Sentencing News

FAMM has resources and contacts to assist the media with reporting on mandatory minimum sentences and their effects on the country. Media inquiries should be directed to


September 6, 2013

Julie on Justice: A Moment 22 Years in the Making

I want to keep this short, sweet, and direct because we have a lot of work to do. Last month, Attorney General Eric Holder announced significant changes in the charging practices of federal prosecutors. Perhaps more important, Holder threw the Justice Department’s full weight behind mandatory minimum sentencing reform. It was the first time since… Read more »

September 3, 2013

The Vast Majority Of America’s Prisoners Won’t Get The Mercy Obama Gave This Single Mom

(Business Insider) — The Justice Department has taken the huge step of reforming America’s draconian drug sentences, but President Barack Obama has shown mercy to just one prisoner during his time in office. Obama’s lone commutation cut short the 22-year prison sentence of single mom Eugenia Jennings. (He’s also issued relatively few pardons, which are given to people who… Read more »

August 30, 2013

U.S. Sentencing Commission Update – Retroactivity Possible?

Good news on the sentencing guidelines front!  On August 15, the U.S. Sentencing Commission decided which guideline changes they want to focus on in 2014 and one of them is to reduce all drug sentences by two levels! As you might remember, each year the U.S. Sentencing Commission, which writes the federal Sentencing Guidelines, suggests… Read more »

August 28, 2013

Time Served — and Wasted — for a Nonviolent Drug Offense

FAMM member Debi Campbell wrote this compelling op-ed for the Los Angeles Times. When I learned this month that Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. was proposing to change how the federal government charges and sentences nonviolent drug offenders, I thought to myself, “It’s about time.” I know a thing or two about time. I… Read more »

August 22, 2013

When it Comes to Fairer Sentences, “There Are No Costs, Only Benefits”

Check out this excellent editorial from The New York Times: Sentencing Reform Starts to Pay Off. Here are a couple excerpts (but really, you should just go read the editorial): According to a preliminary report released by the commission, more than 7,300 federal prisoners have had their sentences shortened under the law. The average reduction… Read more »

August 20, 2013

Rethinking Drug Sentences Comes Too Late for Some

(CNN) — When Stephanie Nodd walked out of prison two years ago, she found herself in a new world. Her five children were grown. Computers and cell phones were everywhere. Her hometown of Mobile, Alabama, had seen a thriving nightlife district emerge in its once-sleepy downtown. Nodd had emerged after spending 21 years in federal… Read more »

August 17, 2013

Mandatory Minimums Keep Many Nonviolent People Behind Bars

(Tampa Bay Tribune) — Timothy L. Tyler was a free-spirited Grateful Dead fan who followed the band around the country in his camper, selling fried dough and smoothies to other fans and buying LSD to sell to his friends back home. Sherman Chester was a former St. Petersburg football player who dropped out of college after his… Read more »