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JULIANNE MALVEAUX

(NNPA)—Jerry Alan Bailey was sentenced to more than 30 years in federal prison for conspiring to violate federal narcotics laws. Shauna Barry-Scott was sentenced to 20 years for having cocaine in her possession and intending to distribute it. Jerome Wayne Johnson grew marijuana plants and was charged with intending to distribute marijuana.  He was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. Douglas Lindsay initially was sentenced to a life sentence for possessing cocaine with intent to distribute, but early on his sentence was reduced to 24 years.

Bailey, Barry-Scott, Wayne and Lindsay were among the 46 people whose sentences President Obama recently commuted. They are the lucky ones.

There are 95,165 people—48.6 percent of all federal inmates—incarcerated for drug-related crimes, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. (That’s triple the second-largest category that includes weapons, explosives and arson; 31,743 or 16.2 percent of federal inmates are confined on those charges). Another 210,200—16 percent—were imprisoned in state facilities on drug-related offenses as of 2012.

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