FAMM Expresses Disappointment That Paul Amendment on Mandatory Minimums Was Stripped From Final FDA Reform Bill
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 20, 2012
Contact: Monica Pratt Raffanel, email@example.com
WASHINGTON, DC -- FAMM President Julie Stewart today said she was “disappointed but not surprised” that the House-Senate agreement on the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (S.3187) does not include an amendment by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) to limit the reach of harsh, federal mandatory minimums sentences. The House is expected to approve the bill today.
The Senate FDA 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. Paul successfully modified the amendment to prevent the CSA’s punitive mandatory minimum sentencing penalty from applying to new offenses involving the synthetic drugs. House and Senate negotiators retained Sen. Portman’s amendment but removed Sen. Paul’s language.
“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. Though we came up short this time, we will continue to fight for more rational, cost-effective sentencing laws,” said Ms. Stewart.
The Portman amendment will add a list of new synthetic drugs to the CSA, a law that includes one of the lengthiest 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.
Ms. Stewart concluded, “Sen. Paul’s amendment would have spared taxpayers from the burden of warehousing more low-level, nonviolent offenders for decades in prison. More importantly, his proposal would have saved individuals and families from needless pain and misery. I am disappointed that his colleagues did not support his common-sense amendment.”
To learn more about FAMM, visit www.famm.org or contact Monica Pratt Raffanel at firstname.lastname@example.org. FAMM is a national organization that supports fair and proportionate sentencing laws that allow judicial discretion while maintaining public safety.
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