Extreme Sentencing and the US Justice System

ACLU: A Mother’s Plea

Rufus, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole after police found a baggie with residue of crack cocaine. Because of a mandatory sentencing law, he will never come home.

Rufus isn’t the only one. Hundreds of thousands of families have been torn apart by state and federal mandatory sentencing laws, which give judges no choice but to impose a sentence that is often far too severe for the offense.

Extreme sentencing laws have pushed the number of people in American jails and prisons to over 2.3 million — with more than half imprisoned for nonviolent crimes. These unnecessarily long sentences have led to bloated, overcrowded prisons and wasted billions of taxpayer dollars that could be better invested in our communities.

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