For possessing a gun while committing a crime—even when no one is killed—too many defendants are slammed with sentences decades or even centuries longer than justice demands.
The memo reverses a directive from former Attorney General Jeff Sessions that ordered federal prosecutors to throw the book at low-level drug offenders.
Theresa Mathis was in the middle of a 25-year mandatory minimum sentence when she sent Reason a letter asking for help.
Biden Tries To Gloss Over His Long History of Supporting the Drug War and Draconian Criminal Penalties
The Democratic presidential nominee cannot escape one of his major legacies.
While that's nothing to sneeze at, it is a modest accomplishment in the context of a federal prison system that keeps more than 150,000 Americans behind bars.
The president's daughter says "we’re just getting started." Some details would be nice.
The new law features harsher penalties, 12-hour detentions, and other invitations to abuse government power
A Florida prosecutor's office reviewed the cases and agreed to resentencing for nearly two dozen inmates, calling it "a matter of fundamental fairness."
Kamala Harris Is So 'Radical,' Trump's Campaign Says, That She Criticized Joe Biden's Criminal Justice Record. So Does Trump.
Harris and Trump are both right that the Democratic nominee has a long record of championing draconian penalties.
The American University professor called for "drug peace" at a time when both major parties were committed to ever-escalating violence.
Too often, minor drug crimes turn into mandatory minimum offenses with lengthy sentences despite the fact these types of cases rarely involve drug dealing to minors.
If the president wants voters to take him seriously, he should stop pretending the problem has been solved.
A new Drug Policy Alliance report highlights this puzzling and dangerous inconsistency.
Will Florida Finally Grant Relief to Inmates Trapped Serving Sentences Under Drug Laws That No Longer Exist?
Somewhere between 650 and 1,000 Florida inmates are serving sentences under draconian opioid trafficking laws that have since been rolled back.
Slowly but surely, some of the most glaring problems of our criminal justice system are being addressed.
Judges would be permitted to rethink sentences after 10 years have been served, particularly for inmates over the age of 50.
Joe Biden's New Criminal Justice Platform Calls for Eliminating Harsh Policies Sponsored by Joe Biden
A breathtaking repudiation of his own legacy on criminal justice
Congressman Asked Bureau of Prisons Three Times About Nonviolent Offender Who Later Died in Maximum Security Lockup
A congressman forwarded messages to the Bureau of Prisons from Rick Turner's family begging for his relocation. Two were ignored.
Booker would move the process away from prosecutors and into the White House.
A Judge Called His Mandatory Sentence 'Excessive' and 'Wrong.' Less Than a Year Later He Died In Federal Prison
Frederick Turner was sentenced to a mandatory 40 years on nonviolent drug and firearm charges. He ended up in a high-security federal prison, and now he's dead.
1,051 Crack Sentence Reductions Illustrate Painful Progress Toward a Less Mindlessly Punitive Justice System
On average, crack offenders who have benefited from the FIRST STEP Act will serve 14 years instead of 20.
In the Space of One Minute, Joe Biden Defends the Death Penalty for Drug Dealers, Asset Forfeiture, and Mandatory Minimums
This 1991 Senate floor speech shows Biden's central role in crafting disastrous crime policies.
The paper suggests that more drug law enforcement is the solution to a problem created by drug law enforcement.
The problem isn't that a judge went easy on a rich defendant. It's that mandatory minimums make it impossible to do the same in many other cases.
The passage of the bipartisan FIRST STEP Act in Congress and a struggling, expensive prison system have Florida lawmakers considering similar reforms.
Reducing the thresholds for mandatory minimums in fentanyl cases will produce more injustices like the ones the president highlighted last night.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the former vice president acknowledges regrets about his role in the drug war and mass incarcerations.
The Number of Men in Federal Prison for Viewing or Sharing Child Pornography Has Nearly Septupled Since 2004
Most are serving mandatory minimums, usually for crimes that did not involve assault or sexual abuse.
2018 was a mixed bag, but that means there was still a lot of good news.
The last-minute changes show how hard it is to make the criminal justice system more proportionate and discriminating.
The FIRST STEP Act might get shoved into an end-of-year spending bill.
At a celebrity-headlined and media-focused summit on incarceration, the speakers recognize their allies.
What did it take? A promise not to make mandatory minimum reductions retroactive.
And a state lawmaker says criminal justice reform bills are already on the way.
Federal Judge Advocates Jury Nullification After Being Shocked by Overzealous Child Pornography Prosecution
It just makes sense to let jurors know about their already established power to exercise discretion over bad laws and ill-considered prosecutions.
Under Tennessee's harsh drug-free school zone laws, Bryant received a 17-year sentence for a first-time drug offense.
Florida has rolled back some of its worst mandatory minimum laws, but the inmates sentenced under them have no relief.
Steve and Dwight Hammond became a cause célèbre for angry ranchers and another example of inflexible mandatory minimum sentences.
Black Gun Owner Will Give Birth in Prison After Trying to Protect 2-Year-Old Daughter from Assailant
Siwatu-Salama Ra used a legally purchased firearm to protect her family. She was sentenced to 2 years in prison.
Somebody tell the president.
A new poll says voters want change. They can get it if they truly want it.
Even while scaling back mandatory minimums, politicians can't resist trying to punish people to fight drugs.