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Matthew Charles responds to Governor Bill Lee’s clemency grants to those sentenced under the old Drug-Free Zone law
NASHVILLE – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee today granted clemency to 30 individuals sentenced under the Drug-Free Zone sentencing reform law that was passed by the state legislature earlier this year.
“We are grateful to Governor Lee for following through on his promise to grant clemency to people serving unjust school zone enhancements,” said FAMM Tennessee State Director Matthew Charles. “We hope the Tennessee Board of Parole will move quickly to approve these releases so that these 30 people can get back home to their families and communities as soon as possible.”
Governor Lee had previously contemplated taking such action after FAMM requested it last year. The grants of clemency make these 30 people immediately eligible for a hearing before the state’s parole board, which will determine if they are released or must serve additional prison time.
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 an inflexible and draconian punishment structure has led to reforms to sentencing and prison policies at the state and federal levels and is paving the way to programs that support rehabilitation for the 94% of all prisoners who will return to our neighborhoods one day.
is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safely reduce incarceration, save taxpayer dollars, and keep families together. Founded in 1991, FAMM has secured bold sentencing and prison reform across the country while elevating the voices of directly impacted individuals and families.
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