Federal inmate Arnold Ray Jones asked for clemency in President Obama’s program and then refused to accept it when it was offered on Aug. 3, USA Today reports. Jones’ turnabout may be due to a string that came attached: enrollment in a residential drug treatment program, which has been a condition of 92 of Obama commutation grants. Jones is the first to refuse that condition.
If Jones had agreed to complete the the program, he would be out in two years. He still has six years left on his 2002 sentence for drug trafficking, but Jones may be counting on getting time off for good behavior, which would have him released in April 2019, eight months longer than if he had accepted the commutation. Jones, 50, is in a low-security federal prison in Beaumont, Texas. The unusual rejection came recently when Obama commuted the sentences of 102 more federal inmates. With the 673 previous commutations granted, the total should have been 775, but a White House accounting had only 774.