End Mandatory Minimum Sentences

In a remarkable coming together of usual foes, progressive champion Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has teamed with Tea Party banner carrier Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to end one of nation’s most draconian, unjust laws – Mandatory Minimum Sentencing.

These laws tie the hands of prosecutors and judges around the country and they disproportionately impact people of color.  In fact, as Sen. Paul correctly stated recently, "the majority of illegal drug users and dealers nationwide are white, but three-fourths of all people in prison for drug offenses are African American or Latino."

 Send an e-letter to your U.S. Senators today and urge them to support the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013.

In 2009, Orville Lee Wollard was sentenced to a minimum 20 years in prison after he fired a warning shot at a man who was threatening his daughter in their home.  The judge in the case wanted to limit the sentence, recognizing the facts in the case, but a mandatory minimum sentencing law prevented him from doing so.

In 1997, Stephanie George was sentenced to life in prison without parole for her involvement in a drug conspiracy, receiving a higher sentence than any of her co-defendents.  The judge, in sentencing her, voiced his objections saying:  

"There’s no question that Ms. George deserved to be punished.  The only question is whether it should be a mandatory life sentence … I wish I had another alternative." He told Stephanie, “Even though you have been involved in drugs and drug dealing for a number of years … your role has basically been as a girlfriend and bag holder and money holder. So certainly, in my judgment, it doesn’t warrant a life sentence."xtreme punishments, at the cost of millions of taxpayer dollars, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) have introduced the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013, which reforms the mandatory minimum laws and provides judges with more discretion in sentencing.

To address these extreme punishments, costing millions of taxpayer dollars as well as being unjust, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) have introduced the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013, which reforms the mandatory minimum laws and provides judges with more discretion in sentencing.

 TAKE ACTION: Send an e-letter to your Senators and urge them to support the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013.

 

Picture courtesy of Thomas Hawk via Compfight cc

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