This week, the U.S. Sentencing Commission held a hearing in Washington, D.C. on federal sentencing after U.S. v. Booker, the Supreme Court decision that made the sentencing guidelines advisory instead of mandatory.  Families Against Mandatory Minimum’s VP Mary Price testified that judges are using their discretion wisely and need to be able to continue to give individualized sentences. You can read her testimony here.

FAMM released this statement on President Obama’s new budget proposal, which endorsed the idea of expanding good time credit and compassionate release.

HLS professor and former judge of the U.S. District Court for Mass. Nancy Gertner was counsel of record in an amicus brief (PDF) submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in Dorsey v. U.S. and Corey Hill v. U.S.  These decisions will determine whether the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 applies to defendants sentenced after the law was enacted, but whose crimes were committed beforehand. Gertner co-wrote the brief, which argues that denying such application will further “damage the legitimacy of the sentencing process,” with another former federal judge, Paul Cassell. Both authors sentenced defendants under the mandatory-minimum provisions of the 1986 Act, and have written previously to express their deep concerns about the damaging effects and racism of mandatory-minimum penalties for non-violent drug offenders.

Finally, FAMM President Julie Stewart recently published this op-ed in the Huffington Post last week. At a time when some Congress members argue that more prosecutorial discretion will reduce racial disparity, it calls attention to a powerful new study that suggests that much responsibility lies with prosecutors, not judges, for the disparity in sentences between black and white offenders.