FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lani Prunés
FAMM Applauds New Commutations, Blames ’86 Drug Law for Need
WASHINGTON, DC – Earlier today, FAMM released a new video calling on Congress to repeal the federal mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws that were established by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. Today marks the Act’s 30th anniversary. This afternoon, President Obama announced his decision to commute the sentences of 98 federal prisoners, bringing the total number of commutations granted by the president to 872.
“You can’t fix 30 years of bad policy overnight,” said FAMM Vice President Kevin Ring. “But the pace is picking up, and that’s encouraging.”
Ring said that FAMM’s new video was meant to highlight the fact that Congress established excessive prison sentences and therefore Congress needed to fix its mistake. Ring said, “Until Congress reforms mandatory minimums, we are going to continue to see new counterproductive sentences like the ones President Obama had to fix today.
“Think about it: Every day, people are sentenced in federal court based not on what their judge thinks is appropriate, but on what Tip O’Neill, Strom Thurmond, and a bunch of other deceased lawmakers believed 30 years ago. It’s just ridiculous,” Ring said.
FAMM is a founding member of Clemency Project 2014, an unprecedented, independent effort by the nation’s bar that has recruited and trained thousands of volunteer lawyers to help research, review, and file requests for commutations.
FAMM, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, promotes commonsense sentencing and prison policies that increase public safety.
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