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Obama commutes sentence for Oklahoman convicted in drug case

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OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma inmate convicted of possessing cocaine with intent to distribute was among 61 drug offenders granted commutations by President Barack Obama.

The president’s decision Wednesday comes amid his plan to revamp the country’s criminal justice system.

Herbert Lewis Jr. of Okmulgee was sentenced in 2003 to 20 years in prison.

He claimed in appeals there was insufficient evidence against him and that jurors should have heard from a witness who would have said Lewis didn’t know there were drugs in the vehicle in which he was riding.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in 2004 that Lewis’ claims were frivolous, noting that a videotape from a traffic stop showed Lewis throwing drugs out of the vehicle.

Lewis is due to be released July 28.