President Obama Commutes the Sentence of San Antonio Man Sentenced to Life in Prison


President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 58 federal prisoners today. - FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS/MARC NOZELL
  • Flickr Creative Commons/Marc Nozell
  • President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 58 federal prisoners today.
Yesterday, Roberto Antonio Davila faced a life sentence in federal prison. Today, he found out he's just a few months from freedom.

Davila, a 70-year-old man from San Antonio, had his sentence commuted by President Barack Obama along with 57 other federal offenders. After spending over 20 years in prison, Davila will now be released in February of 2017. He is currently at a medium-security federal prison in Beaumont.

Davila was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and distribution of marijuana. He and others were middlemen for a vast marijuana distribution ring in the mid-1990s, according to court documents. An informant claimed that Davila and a partner once negotiated a deal to sell 8,000 pounds of marijuana.

Davila is one of seven Texans whose sentences were commuted by Obama today, but he was the only one serving a life sentence.

The president has now commuted the sentences of 306 inmates during his presidency, including 100 serving life sentences — far more than most presidents. In a post on Medium today, he said he'd continue to commute the sentences of non-violent federal offenders through the remainder of his term. 

"[I]t just doesn’t make sense to require a nonviolent drug offender to serve 20 years, or in some cases, life, in prison. An excessive punishment like that doesn’t fit the crime. It’s not serving taxpayers, and it’s not making us safer," Obama wrote.

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