Nonviolent offenders obeyed state laws, went to jail anyway

Post Date: August 5, 2013

(The Daily Caller – Molly Gill quoted) — Sharanda Jones never considered herself a criminal mastermind. Her job was just buying the cocaine powder; other members of the organization rendered it into crack cocaine and sold it. Jones owned a gun — for self-protection — but never used it. And yet Jones, a nonviolent drug purchaser, is serving life without parole — at a cost to the taxpayers of over a million dollars.

“She was treated as a leader, and at the time she really relieved that she was minimally involved and decided to go to trial,” said Molly Gill, government affairs counsel at Families Against Mandatory Minimums, a criminal justice advocacy organization. “When you do that … if you are a leader convicted, that’s considered perjury. All of those factors bumped her sentence up and up and up.” Read more