Post Date: January 22, 2018
Contact: Rabiah Burks
FAMM Reacts to Denial in Calvin Bryant’s Drug-Free School Zone Case
WASHINGTON, DC – FAMM President Kevin Ring today responded to a Davidson County, Tenn., judge’s denial of a motion to reduce Calvin Bryant’s 17-year prison sentence for a first-time drug offense. Mr. Bryant’s case is one that FAMM has highlighted to demonstrate the unfairness of Tennessee’s drug-free school zone law.
“The judge’s decision is disappointing but not surprising,” said Ring. “Calvin Bryant’s sentence was a travesty of justice, but it was a travesty mandated by the state’s overbroad school zone law. Victims’ rights and criminal justice reform organizations have called on the legislature to fix this law. They shouldn’t wait a day longer.”
In September, FAMM joined Right on Crime, the Reason Foundation, the R Street Institute, and FreedomWorks on a letter calling on Gov. Bill Haslam to support drug-free school zone reform in his final session as governor. This law has led to many unjust sentences like Calvin Bryant’s, and there will be many more unless this law is fixed.
The legislature is expected to consider a drug-free school zone reform this year. The reform should grant the courts the ability to depart from the mandatory drug-free school zone enhancements in situations when an unjust sentence such as Calvin’s would arise and make it available to those currently serving a sentence. If not, Gov. Haslam should consider these men and women for clemency during his final year.
For more information on Tennessee’s drug-free school zone law, visit FAMM’s Tennessee page here: http://famm.org/states-map/tennessee/.
FAMM is a nonpartisan, national advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice reforms to make our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM promotes change by raising the voices of families and individuals who are directly affected by counterproductive sentencing and prison policies.
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