- Congressmen, Attorney General, President
- United States of America
In 1986, Congress enacted Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Laws. These laws took the discretion away from judges, who traditionally have been entrusted to take a number of factors into account in order to give the fairest sentences and placed the power to determine the length of sentences into the hands of prosecutors.
In drug related crimes, under the Mandatory Minimum Sentencing laws, the length of a defendant's sentence is based solely on the amount of drugs alleged by the prosecutor. Consequently, a violent low-level, first-time drug offender can receive as much, and in some instances more time, than a violent repeat offender. Under these laws, the time seldom fits the crime, and thousands of children are left fatherless and motherless, thousands of parents are unable to share in their children's lives, because their children are imprisoned.
Many a grandparent becomes the parent to a child whose parent or parents are incarcerated often for so-called "drug conspiracy" crimes which require little or no proof.
We call upon the President of the United States to work toward the repeal of these unjust laws with the same passion and vigor with which you worked toward the passing of Health Reform, knowing that such a repeal would not only save countless lives, but also the very foundation and fabric of countless families.
Not only does this mass incarceration perpetuated by draconian sentences cost this country millions of taxpayer dollars, but it causes millions of families to live in poverty, having lost the breadwinner, and spending thousands each year for commissary and telephone calls.