President Obama reducing prison sentence of Springfield man

Manuel Colon sentenced to 20 years in prison back in 2007

Barack Obama
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A man from Springfield is among 61 prisoners whose sentences were commuted by President Barack Obama Wednesday.

In 2007, Manuel Colon was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison with 10 years supervised release. Colon was convicted in federal court of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, cocaine base, and heroin, in addition to a charge of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

His prison sentence will now expire on July 28 of this year.

Like Colon, the dozens of other prisoners whose sentences the president commuted had been convicted of various federal drug charges. Colon is the only inmate from New England among the 61 who had their sentences commuted.

Article II of the Constitution grants the president the power to grant “pardons and reprieves,” which has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to include the commutation of a sentence. A commutation simply reduces a prisoner’s sentence, unlike a pardon, which clears the defendant.

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