Chicago-area man whose life sentence commuted by Obama charged with attempted murder


A Chicago-area man who had his life sentence in prison commuted by then-President Barack Obama in 2015, faces more prison time after being charged with attempted murder in connection with a freeway shooting. 

Alton Mills, 54, faces three counts of attempted murder after someone in a vehicle shot at another car on Interstate 57 on Sunday, the Illinois State Police said. 

Investigators said troopers responded to the scene and found a victim struck by gunfire in the back seat who was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. 

Mills was arrested Tuesday. 


Mills was serving a life sentence when Obama commuted the prison term as part of a clemency initiative for non-violent, low-level offenders arrested during the height of the war on drugs. Mills was arrested in 1993 on federal drug charges. The felony conviction was his third strike, resulting in a life sentence. 

He was released in 2016 after serving 22 years in prison. He worked as a mechanic for the Chicago Transit Authority.

After receiving clemency, Mills spoke to the U.S. Senate as part of a criminal justice forum while campaigning for the elimination of mandatory minimum sentencing. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., spoke on the Senate floor next to a giant image of Mills, calling him “an overlooked casualty in our ‘war on drugs.’”

“An overlooked casualty in our ‘war on drugs’ are the men and women who have been convicted under disproportionately harsh mandatory minimum sentencing laws,” Durbin said at the time. “One such man is Alton Mills, who served more than two decades of a mandatory life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense, a punishment even the sentencing judge disagreed with. I commend Alton for the bravery he has shown in choosing to tell his story, and I am honored to welcome him to Washington this week.”

Durbin sent Obama a letter asking him to commute Mills’ sentence

Fox News Digital has reached out to the Obama’s office for comment.

Mills is being held in a Cook County jail with no bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on June 1. 

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