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Conservatives and liberals urge pardon of man you’ve never heard about

The president has a soft spot for those he deems have been treated unfairly, regardless of party lines. This week he issued a pardon to several people and is expected to pardon even more.

Take for instance his latest pardon, commentator Dinesh D’Souza, who pleaded guilty to breaking campaign finance laws. D’Souza said he was targeted for his conservative opinions. The president said D’Souza was,” treated very unfairly by our government.”

“I think to a certain extent, Martha Stewart was harshly and unfairly treated,” said Trump.

Now, advocates for criminal justice reform are calling on the president to take a look at Matthew Charles.

Never heard of him?

While Charles isn’t famous in political or entertainment circles, he’s made a name for himself in Nashville, Tennessee.

He volunteers at a local food pantry every week. He’s a grandfather, an employee and apparently a fan of Shoney’s.

But he wasn’t always a model citizen he admits. Charles was arrested in the 80’s for domestic abuse and again in 1996 for selling crack cocaine to a police informant.

According to Nashville Public Radio, during his time behind bars he became a law clerk and was a model inmate teaching other inmates to read, even organizing prison Bible studies.

He was released in 2016 after serving 21 years of a 35 year sentence.

During that time he found a job and stayed out of trouble.

But earlier this year, a federal court determined his release was due to a technical error and Charles was sent back to prison for another ten-years.

NPR chronicled his last days as a free man. Charles told the publication that whatever the outcome, God is in control.

“But I believe that God is still in charge of the situation. He hasn’t revealed to me what He’s doing yet. But my faith remains the same,” he said.

Now, a Change.com petition is pleading with the president to grant Mr. Charles clemency and commute the remainder of his sentence. That petition has more than 32,000 signatures.

Charles’ attorney Shon Hopwood, a former inmate himself, tells CBN News he is also appealing to the president.

“We will be filing a clemency petition on his behalf and I hope that President Trump will give him a second chance by commuting Matthew’s sentence to time served,” Hopwood tells CBN News.

“Matthew Charles has proven that he is deserving of a second chance. He was out for two years and did everything we’d want from someone coming out of a long prison sentence, including that he volunteered every weekend,” he continued.

Charles’ case also garnered the interest of conservatives and liberals alike.

Columnist Katherine Timpf of National Review writes, ”Certainly, this case demonstrates some of the failures of our current criminal-justice system — particularly with mandatory-minimum sentencing. Every case is different, and every person is different.”

“Forcing a man like Charles through the rigors of prison life for another decade would be a complete injustice after he’s done so much work to turn his life around,” she continued.

“We just implored @realdonaldTrump to commute the sentence of #MatthewCharles in the name of justice on @BensonandHarf. Powerful story,” tweeted Fox News Contributor Guy Benson.

President Trump seems to be in the pardoning mood; issuing five pardons since he took office.

The president has a soft spot for those he deems have been treated unfairly, regardless of party lines.

Take for instance his latest pardon, commentator Dinesh D’Souza, who pleaded guilty to breaking campaign finance laws. D’Souza said he was targeted for his conservative opinions. The president said D’Souza was,” treated very unfairly by our government.”

He also hinted at pardons for former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and television host Martha Stewart.

“I think to a certain extent, Martha Stewart was harshly and unfairly treated,” said Trump.

Now, advocates for criminal justice reform are calling on the president to a pardon for Matthew Charles.

Never heard of him?

While Charles isn’t famous in political or entertainment circles, he’s made a name for himself in Nashville, Tennessee.

He volunteers at a local food pantry every week. He’s a grandfather, an employee and apparently a fan of Shoney’s.

But he wasn’t always a model citizen he admits. Charles was arrested in the 80’s for domestic abuse and again in 1996 for selling crack cocaine to a police informant.

According to Nashville Public Radio, during his time behind bars he became a law clerk and was a model inmate teaching other inmates to read, even organizing prison Bible studies.

He was released in 2016 after serving 21 years of a 35 year sentence.

During that time he found a job and stayed out of trouble.

But earlier this year, a federal court determined his release was due to a technical error and Charles was sent back to prison for another ten-years.

NPR chronicled his last days as a free man. Charles told the publication that whatever the outcome, God is in control.

“But I believe that God is still in charge of the situation. He hasn’t revealed to me what He’s doing yet. But my faith remains the same,” he said.

Now, a Change.com petition is pleading with the president to grant Mr. Charles clemency and commute the remainder of his sentence. That petition has more than 32,000 signatures.

Charles’ attorney Shon Hogwood, a former inmate himself, says he is also appealing to the president for a pardon.

“We will be filing a clemency petition on his behalf and I hope that President Trump will give him a second chance by commuting Matthew’s sentence to time served,” Hopwood says.

“Matthew Charles has proven that he is deserving of a second chance. He was out for two years and did everything we’d want from someone coming out of a long prison sentence, including that he volunteered every weekend,” he continued.

Charles’ case also garnered the interest of conservatives and liberals alike.

Columnist Katherine Timpf of National Review writes, “Certainly, this case demonstrates some of the failures of our current criminal-justice system — particularly with mandatory-minimum sentencing. Every case is different, and every person is different.”

“Forcing a man like Charles through the rigors of prison life for another decade would be a complete injustice after he’s done so much work to turn his life around,” she continued.

“We just implored @realdonaldTrump to commute the sentence of #MatthewCharles in the name of justice on @BensonandHarf. Powerful story,” tweeted Fox News Contributor Guy Benson.

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