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.

Atiba Parker

Atiba was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder at age 24 and started selling small amounts of crack so he could purchase marijuana for self-medication. He is serving a 42-year prison sentence for two counts of sale of cocaine and one count of possession. Bounced around facilities, Atiba does not have adequate access to his psychiatric medication…. Read more »

Karen Shook

Karen was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1993 after arranging a drug deal for a man who turned out to be an undercover police officer. She was released in 2003 after Michigan passed sentencing reforms that made her eligible for parole. In 1994, Karen was a paralegal in her prison library when she… Read more »

David Lee Sanchez

David was only 14 when he first started selling marijuana to support his own habit. At 18, he and his uncle were arrested for dealing, and David’s uncle blamed David for everything. He received the mandatory 18 years and nine months to 23 years and three months for conspiracy to traffic and trafficking methamphetamine. David… Read more »

Marcus Boyd

Marcus received a 169-month sentence for distribution and possession with intent to distribute 37.4 grams of crack, even though only 5.6 grams were attributed to him at the time of his arrest. He was released in 2009 due to the crack sentencing guidelines retroactivity amendment. Marcus began using drugs shortly after his mother’s death in 1993. He… Read more »

Michelle Taylor

Michelle was sentenced to life in prison for lewdness with a minor under 14, even though a psychologist found she was unlikely to commit another offense and she had no history of sexual misconduct. In fact, she used alcohol as an adult to cope with the pain of sexual trauma from her own childhood. Under… Read more »


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