From drug sentencing to commutation, Obama altered prison landscape

Joshua GillinPolitiFact

Jan 09, 2017

This article from PolitiFact is reprinted here because of a collaboration between Reboot Illinois and the Pulitzer Prize-winning national website PolitiFact. For fact checks reported as part of this partnership, visit the PolitiFact Illinois website.

When she was 20 years old, ninth-grade dropout Stephanie Nodd helped a man find places to sell crack cocaine in her hometown of Mobile, Ala.

She also sold some herself to make money. She said she helped the man for six weeks, then quit.

Three years later, Nodd and several others were convicted of conspiracy to distribute 8 kilograms of crack cocaine. Nodd’s conviction carried a stiff penalty in 1990, thanks to strict mandatory minimum sentencing rules for crack: three decades in federal prison, with no chance of parole.

“I did something wrong,” Nodd, now 49, told PolitiFact, “but I didn’t deserve 30 years.”

President Barack Obama thought the criminal justice system was too harsh on nonviolent drug offenders like Nodd.


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