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 27, 2013

Holder Follows GOP Lead in Easing Harsh Drug Laws

(Reuters op-ed by Grover Norquist and Patrick Gleason, Americans for Tax Reform) — Attorney General Eric Holder issued a directive last week, instructing all U.S. Attorneys to revisit current drug cases involving low-level, non-violent offenders and waive harsh mandatory sentencing requirements where appropriate. In doing so, the White House is turning its attention to one issue —… Read more »

September 27, 2013

ALEC: A Safety Valve for Overcrowded Prisons

(Washington Times op-ed by Cara Sullivan, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)) — The Senate Judiciary Committee met on Sept. 18 to examine the efficacy of mandatory-minimum sentences and to discuss “safety-valve” policies that would increase judicial discretion, maximize the effectiveness of the criminal justice system and increase safety among the nation’s communities. Policymakers are correct to be concerned… Read more »

September 26, 2013

FAMM Applauds New Trial Ruling for Marissa Alexander

GAINESVILLE, FLA. – FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums) Florida Project Director Greg Newburn today applauded a decision by Florida’s First District Court of Appeal granting Marissa Alexander a new trial on her conviction for aggravated assault. Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in prison under Florida’s “10-20-Life” gun sentencing law. The appeals court ruled that… Read more »

September 26, 2013

War On Drugs Endangers Prison Guards, Says Union Leader

(Huffington Post) — The war on drugs is putting prison guards in danger, the leader of a prison guard union said at a congressional hearing Thursday, September 18. Decades of strict anti-drug laws have resulted in overcrowded prisons, making it increasingly difficult for prison workers to do their jobs safely, said Eric Young, president of… Read more »

September 26, 2013

Ky.’s Prison Reform a Model for Nation with Lower Costs, Recidivism

(Lexington Herald-Leader, Lexington, KY) — Nearly two months ago, when the U.S. attorney general announced major reforms for the Justice Department, those of us who oversee Kentucky’s criminal justice system couldn’t help but feel a strong sense of déjà vu.   That’s because the problems noted in the federal system — skyrocketing prison populations coupled… Read more »

September 26, 2013

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Under Fire

(Frederick News Post Editorial) — According to GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, federal sentencing guidelines are wrongheaded, ineffective and unfair. As reported in an Associated Press story last week, Paul is determined to put some flexibility into some of these guidelines, particularly in drug-related cases. In speaking of this federal mandate, Paul said, “There… Read more »

September 25, 2013

Our View: End in sight for ‘one-size’ sentences

(The Daily Nonpareil, Council Bluffs, IA) — Gone are the days, and thankfully so, when those – politicians in particular – who were opposed to mandatory minimum sentences for a litany of crimes running the full gamut of violence were considered “soft on crime.” Concerns about both the fairness and the costs of cases, particularly… Read more »