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Michigan inmate's sentenced commuted after campaign led by 'White Boy Rick'

Posted at 5:28 PM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 17:28:42-05

DETROIT — A woman in Michigan was sentenced to a lengthy prison term for a non-violent drug crime after a relationship with a high-profile Detroit drug dealer.

But now after a campaign to secure her freedom, Tracy Cowan is expected to be released by commutation after roughly two decades behind bars.

The mother, grandmother, and soon-to-be great-grandmother expressed her relief by phone with WXYZ.

“My heart won’t stop beating fast. Just thinking about what I’ve been waiting for, for a long time.” Cowan said.

Her daughter Rachel Carter added, “That will be something I know will be an emotional moment for me and her. It’s something that will be the best Christmas present. I don’t want anything else but that.”

Among those who pushed for her release is Rick Wershe Jr. who's also known as “White Boy Rick.”

“I think we tend to over-punish people. Someone involved in a non-violent crime, a woman that never committed an act of violence in her life to spend decades in prison. Away from her children. I just have a problem with that,” Wershe said.

Wershe, together with State Rep. Tenisha Yancey got the attention of the governor, who made the decision to have her sentence commuted.

Cowan is expected to return home within 60 days.

Simon Shaykhet at WXYZ first reported the story.