The Washington Post reports that rapper John Forte is among 16 inmates to receive pardons or reduced sentences by departing President George W. Bush.
The Grammy-winning rapper and music producer was sentenced to 14 years of prison in 2000 for intent to distribute liquid cocaine, despite being a first-time offender. With this reduced sentence, he will be released next month, on December 22, 2008.
Carly Simon and her son Ben Taylor have been vocal advocates for lessening John’s sentencing and having the laws regarding first-time drug offenders re-examined. Ben’s latest album, The Legend of Kung Folk: Part 1 (The Killing Bite), includes a song written by John, “Wilderness”. Ben’s song “Digest” from his previous release, Another Run Around the Sun, is about John. Republican Senator Orrin Hatch has also advocated on John’s behalf, writing directly to Bush for at least the last two years.
FreeJohnForte.com has more information on the history of his case and Carly and Ben’s efforts on his behalf.