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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Natural Life


As a mother, she never expected that she would not be able to watch her son grow old and raise a family of his own. Eisibe's son Rufus was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole after police found a baggie with residue of crack cocaine. Because of a mandatory sentencing law, he will never come home.

Rufus isn't the only one. Hundreds of thousands of families have been torn apart by state and federal mandatory sentencing laws, which give judges no choice but to impose a sentence that is often far too severe for the offense.

Extreme sentencing laws have pushed the number of people in American jails and prisons over 2.3 million— with more than half imprisoned for nonviolent crimes. These unnecessarily long sentences have led to bloated, overcrowded prisons and wasted billions of taxpayer dollars that could be better invested in our communities.

The ACLU's Campaign to Move Beyond Mass Incarceration is working to find soltuions. Right now, we have a unique opportunity to rein in mass incarceration for people in the federal system. Congress members on both sides of the aisle have joined together in support of the Smarter Sentencing Act — a bill that could rollback some extreme federal mandatory minimum sentences. 

Recently, Attorney General Eric Holder came out strongly urging Congress to pass this bill to help end excessive punishments for low-level drug crimes. With unanimous support from the U.S. Sentencing Commission and strong bipartisan support, this bill can move forward quickly. But we have to tell our Congress members to act.

If thousands of us put pressure on our Congress members, we can reduce draconian sentencing laws that tear apart families. Take action now: ask Congress to rollback federal mandatory minimum sentencing laws by passing the Smarter Sentencing Act.

Learn more about the ACLU's Smart Justice, Fair Justice campaign at https://www.aclu.org/smartandfair.--

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