Excessive sentencing, President Obama, President's Pardon, Stephanie George

She Got Life in Prison all because…


Her boyfriend Hid Crack in her Attic.

Pictured above is Stephanie George and she was sentenced by a judge to life in prison all because her boyfriend was a dope dealer and hid his crack in her attic without her knowledge. Even though the judge in Stephanie’s case agreed that she had nothing to do with her boyfriend’s activities, he still took this mother of three away from her kids for the remainder of her natural life.  She was just 27 years old at the time.

“Even though you have been involved in drugs and drug dealing,” Judge Vinson told Ms. George, “your role has basically been as a girlfriend and bag holder and money holder but not actively involved in the drug dealing, so certainly in my judgment it does not warrant a life sentence.” Yet he still imparted such a harsh sentencing.

Now at 42 years old, President Barack Obama pardoned eight people who were serving “unnecessarily lengthy sentences,” and Stephanie George was one of them.

Stephanie George, Clarence Aaron, Ezell Gilbert, and Reynolds Wintersmith were among those pardoned. All eight cases involved crack cocaine sentences, which have been under increasing criticism for being too harsh, including from Obama.

Obama said in a statement that the eight men and women were sentenced in what is now known as an “unfair system,” including the stark disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses that typically saw black people sentenced to life in prison for crack, while white people got off with light or no sentences for powder at all.

President Obama today gave several Americans who were unnecessarily sentenced to die behind bars the chance to reunite with their families. This is one important step toward undoing the damage that extreme sentencing has done to so many in our criminal justice system. We hope the President will continue to exercise his clemency powers and lend his support to systemic reform that will make our criminal justice system smarter, fairer, and more humane.