Gov. Patrick's cousin among 8 getting commutations
BOSTON (AP) - A first cousin of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is among eight people whose drug sentences have been commuted by President Barack Obama.
Reynolds Wintersmith Jr., of Rockford, Ill., was a teenager when he was sentenced to in 1994 to life in prison for selling crack cocaine.
Obama on Thursday commuted the sentence of Wintersmith, along with seven other people the president said was serving unduly harsh sentences under old federal guidelines that treated crack cocaine offenses differently than the powder form of the drug.
A Patrick spokeswoman, Jesse Mermell, told The Boston Globe that the governor cannot recall ever meeting Wintersmith and had no involvement in his application for a commutation. She noted a significant age difference between the two men.
Patrick, a Democrat, is a friend and strong supporter of the president.