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Grandma Who Got Out Of Prison Courtesy Of President Obama Is Heading Back

Former President Barack Obama granted clemency to more prisoners than any other president had in decades. One grandmother from Texas was serving a life sentence until Mr. Obama allowed her to be released last July.

The grandmother found herself back in court on Thursday, and a judge has ordered her to go back to prison for 14 months.

Carol Denise Richardson, a 49-year-old woman from Texas City, was convicted of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute crack cocaine. The woman was found with more than 50 grams on her at the time, and she was also charged with two counts of possession.

According to the prosecuting attorney, Richardson and her husband, Eskico Garner, has planned six separate transactions to sell more than 200 grams of the drug.

Richardson was no stranger to the courts. She had a long criminal record before 2006, with two previous felony convictions for possession. Her record was taken into account when she was given the life sentence.

After Richardson's trial, Congress passed a law that reduced sentences for people selling crack cocaine. Until then, crack cocaine dealers were getting exponentially longer sentences than cocaine dealers.

After the law passed, Richardson begged for mercy and asked for her sentence to be reduced.

The grandma got a lucky break with the then-POTUS himself stepped in and commuted the sentences of 61 federal inmates who were serving for non-violent drug-related convictions. She was allowed to go on supervised release, but she violated the conditions.

"This defendant was literally given a second chance to become a productive member of society and has wasted it," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Ted Imperato. "She has clearly shown a willful disregard for the law and must face the consequences for her crimes and actions."

Not even a year after her release, Richardson found herself back in court. She reportedly cried through the hearing, according to her attorney, because upon release she'd fallen back in her old life and lost touch with much of her family.

She failed to report an arrest in April to her probation officer, and she failed to admit she'd been fired from her job and changed her residence.

A non-profit organization, Clemency for All Nonviolent Drug Offenders (CAN-DO), helped Richardson secure clemency. They point to an untreated drug addiction as the cause for Richardson's recidivism. They say recidivism is actually rare.

"The system has failed Carol, yet again," said a CAN-DO spokesperson. "It will be easy for some to point a finger at Carol and justify their support of harsh mandatory sentences as a necessity to keep people locked up, when we feel Carol's current situation is proof that we desperately need to overhaul our current drug policy that treats addiction as a criminal issue, rather than a medical issue."

Another man in San Antonio landed in jail again earlier this year after President Obama commuted his sentence.

Source: Dallas News
Photos: Texas Federal Court, Can-Do, Patrick Feller/Flickr, The Obama White House, Pulse - Generic Photo

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