End the affront to justice


UPDATE Dec. 19, 2013: President Obama announced that he had commuted the sentences of six people who have been serving life without parole for nonviolent drug offenses. This is one important step toward undoing the damage that extreme sentencing has done to so many in our criminal justice system. Let's keep the pressure on to win justice for all people sentenced unfairly.

Because of our overly extreme sentencing laws, thousands of people will never spend another holiday season with their families. Instead, they will spend their entire lives in prisons, until the day they die, with no chance of ever getting out for good behavior for relatively minor crimes like shoplifting a jacket or selling a single crack rock.

In case after case we reviewed, the sentencing judge said on the record that he or she opposed the mandatory sentence as too severe but their hands were tied by laws that take away judges’ discretion. And the cost to taxpayers is nearly $1.8 billion dollars to keep the people currently serving life without parole for nonviolent offenses behind bars for life.

This is an injustice, but it’s not an injustice that’s set in stone. President Obama has the power to reduce these cruel and wasteful sentences for people in federal prison, but the Obama Administration has used this commutation power less than any administration in recent history. It’s time for President Obama to reverse his record.

This holiday season, President Obama should review the sentences of people serving life without parole for nonviolent offenses and consider commuting them. Sign the petition asking him to review the cases of the over 2,000 individuals sentenced to life without parole in federal prisons - a step towards restoring justice.

18,453 Signed 20,000 Needed

To President Obama:

Far too many people have been stripped of their liberty and sentenced to life without parole for nonviolent offenses. We urge you to review the cases of these individuals and consider reducing their sentences.

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