- Associated Press - Friday, May 6, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A Providence man who received the first life-without-parole sentence for drugs in Rhode Island is among 58 federal inmates who had their prison sentences commuted by President Obama.

Forty-four-year-old Charles Brown is now expected to be released in September following Obama’s commutation.

When he was sentenced on crack cocaine charges in 2004, U.S. District Judge Mary Lisi bemoaned that the life sentence she handed down was overly harsh.

Federal law required it because of the amount of crack involved and because he had two prior convictions for drug trafficking.

Lisi said it would not be the sentence she would have chosen if she had discretion, but said she had no choice.

With Thursday’s announcement, Brown’s sentence now ends on Sept. 2.

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