Sentencing Disparity

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Bureau of Prisons Has Great New Look for Spring

Bureau of Prisons Has Great New Look for Spring

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:01am
Despite the never-ending polar vortex, spring is in the air. From cleaning out your fridge to busting out your warm weather wardrobe for the first time in six months, spring is a time for change for the better.
The Bittersweet Victory of Patricia Spottedcrow’s Release

The Bittersweet Victory of Patricia Spottedcrow’s Release

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 2:16pm

Patricia Spottedcrow of Oklahoma made headlines in 2010 when she was sentenced to 12 years in prison for her first criminal offense: the sale of a $31 bag of marijuana to an undercover informant. The senseless severity of her sentence caught the…

States Take Sizeable Steps in 2012 to End Overincarceration

States Take Sizeable Steps in 2012 to End Overincarceration

By Inimai Chettiar, ACLU & Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 3:48pm

As states begin to realize that they can reduce their prison populations safely, the pace of reform has begun to pick up a bit this year. State legislative sessions are coming to a close, which makes it a good time to review the actions lawmakers…

ACLU LENS: Supreme Court Rules Fairer Sentences Apply to More Drug Cases

ACLU LENS: Supreme Court Rules Fairer Sentences Apply to More Drug Cases

By Ezekiel Edwards, Director, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 3:28pm

The Supreme Court ruled today that the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (FSA), which reduced the disparity in federal sentencing between crack and powder cocaine, applies to people whose offenses pre-date the law but who were sentenced after its passage.…

Chance at Freedom: Retroactive Crack Sentence Reductions For Up to 12,000 May Begin Today

Chance at Freedom: Retroactive Crack Sentence Reductions For Up to 12,000 May Begin Today

By Jesselyn McCurdy, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:11pm

Today, Hamedah Hasan can finally apply for her freedom.

Hamedah has been locked up for 18 years serving a prison sentence she never deserved.

When she was 21 years old, she and her two daughters escaped an abusive relationship …

Threat to Current Sentencing Law Looms: Are We Headed Back to Mandatory Guidelines?

By Sandhya Bathija, Washington Legislative Office at 5:43pm

The debate over sentencing guidelines is about to heat up in Congress, according to a recent report by NPR. In a story that ran on Tuesday’s Morning Edition, Carrie Johnson reports that some GOP members of Congress aren’t happy with…

Congress Stood Up for Fairer Sentencing. The Supreme Court Should Too.

By Emma Andersson, Criminal Law Reform Project at 3:17pm

Today we filed a friend-of-the-court brief in two Supreme Court cases that deal with the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (FSA), which reduced the disparity between federal mandatory minimum sentences for crack versus powder cocaine from 100:1 to 18:1.…

Will the Supreme Court Render the Fair Sentencing Act Less Fair?

By Emma Andersson, Criminal Law Reform Project & Ezekiel Edwards, Director, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 5:58pm

(Also posted on ACSBlog.)

The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (FSA) is actually only kind of fair. The passage of the 2010 law, which reduced the crack to powder mandatory minimum ratio in federal cocaine sentences from 100:1 to 18:1, was a…

A Call for Fairness

A Call for Fairness

By Dan Zeidman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:03pm

June 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon's declaration of a "war on drugs" — a war that has cost roughly a trillion dollars, has produced little to no effect on the supply of or demand for drugs in the United…

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights (1/4/2013)

Breaking the Addiction to Incarceration: Weekly Highlights (1/4/2013)

By Alex Stamm, ACLU Center for Justice at 4:21pm

Today, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. With over 2.3 million men and women living behind bars, our imprisonment rate is the highest it’s ever been in U.S. history. And yet, our criminal justice system…

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