President Barack Obama commuted the prison sentence of the grandmother of Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas on Wednesday less than a year after doing the same for the player’s mother.”
“I’m commuting the sentences of an additional 214 men and women who are just as deserving of a second chance,” the president noted Wednesday after sharing the story of a criminal who received a commutation from him. “Altogether, I’ve commuted more sentences than the past nine presidents combined, and I am not done yet.”
Minnie Pearl Thomas received two life sentences for trafficking crack cocaine in Georgia. His mother Katina Smith received 20 years for her conviction on charges related to the same 1999 raid.
“They busted into the house when we were getting ready to go to school,’’ Thomas explained to the New York Post in 2012. “The only thing I remember is my mother asking them if she could walk us to the bus for the last time.’’
An aunt and uncle took in Thomas. He found God and football. The Super Bowl 50 champion’s mom watched him play live for the first time in January. His grandmother can now do the same after her December 1 release.
The three-time All Pro, boasting four consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons, expressed his appreciation to the president via social media.
Wanna Thank the @POTUS for everything he’s done for my family, and a lot more families giving them second chances. Couldn’t be a better day!
— Demaryius Thomas (@DemaryiusT) August 3, 2016
In announcing the mass commutation, President Obama called America “a country that imprisons its citizens at a rate far higher than any other” and “serves up excessive punishments.”