Of course the Massachusetts governor claims he had nothing to do with any of this. Never even met the guy or something.
Gov. Deval Patrick’s convicted drug dealer cousin was among eight people whose hefty sentences were commuted yesterday by President Obama, who cited a disparity in penalties for crack cocaine.
Reynolds Allen Wintersmith Jr., 39, is serving a life sentence for drug trafficking and has been imprisoned since 1994.
Patrick’s office said in a statement: “Mr. Wintersmith is the Governor’s first cousin. The Governor has no recollection of meeting Mr. Wintersmith (they are quite far apart in age), and believes that if they did meet it would have been when Mr. Wintersmith was a small boy. The Governor was not involved in any application for a commutation of Mr. Wintersmith’s sentence, and only learned of the commutation through today’s media reports.
Sure, he just read about it in the papers. So about never having met the guy:
Advocates pushing Wintersmith’s release emphasized that he was raised in a home where most of his family was using or dealing drugs. Both of his parents were drug addicts, and he said he found his mother dead from a heroin overdose when he was 11.
“I was raised in a crack and prostitution house where adult family members taught me how to cook, package and sell cocaine,” Wintersmith wrote on the ACLU post. “My childhood does not excuse my crime. It only explains the road I have traveled.”
Wintersmith’s father and Patrick’s mother are siblings and, while Patrick was growing up on the South Side of Chicago, they all lived under the same roof.