WASHINGTON, Mich. (WOOD) — Dozens of protesters gathered outside the White House Friday, urging President Joe Biden to grant clemency to at least 100 women before he reaches his 100th day in office.
“Mr. President, we’re calling on you,” Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., said as she addressed the crowd on Black Lives Matter Plaza. “We helped to vote you in, we helped you get there.”
Bush said Biden owes it to families of color to erase or reduce the sentences for women serving what she and others call unjust punishments.
“It’s about humanity and it’s about building families,” Bush said.
Nicole Davis of Chicago, who was among the protesters, was separated from her two young children for 13 years while she served prison time on a drug conspiracy charge.
“It’s unexplainable to be without your loved ones, especially your kids; it is a pain that will never end,” she said. “When I returned home, they were 24 and 22.”
She was initially sentenced to 21 years.
“They are destroying families,” she said. “It’s too much.”
Biden has inherited a record number of clemency requests, with about 14,000 people on the waiting list. On the campaign trail, he vowed to use his clemency power to “secure the release of individuals facing unduly long sentences for certain nonviolent and drug crimes.”
The National Council of Incarcerated Women is among more than 100 progressive or civil rights groups calling on the Biden administration to take action before his presidency reaches the 100-day mark.
“We’re just asking him to stand on his word,” Davis said. “Give them a second chance.”