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Brena 08-23-2003 12:11 AM

Organizations working against LWOP???
Hi there,

Wonder if anyone is out there who has info about organizations working against mandatory sentencing, especially LWOP?

Only one I came across researching this topic was "families against mandatory minimums (FAMM)" , but looks to me as they would be mainly involved with sentencing related to the "Drug War".

Thanks for any hint...


life2thesequel 08-23-2003 05:57 AM

LWOP isn't a mandatory minimum.
It's a legally proscribed sentence.
It is often the alternative to the Death Penalty.
It is either plead to by folks trying hard not to get infront of a Death Penalty Qualified Jury, or it is the outcome of a sentencing by jury in a trial where the option is present in the instructions.

A mandatory minimum is generally raising the bar in a felony class or disallowing any other judicial discretion in certain types of crimes (like drugs). It's what guides the judge in applying sentencing on specific crimes when he used to have some latitude and choice,.. He'll not deal down any of them anymore, He'll not boot them down a class of felony or give the first time offender a break. in some cases. Could be that he has NO option if the charge is Trafficking or Distribution, or anything that doesn't look like simple possession for private use.

Again, LWOP is not a mandatory minimum sentence.
Disallowing parole is not a legal hardship because some states and systems don't have parole anymore, anyway,... and parole eligibility is a privilege, not a right.

A lot of folks with LWOP have ASKED for it to avoid the Death Penalty in a plea. A lot of folks have been dealt it by a Jury. You'll note that any impact the judge has in this is not restricted by any mandatory action. They accept the pleas, and certify the jury verdicts and issue Final Sentence Orders accordingly.

egs 08-23-2003 09:14 PM

FAMM is mostly focused on drug sentencing but looks at other mandatory sentencing as well. They are well organized on a national and state level. Check out their website.

Also, The Sentencing Project does a lot of the leading nuts and bolts studies and research on the topic. They have a good website, too. Marc Mauer, ass't director, has authored a couple of books on the subject. He is often quoted in articles about mandatory minimums. His two books are "Race to Incarcerate" and "Invisible Punishment" [co-editor].
Hope this helps.

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