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Nonviolent former felon gets help from Sen. Blumenthal, HangTime to have sentence commuted

A nonviolent former felon will not be returning to prison thanks to help from Sen. Richard Blumenthal and the nonprofit HangTime.

News 12 Staff

Aug 8, 2020, 5:12 PM

Updated 1,412 days ago

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A nonviolent former felon will not be returning to prison thanks to help from Sen. Richard Blumenthal and the nonprofit HangTime.
Malik Shabaaz, 52, says he's grateful to everybody who came together to help him after his story was first told on News 12 Connecticut back in December.
Blumenthal says Shabaaz's sentence has been commuted, and the Bridgeport resident will not have to return to prison as originally planned. He served 13 years on a federal gun charge, but was set free in 2017 after successfully appealing his sentence on the grounds he had been a model prisoner.
His ordeal began when a federal judge granted an appeal from the U.S. Justice Department in 2019, overturning an Obama-era decision to let Shabaaz out early. He was set to go back to prison in two weeks.
After News 12 Connecticut told his story, Blumenthal and Charlie Grady, of HangTime, worked with public defender Chuck Wilson to get Shabaaz's sentence commuted. They worked with the assistant state's attorney's office and have successfully kept him from having to go back to prison.
Shabaaz says it feels great to have a good job and to be working towards a better future. He also says he hopes to help other ex-felons turn their lives around and use their freedom wisely.


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