The Obama jailbreak continues apace. Last week the president commuted the sentences of 111 more federal prisoners.
We’ll probably have more to say about the latest batch felons Obama has put back on our streets. However, I want to focus now on just one of them — Darryl Lamar Reed, a.k.a. “Lil D” of Oakland, California.
In 2014, as Debra Saunders reminds us, the Obama administration said that inmates applying for a sentence reduction should be “nonviolent, low-level offenders without significant ties to large-scale criminal organizations, gangs or cartels.” Reed clearly does not meet these criteria.
Rather, according to former Alameda County prosecutor Russ Giuntini, “Lil D headed the largest dope organization in Oakland,” which was responsible for a lot of carnage. He was caught “red handed” processing some 20 kilograms of cocaine into crack.” This isn’t just Giuntini’s opinion. Saunders notes that the San Francisco Chronicle called him “the most powerful crack cocaine gang leader in the East Bay” a status he gained when he took over the drug operation of his uncle, Felix Mitchell, the one-time kingpin who died in federal prison In 2010, Reed told the Contra Costa Times he had made “millions of dollars” dealing drugs.
Reed was not caught committing an act of violence. However, when police raided his apartment and found the crack, a handgun, and nearly $60,000 in cash. To view him as a low-level offender is absurd. To view a drug kingpin as nonviolent is laughable. One does not remain a drug kingpin with “a lot of carnage.”
Reed says he regrets his years peddling dope and has turned away from crime. Nice words.
But it’s more accurate to say that crime has turned away from Reed, it being no easy matter to remain a drug kingpin behind bars. Once he’s released, Reed will have every opportunity to return to a life of crime, as approximately two-thirds of released federal drug felons do according to Obama Justice Department statistics.
Former prosecutor Giuntini mused that releasing the likes of Reed only happens when “people aren’t running for re-election.” This is true, but misses the point. To my knowledge, no president other than Obama, whether running for reelection or not, has commuted the sentence of a drug kingpin. These things only happen when a president’s sympathies are with drug criminals, not with law abiding residents in the areas where the criminals operate.