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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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William Forrester

William Forrester became addicted to pain medication after surgery. In the fierce grip of his disease, he obtained oxycodone with a fake prescription. He badly needed help with his addiction; instead, he is now in state prison  Read More
State: Florida
Issue: Mandatory Minimums

My Story: Cassie M.

Cassie’s husband Chris is in prison for six years on a wire fraud charge. They married just months before his incarceration, and the years since have made her an outspoken and fearless advocate for criminal justice reform. She shares here...Read More
State:
Issue: Mandatory Minimums

Weldon Angelos

Weldon was serving 55 years in federal prison for three counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and various charges related to marijuana trafficking. He was released on May 31, 2016, after a federal...Read More
State:
Issue: Sentencing

Katie Hoyle: A Second Chance at College…And Life

Four years ago this month, Katie Hoyle finally walked free out of prison. Now, she’s planning to walk across the stage of Iowa State University in the spring of 2018 to receive her college degree.  Read More
State:
Issue: Sentencing

Terrance Davis: 101 Feet and 22 Years

Because of the Drug-Free School Zone Act in Tennessee, this low-level drug offender is serving a decade longer than he would have without that enhancement.Read More
State: Tennessee
Issue: Drug-free school zone law

Debi Campbell: “I Know Exactly What They Mean”

Debi became addicted to methamphetamine in the early 1990s and began selling it to others because she thought the extra money would help keep her family together. She was sentenced to 19 years and seven months under federal sentencing guidelines....Read More
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State:
Issue: Sentencing

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
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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