FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 29, 2012
Contact: Monica Pratt Raffanel, firstname.lastname@example.org
FAMM Applauds Sen. Rand Paul for Opposing Mandatory Minimums for Synthetic Drugs
Last Friday, the U.S. Senate approved the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (S.3187). The bill included an amendment authored by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) to add new synthetic drugs to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Before Sen. Portman’s amendment was approved, however, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) successfully modified the amendment to prevent the CSA’s harsh mandatory minimum sentencing penalty from applying to new offenses involving the synthetic drugs.
Julie Stewart, president and founder of FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums), made the following statement:
"On behalf of the thousands of families in Kentucky and across the country that have been devastated by mandatory minimum sentences, we extend our sincere appreciation to Senator Rand Paul for his commitment to sentencing fairness.
"When supporters of the new anti-synthetic drug provision sought to move their legislation through the Senate as free-standing bills, Sen. Paul singlehandedly stopped them because the CSA includes one of the harshest mandatory minimums in federal law: an automatic 20 years in prison for providing a controlled substance to someone who suffers serious bodily injury or death from the drug, even if the defendant did not intend to cause harm to anyone! The idea that someone must be punished so harshly despite any intent to cause harm is antithetical to a free society.
"Though the bill’s supporters accused Sen. Paul of being indifferent to the families of individuals harmed by abuse of synthetic drugs, he did not cave. Sen. Paul stood his ground, secure in the knowledge that he was fighting for an important principle: that courts, not Congress, should impose appropriate sentences after reviewing all the facts of a case.”
The House is considering its own FDA bill this week and when they pass their bill, the House and Senate will have a conference to iron out differences between the two bills.
Said Stewart, “We know it’s not easy to stand up against those who want to lock everyone up and throw away the key. But if the modification makes it through conference, Sen. Paul will have spared taxpayers from the burden of warehousing more low-level, nonviolent offenders for decades in prison. More importantly, he will have saved individuals and families from needless pain and misery. Sen. Paul’s commitment to individualized justice is to be commended.”
Click here to read FAMM's letter to Sen. Paul.
To learn more about FAMM, visit www.famm.org or contact Monica Pratt Raffanel at email@example.com. FAMM is a national organization that supports fair and proportionate sentencing laws that allow judicial discretion while maintaining public safety.
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