Arnold Ray Jones: Texas Inmate Refuses Obama’s Clemency Over Drug Treatment Program
Arnold Ray Jones – a Texas inmate, who was sentenced in 2002 for drug trafficking, asked President Barack Obama for clemency – he got it and has decided to refuse it. Mr. Jones, 50, was one of the 30,000 federal inmates who applied for the program after it was announced.
Jones, a drug offender, got the answer on August 3, but he was not pleased with the conditions attached to Obama’s commutation grant. The president required that some inmates get enrolled in a drug treatment program as part of the agreement.
Jones did not want to be separated from the prison’s population for daily therapy lasting up to four hours. The treatment program was expected to run for nine months. 92 of the president’s clemency grants contained the same condition, and Jones is the only one who decided to decline.
The Texas inmate will be serving six more years of his sentence. If Jones had completed the program, he would have been released in two years. He is now hoping to get out in April 2019 based on good behavior.
White House Counsel Neil Eggleston shared in a recent blog post the reason behind Obama’s push for the drug treatment as part of his executive clemency. He explained:
“For some, the president believes that the applicant’s successful re-entry will be aided with additional drug treatment, and the president has conditioned those commutations on an applicant’s seeking that treatment. Underlying all the president’s commutation decisions is the belief that these deserving individuals should be given the tools to succeed in their second chance.”
Despite the fact that crime rates are down in the country as a whole, some critics still blame the president’s actions for the recent spike in some areas. Those commenters believe that Obama is granting clemency to people who do not deserve it and will make the country less safe.
Jones’ mother, Ruth, was unaware of her son’s decision.