JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For the third time this year, President Barack Obama on Friday used his power to release federal drug offenders. He commuted the sentences of 95 convicts, including William Ervin Dekle, 66, of Lake City, Fla.
Dekle was convicted in the early 1990s and sentenced to life in federal prison on charges of conspiracy to import 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana; importation of 100 kilograms of marijuana (four counts); possession with intent to distribute 100 kilograms of marijuana (four counts).
Obama ordered Dekle's sentence commuted effective April 16, 2016.
In a post on CanDoClemency.com, Dekle, a former Marine, wrote:
"I have served decades for a substance that is now largely legal. I have seen murderers and other violent criminals released, yet I have no chance of ever leaving prison, save for Presidential clemency. That just doesn’t seem right. I am a hard worker and have over 200 months of programming with the Federal Prison Industry as a production clerk."
Asked what he would do if released, Dekle worte: "To spend what time I have left with my family and help to support them. People do not realize the burden incarceration puts on families."
Dekle says he has a wife, two children and two grandchildren.
The Obama administration is on a campaign to reduce the federal inmate population and give relief to those sentenced under the war on drugs. Obama granted clemency to 22 drug offenders in March and another 46 in July.