News & Politics

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

The former inmate has done nothing wrong since his release.

Photo Credit: CNN

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.

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Chris Sosa is the former Senior Editor of AlterNet. His work also appears in Mic, Salon, Care2, Huffington Post and other publications. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisSosa.