Obama reduces life sentences of 3 NJ men convicted of drug crimes
TRENTON — Three New Jersey men are among 111 federal inmates to have their sentences commuted under an order issued by President Barack Obama on Tuesday.
The order brings the total to 325 of people whose sentences he has commuted in August alone. Three other men from New Jersey were among those whose sentences he commuted earlier in the month.
Obama has long called for phasing out strict sentences for drug offenses, arguing they lead to excessive punishment and incarceration rates unseen in other developed countries.
On Tuesday, he commuted the sentences of the three men to 20 years each.
Mark Foster of Winslow Township was sentenced to life in prison in 2002 in Florida for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and a weapons offense.
Mark Lanzilotti of Sewell initially received a life sentence in Pennsylvania in 2002 for methamphetamine charges. The term was then amended to 30 years in 2006.
Eugene Kenneth Brinson of Newark got life in Virginia in 2002 for possessing cocaine and other drugs with the intent to distribute.
During his terms of office, Obama has granted 673 commutations, more than the previous ten presidents combined. More than a third of Obama's commutations were for inmates serving life sentences.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.