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Matthew Charles named as guest for State of the Union

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Posted at 8:47 PM, Feb 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-04 21:59:36-05

WASHINGTON D.C. (WTVF) — Matthew Charles, the man who was released from a 35-year prison sentence, will be a guest at the State of the Union.

Charles received national attention in 2018 after being re-sentenced and ordered back to prison two years after a judge ruled his sentence was unfair.

The White House described his story as the following:

Matthew Charles’s life is a story of redemption. In 1996, he was sentenced to 35 years in prison for selling crack cocaine and other related offenses. While in prison, Matthew found God, completed more than 30 bible studies, became a law clerk, taught GED classes, and mentored fellow inmates. On January 3, 2019, Matthew was the first prisoner released as a result of the First Step Act.

The First Step Act shortens mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. Back in the 90s, a judge sentenced Charles to 35 years in prison, in part, for selling crack cocaine. However, the new law allowed him to be released years early.

Visit the White House website to see the other guests attending the State of the Union.