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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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Eric Wilson

“I want to be part of the solution and no longer part of the problem. One bad decision does not have to define you; you can change if in your heart you want to change.” -Eric Wilson UPDATE: Eric Wilson’s...Read More
Category:
State:
Issue: Sentencing

Michael Giles: No Ordinary Defendant

Michael is a veteran serving a mandatory 25-year sentence under Florida’s 10-20-Life law after he fired two shots in self-defense, shots that did not seriously injure his attacker. Read more about what Michael’s incarceration means to his family via an op-ed...Read More
State: Florida
Issue: Guns

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

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 below the mandatory minimum, expressed his objection to the sentence, stating: “The Court does not...Read More
State:
Issue: Mandatory Minimums

Nichole Marie Forde

Nichole Forde’s life was spiraling downward. Abused as a child, living on the streets, two suicide attempts … When she was finally convicted of selling drugs in 2010, it might have been a blessing in disguise. Nichole needed a change....Read More
State:
Issue: Sentencing

Clarence Aaron

Clarence was sentenced to life without parole as a first-time offender after he introduced an old high school football teammate to a college classmate whose brother was a drug dealer. He was present for a drug transaction and another attempted...Read More
State:
Issue: Clemency