October 4, 2016

How Should Originalist Legislators Think About Mandatory Minimum Drug Laws?

Imagine you are a state legislator – or perhaps you don’t need to imagine! – who believes the following: The U.S. Constitution should be interpreted according to the original meaning of the text; Legislation that violates the U.S. Constitution so interpreted is unconstitutional; and   The legislature shouldn’t approve any unconstitutional legislation. How should a… Read more »

September 28, 2016

FAMM Facts

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said that, and it’s been stuck in my head these days. Lately, critics of sentencing reform have been coming up with some real doozies. To counter these false claims, FAMM has launched two initiatives. Just recently, we… Read more »

September 15, 2016

This Price is Right

Over the years it has amused (and pleased) me that many people think FAMM is a huge organization. I attribute that perception to our success in changing so many sentencing laws – how is it possible that just a dozen people have had such impact?! It’s possible because FAMM’s small – but mighty – team… Read more »

August 17, 2016

How Free is Florida?

The 2016 edition of “Freedom in the 50 States” was released this week, this time by my former employer, The Cato Institute. For those unfamiliar, the Freedom report ranks all 50 states “based on how their policies promote freedom in the fiscal, regulatory, and personal realms.” Freedom was authored by William Ruger of the Charles Koch Institute,… Read more »

August 15, 2016

Mandatory Minimums Have Eviscerated the Right to a Trial by Jury

Last year, during committee debate on a (very good) bill by Senator Rob Bradley, Florida Senate President-Designate Joe Negron gave an eloquent defense of the constitutional right to a trial by jury and the importance of forcing the state to meet its burden of proof in criminal cases. He said: If the State of Florida… Read more »

March 18, 2016

Alligators, Mandatory Minimums, and the Death of Common Sense

I saw a news story yesterday about a woman from Lakeland, Florida, Mary Thorn, who owns a pet alligator. The story was about how she might have to give up the alligator – Rambo is its name – because Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Regulations require that any pet alligator longer than six feet must live… Read more »

December 16, 2015

Emerging Advocates

Nathan Warner, a 17-year-old senior at Independence High School in Independence, Wis. created the documentary below for his English class. Nathan first learned about mandatory minimum sentences after researching state-level drug sentencing reforms. “With the recent marijuana legalizations in Colorado and other states, I became interested and immersed myself in learning more about the United States’ drug policy…. Read more »


All blog posts older than June 1st 2013, are available at our previous blog.