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Friday, January 2, 2009

Senator helped free John Forte from prison


U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, says he helped John Forte earn his freedom from prison because of the rapper's plans for a new life.

The Salt Lake City Tribune said Wednesday the former Fugees star was released from prison Dec. 22 after U.S. President George W. Bush supported Hatch's plea by commuting Forte's seven remaining years in prison.

Forte had been in prison as part of a 2001 conviction on charges he received 31 pounds of liquid cocaine as part of drug ring.

But Hatch wrote in a 2006 letter that Forte changed his life once incarcerated and began helping his fellow inmates through music.

The senator even pledged his own time to help the rapper adapt his prison good deeds to the outside world.

John will make a difference if allowed the freedom to do so and I am personally committed to helping make sure that he keeps his promises once he is released, Hatch wrote in his letter.

The Tribune said Forte's case came to the attention of Hatch thanks to singer Carly Simon, whose son once went to school with the 32-year-old rapper.

Senator frees rapper Forte from prison