Why Hasn’t Obama’s Clemency Initiative Helped More Nonviolent Drug Offenders?
The New Yorker
July 4, 2016

“In January 9th, Alton Mills was released from a federal prison in Mendota, California, after spending nearly half his life behind bars. In 1994, when Mills was twenty-five and living on the South Side of Chicago, he was convicted of conspiracy to sell crack cocaine and using a telephone to do so. Because Mills had been convicted twice before, of possession of less than five grams of crack cocaine, the federal judge on his case was compelled to hand down a sentence of life in prison without parole, under mandatory-minimum sentencing laws. At the time, the judge, Marvin Aspen, decried the sentence as ‘cruel and unusual.’”

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