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‘Sentencing the Crime, Not the Person’

Families Against Mandatory Minimums celebrates its 25th anniversary this week. Julie Stewart, FAMM’s founder, tells TCR we still have a long way to go in changing America’s approach to punishment.

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A Life (Without Parole) Story

How much punishment does an offender deserve? The Crime Report’s David J. Krajicek takes a deep look at America’s ‘lifers’–­the neglected leftovers of mass incarceration.

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Report: BOP Rarely Seeks ‘Compassionate’ Release

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) rarely seeks early release for prisoners facing imminent death or serious incapacitation, according to a report released today by the advocacy groups Human Rights Watch and Families Against Mandatory Minimums. In 1984, Congress gave federal courts authority to grant early release — also referred to as “compassionate release” — for “extraordinary and compelling” reasons, but only when a motion to do so has been submitted by the BOP. The BOP has averaged about two […]

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Can We Be Tough on Crime Without Being Tough on Taxpayers?

On August 1, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to look at rising federal prison spending and its impact on the overall criminal justice budget. The hearing followed the release of a letter by Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer to the U.S. Sentencing Commission arguing that federal corrections spending is forcing reductions in federal assistance to states for police, prosecutors, and prevention programs. Prompting both events, of course, is the government's miserable financial condition, marked by record federal deficits […]

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Is the Federal Pardon Process Racially Biased? It's Time to Get Answers

A recent panel discussion at the National Press Club, sponsored by Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) discussed allegations of corruption at the little-known Office of the Pardon Attorney (OPA) within the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Among the panelists was Dafna Linzer, the Pro Publica reporter whose dogged determination resulted in two front-page Washington Post stories on the OPA, including one that concluded that whites are four times as likely as non-whites to receive a presidential pardon, even when the […]