You’re Invited to the Year’s Biggest Federal Sentencing Reform Event!

Post Date: September 12, 2013

FAMM members at USSC hearing

FAMM supporters at a hearing in Washington, D.C.

We are excited to announce one of the biggest federal sentencing reform events of the year — and your presence is needed to make it a success.  On Wednesday, September 18, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. EST, the Senate Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Congress will meet in Washington, D.C., to hear from a panel of witnesses describing the need to reform federal mandatory minimum sentencing laws. This hearing is important because it is the first step toward passing S. 619, the Justice Safety Valve Act, or S. 1410, the Smarter Sentencing Act. If passed, either bill would bring big changes to federal mandatory minimum sentences. 

We’re asking you to attend because it is vital that the U.S. Senators at the hearing see real people who oppose mandatory minimum sentences or are impacted by them. You will not be allowed to speak, but if you have a loved one in prison, please bring a picture of your loved one with you. During the hearing, you can hold the photo in your lap and show the U.S. Senators the human face of unjust mandatory sentencing laws.

Here are full details about the hearing:

WHAT:  Hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee: “Reevaluating the Effectiveness of Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentences”

WHEN:  Wednesday, September 18, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. EST

WHERE:  Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 226, Washington, D.C., 20002. Click here for a map.

RSVP to:  Molly Gill, mgill@famm.org, 202-822-6700 only if you can attend.

WHAT TO BRING: A picture of your incarcerated loved one, if you have one.

Please don’t forget to RSVP to mgill@famm.org if you can attend, so that we know you are coming. We’ll send you another reminder about the event as it gets closer.

Please join us to show the U.S. Senate that it’s time to reform federal mandatory minimum sentences!

Sincerely,

Molly Gill

Government Affairs Counsel, FAMM

34 Responses to “You’re Invited to the Year’s Biggest Federal Sentencing Reform Event!”

  1. Melissa younas

    When i looked the Dirksen senate building up it gave me the zip code of 20510, Famm has it listed as 20002.

    Reply
  2. Shirley Smith

    I am not able to attend but will remain hopeful and prayerful. My brother received a ten year minimum mandatory sentence and if the smart sentencing act pass he will be free to come home..Thanks for all you do…

    Reply
  3. Diane

    My husband has recently been incarcerated for 8 years for a drug related issue , non violent offense, I cannot go to Washington but would like to know how I can find out what takes place that day and any other insite you can give me , I also heard that if the inmate is over the age of 45, which my husband is 53 it lessens the sentence also if this bill is passed . Please let me know

    Reply
  4. Lorene Mitchell

    My Son Derrick S mitchell 04184025 has been incarcerated for 15yrs. witch was a hard sentence. Im just praying that some kind of law will work for him. He has two boys that was babys when he left. now they need him more than ever to let them no not to go the way he did.He has about 45 r more certificates since he’s been jailed.I have all thumbs up for all the families that can make the trip.

    Reply
  5. Jesika Gonzalez

    Hi Molly,

    If we are unable to attend would it be possible to send an email or letter with an attached picture of my family and our story? I would like to let them know how the change and possible retroactivity of laws could help not only my family but many others. They need to know how these sentences devastate families. My husband is presently serving a 15 year Man/Min sentence for a first time non-violent offense. We live in Florida and as you can imagine trying to support my family and my husband is costly, not only financially but more importantly emotionally. I would like to thank you and FAMM for all you do. Know that FAMM was a light of information during a very difficult time in our lives.

    If you have any questions or if there is a way I can help please don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Sincerely,

    Jesika Gonzalez
    786 975-7622

    Reply
  6. Deborah Mackey

    I do think in some cases the minimum should be lowered, it’s ridiculous to give someone 10 years when pedophiles and murderers get less. Not right.

    Reply
  7. Sydney Perrizo

    I so wish I could be there. I hope that all mandatory sentences are reviewed, not just drug related sentences. The mandatory gun enhancements and the stacking of the gun violations are what many offenders are being sentenced too, even if the gun was not used in anyway or it was never fired or hurt anyone. Theses sentences are on top of the primary sentenced and most offenders are classified as violent offenders and are not allowed to participate in RAPP or go to a camp even though their custody points are low enough to be transferred to one.
    Thank you FAMM for all your hard work and dedication.

    Reply
  8. Davada Davis

    I do not have any money to come to this meeting, but would like for my voice to be heard. It seems we are forgetting alot of people who deserve to have a second chance also. It seems its all about drug offenses and thats it. I never realized just how unjust our justice system is until my son was sentenced to 15 years for a stupid choice. Yes he hurt someone and made a horrible descion, but haven’t we all at some point made descions that hurt other people.. Maybe not in the same degrees but I know I’m certianly glad I was given second chances. I kept thinking that somewhere along this journey we would have justice for all in his case but somehow that has never happened.
    My son was convincted of child ponography because he had a relationship over the internet with a 13 year old when he was 22. After they had several sexual conversations and was in a relationship she decided she no longer wanted to participate and he threatened to expose her pictures on her e-mail list. YES what he did was wrong in alot of ways and YES he needs a consequence but to have his life destroyed and taken from his family for 15 years. That includes a 2 year old daughter. He has tried to take responsility for the bad choice and make things right, but for some reason our justice system seems to think by sending him away they have taken care of the problem. Speaking as someone who has worked with victims of sexual assualt, domestic violence, and people who simply had bad boundaries, and being person who was molested as a child and raped as an adult that didn’t even come close to fixing the problem for either side. It only caused more harm.
    Maybe we should look at each case individually, no matter what the crime is and see if they should be given less sentencing and be able to try to put their lives back together and become a positive influence to others so they don’t make the same choices.

    Reply
  9. Cynthia Manning

    Can’t attend but praying something is done to change the system that will put away my sons for marijuana charge more time than the person who killed my grandson…

    Reply
  10. michael capurso

    I believe its unfair that I should facing a mandatory sentences in ri. each state should all be equal. It is unfair that I have to face a mandatory sentence when I am a non violent criminimal just because of the state. They shouldall be equal.

    Reply
  11. michael capurso

    I would love to go but I can’t leave the state of ri and ma I am in pretrial waiting praying to stay in treatment and be home with my new born. I am a nonviolent criminal and I don’t believe in mandatory sentences and where all states should be equal.

    Reply
  12. MIchelle Gamino

    Hi,
    I am interested in attending, but I’m not much of a seasoned traveler. Is there a particular hotel that is close? It would be great if we were all somewhat together. I’m sure we have a lot to discuss. Would we be sitting in a particular area? Would it be best to take a taxi to a hotel and to the office building?
    My son has served 6 1/2 years of a 32-yr sentence as a first-time offender. It has been devastating on all of his family. He robbed a pharmacy with a gun although he didn’t fire it. He was seeking pain pills which used to come in big bottles through the mail via the VA.
    I know you are not a travel agent :), but thought you might could point me in the right direction if I’m able to arrange it.
    Thanks,
    Michelle Gamino
    (918)606-3836

    Reply
  13. Jacqueline gore

    My father was sentenced to life,he’s 75 and has been locked up for 12 years. He’s nonviolent and there never was any evidence all base on convicted felons. Please don’t let my dad die in prison.

    Reply
  14. jenia

    The entire way that law is practiced including this proposal needs to be re-evaluated and redesigned to offer true justice for all citizens regardless of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic standing. I am in agreement with this advancement in human rights. .

    Reply
  15. Cynthia Lee

    I will definitely be in attendance for this historical/ monumental event. This hearing is the beginning of a much needed change in the American Judicial System. It’s a blessing from God. Thank You God.

    Reply
  16. C Davis

    I plead guilty for entering an incorrect or false information on a mortgage document in 2006.
    I was surprise how unjust I was punished by the judge by she giving me 24 months in prison.
    I never been in trouble in my whole life with the law. Never even have a speeding ticket or nothing of that kind.
    I was the only breadwinner at the time I was arrested. I only have one child who is a minor. My husband was out of a job and I lost my job because of the arrest. This happen in 2012, luckily I was awarded unemployment so I could at least feed my family for a while
    However, I am now behind on mortgage by two months my husband got a weekend job that put a little food on the table for a few days.
    Now, I am schedule to start serving my 24 months sentence in 4 weeks from today.
    I have no family in the US, my husband not only cannot find a job but he has a heart problem that he can’t even afford to treat without any medical insurance.
    The only person right now that is suffering is my only child.
    His fear of his dad not able to work because of his sickness. Who will take care of him?
    My courage is making it through those months in prison while my son may need counseling to go through this hard time. He is a honor student, my only child? What are the help that is there for children that are left behind to suffer?
    I know he is and will serve the same time I will be serving. The only difference he will be serving it alone. For his mom making a mistake by putting owner occupied on a mortgage document when it should be investment
    I was charged one count of putting false information on a mortgage document. The punishment does not fit the crime. But what chance do I have to get an early release?
    How much of this time will I have to serve is left up to the BOP?
    This crazy way of putting away people like me that made a mistake is unfair and unjust

    Reply
  17. Mayra Avila

    Dear Molly Gill,
    What about state sentencing? Are there going to be any reforms for state prisoners? My brother was given 25 years for a first-time non violent drug offense.

    Sincerely,
    Mayra Avila

    Reply
  18. Jim Hunsucker

    Ok great. But who the hell can afford, or even have time to make a trip all the way across the country…which is exactly why we fought a revolutionary war in the first place, and why our Founders set up a very limited federal government and giving the power to the states and the people of those states…also the local county sheriff. And no, state sovereignty, states rights, nullification and the Tenth Amendment wasn’t used only to support slavery. They were mainly used for Personal Liberty Laws in the Northern free states to fight off the Federal Fugitive Slave Act. http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com

    Reply
  19. Jim Hunsucker

    I sure wish someone would help me make it to this hearing. Even the judge in my case didn’t agree with it. John Ashcroft was attorney general at that time. Ive been out for 6 yrs and doing good…. my case needs to be heard. Because of the mandatory sentencing laws/guidelines, They tried to give me not less than 15 years to life in prison for mere possession of a gun on my own private property…which I could clearly prove was for legitimate protection.

    Reply
  20. Margaret Helms

    While this meeting is a true meaning of helping those 1st. time non-violent offenders, on the possibley getting the help; hopefully the removal of FELON, be removed also. Think of not only some, if not most will still have a very-hard life: like on getting, jobs, living place and most of all the rright to Vote!! So please give these people a reason for looking at their piers and most of all the people in your carereer, the respect you so!!! DESERVE!!! and that our goverment does care also. I myself have a son, has never been in any-kind of trouble in his life til-now. Serving 5yrs. with 5yrs. probation now. I cant tell you people how much it means to me for your GREAT-WORK, on something that does need your HELP!! I would love to be able to give ideas, but that takes more time, that me &my husband may have left. I know my son and more like him would be more help to their parents, then just sitting in prison. Well I wish all the best of LUCK!! on your jobs ahead!!! Thank you for all your hard-work and may the good-Lord!!be with you ALL,now and always. THANKS!!!!!

    Reply
  21. DEBORAH GOOLSBY

    i am hoping that these laws change because my son has been incarcarated for 6 yrs . i have stage 4 lung cancer and i would like to see my son before i leave. he has paid his dues for selling and has a son 5 yrs old in which needs him to teach him not to make the same mistake. his sentence did not fit the crime. my brother was killed by a man in which he only did nine yrs. i hope this bill passes and i support you. thanks

    Reply
  22. Sherry French

    I just found out about the meeting in Washington on Wednesday and now have no time to plan to attend. Thank you for all you are doing. My David (fiance) received 20 years for drug charges as a young man in his twenties. He has served 12 years so far and is now 40 years old and a changed man,free from addiction. His parents are in ill health and all of us just get by financially. So David hasn’t had a visit in over 5 years.In a way that has left him very alone. His children grew up and now he’s had grandchildren he’s never seen. David has 3 1/2 years to go. The entire family has suffered due to the length of Davids sentence. It has gotten so weary for us all,as we long for the day David comes home to us. Sherry

    Reply
  23. Ivette Aguayo

    I wish i could be there with my son’s pic on my lap. i can’t go because i don’t have any vacation and i work in NYC and live in nj. HOPEFULLY NEXT YEAR, FOR SOMETHING LIKE THIS AGAIN, I WILL BE THERE. but i hope there is someone i can write to show my support. we need to lower and change these laws. MY son 19 met the girlfriend online, and at 20, he was locked up when he went to get her. when he turned 21 and got his sentencing, after taking plea deal, due to all scare tactics, the judge has given him 12.5 years and life supervised release. and treating him like a sex offender. we have doctor reports say otherwise. my son was a truly young immature kid himself with no way of knowing that all this could happen to him. and the girl he dealt with, well she lied and said she’s 16. then she threatened to take her life. so he went to get her. in Florida. then it was too late. we had everyone at sentencing to speak on his behalf,..judge imposed 12.5 years. like there are no 2nd chances, yet real rapists, killers and true criminals don’t even get half of this. the bottom line is even a min of 10 years is too long to take a kid who has no criminal background and keep him locked up..he is a truly talented artists. there is no mercy and no compassion here. there is only cruelty and injustice. who can i write to to show my support on this? who can i write to for help with this sentence? thank you for your time.

    Reply
  24. cindy

    Wish I could go but not enough finances. Our entire family is suffering because my son is doing way too much time for the crime….for something he did NOT even do…..I was there, I know….and the cops got away with it. At least with the previous “good time,” he would have been home by now.

    Reply
  25. Mary

    I really wish I could be there to represent my daughter serving a 15 year drug sentence because she got on the bad side of a da I hope there’s a good turn out if I can do any thing in Cali let me know

    Reply
  26. Jason

    To Whom this May Concern:

    How about those convicted of non violent drug 1st time offense but not federal STATE! Why don’t we hear any reform on state, just federal. That’s a travesty!

    Reply
  27. Tevall

    My son is facing 25 years with no-parole for selling drugs. He is 30 years old. With one son. My grandson really needs his father in his life. The pain that I feel for my son everyday is devastating. Please I hope this law be passed.

    Reply
    • Gina Codalata

      I feel your pain. I to have a son and a 6 yr old grandson. No Mother should go through this much pain. Praying for my Son and yours too.

      Reply
    • Marion

      I feel you. the same thing is happening to my grandson. I wish we could all bond together and get others to pressure the congress and senate. I believe this cruelty can be abolished.

      Reply
  28. Marion

    Warehousing people is not the answer to a safe society.These people will be coming home angered and resentful; Unable to function in society; Then what do we do? send them back. Noboby wants to hire them ,So how do they eat-Sell narcotics, arm robbery stealing and killing. I think we should take a good hard look at who we are as a society.

    Reply

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