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Obama commutes sentence of man mistakenly given extra jail time

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks during an Easter prayer breakfast in the East Room of the White House in Washington April 14, 2
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks during an Easter prayer breakfast in the East Room of the White House in Washington April 14, 2

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday shortened the prison sentence of a Texas man who was mistakenly sentenced to an extra three and a half years in jail due to a typographical error.

Ceasar Huerta Cantu, of Katy, Texas, pleaded guilty in 2006 of charges related to drug trafficking and money laundering. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The White House said a typographical error in Cantu's pre-sentencing report, however, mistakenly assigned him a prison sentence that was three and a half years longer than it should have been.

As a result of Obama's action, Cantu's sentence will be reduced to 11 and a half years.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama acted because a judge had ruled Cantu did not discover the clerical error in time to correct it through any judicial means.

"The president thought it was the right thing to do to commute his sentence," Carney said.

(Reporting by Steve Holland, editing by G Crosse)

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