Matthew Charles

Matthew Charles

Matthew Charles is the first beneficiary of President Trump's First Step Act. In 2016, he received early release from prison and turned his life around. However he was sent back to serve a decade more because the court had made an error in releasing him. His case made national headlines and sparked calls for clemency. Finally, on Jan. 3, 2019, he was released again as a result of the passage of the First Step Act. Matthew was acknowledged in President Trump’s remarks at the 2019 State of the Union Address, which he attended as the guest of the first lady, Melania Trump. Matthew was originally sentenced to 35 years in prison. He was released in 2016 after a federal judge ruled that Matthew should benefit from the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act .Fortunately, the First Step Act included a provision to apply the Fair Sentencing Act retroactively, which the government agreed would allow for Matthew’s immediate release. His case has been covered by USA Today, NPR, New York Times, Dana Perino.