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Oliver B.’s Story: Prison Is the Wolf That Scatters Sheep

My brother has served 25 years of a mandatory life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense. John is now 70 years old with no prospects...
John acknowledges that he was wrong by getting involved with drugs and has said that it was something that he is truly ashamed of doing, especially because our mother and father instilled a set of values in each of us. He yearns for an opportunity to get involved with our...
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Cynthia Powell: 25 Years for 35 Pills

Cynthia Powell was not an addict. She was not a dealer. She sold 35 of her diabetes pain pills to a confidential informant—for $300. Just...
“She was never an addict,” says Jackie. “She wasn’t a drug user, or a drug dealer.” She was charged with trafficking in hydrocodone over 28 grams, less than 30 kilos and possession with intent to sell or deliver a legend drug (prescription).
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Calvin Bryant: 17 Years for a First Offense

Beloved by friends, family, teachers, and co-workers, Calvin Bryant is now serving 17 years for a first-time offense. His sentence was grossly enhanced by Tennessee’s...
Life delivered him a harsh blow, in the form of a government informant. This person, a longtime family friend, pressured Calvin repeatedly to get ecstasy pills for him. He played on Calvin’s sympathies, telling Calvin that he needed the drugs to make money to feed his family.
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The Story of Mandy Martinson

Mandy Martinson was serving 15 years in federal prison for helping her dealer-boyfriend in exchange for feeding her methamphetamine addiction. Mandy’s judge, unable to go...
the judge was forced to give Mandy a mandatory minimum of 10 years for the conspiracy and possession charges, and a mandatory five-year consecutive term for the gun charge, for a total sentence of 15 years behind bars.
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Angela & Kimberly Bush

After selling drugs to support their addictions, Angela and Kimberly were sentenced to 15 1/2 years and 19 1/2 years, respectively, based on minimum guideline sentences. In 2012, Angela’s sentence was reduced from 188 months (15 ½ years) to 150 months...Read More
State: Tennessee
Issue: Sentencing

Ricky Minor

Ricky is serving a life-without-parole sentence for attempting to manufacture methamphetamine. His sentence is based on prior offenses, even though none of them resulted in prison time. He had been fighting addiction and depression for years when he was sentenced. ...Read More
State: Florida
Issue: Clemency

Telisha Watkins

Addicted to drugs from an early age, Telisha was sentenced to a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base, because of drug-related priors. President Obama granted her a commutation on July...Read More
State:
Issue: Clemency

Douglas Lindsay

A veteran and a Mental Retardation Specialist, Douglas received a life-without-parole sentence for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine and cocaine base. President Obama granted him a commutation on July 13, 2015, and he was...Read More
State:
Issue: Clemency

Timothy Tyler

Tim Tyler was sentenced to a mandatory life sentence in federal prison for selling LSD while traveling around the country following the Grateful Dead. He was 25 years old when he was sentenced and has spent nearly half of his...Read More
State:
Issue: Clemency

Oliver B.’s Story: Prison Is the Wolf That Scatters Sheep

My brother has served 25 years of a mandatory life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense. John is now 70 years old with no prospects of being released. The impact of outdated sentencing laws is not only tying the hands...Read More
State:
Issue: Sentencing

Cynthia Powell: 25 Years for 35 Pills

Cynthia Powell was not an addict. She was not a dealer. She sold 35 of her diabetes pain pills to a confidential informant—for $300. Just enough to make ends meet that month. Next thing she knew, she was arrested, charged,...Read More
State:
Issue: Sentencing

John Hise

John received a 10-year sentence for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Although his role was limited to facilitating the movement of red phosphorus, a chemical used in the production of methamphetamine, John received a longer sentence than...Read More
State:
Issue: Federal

Celestia Mixon

Celestia began using drugs at a young age to cope with her father’s abusive behavior. She turned to selling meth to feed her addiction and was indicted for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute meth while in possession of a...Read More
State:
Issue: Sentencing