shots were fired from the suspect vehicle, striking the victim vehicle ... '

(Robert Jonathan, Headline USA) A man whose life sentence behind bars was commuted by former President Barack Obama is now facing attempted murder charges in Illinois.

In December 2015, the-then president granted clemency to Alton Mills who, at that point, had been jailed for about two decades for offenses related to drug trafficking.

Pursuant to federal sentencing guidelines and a three-strikes policy, he was serving life without parole because of two prior narcotics convictions before the July 1994 sentencing. The priors reportedly involved possession of less than five grams of crack each time.

The Obama commutation for Mills became effective as of December 18, 2016. A commutation provides early release, but does not overturn the original conviction.

According to the Illinois State Police, Alton Mills allegedly opened fire on another car on I-57 in the Chicago area on Mother’s Day 2023.

“Multiple shots were fired from the suspect vehicle, striking the victim vehicle. The back-seat passenger in the victim vehicle was struck by gun fire and was transported to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries,” the ISP press release asserted.

Media reports indicated that the victim was a woman who was asleep in the back seat of the victim vehicle in the early morning incident, who is now reportedly brain dead.

After an investigation that included search warrants executed on his home and vehicle, cops subsequently arrested Mills, 54, who lives in the Chicago area, on three attempted-murder counts. Reportedly there were three occupants of the victim vehicle.

The suspect is being held on a no-bond basis in Cook County Jail.

Prosecutor Kathryn Morrissey said that Mills purportedly “made admissions that he did the shooting,” and media descriptions of the incident suggested it might have stemmed from a road rage incident.

As the ISP news release indicated, the presumption of innocence applies to any criminal defendant.

“Obama chose Mills as one of 95 non-violent federal inmates ‘who were sentenced at the height of the war on drugs and would likely receive substantially lower sentences today’ to have their sentences commuted as part of a clemency initiative,” the New York Post reported.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., convinced Obama to commute Mills’s sentence on the grounds that it was too severe.

Durbin insisted that “An overlooked casualty in Americaโ€™s ‘war on drugs’ are the men and women who have received disproportionately harsh mandatory minimum sentences for low-level, nonviolent drug offenses.”

Durbin also maintained that “Alton’s story is one of many examples of men and women convicted under harsh mandatory minimum sentencing laws.”

During the Trump administration, Congress passed the bipartisan First Step Act, which, among other things, implemented sentencing reform procedures.

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