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University of Denver
He's no longer a prisoner of the war on drugs
He's no longer a prisoner of the war on drugs

The excitement had been building all day. On election day 2008, every TV in the prison was tuned to the news. By the time the first presidential returns began to crawl across the screens at the medium-security federal prison in Yazoo City, Miss., the number of inmates gathered to watch had topped 100. Billy Ray Wheelock was one of them. Wheelock was doing a life stretch out of Texas without the possibility of parole for possession and conspiracy to sell about 3 ounces of crack cocaine. For years, he and his fellow inmates had closely followed presidential politics, rooting like sports fans for the candidate promising drug sentencing reform. Wheelock had watched George W. Bush and...

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