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Black Attorneys: Here’s an Amazing Opportunity to Give Back to Your Community

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attorneysReported by April V. Taylor

Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) is a nonprofit founded in 1991, dedicated to fighting the inflexible and excessive penalties required by mandatory sentencing laws.  FAMM uses advocacy and activism to promote policies that allow judges to use their own discretion when sentencing defendants based on their role in the offense, the seriousness of the crime, and the defendant’s potential for rehabilitation.  FAMM’s membership base includes inmates and their families as well as attorneys, judges, criminal justice experts, and many concerned citizens.  Through their work, FAMM has been responsible for multiple policy changes that are helping to eliminate and reform mandatory minimum sentencing laws across the country.

One of the initiatives FAMM is participating in is the Clemency Project 2014.  Other organizations involved with the project are the Federal Defenders, the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Bar Association, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  The initiative was launched in January in an attempt to answer the call put out by Deputy Attorney General James Cole for legal professionals to provide pro bono assistance to federal prisoners who are serving sentences under mandatory minimum laws but may have been eligible for reduced sentences if they had been sentenced under current updated sentencing guidelines.

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