Joel Francisco, One Of First Prisoners Released Under Donald Trump’s Criminal Reform Act, Charged With Murder
Joel Francisco was 14 years into a life sentence for selling crack cocaine when he got his second chance.
A landmark piece of criminal justice reform legislation, passed with the support of President Donald Trump and rare bipartisan backing, had made Francisco newly eligible for an older law that reduced the sentences for convicted crack dealers.
Behind bars, the former gang leader had made “significant efforts toward post-conviction rehabilitation” and had separated himself from the “proverbial ‘herd'” while “committing himself to a law-abiding life,” he wrote in an application for his release.
In February, with the approval of federal prosecutors and a district court judge, Francisco became one of the first federal prisoners to walk free as a result of the First Step Act.
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