3,278 people sentenced to life imprisonment for without parole for nonviolent offenses

by Incarcerated Flavors

When Life is Cheap

Monday November 18, 2013

The ACLU’s new report, A Living Death: Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses, points to 3,278 people sentenced to life imprisonment for without parole for nonviolent offenses. And you need to read the whole thing.

A few victims of mandatory-minimum laws:

  • Stephanie Yvette George, who was sentenced to life imprisonment at 23 because her boyfriend hid drugs in her attic.
  • Clarence Aaron, sentenced to life at 23 for being present at a drug sale. He did not buy, sell, or manufacture the drugs, and both the buyer and seller have been released from prison after serving their sentences.
  • Sharanda Purlette Jones, a single mother sentenced to life at 30 for asking a friend if he knew where drugs could be purchased.

79% of the offenders were sentenced for “drug-related” crimes. These crimes do not necessarily involve the sale, purchase, or manufacture of drugs.

The U.S. prison industry is already the largest in human history. As private prisons continue to lobby lawmakers for new contracts with higher minimum occupancy quotas, stories like these will become increasingly common.

This doesn’t seem to bother us, as a country. Should it?

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