quinta-feira, 4 de agosto de 2016



The White House, Washington

A few months ago, I received this letter from a Floridian named Sherman Chester. When Sherman was a young man, he wrote that he made some bad choices, got in over his head, and ended up with a life sentence without parole for a nonviolent drug charge. At Sherman's sentencing, even the judge couldn't believe he was bound by law to hand down a punishment that didn't fit the crime.
We know that Sherman's story is all too common in this country -- a country that imprisons its citizens at a rate far higher than any other. Too many men and women end up in a criminal justice system that serves up excessive punishments, especially for nonviolent drug offenses.
But this is a country that believes in second chances. So we've got to make sure that our criminal justice system works for everyone. We've got to make sure that it keeps our streets safe while also making sure that an entire class of people like Sherman isn't relegated to a life on the margins.
Last year, after he served more than 20 long years in prison, I commuted Sherman's sentence and those of many others who were serving unjust and outdated prison sentences.
And today, I'm commuting the sentences of an additional 214 men and women who are just as deserving of a second chance. Altogether, I've commuted more sentences than the past nine presidents combined. And I am not done yet.
These acts of clemency are important steps for families like Sherman's and steer our country in a better direction, but they alone won't fix our criminal justice system. We need Congress to pass meaningful federal sentencing reform that will allow us to more effectively use taxpayer dollars to protect the public.
I hope you'll take a minute to read and share Sherman's letter. The more we understand the human stories behind this problem, the sooner we can start making real changes that keep our streets safe, break the cycle of incarceration in this country, and save taxpayers like you money.
Thank you,
President Barack Obama
Read the full letter from Sherman Chester here.

The White House, Washington
I come from Uganda -- from a farming community in the countryside where I learned what I know from the farmers I grew up with.
When I had the chance to complete my education in agricultural science, the hardest decision I had to make was whether to find a new job or return to my local community and teach them a little bit of what I had learned.
More than anything else, I wanted to see improvement in the livelihoods of the farmers that helped me become the agricultural scientist, pastor, and mentor that I am today. So I returned home to the Arua district in Uganda, and spent years working to pass on the knowledge and skills I had gained.
My passion is to help bring solutions to the country, and continent, where I grew up. That's how so many of my fellow Africans who are part of the President's Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) feel too.
And that's why I'm so excited to introduce President Obama to my YALI fellows, and to you, at a town hall today.
As President Obama knows, the African continent is not only in need of transformational leaders, but leaders who will make the deliberate effort to inspire those they lead to take up the mantle -- particularly young leaders, who are looking for seasoned role models to emulate.
Thanks to President Obama and the legacy he leaves with YALI, so many of us our are well-poised to do just that.
Thanks for listening to my story,
Emmanuel
Emmanuel Odama
Arua District, Uganda
Visit WhiteHouse.gov