Biden Issues Six Pardons, Most for Minor Drug Offenses

ST. CROIX, V.I. — President Biden on Friday pardoned six people, most of them for minor drug or alcohol offenses, continuing a series of drug-related reprieves this year.

Five of the pardons were related to the sale of drugs or alcohol. Their recipients were: Gary Parks Davis, 66, of Yuma, Ariz., who facilitated a cocaine sale at age 22; Edward Lincoln De Coito III, 50, of Dublin, Calif., who was convicted of his involvement in marijuana trafficking at 23; Vincente Ray Flores, 37, of Winters, Calif., who consumed ecstasy and alcohol when he was 19 and serving in the miliary; Charlie Byrnes Jackson, 77, of Swansea, S.C., who sold whiskey without a required tax stamp when he was 18; and John Dix Nock III, 72, of St. Augustine, Fla., who pleaded guilty to one count related to marijuana manufacturing 27 years ago.

The pardon list also included Beverly Ann Ibn-Tamas, 80, of Columbus, Ohio, who was convicted of second-degree murder for shooting her abusive husband nearly a half-century ago. Ms. Ibn-Tamas was pregnant at the time of the killing and testified that her husband had beaten her throughout her pregnancy, including shortly before she shot him. Her case focused new attention on battered woman syndrome.

In each case, White House officials stressed that Mr. Biden was issuing pardons to people who had served their sentences and become upstanding members of their communities.

Ms. Ibn-Tamas raised two children as a single mother and became the nursing director of an Ohio-based health care provider. Mr. Davis has owned a landscaping business and volunteered with several civic organizations. Mr. De Coito served in the miliary before his offense and became an electrician and a pilot after his release. Mr. Flores remains on active duty in the Air Force, where he was honored with several medals and awards, and volunteers for causes including cancer research. Mr. Jackson, an active member of his church for decades, used his carpentry skills to repair buildings in his community. Mr. Nock is a general contractor and organizes an annual fishing tournament to benefit abused young men.

Mr. Biden issued three pardons in April and commuted the sentences of 75 drug offenders. In October, he pardoned thousands of people convicted of marijuana possession under federal law and announced that his administration would review whether the substance should still be in the same legal category as drugs like heroin and LSD.

The president is finishing the year on vacation in the Virgin Islands. He has not made a public appearance since arriving on Tuesday.

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