Jackie Johnson, a 40-year-old from Townsend, was one of 46 inmates to receive the president’s commutation last week.
Circumstances surrounding the arrest and sentencing of Jackie Johnson, of Townsend, De., who received a commutation from President Barack Obama, have surfaced through court documents acquired by Newsworks Delaware.
All of the 46 inmates pardoned by Obama were serving prison sentences for non-violent drug offenses.
Among them, most were sentenced to about 20 years, and 14 were sentenced to life in prison. The inmates will be released in November.
The commutation is part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to improve the U.S. judicial system. The president has now issued nearly 90 commutations.
Jackie Johnson’s Case
In the late ’90s, Johnson had been arrested and served jail time for drug charges. During the time of his arrest, Johnson allegedly broke his supervised probation agreement, according to court documents.
While under supervised release, in December 2003, Johnson was stopped by the Delaware State Police while driving in a parking lot of University Plaza off Christiana Road in Newark. The police searched the vehicle and allegedly found a bag of cocaine under the armrest.
In February 2006, Johnson was found guilty of the 2003 charges – possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of a substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine.
Johnson had previously pled “not guilty” to the crime, according to court documents.
Judge Sue Robinson, former Chief U.S. District Judge in Delaware, sentenced Johnson to 240 months in the federal prison FCI Schuylkill in Millersville, Pa. She also ordered Johnson to be placed on supervised release after imprisonment for 10 years.
During the case, Johnson’s lawyer Mark Greenberg asked for a motion to suppress the evidence; arguing his client was stopped unlawfully, without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, and that the search was in violation of Johnson’s 4th amendment rights.
According to court documents, Johnson attempted to receive a reduced sentence. Just last year, he asked for counsel to have his case looked at again. The request was denied.
Johnson denied requests for an interview. Staff at FCI Schuykill also could not comment on Johnson’s behavioral records at the prison.
One of Johnson’s attorneys, Thomas Dreyer, said he hasn’t had any correspondence with his former client in several years, and chose not to comment on the pardon.
His other two lawyers and the prosecutor on the case could not be reached.