According to a recent report, more than 3,000 Americans are sentenced to die behind bars for non-violent offenses such as theft and drug crimes. (Source: ACLU)

Nonviolent Life Without Parole Statutes and Background

NONVIOLENT LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE (NVLWOP)[1] In recent years, criminal justice reform efforts throughout the nation have been gathering momentum. Citizens and lawmakers across the political spectrum are increasingly rejecting lengthy, punitive terms of incarceration for...
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New Report Highlights How Local Criminal Justice Policies Undercut the Promise of “Sanctuary” Cities

Local criminal justice policies, such as vagrancy laws and cash bail requirements, endanger vulnerable immigrant populations and undercut the promise of “sanctuary” cities, according to a report released today by Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project, the...
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Five Criminal Justice Reforms the Louisiana Legislature Should Pass Immediately

  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Louisiana locks up more people per capita than anywhere else in the country — nearly double the national average. It sends people to prison for drug, property, and other low-level offenses at an alarming clip. This desire to lock people...
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Harris County’s Marijuana Diversion Program an Important First Step Towards Community-Centered Justice Reform

On Thursday, February 16, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced the formation of the Misdemeanor Marijuana Diversion Program (MMDP), which is a pre-charge diversion program for individuals who meet certain criteria and are in possession of four ounces or...
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Meet Four Elected Prosecutors Still Fighting The War on Weed

Introduction Four states–Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington—and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana. Next week, California, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada will decide whether to join their ranks. The most recent...
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Charging Drug Overdoses as Homicide

Introduction In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared the beginning of the “war on drugs,” which set in motion the proliferation of draconian sentencing laws for drug-related offenses and contributed to a new era of mass incarceration. More than forty years later,...
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The Department of Justice’s Very Good Day

“It’s a good day,” Christie Donner, Director of the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, noted last Thursday, August 18. She was referring to the announcement by Sally Yates, Deputy Attorney General, that the Justice Department planned to phase out its use of...
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In Oregon, FPP Supports Defendant’s Claim that the Court Should Have Considered His Intellectual Disability at Sentencing

The Fair Punishment Project recently filed an amicus brief, along with the Oregon Justice Resource Center, in the Oregon Supreme Court. The case is State v. Steven Levi Ryan, and the issue the Oregon Supreme Court will decide is: Under Article I, section 16, of the...
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New York Court Says Youth Must Be A Factor in Parole Determinations

What if your adult life was determined entirely by a terrible thing you did when you were a teenager? Last week, a New York appellate court held that in the context of criminal law, such finality based on teenage conduct is unconstitutional. In 1976, 16-year-old...
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This Colorado Prosecutor Has Taken A Dangerous Stand on Mass Incarceration

Last week, George Brauchler, District Attorney for Colorado’s 18th Judicial District (located outside of Denver), stated on Twitter that “‘Mass incarceration’ is a myth. Individuals with their own attorneys were convicted and sentenced individually.” His statement...
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