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


June 27, 2013

This Fourth of July, Every Day of Freedom Counts

This week we celebrate Independence Day, but the United States remains the world’s biggest jailer. We hate that irony, and changing it is what keeps us working hard here in hot, humid Washington, D.C. all summer long.  Wherever you’re celebrating the Fourth of July this year, we need your help.  We’re supporting the Justice Safety Valve Act, H.R. 1695,… Read more »

June 24, 2013

Do We Really Need More Criminal Code Offenses?

A new bipartisan task force comprising members of the House Judiciary Committee held its first hearing this month to examine the growing problem known as overcriminalization.  I was cautiously optimistic when I first learned of the task force’s creation, because I believe that the explosion of federal criminal laws—many of which are vague and carry… Read more »

June 12, 2013

FAMM: A Family Affair

My brother, Jeff, recently wrote the letter below to FAMM members across the country.  You may have gotten a copy but I wanted to make sure you saw it because Jeff’s perspective is important.  He has been to prison and remembers what it’s like to seek change from behind bars.  Now, on the outside, he… Read more »

June 5, 2013

George Will: Leahy and Paul plan on mandatory sentencing makes sense 

Libertarians believe government should have a compelling reason before it restricts an individual’s liberty. Today’s liberals believe almost any reason will do, because liberty is less important than equality, fraternity, fighting obesity and many other aspirations. Now, however, one of the most senior and liberal U.S. senators and one of the most junior and libertarian… Read more »

June 1, 2013

Julie on Justice: End the Love Affair

There are a lot of reasons I oppose mandatory sentencing policies.  I hate that they take sentencing power away from the judge – who is supposed to be neutral – and give it to the prosecutor, who is far from neutral.  I hate that mandatory sentences, in their rigidity, ignore complex human behavior in favor… Read more »

May 24, 2013

David Keene: Prison Sentence Reform

David Keene, former president of the National Rifle Association (NRA), wrote this eloquent essay for the National Review on May 24. Writes Keene, “Some liberal judges back in the 1970s and ’80s enraged the public by allowing felons back on the street with little more than a slap on the wrist. In response, Congress and… Read more »

May 17, 2013

Don’t Appeal Crack Fairness Ruling, FAMM Tells DOJ

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On May 17, FAMM President Julie Stewart strongly urged the U.S. Department of Justice to let stand today’s decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, in which a majority ruled that the Fair Sentencing Act should be applied retroactively. The case is US v. Blewett, No. 12-5226 (6th Cir. May 17, 2013)…. Read more »