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Background Mandatory Minimum Sentences 

Mandatory minimum sentences—laws that require binding prison terms for certain crimes—are one reason so many people are behind bars in the U.S. today.

Update Race and (In)Justice in Ferguson 

Ferguson, MO, a small suburb outside of St. Louis, has been the recent spotlight of national media attention. The brutal killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager by Ferguson police, sparked a wave of community uproar.

Statement Solitary Confinement and Quakers 

This statement on behalf of the Friends Committee on National Legislation was submitted for the hearing: "Reassessing Solitary Confinement II: The Human Rights, Fiscal and Public Safety Consequences" to the United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights

Background Quakers Know Prisons from the Inside Out 

From the earliest days of their formation as the Religious Society of Friends, Quakers were imprisoned as they followed their evangelist leadings. Their crimes were blasphemy, public speaking, refusal to swear oaths, and disturbing the peace, among other distressing behaviors.

Background State and Federal Responsibilities for Criminal Justice 

The judicial system divides responsibilities for prosecution and incarceration between the local, state, and federal levels. Advocacy and changes at each level are critical for ending mass incarceration.

Background DNA Testing and Incarceration 

Dozens of wrongly-convicted persons (including several on death row) have been exonerated of crimes. DNA testing has played an important role in a number of exonerations.

Background Moral and Practical Reasons to End the Death Penalty 

There are many reasons to end the use of the death penalty. Executing criminals does not effectively address the roots of violence in our society. It has not been shown to effectively deter the sorts of crimes for which it is applied. It does not restore lives destroyed by acts of violence.

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