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15th Anniversary of the First Federal Law FAMM Successfully Passed September 27, 2009

Posted by FairSentencing in : Current News , trackback

It’s the “safety-valve” and it was the product of a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and…compromise.  Although we didn’t get everything we wanted, when then-President Bill Clinton signed the 1994 Crime Bill into law, we rejoiced that our small piece of it was included in the bill.

Fifteen years later, it’s clear that it wasn’t such a small piece after all!

The safety-valve gives the courts the ability to sentence certain low-level, nonviolent drug offenders below the decades-long mandatory minimums they might otherwise have received.

Since September 23, 1994:

These aren’t just numbers – they are people. Thousands of people across the country who have gone home from prison earlier, reunited with loved ones before they otherwise would have, and enjoyed birthday parties and holidays they otherwise would have missed.

The safety valve also means that in thousands of cases, judges have been allowed to do what they do best:  look at the person in front of them and decide on a fair and just sentence, without being bound by a mandatory minimum.

Reminiscing about our safety-valve victory makes me eager to experience that feeling again!  Passage of sentencing reform is within our reach now – the bills have been introduced, are moving through Congress, and just need vigilant, persistent, and vocal pressure to pass them!  That means YOU and FAMM and everyone else who cares about justice need to stay on top of our members of Congress!  Visit the FAMM website to find out how www.famm.org.

Let’s fight for more victories!



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