President Biden on Friday granted full pardons to six people, including a decorated Army veteran involved in marijuana trafficking more than 25 years ago and an 80-year-old woman convicted of killing her abusive husband nearly a half-century ago.
Among those granted pardons — one of the most unlimited powers the Constitution bestows upon the president — are individuals who volunteered in their communities and mentored young people. This latest set of pardons joins the categorical pardon Biden announced earlier this year of former inmates convicted of simple marijuana possession.
“President Biden believes America is a nation of second chances and that offering meaningful opportunities for redemption and rehabilitation empowers those who have been incarcerated to become productive, law-abiding members of society,” said a White House official who spoke on the condition of anonymity ahead of the formal announcement. “The president remains committed to providing second chances to individuals who have demonstrated their rehabilitation — something that elected officials on both sides of the aisle, faith leaders, civil rights advocates and law enforcement leaders agree our criminal justice system should offer.”
Biden’s end-of-year pardons affect people who are not well-known, unlike the recipients of pardons from former president Donald Trump. In a chaotic flurry announced by the White House less than 12 hours before the end of his presidency, Trump granted 144 pardons and sentence commutations, with entertainers, politicians from both parties and several well-connected Trump allies among the recipients.
The six pardoned by Biden were, according to the White House:
* Gary Parks Davis, 66, of Yuma, Ariz., who pleaded guilty to using a telephone to facilitate an unlawful cocaine transaction more than 40 years ago. After serving his six-month sentence in a county jail, Davis completed probation in 1981. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree and now owns a landscaping business and manages construction projects. He continued to serve in leadership of a local high school booster club, even after his children graduated, and helps raise money for a local rotary club and chamber of commerce.
* Edward Lincoln De Coito III, 50, of Dublin, Calif., who pleaded guilty to involvement in a marijuana trafficking conspiracy more than 25 years ago. De Coito had previously served in the Army and the Army Reserve, where he received the Southwest Asia Service Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal. After his release from prison, De Coito worked as a skilled electrician for approximately 15 years before launching a second career as a pilot.
* Vincente Ray Flores, 37, of Winters, Calif., consumed ecstasy and alcohol at age 19 while serving in the military. He was sentenced to four months’ confinement, forfeiture of $700 pay per month for a four-month period, and reduction in rank. Since then, Flores remains on active duty and has been awarded the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award and the Meritorious Unit Award among other honors. He has also volunteered for a number of causes through his military units, including Habitat for Humanity, a cancer research fundraiser, and events for military members returning from deployment.
* Beverly Ann Ibn-Tamas, 80, of Columbus, Ohio, was convicted of murder in the second degree while armed for killing her husband. The then-33-year-old was pregnant and testified that her husband physically and verbally abused her moments before she shot him. During her trial, the court refused to allow expert testimony regarding battered woman syndrome, a psychological condition and pattern of behavior that may develop in victims of domestic violence, and Ibn-Tamas was sentenced to a term of one to five years’ incarceration. Ibn-Tamas was recently the director of nursing for an Ohio-based health-care business and continues to manage cases at the facility.
* Charlie Byrnes Jackson, 77, of Swansea, S.C., who pleaded guilty to one count of possession and sale of distilled spirits without tax stamps. He was sentenced to five years’ probation for the crime he committed as an 18-year-old. Jackson attempted to enlist in the Marine Corps after graduating from high school but was rejected because of the federal conviction. He has since been an active member of his church and has volunteered his carpentry skills to maintain and renovate church buildings.
* John Dix Nock III, 72, of St. Augustine, Fla., pleaded guilty to one count of renting and making for use, as an owner, a place for the purpose of manufacturing marijuana plants. He was sentenced to six months’ community confinement in lieu of imprisonment in 1996. Nock now operates a general contracting business and mentors young contractors through a professional networking group. He also helps organize an annual fishing tournament to benefit abused young men.