Julie on Justice: Short and Tweet

Post Date: March 1, 2013

Julie Stewart, FAMM President

Julie Stewart, FAMM President

Hold onto your hats – I now have a Twitter account!  I decided it was time to join the 21st century and see whether worthwhile information can be shared in 140 characters or less.  Surprisingly, I’ve found, quite a lot can be communicated in three lines.  In fact, tweeting teaches discipline by forcing you to distill your thoughts and content into one or two key points.  Given the enormous amounts of information that come at us every day, it’s refreshing to have the short-hand version of it to skim.  

On the other hand, it’s scary to see how quickly news becomes old in Twitter-land.  By the time the Pope’s resignation was announced in newspapers and on the radio and TV, I had already read about it on Twitter and the conversation had moved past it.  Twitter makes the shelf-life of any news story ridiculously short.  

So, in the interest of capturing what is best about Twitter I give you the following Twitter-version of FAMM’s impressive impact on sentencing this month (though please don’t count the characters!)!

•    BOP gets a little more compassionate; anything is better than “NO!”  A week ago, the Bureau of Prisons removed one level of bureaucracy dying prisoners must navigate for compassionate release.  We’re confident the reform was driven by the spotlight FAMM and Human Rights Watch directed at this problem last fall. 
•    Progress in the Peach State!  Georgia House approves sentencing reforms unanimously!  Gov. Nathan Deal supports a bill carrying the FAMM-recommended safety valve!  It allows reduced sentences for some people charged with drug trafficking and other serious felonies.  Next stop – the Georgia Senate. 

•    Another red state getting smart on crime: drug and gun reform bills introduced in Florida! FAMM’s Florida project is focused on two new bills: One will give judges discretion to bypass the awful mandatory minimums in the state’s 10-20-Life gun law. We don’t want any more Ronald Thompsons, Lee Wollards, and Marissa Alexanders! The other bill will add a safety valve for prescription drug offenses. No more Todd Hannigans!

•    Sentencing Commission touches the third rail – child pornography sentences.  Responding to concerns from judges and prosecutors, the Commission’s latest report on child pornography offenses says penalties don’t reflect distinctions between defendants; urges major changes to sentences. 

•    Can’t get excited about Obama’s recent pardons: SHAMEFUL that he commuted no one!  With 218,000 people in federal prison, half for nonviolent drug offenses, Obama can’t find ONE person deserving of commutation?!  Pathetic. 

Join me on Twitter @JulieOnJustice, and FAMM @FAMMFoundation and our general counsel, Mary Price@MaryfromFAMM and you, too, can get sentencing news as it happens in Cliffs-note friendly bites!  Of course, we still need you to take action through our Facebook page and website because even though the Force is with us… there are still plenty of battles ahead! 

My best,

Julie Stewart

FAMM President