Even as the Presidential elections are in full swing in the country, President Donald Trump has granted clemency to a man serving life for committing a non-violent drug offense.
Gary, Indiana native Charles Duke Tanner, a former professional boxer, expressed his gratitude to the President for granting him clemency, “First and foremost, I wanna give all the praise and glory to God,” he said. “Thank you for hearing me. But President Trump, I just want to thank you for giving me a second chance and believing in me, and reading my petition. I’m just so thankful.”
Yesterday @realDonaldTrump granted Duke Tanner clemency after 16 years in prison
He was sentenced to LIFE in prison for a FIRST time, NON VIOLENT crime because of Joe Biden’s crime bill
God bless you & good luck with your SECOND CHANCE
Let’s make his POWERFUL message go viral! pic.twitter.com/PrS6JbJz5w
— Alex Bruesewitz (@alexbruesewitz) October 22, 2020
Twenty years ago, Tanner said that his second or third fight was held at the same casino the president owned. He was arrested in 2004 after he was accused of leading a drug conspiracy and received a life sentence which got reduced to 30 years in prison. He was supposed to stay in prison till October 2030 but was released after the president released him.
Now Tanner has been reunited with his 18-year-old son C.J. He was in unbelief about his release, “I lost my mother and my father, but I’ve got him,” Tanner said. “This is what I live for. Thank you, President Trump. Thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart. All praise and glory goes to God. Thank you. Thank you to the whole Trump administration, because you guys read [my petition].”
His case caught Trump’s attention after prison reform advocate and White House ally Alice Johnson, brought it to his notice. Johnson was also the recipient of a full presidential pardon in 2018, who has been serving as an adviser to his administration.
“We said, ‘How many people are like you — there’s only one Alice, as far as I’m concerned — but how many people are like you or your circumstance where they were given this massive sentence, and they’re good people, great people,’” Trump recalled. “And she said, ‘So many. They’re in jail. So many.’ And she’s looking for those people, and she’s recommending those people.”
Johnson said she is “extremely thankful” to the president who has granted the clemencies. “To see this dream realized,” she said, “I can’t even describe it.”
Tanner’s manager, Troy Bly, said, “This couldn’t happen to a more deserving person.” He said, “Even after a life sentence, Duke never stopped fighting and now he was able to receive clemency,” Bly said. “We can’t wait to get back to the community and help as many people as possible. This is just the beginning, and we’ll continue fighting to bring as many of our people as possible back from prison.”