Rabiah Burks, 202-822-6700
Trump State of the Union Guest Matthew Charles and Advocates
Will Host Press Conference at Missouri State Capitol to Urge the Passage of Sentencing Reform
JEFFERSON CITY – Criminal justice reform advocates and Matthew Charles, President Donald Trump’s State of the Union guest, will hold a press conference on Monday, March 25 at 1:00 p.m. in the Thomas Hart Benton Lounge of the Missouri State Capitol Building in Jefferson City to urge state lawmakers to pass meaningful sentencing reform this year.
Matthew Charles served 21 years in federal prison for a drug offense and was released in January 2019 due to retroactive sentencing reforms included in the First Step Act, a bipartisan bill signed into law by President Trump on December 21, 2018. Charles is a Justice Fellow at FAMM, a nonpartisan criminal justice reform advocacy organization, and is traveling around the country urging lawmakers to support sentencing and prison reforms. Charles has appeared on national news programs hosted bySean Hannity, Dana Perino, and Lester Holt, has been featured on NPR, and has been published in The Washington Post.
Charles will be joined by Rep. Shamed Dogan (R-Ballwin), chair of the House Special Committee on Criminal Justice, and representatives from the following groups supporting sentencing reform in Missouri:
- Americans for Prosperity-Missouri
- Missouri Century Foundation
- Empower Missouri
The legislature is considering two sentencing reform bills: HB 113, introduced by Rep. Cody Smith (R-Carthage), would give Missouri judges flexibility to avoid minimum prison terms in some cases when imposing the minimum prison term would be unjust or is unnecessary to protect the public. HB 113 passed the House by a vote of 140-17. SB 8, introduced by Sen. Ed Emery (R-Lamar), was originally identical to HB 113, but has been changed to narrow the list of crimes that trigger Missouri’s enhanced mandatory prison terms for repeat offenders. The modified SB 8 is scheduled for a vote in the Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Monday afternoon.
FAMM is a national nonpartisan advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice policies that safeguard taxpayer dollars and keep our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM is helping transform America’s criminal justice system by uniting the voices of impacted families and individuals and elevating the issues all across the country.
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