More Prisoner Profiles

There is no shortage of stories of the lives that have been deeply affected by rigid mandatory minimum sentencing laws. FAMM highlights the human costs of these laws by sharing prison profiles. Read through the profiles below and judge for yourself whether these sentences seem fair.

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Shirley Schmitt

For more than 50 years, Shirley Schmitt lived a quiet, serene life, raising her daughter and training horses on an Iowa farm with her husband, Lawrence. But when her beloved husband died of a heart attack in 2006, she says that “things kind of fell apart for me.” Shirley, over the course of several years,… Read more »


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Michael Giles

On Feb. 6, 2010, active duty air force serviceman Michael Giles was invited to a Tallahassee nightclub by a few of his friends. Giles, a young father, was stationed in Tampa at the time, after spending the previous six years on tours of duty in places such as Iraq and Kuwait. Michael accepted the invitation… Read more »


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Melissa Trigg

In August of 2006, Melissa Trigg entered Bryan Federal Prison Camp to begin serving 15 years for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm during a drug crime, her first and only criminal conviction. “By the time I came to prison I was mad at everyone,” she says. “The only person I should… Read more »


Sherman Chester

Sherman Chester

Sherman Chester is serving life without parole in federal prison for a nonviolent drug crime. His judge strongly objected to the mandatory sentence, stating: “This man doesn’t deserve a life sentence, and there is no way that I can legally keep from giving it to him.” Sherman has already served over 20 years in prison at… Read more »


Chris Best in front of a mural he painted at FCI Greenville. (Courtesy of Chris Best)

Christopher Best

At the age of 22 – a time when most of his peers were just starting their careers – Christopher Best was branded a career criminal and sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for a nonviolent drug offense. He was arrested in 2006 on federal drug charges: conspiracy to possess with intent to… Read more »


 


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