Mass Decarceration –

August 9, 2019 – The sweet tea and trap music lover’s goal today is to dredge up pro bono lawyers who are willing to work with some of the 1,600 people in the federal justice system who are serving life for drugs. Just getting that number was difficult enough: The Department of Justice wasn’t keen to share the information, Barnett says, and so her Buried Alive Project team had to piece together the records themselves. “If you don’t have a good counsel, it turns what is a difficult fight into one that is impossible. So the work she is doing is so important, just to ensure we have a fair and just system,” says David Safavian, deputy director of the Center for Criminal Justice Reform at the American Conservative Union.  The First Step Act is expected to lead to the release of more than 2,200 prisoners locked up for nonviolent drug crimes. But for many critics, it didn’t go far enough. While it eliminated so-called “stacked” sentences for future defendants, it didn’t reverse them retroactively for those currently in the system, meaning some people are serving up to 55 years for what may be only a five-year sentence today…

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