Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) is the nation’s preeminent organization advocating for sentencing reform and celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Since 2000, FAMM has been advocating for the greater use of clemency. Over 300 prisoners have received presidential commutations since that time. Four of today’s commutees are FAMM members: Ismael Rosa, Jesse Webster, Kenneth Harvey, and Carol Denise Richardson.
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“We are deeply gratified that the President has used the power of the Oval Office to give relief to people serving unjust sentences, for low-level, nonviolent crimes. Unfortunately, clemency can’t change policy. Congress should be eliminating mandatory minimum sentences so that thousands more don’t serve excessive sentences that don’t make Americans safer,” said FAMM President Julie Stewart.
“The constitution gives presidents the power to grant mercy, and these commutations show that President Obama takes second chances seriously. The more commutations the President grants, the louder that message becomes,” said FAMM General Counsel Mary Price, who directs the organization’s clemency project.
FAMM is also a founding member of Clemency Project 2014, an unprecedented, independent effort by the nation’s bar that has recruited and trained nearly 4,000 volunteer lawyers from diverse practice backgrounds and completed screening of nearly 30,000 of the more than 35,000 federal prisoners who have requested volunteer assistance with filing a request for a commutation.