CRUMPLER-An Ashe County man serving a life sentence in prison will be released from federal custody in 2018 thanks to President Barack Obama.
Jessee Dane Cox, was convicted of conspiracy to possess methamphetamine in the Western District of Virginia and sentenced to life in prison in May 2009, according to a press release issued by the White House.
As part of more than 100 federal prison commutations signed by the president earlier this week, however, Cox’s prison sentence is set to expire on Aug. 30, 2018 on the condition that he enrolls in a residential drug treatment program.
Cox’s stepmother, Priscilla Cox, called the commutation announcement wonderful news for Jessee Cox’s father, Emmett.
“Thanks to everyone who wrote letters and to all persons who believe in forgiveness and redemption,” Priscilla Cox wrote. “Praise to the Almighty!”
Including Cox, President Obama commuted the sentences of 325 people in the month of August, according to a statement issued by White House Counsel to the President Neil Eggleston. He said that number represents the greatest number of commutations ever granted by a president in a single month
“We must remember that these are individuals — sons, daughters, parents, and in many cases, grandparents — who have taken steps toward rehabilitation and who have earned their second chance,” Eggleston wrote. “They are individuals who received unduly harsh sentences under outdated laws for committing largely nonviolent drug crimes…For each of these applicants, the President considers the individual merits of each application to determine that an applicant is ready to make use of his or her second chance.”
Eggleston said he believes President Obama will continue to commute sentences on an individual basis throughout the remainder of his administration and said the situation highlights the need for “bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation, including reforms that address excessive mandatory minimum sentences.”
Reach Adam Orr at 336-489-3058.