TV Shows Against Mandatory Minimums

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The estimable organization Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), which fights against the mandated lack of judicial discretion that leads to all sorts of horrific injustices in drug cases, will be getting two big doses of network TV love in January.

60 Minutes will be doing an Ed Bradley segment on Jan. 4 focusing on drug minimums with interviews with two FAMM associates. Then on Jan. 14, President Bartlett (by most accounts the real winner of the popular vote in 2000) on The West Wing will muse (wisely, as ever, to be sure) on mandatory minimums and will even, early reports have it, be portrayed talking to a fictionalized president of the real FAMM on the phone for some guidance.

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  1. I remember seeing “Martin Sheen is MY President” bumper stickers in early 2001. I really wanted “Dennis Haysbert is MY President” sticker after the “24” President who is way better than that Bartlett wuss.

  2. The problem isn’t Mandatory Minimums. It’s that Mandatory Minimums are too high.

    Strict (meaning inflexible) sentencing guidelines and limitations on plea bargaining should be what every good liberal wants for fair verdicts. I’m not sure how they became a “Conservative” issue.

  3. Go FAMM — they rule — Koch money finally spent wisely…

  4. Mandatory Minimums mean that congress is doing a Judge’s job. What happened to the seperation of powers?

  5. I’m going to write in David Palmer in November 2004!

  6. Then on Jan. 14, President Bartlett (by most accounts the real winner of the popular vote in 2000) on The West Wing will muse (wisely, as ever, to be sure)

    “Wisely as ever” LOL Good one!

    More like Aaron Sorkin will set up a conservative strawman to basically stand there with his jaw open while Martin Sheen recites some phony statistics that impress the sort of people who think that the WW is anything like real life.

    Me, I’ll stick with Angel. Better writing, more interesting characters, and less preaching.

  7. Are these the same judges who can’t be trusted to vet the reasonablness of a search warrant under the Patriot Act?

    Maybe not, as we would be mostly state courts. Still it is hard to see how the seperation of powers is served by having courts nullify the decisions of legislatures by minimalistic sentencing.

  8. A growing number of judges are not only seeking reduced sentencing options, they are calling directly for an end to drug prohibition laws.

    They can be found at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition http://leap.cc

  9. A growing number of judges are not only seeking reduced sentencing options, they are calling directly for an end to drug prohibition laws.

    Then let them run for their respective legislatures and repeal them.

  10. Thorley, I agree.

    Some are doing just that. Judge James Gray, author of Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed, is running in California for Sen Barbara Boxer’s seat.

    Other judges meanwhile, wherever legally possible, are using their discretion to use the minimum allowable sentence….see the past year’s sentences of medical marijuana growers in California where sentences of one day (time served) were given and others like it.

  11. Here’s the column by James Carroll in today’s Boston Globe. Notice his statistic on mandatory minimums.

    http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2003/12/30/american_values_cast_a_global_shadow?mode=PF

    “Mulligan, for one, points to the “war on drugs” as key, a war that has seen the rate of imprisonment of drug offenders jump by 700 percent since 1980; a war that depends on narrowly targeted law enforcement and on mandatory prison sentences. In 2002, 80 percent of those receiving such sentences were minorities. The war on drugs has been disproportionately a war on young black men.”

  12. Actually, there already has been an episode of The West Wing dealing with mandatory minimums. It was called “Mandatory Minimums”

    Also, Aaron Sorkin no longer writes the show.

  13. please help us in phila pa with the reforming of this rockefeller drug laws. I never hear anything about our state can you tell me who i schould write in my state about reforming this drug laws on a federal and state level.

  14. Unfortunately, this is an issue that neither the Republican not the Democratic party is willing to champion — so it’s just not going to happen.

    Billions of man-hours and billions of dollars are going to be needed to win the hearts and minds of the average American voter.

    We’re far short of that goal — possibly because we spend too much time with the bong on the couch…

  15. i am against mandatory minimums

    i think its just wrong

    i dont know why

    i got cocaine and i got caught

    do u want some?

  16. I hope that more judges get involved with this issue and hopefully something will be done about this sentencing problem. Mnay non-violent offenders are being locked away for way to long and that’s not fair. I agree with punishment but this is going to far. Ten years for selling drugs or conspiracy to sell drugs is just not fair! Are we becoming unjust? I thought this was America.

  17. To Whom It May Concern:

    I am totally against mandatory life for drugs. People have committeed murder and do not receive life. Why do they receive life for drugs? I have a relative that I have not seen since I was a child. I am 33 on 29th of April and it will be at least twenty years since I have seen him. I have heard that he has served at least 12 or 13 years so far. I am trying to do everything in my power to see how to set him free. Can you help? Or can we help each other?

    Blessings upon you all and remember prayer changes everything. Because how coincidential I come in contact with this situation after 13 to 15 years. And why am I taking such a big interest in this? Why did I obtain a degree in Criminal Justice and many say I have not did anything with it because I work in the Arts division? Why does someone stays across from me where I have moved to that has a picture with her and Johnny Cochran? Everything happens for a reason.

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