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What are the 924(c) Stacking Laws
Federal law requires lengthy 5-, 7-, 10-, and 30-year mandatory minimum sentences for possessing, brandishing, or discharging a gun in the course of a drug trafficking crime or a crime of violence (18 U.S.C. § 924(c)). There are also mandatory minimum sentences of 25 years for each subsequent conviction. The law requires that these mandatory prison terms be served back-to-back (i.e., consecutively, not concurrently) with each other and with any other punishment the person receives for the underlying offense. This is known as “stacking,” and it can result in absurdly lengthy sentences . The § 924(c) law is also often applied to nonviolent gun owners who do not actually harm or injure anyone. Additionally, the law applies even to legally purchased and registered guns and
rifles found in the person’s home, even if the guns were not present or used during the actual offense. All too often, a nonviolent or addicted drug offender selling drugs in their home can find themselves serving an extra five years in prison just because they also had a gun in the home — even if the gun was never used during a drug sale. The Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)) is another federal gun law that requires a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence for anyone who possesses a gun or ammunition and also has three prior convictions for drug trafficking or violent felonies. The mandatory minimum applies even if the prior convictions are very old, nonviolent, minor, resulted from a drug addiction, or resulted in no prison time. Currently, there is no safety valve for any federal gun crimes.
Maurice, and James were sentenced to spend the rest of their natural lives in prison for a crime where no one was murdered, or injured. This was Maurice's first conviction. They deserve a second chance. Help us correct this huge injustice!
Why is Prison Reform and Smarter Sentencing Necessary
By Maurice Brooks
Northern America houses 25% of the worlds prisoners. While sadly accounting for 5% of the population. Something is terribly wrong with this reflection coming from a Free Society who Prides itself on redemption, forgiveness, and second chances. Perhaps, this is what all the reform buzz is about. Getting it right! Elected official's such as Republican Senator Rand Paul (KY), Robert "Bobby" Scott (D-VA), Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY), newly appointed attorney General Loretta Lynch, the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and singer/songwriter John Legend are all leading the appeal to Congress to revamp mandatory minimum sentencing which the 924(c) policy falls under. A policy that has proven to be as senseless as it is useless in regulating gun control. To curve the sale of illegal drugs and prevent crimes by incarcerating and throwing away the key isn't the solution. Over 90% of the crimes committed are contributed to drug addition, some form of illiteracy, or mental health issue that isn't being addressed or treated properly during one's incarceration. We need solutions in order to make this a stronger nation. Not senseless incarceration.
Again, locking someone up, and throwing away the key isn't the rational solution. Addressing the contributing factor is. Since the closing of the mental health facilities across the U.S., the federal bureau of prisons has become a ward for asylum patients. Where their health concerns aren't being met: Dope 'em up. Slow 'em up. Put 'em to sleep. This isn't the solution. What will be the backlash once they're released back into society and can't find steady job's because they can't function properly due to the absence of needed medication? Or, when they are denied government funded medication because of a felony conviction? Will there be another Colorado movie shooting? Or, someone of this magnitude sitting at the defendant's table who's lawyer is fighting for a much needed insanity plea for not being able to cope with the norms of our society? When this happens, who's to blame? The intelligent minds incarcerating the defendant, or, the patient acting on the voices inside his mind from medical neglect? Speaking for all those incarcerated: We give thanks to John Legend, the Honorable Robert "Bobby" Scott, Rand Paul
for campaigning to end 924(c) and the draconian laws being enforced around this country on every level; State, local, and federal. Also, we give a special thank you to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Judge John Gleeson, Assistant United States Prosecuting Attorney Samuel Nitz and Attorney at law Harlan J. Protass, for challenging and vacating the 924(c) convictions handed down in the Holloway case that released him back into society after serving 19 years of a 67 year sentence. Smarter Sentencing is necessary. Ask Ms. Marion Hungford from Montana who received 159 years in 2005 for 924(c) convictions after being convicted of several casino and convenience store robberies, who the Judge later urged the government to vacate 6 of the 7 924(c) conviction's, as Judge Gleeson did in the Holloway case that set her free. Also, Christopher Williams, another Montanian received 80 years for 924(C). But later had them vacated because the judge felt they were to severe and un-American. He was later re-sentenced to five years. Why shouldn't this be the case for all those effected by the 924(c) policy? It doesn't take a lifetime to realize you messed up. Not for a defendant. Neither for those who have the authority to correct the imposed sentence. Everyone deserves a second chance. And not just those who sell their testimony to get it!!!