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


November 19, 2013

A Reason to Fight

My name is Kevin Ring. For the past five years, I have worked for Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM). In two months, I will be reporting to federal prison. My nine-year legal fight ended last week when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear my appeal. That night I had the most difficult conversation I… Read more »

November 18, 2013

Life Sentences for Nonviolent Crimes are Wrong

(Des Moines Register Editorial) — Americans tend to want to lock up lawbreakers and forget about them. The people who make the laws don’t want to appear to voters as “soft of crime.” Thus, the number of people in U.S. prisons keeps rising; we keep spending more on our prisons. The American Civil Liberties Union… Read more »

November 17, 2013

Sentenced to A Slow Death

(New York Times Editorial) — If this were happening in any other country, Americans would be aghast. A sentence of life in prison, without the possibility of parole, for trying to sell $10 of marijuana to an undercover officer? For sharing LSD at a Grateful Dead concert? For siphoning gas from a truck? The punishment… Read more »

November 14, 2013

These People Are Spending Their Lives in Prison for Nonviolent Crimes

(Huffington Post) — Robert Booker admits that he didn’t really need the money he got from drug dealing. He grew up in a two-parent, middle-class family in Detroit in the 1970s, and his job as a lifeguard for the city’s parks department paid “good money.” But the drug business paid more, and by the late… Read more »

November 14, 2013

A Young Dad Will Spend Life in Prison for Nonviolent Offenses

(Business Insider) — The ACLU’s heartbreaking new report on life sentences for nonviolent offenders features the story of a young dad who will likely die in prison because of three small-time thefts. Patrick W. Matthews got life in prison in 2009, when he was just 22, for stealing a $750 welding machine, some tools, and a roughly $800… Read more »