State of the Union: Trump Invites Ex-Convict Who Gave His Life to Christ In Prison

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In 1996, Matthew Charles was sentenced to 35 years in prison for various offenses, including selling crack cocaine. While incarcerated, Charles “completed more than 30 Bible studies, became a law clerk, taught GED classes, and mentored fellow inmates.

Matthew Charles

The United States President Donald Trump has revealed the list of special guests who will be invited to attend his much-anticipated State of the Union address Tuesday evening. Among the esteemed invitees is a newly released prisoner who gave his life to Jesus Christ while behind bars.

In 1996, Matthew Charles was sentenced to 35 years in prison for various offenses, including selling crack cocaine. While incarcerated, Charles “completed more than 30 Bible studies, became a law clerk, taught GED classes, and mentored fellow inmates,” according to a White House press release.

Then, earlier this year, he was one of the first inmates released under the “Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person” or “First Step” Act. The act, passed by President Trump last December, drastically expands compassionate release, gives prisoners the opportunity to transfer closer to home and offers major incentives for inmates who are willing to participate in various prison programs.

Then, earlier this year, he was one of the first inmates released under the “Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person” or “First Step” Act. The act, passed by President Trump last December, drastically expands compassionate release, gives prisoners the opportunity to transfer closer to home and offers major incentives for inmates who are willing to participate in various prison programs.

In 2015, former U.S. federal judge Kevin Sharp ruled that Charles deserved to be released early, and he was subsequently freed in 2016. However, when an appeals court reversed Sharp’s ruling, he was ordered to be sent back to prison. In 2018, as Charles prepared to begin yet another long stint behind bars, his case garnered national media attention. Then, just weeks after Trump signed the First Step Act, he was released.

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