Donald Trump, in his final hours as president, overturned the verdict of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who was convicted of multiple corruption charges in 2013, and apologized to hip-hop superstar Lil & # 39; Wayne early Wednesday. (January 20th).
The move announced by the White House is part of a wave of 73 pardons and 70 commutations that the president granted on his departure.
Kilpatrick, 50, resigned after a text messaging scandal exposed an illegal affair with his chief of staff. Further investigation revealed a litany of illegal activity and he was eventually convicted of 24 federal crimes, including postal fraud, cable fraud and extortion. He was sentenced to 28 years in prison. Last year there were rumors that he would be released from federal prison because of the risk of coronavirus, but none of them turned out to be true.
He had appealed several times, but each attempt failed. Michigan State Representative Sherry Gay-Dagnogo even delivered a letter requesting Kilpatrick's release during an event at the White House in February 2020.
"Mr. Kilpatrick has spent approximately seven years in prison for his role in a ransom and bribery program while holding public office," the White House statement read. "During his incarceration, Mr. Kilpatrick taught and participated in public language courses conducted Bible study groups for his fellow inmates. "
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Meanwhile, Lil & # 39; Wayne, 38, whose real name is Dwayne Carter, is not going to jail for Trump's pardon. He pleaded guilty last month for being a convicted criminal when he found a gun in his chartered jet after landing in Miami in December 2019.
According to the Associated Press, the rapper "A Milli" admitted having the gold-plated pistol and six rounds of ammunition in his luggage. He issued bail for $ 250,000 and had his passport removed by the authorities. His hearing was scheduled for January 28th and would face 10 years in prison if convicted.
But during Trump's campaign last year, Wayne tweeted photos of himself and the president after meeting in an apparent show of support, saying he supported Trump's "platinum plan," which deals with criminal justice reform and blacks' economic opportunities America concerned. The approval met with widespread criticism, but Wayne never changed his mind.
Wayne's support seems to have been enough for Trump to grant him the conversion and help avoid further conviction. He served eight months in New York on gun charges and was released in 2010.
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"Mr. Carter has shown this generosity by serving a variety of charities, including donations to research hospitals and a variety of food banks," the White House statement read. "Deion Sanders, who also wrote in support of this pardon, mentions Mr. Wayne "a provider to his family, a friend to many, a man of faith, a natural giver to the less fortunate, a trailblazer (and) a game changer."
In addition to Kilpatrick and Lil & # 39; Wayne, another high-profile conviction, rapper Kodak Black (23) has also received a commutation from Trump. Like Wayne, he tweeted approval of the platinum plan but was serving a 46-month prison term in Florida for forging information on federal forms to buy guns in Miami.
"Before his conviction and after his success as a recording artist, Kodak Black was deeply involved in numerous philanthropic endeavors," the statement said. "Indeed, he is committed to supporting a variety of charitable endeavors, including providing educational resources to students and families of fallen law enforcement officers and the disadvantaged."
However, according to the Washington Post, there are other charges against Black, whose legal name is Bill Kapri, including sexual assault, pending.
Other notable people on Trump's list of pardons or commutations include Michael "Harry O" Harris, co-founder of Death Row Records, jailed for cocaine trafficking and attempted murder; Jawad Musa, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for a non-violent drug offense; Ferrell Scott, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for marijuana possession with the intention of distributing it; and Syrita Steib-Martin, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing a car from a Texas car dealer, which burned down in the incident. After her tenure, she co-founded Operation Restoration, which helps formerly incarcerated women and girls re-enter. Trump converted her sentence.
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The acts are just a few of the dozen that Trump has used to move forward in his final hours in office. Although it had been rumored that he could forgive himself, it did not. There were also no preventive pardons for members of his family, including sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump or his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
But, among other high-profile cases, he apologized to Steve Bannon, his former chief strategist, who was charged with fraud against donors who should have given Trump money for Trump's border wall efforts. But he didn't apologize to Sheldon Silver, the former New York Congregation spokesman who was jailed last year on corruption charges.
Presidential pardons are common for outgoing directors. In 2017, President Barack Obama granted mercy to 273 federal inmates, including Chelsea Manning, the Army intelligence officer convicted of disclosing confidential information to WikiLeaks, which publishes secret government intelligence and news reports.