Tripp Laino, 202-999-4273
FAMM releases statement following Gov. Lee’s announcement of potential clemency for those serving drug-free school zone sentences
NASHVILLE – FAMM President Kevin released the following statement after the announcement that Governor Bill Lee would be reviewing the sentences of people sentenced under Tennessee’s old mandatory minimum law for drug-free school zones.
“Tennessee took a great step forward when it repealed its mandatory minimums for drug-free school zones last year, but it also left hundreds of people in prison in limbo,” Ring said. “Many of those convicted and sentenced under the old law are stuck serving unjust sentences they would never receive today. We are grateful for Gov. Lee’s commitment to fixing this injustice, and urge him to grant clemency to as many people as possible — give them a second chance.”
Matthew Charles, FAMM’s policy associate, a Tennessee native who worked on FAMM’s efforts to repeal the drug-free school zone mandatory minimum, also celebrated this news.
“As the first beneficiary of the federal First Step Act, I know first-hand the power of second chances for those in prison,” Charles said. “FAMM has been calling on Gov. Lee to consider those left behind for clemency, and we are glad to see the possibility of release for those serving these arbitrary, excess sentences. This is the right thing for the Governor to do.”
FAMM has worked on drug-free school zone sentencing reform in Tennessee since 2018; and celebrated its passage last year.
For nearly three decades, FAMM has united the voices of affected families, the formerly incarcerated, and a range of stakeholders and advocates to fight for a more fair and effective justice system. FAMM’s focus on ending a one-size-fits-all punishment structure has led to reforms to sentencing and prison policies at the state and federal level and is paving the way to programs that support rehabilitation for the 94% of all prisoners who will return to our neighborhoods one day.
FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safeguard taxpayer dollars and keep our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM is helping transform America’s criminal justice system by uniting the voices of impacted families and individuals and elevating the issues all across the country.