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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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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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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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Atiba Parker

Atiba was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder at age 24 and started selling small amounts of crack so he could purchase marijuana for self-medication. He is serving a 42-year prison sentence for two counts of sale of cocaine and one count...Read More
State:
Issue: State

Michael Keating

In 2007, Michael was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison for manufacturing a substance or mixture containing methamphetamine. He’d allowed an acquaintance to cook methamphetamine on his property, and although the wastewater that police found contained less than...Read More
State:
Issue: Clemency

Barbra Scrivner

Barbra was addicted to meth as early as high school, and later, when she was struggling to support her daughter, her incarcerated husband encouraged her to sell meth to his friends. Although she claims she ended her ties with the...Read More
State:
Issue: Clemency

Sherman Chester

Sherman received a life-without-parole sentence when he was 27 years old for his involvement in a drug conspiracy. Because of his two prior drug possession convictions and the federal three-strikes mandatory sentencing law, Sherman’s judge couldn’t hand down a sentence...Read More
State:
Issue: Clemency

Alton Mills

Alton was 25 years old when he received a mandatory life-without-parole sentence for conspiracy to traffic crack and powder cocaine, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, and use of a telephone to commit a drug crime. President Obama commuted Alton’s...Read More
State:
Issue: Clemency

Erik Weyant

Threatened in a parking lot by a group of men and fearing a beating or even worse, Erik pulled out his legal handgun and fired shots into the air. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for aggravated assault...Read More
State: Florida
Issue: Sentencing

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 harsh and unfair drug-free school zone law.Read More
State: Tennessee
Issue: Drug-free school zone law

My Story: Simeon F.

Paul knows he made a mistake, but he never dreamed his small amounts of marijuana would ever lead to such a harsh sentence.Read More
State:
Issue: Drug-free school zone law

Sara Moore: “A Great Little Kid”

Sara was so far into her drug addiction that nothing mattered. Not friends, family, or work. She sold drugs out of her apartment and was arrested, and because she lived in a school zone, her sentence was much greater than...Read More
State: Tennessee
Issue: Drug-free school zone law