Harsher laws against fentanyl could kill

Punishing safety: Ohio’s deadly mistake Ohio’s legislature is considering a bill to create harsh new prison terms for fentanyl, a drug that’s playing a key role in an overdose epidemic that killed 3,300 Ohioans in 2015. The well-meaning anti-overdose... read more

Obama denies clemency to 2,229 federal prisoners

Longest serving marijuana offender rejected Pot, LSD cases getting ignored President Obama yesterday rejected a record 2,229 clemency requests, including those from some non-violent marijuana offenders who clearly have been in prison too long. The Justice Department... read more

Mary Jane Veloso: A drug war execution?

A dozen countries execute drug offenders. More than 1,000 will be shot, beheaded and hung this year in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and elsewhere.The drug prohibition victims are mostly poor people paid $1,000 to $5,000 to hide a few pounds of contraband in a... read more

The way we were: U.S. imprisonment, 1880-present

Download historical incarceration data The aberration of today’s criminal justice policies is visually startling. Our invisible neighbors In 2014, the U.S. locked up 1 of every 135 residents and one of every 106 adults. These numbers are down slightly from the... read more

Help wanted: Federal clemency lawyers. Pay: $0

Why President Obama’s clemency effort is struggling, Episode 21.  The Office of the Pardon Attorney is advertising for nine experienced criminal defense attorneys who will work for free and can earn no money in private practice. Recent law school graduates are... read more

Obama commutes 46 drug sentences

President Obama shorted 46 non-violent drug sentences to a November 10, 2015 release date. The official list is here. An analysis of the race, gender, drug and sentence effect is here: “Mostly black, mostly crack.” Details on each individual are in the... read more

Mostly black, mostly crack

Obama’s commutations, by the numbers This round of presidential clemency grants was clearly aimed at racially discriminatory crack cocaine laws. The Clemency Report analyzed President Obama’s 46 clemency grants to drug offenders on July 13. What we found... read more

Barbara Scrivner’s life after presidential clemency

Barbara Scrivner was ranked No. 7 on The Clemency Report’s list of women most deserving clemency until  President Obama commuted her meth sentence in December. Barbara is the subject of this excellent Yahoo News story and this moving video on her challenges... read more

Indonesia murders eight drug offenders

The Indonesian government shot to death eight people for drug offenses yesterday (April 28). Seven foreigners, one Indonesian were executed by firing squad. The families were hysterical when they heard the shots fired. The victims sang “Amazing Grace” as... read more

Obama 22 sentence commutations focus on crack + black

President Obama commuted the sentences of 22 drug prisoners Tuesday. The breakdown: Offense: 12 crack cocaine only; 3 powder cocaine only; 2 powder and crack; 2 meth, 1 meth-and heroin, 1 marijuana, 1 drugs unspecified Race: 16 African American, 6 white, including 5... read more

What freedom looks like

Prisoner Releases Start Under “Drugs Minus Two” David Mosby, 63, dressed in prison garb, enjoyed a mammoth, country-style breakfast with his family a few days ago at a Cracker Barrel restaurant. It was, literally, his first taste of freedom. David, an... read more

Video Tribute: 100 drug offenders and their families

The Clemency Report loves and respects the drug war’s prisoners, frequent targets of bigotry and ignorance. This video shows 116 drug offenders and 112 family members and loved ones, including 61 children under the age of 18. The drug war is not a victimless... read more

Life sentences for drugs plummet 78% under Obama

Violent offenders now get life sentences more than drug offenders Federal judges sentenced just 41 drug offenders to life without parole in 2014, an astonishing 78% drop since President Obama took office. Life sentences for non-violent drug offenses have fallen five... read more

Federal drug sentence lengths fall sharply from 2006 peak

Short sentences on the rise. Federal judges handed out 78% fewer ultra-long sentences for non-violent drug offenses in 2014 than at the peak eight years ago. The number of drug defendants sent to prison for 12 years of more fell to 2,414 in 2014, down from 4,303 in... read more

Pot lifer Larry Duke released after 24 years

Larry Duke, 67, was released immediately from federal prison Thursday when the Bureau of Prisons and a federal judge approved his request for “compassionate release.” Larry was ranked No. 6 on The Clemency Report list of marijuana offenders deserving... read more

Indonesia to execute 9 more drug offenders

Indonesian President Joko Widodo ordered nine more drug offenders, including eight foreigners, to be shot to death by firing squad. Waiting to be murdered Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, 30, single mother from rural Philippines. Domestic worker. Speaks only Tagalog.... read more

Our country jailed about 1 of every 600 people until 1980.

Then, we made an error.

Today, we imprison 1 of 140.

Prisons today house mostly nonviolent offenders, a half million drug prohibition violators alone. Thousands are serving life without parole for nonviolent drug offenses.

People like Sharanda Jones…

…and Tim Tyler.

Millions of children unnecessarily lose parents.

Like Dad Weldon Angelos…

… and Mom Lori Newhouse.

If we punished justly, prisons and jails would hold …

...serious, mostly violent criminals.

We would release…

...saving $50 billion annually.

Creating scenes like this…


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