GOP State Senator Calls on Trump to Commute Sentence of Black Man Ordered Back to Prison After Serving 20 Years

Matthew Charles was sent to prison after conviction on drug and gun-related charges in 1996. He was freed in 2016, nearly twenty years later.


Now, Charles lives in stable housing, works a full-time job and volunteers at a food pantry every weekend.

Then came President Donald Trump’s vicious administration.

As Vibe reports,  “[T]he U.S. Justice Department successfully appealed his sentence reduction, citing his previous incarceration as a disqualifying factor for early release.”

Charles is now headed right back to prison for another 10 years after doing absolutely nothing wrong following his release.

Vibe writes:

By all accounts, Charles is described as an exemplary example of a reformed inmate. He exhibited model behavior in prison, taught GED courses, became a law clerk, and helped fellow inmates understand their own legal battles. In fact, the judge that reviewed his case in 2016 reduced Charles’ sentence noted that “you couldn’t discount what had happened while he was in prison.”

Tennessee Republican State Sen. Steve Dickerson is sending a clear message to the Trump administration that Charles’ reincarceration is unacceptable.

“In no way is this justice,” Dickerson wrote of Charles’ impending reimprisonment in a statement. “I urge Mr. Trump to commute Mr. Charles’ sentence so he may continue to move forward with rebuilding his life.”

Dickerson also called Charles a “model citizen” in the statement, which can be read in full below.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.