President Joe Biden is announcing he has granted the first three pardons of his term. Biden is providing clemency to a Kennedy-era Secret Service agent from Chicago convicted of federal bribery charges that he tried to sell a copy of an agency file.
Biden also has pardoned two people, Betty Jo Bogans and Dexter Eugene Jackson, who were convicted on drug-related charges in Texas and Georgia but went on to become pillars in their communities.
The Democratic president also has commuted the sentences of 75 others for nonviolent, drug-related convictions. The White House announced the clemencies as it launched a series of job training and reentry programs for those in prison or recently released.
The White House said it pardoned Abraham W. Bolden, Sr., who served in the Secret Service.
"He has steadfastly maintained his innocence, arguing that he was targeted for prosecution in retaliation for exposing unprofessional and racist behavior within the U.S. Secret Service," the White House said in a statement. "Mr. Bolden has received numerous honors and awards for his ongoing work to speak out against the racism he faced in the Secret Service in the 1960s, and his courage in challenging injustice. Mr. Bolden has also been recognized for his many contributions to his community following his release from prison."
Bogans was convicted in 1998 of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. The White House said after serving a seven-year conviction, she has held steady employment for nearly the last two decades and underwent treatment for cancer.
Jackson was convicted in 2002 for using his business to facilitate the distribution of marijuana. Jackson reportedly allowed drug distributors to use the pool hall he owned. After serving his conviction, he converted his business into a cellphone repair service and hired high schoolers as part of a program to give them work experience, the White House said.