Two rappers, a once-prominent eye doctor and a real estate investor convicted in a Ponzi scheme were Floridians on Donald Trump’s clemency list hours before he exited the presidency.
Rapper Lil Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., was given a full pardon. The Grammy-winner was charged in Florida on Nov. 17 with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, a federal offense that carries a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison. In the pardon, Lil Wayne was praised for his “commitment to a variety of charities, including donations to research hospitals and a host of foodbanks.” Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders backed the pardon. Lil Wayne is one of the seminal figures in rap in the last two decades, selling more than 20 million albums in the U.S. since releasing his debut in 1999. Sentencing for the rapper, who frequently expressed support for Trump, was set for Jan. 28. In a statement, Carter’s attorney Howard Srebnick said a pardon was appropriate since “prosecuting a non-violent citizen for merely possessing a firearm violates the Second Amendment to the U. S. Constitution.”
Rapper Kodak Black, born Bill K. Kapri, was granted a commutation. The “Tunnel Vision” rapper is serving a three-year prison sentence for falsifying documents used to purchase weapons at a Miami gun store. Supporters included Gucci Mane, Lil Pump, Lil Yachty, and athletes Lamar Jackson and Jack Brewer. Kodak Black has sold over 30 million singles since 2014, and has had several multiplatinum and platinum-certified singles, including “Zeze,” “No Flockin’” and “Roll in Peace.” His lawyer, Bradford Cohen, was once a contestant on Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” show. The pardon notes that Kodak Black paid for schoolchildren’s notebooks, supplies to daycare centers, and food for the hungry, and donated $50,000 for restaurants in his hometown of Pompano Beach, Florida.
Eye doctor Salomon Melgen, convicted in 2017 of bilking Medicare out of $73 million, was granted a commutation. The 66-year-old Melgen, formerly a prominent Democratic donor and friend of New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, was serving a 17-year prison sentence in a Miami prison.
Fred Davis Clark Jr. had his 40-year prison sentence commuted. He was convicted in 2016 of falsely promising his company could turn dilapidated properties in Florida, Las Vegas, and the Caribbean into luxury
4 Florida cases on Trump clemency list as he ends presidency