President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak at the national N.A.A.C.P. convention at 3 p.m. EST. The convention is being held in Philadelphia, and The New York Times reports that in his speech the president “plans to outline his proposals for revamping the juvenile and criminal justice systems, including sentencing guidelines, and to call on Congress to act this year.”
On Monday, President Obama commuted the sentences of 46 drug offenders in a move to step up his campaign for changing the nation’s justice system and its penchant for doling out lengthy prison sentences for those convicted of non-violent crimes. “These men and women were not hardened criminals,” Mr. Obama said.
“These men and women were not hardened criminals,” Mr. Obama said in a video released by the White House Monday. 14 of the 46 persons granted clemency by Obama had faced life sentences for their drug offenses. “Their punishments didn’t fit the crime,” the President stressed.
With national unrest over racial injustice and police brutality still at a high boil, the new N.A.A.C.P. speech will almost certainly address the beleaguered status of black lives in America, and represents an opportunity for Mr. Obama to call out for justice amongst those who have seen their very existence threatened by the prejudiced and powerful. Livestream the President’s convention speech below.
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