(July 30, 2019 / JNS) U.S. President Donald Trump commuted the 20-year prison sentence on Monday of Israel-born Ronen Nahmani, who was convicted in 2015 of distributing synthetic drugs that he purchased from suppliers in China.
The 41-year-old Torah-observant Jew has already served four years in prison.
The pardon comes after Nahmani’s children wrote letters requesting a presidential pardon and also due to the health of his wife, Ruth, who suffers from terminal cancer.
“Mr. Nahmani is a non-violent, first-time offender with no criminal history. He has five young children at home, and his wife is suffering from terminal cancer. These extenuating circumstances underscore the urgency of his request for clemency,” the White House said in a statement.
It also noted that “members of Congress and a broad cross-section of the legal community have expressed support for clemency for Mr. Nahmani.”
“I’m still trying to catch my breath because I’m so overwhelmed; I can’t believe what happened, and I’m so grateful,” Ruth, told Hamodia news. “I don’t even have words in the dictionary to describe how grateful I am, how blessed I feel and how I overwhelmed I am with the joy in my heart.”
Among the lawyers fighting for Nahmani’s pardon was professor emeritus at Harvard Law School Alan Dershowitz, who said, “what President Trump did was the right thing; he ought to be praised for saving lives and doing a mitzvah. … I think it will be an important part of President Trump’s legacy that he did the right thing for the right reasons.”