Boynton Beach man among 46 commuted sentences - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Boynton Beach man among 46 commuted sentences

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BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - A South Florida family is overjoyed. Their loved one will soon be coming home, freed from his life sentence in prison.

Mark Anthony Jones of Boynton Beach is one of 46 people nationwide granted clemency today by President Obama saying, "their punishment didn't fit the crime."

Monday, Clinton Jones took a call from his brother Mark, who is sitting in a Central Florida prison. It's a call he will never forget.

"He told me they were going to let him out in November," said Clinton Jones.

Mark Jones will soon be coming home to his family.

"I was excited, you know, that my brother was finally able to come home. I was about to cry," said Clinton Jones. 

Mark Jones was sentenced to life in prison in 1999 for the distribution of cocaine. The family has done its best to stay strong with frequent visits and encouragement. However, it's taken a toll on everyone.

"When he went to jail, the whole family went to jail," said Clinton. "It was really a painful think."

President Obama said Monday that non-violent offenders like Jones "deserve their second chance."

His family says Jones is ambitious to get his life back on track, but his first priority will be getting to know his five children who he had to watch grow up from behind bars.

"He's going to be able to spend more time with his family. That's what really hurt him," said Clinton. "He really lost the opportunity to raise his kids."

President Obama has argued that the nation is paying too much money keeping people behind bars for non-violent offices. He will be making his case this week for criminal justice reform, including the fire over presidential visit to a federal prison in Oklahoma on Thursday.

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