The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) this week thanked President Trump for commuting the sentence of Ronen Nahmani.
After being arrested in 2015 for importing and selling synthetic marijuana, Nahmani was ultimately convicted and sentenced to a 20-year prison sentence, despite the fact that he was a non-violent, first-time offender. Nahmani, who is a member of Florida’s Orthodox Jewish community, has five young children, and his wife is unfortunately suffering from a virulent form of cancer.
The NCYI, which actively supported and assisted with efforts for Nahmani’s commutation, noted that his case received widespread bipartisan support, as well as backing from prominent members of the legal community. In addition, the NCYI praised the Aleph Institute for its tireless efforts on Nahmani’s behalf. The Aleph Institute is a Jewish organization that devotes itself to helping and caring for people who are incarcerated, and which not only advocates for their civil and religious rights, but also provides much-needed support to their families. The NCYI also thanked attorneys Gary Apfel and Alan Dershowitz, both of whom worked on Nahmani’s case.
“We thank President Trump for the compassion he showed in commuting Ronen Nahmani’s sentence, and we are grateful to the many members of Congress who joined together in a bipartisan fashion to advocate on Mr. Nahmani’s behalf,” said NCYI President Farley Weiss. “With a 20-year maximum sentence for a non-violent, first-time offender, which far exceeds the median sentences for heinous crimes such as kidnapping, sexual abuse, child pornography, arson, and robbery, it is evident that Ronen Nahmani’s disproportionate punishment was unusually harsh.”
“The notion of providing people with second chances has strong roots in Judaism, and we are gratified that Ronen Nahmani has been given the second chance that he deserves,” Weiss added. “As he reunites with his family, it is our hope that Ronen Nahmani’s wife, Szilvia, will be able to get the medical treatment that she so desperately needs, and that he will be able to once again play a central role in helping to raise his five young children.”