March 24, 2020
Bipartisan Coalition Calls on President Trump to Commute Federal Prison Sentences for Populations Most Vulnerable to COVID-19
Justice reform leaders sent a letter to President Trump urging him to utilize his clemency power to extend compassionate release in federal prisons to elderly people and those with serious health conditions who are exceptionally vulnerable to coronavirus.
March 18, 2020
The Sentencing Project Releases its 2019 Annual Report
Learn more about how our research and analysis in 2019 played a major role in shaping campaign priorities around criminal justice reform and highlighting the impact of excessive sentencing.
March 06, 2020
State Advocacy Newsletter: Unlocking the Vote 2020
The 2020 election season offers an opportunity to increase public awareness about felony disenfranchisement laws to expand voter eligibility. During the era of mass incarceration the overall disenfranchisement rate increased substantially. In recent years, substantial reforms have expanded the vote to millions of individuals.
March 03, 2020
Letter in Support of Maryland Bill to Remove Governor from Parole Process
In a letter of support submitted to Maryland legislators, The Sentencing Project's Director of Advocacy Nicole Porter highlighted the importance of House Bill 1219/Senate Bill 817 which eliminates the governor’s approval requirement for parole recommendations of life-sentenced prisoners by the Maryland Parole Commission who have served 20 years in prison.
February 25, 2020
Juvenile Life Without Parole: An Overview
The United States stands alone as the only nation that sentences people to life without parole for crimes committed before turning 18. This briefing paper reviews the Supreme Court precedents that limited the use of JLWOP and the challenges that remain.
Willie Mays Aikens
In 2008, Willie Mays Aikens made headlines when a federal judge reduced his lengthy prison term to 14 years as a result of the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s adjustment to the crack cocaine sentencing guidelines. Aikens was released in June 2008.
February 03, 2020
Race & Justice News: St. Louis Prosecutor Fights “Racially Motivated Conspiracy”
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner alleges some city leaders have tried to undermine her efforts to fight police misconduct and reform the local criminal justice system. Gardner, St. Louis’s first African American top prosecutor, is suing the city under an 1871 federal civil rights law known as the Ku Klux Klan Act.
January 31, 2020
The Appeal: The Death Penalty Is Part Of A Larger System of Punishment
As the number of people on death row decreases, the number of people serving life sentences has risen. Abolishing the death penalty should not serve as a way to replace one extreme sentence with another—but as a first step to reform extreme sentences altogether, says The Sentencing Project's Ashley Nellis.
January 26, 2020
Washington Post: William Barr’s new war on drugs
Former U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner discusses Attorney General William P. Barr’s support for an expansion of mandatory minimum sentences for federal drug crimes involving fentanyl analogues.
Lawrence and Lamont Garrison
Sentences for federal drug crimes are based on the quantity of the drugs involved, not the individual’s role in the crime. The emphasis on quantity rather than the role of the offender, along with the conspiracy laws, too often result in disproportionate sentencing, even for first-time offenses such as the Garrisons’.