Sentenced to 40 years for drugs, he waited for a Trump pardon. It never came.
despite connections to a staunch Trump supporter, he wasn't one of the 143 people to receive a last minute pardon: Friday's long read from POLITICO Magazine
We go to POLITICO Magazine for this weeks long read by, read the whole article here. We include key excerpts below to convince you it’s worth your time!
But the pardon never came. Not after Rufus spoke to members of Congress, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in the spring about how the pandemic was ravaging prison populations; not after his case became featured in the Wall Street Journal; not after he built up a small following on Facebook Live in his efforts to gin up support for criminal justice reform; not after he became featured by leading conservatives (including former Attorney General Matt Whitiker) as a clear-cut case for clemency; and not on the night of Dec. 23, when Trump pardoned John Boultbee and Peter Atkinson, two financiers who had been convicted as part of the fraud scheme involving Black.
Within that universe, Rufus considers himself one of the fortunate since he is out of prison. But life still has its challenges. He doesn’t have a source of income. He must wear a tracking bracelet on his ankle. He can’t go past the end of his yard without clearance from his halfway house. Any time he wants to go to a grocery store or the bank, he has to submit a form to his supervisors on a Sunday night in order to get clearance.
The response was almost universally negative, with even Republicans calling it a grotesque abuse of presidential power. Lost in the condemnation, however, was discussion of the other byproduct of Trump’s actions. A swath of people that advocates say clearly deserve a presidential reprieve were now forced to wait weeks, months, or potentially years for Joe Biden or future presidents to give them consideration. The Department of Justice says more than 14,000 pardon and clemency requests were pending at the end of the last year. Trump had a chance to change their lives and, effectively, punted.
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