Obama commutes sentences for 3 Ohioans who had drug charges

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — President Barack Obama has commuted 20-year prison sentences for three Ohioans in his ongoing push to grant clemency during his final months in office and spur action on criminal justice reform.

They were among 102 people in the latest commutations announced Thursday. Most were convicted of nonviolent crimes related to cocaine or other drugs, though some were also serving time for firearms violations in connection to drug trafficking, possession or sales.

Arthur Clinkscale, of Youngstown, and Alan Jerome Spears, of Cleveland, had their sentences for cocaine possession commuted to expire next year, on Feb. 3.

Gerald Lofton, of Warren, faced cocaine conspiracy and firearms-related charges. His sentence was commuted to expire Oct. 6, 2018, depending on enrollment in a residential treatment program.

In total, Obama has shortened 774 sentences.

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