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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.


Edward Young

When Edward Young agreed to help his recently widowed neighbor sell some of her late husband’s effects, he had no idea that it would lead to a 15 year mandatory prison sentence. His troubles started two decades earlier when, as a young man, he committed a series of small time burglaries and served some time… Read more »


Clarence Aaron

Update: On December 19, 2013, President Obama granted Clarence a commutation (reduction of sentence). He was released on April 17, 2014. Clarence Aaron grew up in a public housing project in Mobile, Alabama. Although his environment exposed him to people involved in drug dealing and other crime, Clarence chose to attend church regularly and focused on… Read more »


Arlana Moore

Arlana Moore grew up in a very strict household in the small town of West, Texas. She was a good student, but started to experience panic attacks and depression as a teenager. She turned to drugs – first doctor-prescribed “weight loss” drugs that, in reality, were similar to methamphetamine. However, she still tried to pursue… Read more »

Jack Carpenter

Jack Carpenter

Jack Carpenter is serving 10 years in prison for growing medical marijuana in California. Despite his efforts to abide by state laws, he was charged in federal court and sentenced to a 10-year mandatory minimum prison term. Jack was born in Chicago, but his family moved around a lot while he was growing up. As a… 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 »


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