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 13, 2013

A Living Death: Life without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses

For 3,278 people, it was nonviolent offenses like stealing a $159 jacket or serving as a middleman in the sale of $10 of marijuana. An estimated 65% of them are Black. Many of them were struggling with mental illness, drug dependency or financial desperation when they committed their crimes. None of them will ever come… Read more »

November 12, 2013

Government Explores Early Release for More Aging Prisoners

(Los Angeles Times) — He hobbled down the dark tiled hallway, leaning heavily on his black wooden cane. His feet shuffled, his hands shook, and finally 85-year-old Benjamin Share nearly collapsed into a chair in the prison visitation room. Convicted in 2006 for illegally pocketing a quarter of a million in taxpayer money, he struggles… Read more »

November 12, 2013

Justices Weigh Role Drug Played in a Fatal Cocktail

(The New York Times) —  Joshua Banka’s prodigious appetite for drugs killed him. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court considered whether to hold a drug dealer who had sold heroin to Mr. Banka responsible for his death. In 2010, just before Mr. Banka was scheduled to enter a court-ordered drug rehabilitation program, he decided to go on one… Read more »

November 12, 2013

U.S. Senate Judiciary to Begin Consideration of Federal Sentencing Reform Bills

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, announced on Friday that the committee will begin discussing federal sentencing reform bills, including the Justice Safety Valve Act and the Smarter Sentencing Act, at a hearing on Thursday, November 14. The Judiciary Committee is not expected to vote on any of the bills on… Read more »

November 12, 2013

Congress Eyes Action on Overhauling Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Laws

(Mint Press News) — The growing interest in legislative action already constitutes a sea change in the United States’ decades-old “tough on crime” approach, and would include dialing down on long-criticized mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for a range of nonviolent crimes. Most importantly, several new and pending proposals have garnered widespread support from across the… Read more »

November 12, 2013

The Injustice of Mandatory Prison Sentences

(Real Clear Politics) — Self-government in our nation’s capital is (take your pick) broken, dysfunctional—or gridlocked by hyper-partisan positioning. That’s a familiar story line; I’ve used it myself. But in one key domestic policy area, powerful liberal Democrats in the U.S. Senate are collaborating with conservative Republicans to address a festering and expensive injustice. I’m… Read more »