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Ashe County Man Among Those Granted Commuted Sentences by President Obama


By Jesse Wood

An Ashe County man is among the 111 federal prisoners who were granted a commutation of their prison sentence by President Barack Obama in his most recent round of commutations.

Jessee Dane Cox of Crumpler was convicted of conspiracy to possess meth in December 2008 and received life imprisonment. Under the Aug. 30 announcement by the White House, his sentence is now set to expire on Aug. 30, 2018 on the condition he enrolls in residential drug treatment.

Cox’s stepmother, Priscilla Cox, said the announcement was wonderful news for Jessee Cox’s father, Emmett, according to The Jefferson Post.

“Thanks to everyone who wrote letters and to all persons who believe in forgiveness and redemption,” Priscilla Cox wrote. “Praise to the Almighty!”

To date, President Obama has granted 673 commutations, which is than the number of commutations that the previous 10 presidents granted during their respective terms – combined. Of those commutations, more than one-third of the prisoners were serving life sentences.

In the release, Neil Eggleston, White House Counsel to the President, wrote:

“We must remember that these are individuals — sons, daughters, parents, and in many cases, grandparents — who have taken steps toward rehabilitation and who have earned their second chance.  They are individuals who received unduly harsh sentences under outdated laws for committing largely nonviolent drug crimes, for example, the 35 individuals whose life sentences were commuted today. For each of these applicants, the President considers the individual merits of each application to determine that an applicant is ready to make use of his or her second chance.

“While I expect that the President will continue to grant commutations through the end of this administration, the individualized nature of this relief highlights the need for bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation, including reforms that address excessive mandatory minimum sentences.  Only the passage of legislation can achieve the broader reforms needed to ensure our federal sentencing system operates more fairly and effectively in the service of public safety.”

See a list of the 111 commutations here.