Chicago-Area Man Whose Sentence Was Commuted by President Obama Charged for Expressway Shooting

A suburban man whose federal life sentence was commuted by then-President Obama in 2015 has been charged with three counts of attempted murder in connection with a recent shooting on Interstate 57.

Alton Mills, 54, of Evergreen Park, is being held without bond at the Cook County Jail, Illinois State Police said in a news release on Friday. Mills was arrested for a shooting that occurred on Sunday near the I-57 northbound entrance ramp from 147th Street in Posen, according to authorities. Multiple shots were fired into the victim’s vehicle from the suspect’s vehicle, striking the back seat passenger, according to police. That person was taken to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Mills, who was officially charged on Thursday, was arrested in 1993 on federal conspiracy charges as part of a crack cocaine conspiracy. Due to two previous convictions of possession of less than five grams of crack cocaine, prosecutors filed a sentence enhancement, which led him to be sentenced to life in prison without parole, according to a previous news release from the Pritzker School of Law at Northwestern University.

Two decades later, the Obama administration launched a clemency initiative for federal inmates – specifically non-violent, low-level offenders “who were sentenced at the height of the war on drugs and would likely receive substantially lower sentences today.”

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin shared Mills’ story on the Senate floor as he advocated for a prison reform bill and wrote Obama in support of a petition for commutation. Mills’ sentence was commuted in December 2015, and he was released in early 2016 after 22 years behind bars.