Post Date: December 23, 2014
When a loved one goes to prison, it’s an indescribable loss— you mourn for them and cry and it shakes up your world. Your heart is ripped open and you are sick to your stomach. This is what happened when my brother, Tim Tyler, was given a mandatory life sentence in 1994 for selling LSD.
It’s a never-ending loss. Sometimes I’ll put it out of my head for a few hours, then someone will ask me a question, or a reminder of him will intrude on my temporary amnesia. This time of year is especially difficult. While many people are feeling so much love and joy, I think of my brother and countless others feeling lonely and sad in prison. A prison sentence affects more than just the person serving time, it affects their entire family.
Luckily, things are changing. Just a few years ago, I would tell people my brother was in prison for life for LSD, and they didn’t believe me. But I explained it, and kept explaining it. I started a Twitter account, a Facebook page, and an online petition to spread the word about harsh sentences and to call for Tim’s release. Tim and I are now hopeful that he will receive a commutation before President Obama leaves office.
FAMM has been at the heart of all of these things that have given me and my brother so much hope. Without their information and advocacy, and the strength of my brother, Tim, to keep me going, I’m not sure where I’d be.
FAMM fights for people like my brother. That’s why I support FAMM, and why you should too — they continue, year after year, to fight against harsh sentences. They get people involved, which forces politicians to act. I know that, like me, they won’t stop fighting until my brother is home. They won’t stop fighting until inhumane, overlong sentences that rip apart families and rob people of their full potential are a thing of the past.