It was good to hear the Attorney General of the United States speak out against the cruel insanity of mandatory minimum sentencing. Undoubtedly you are being deluged with correspondence from family and friends of people who would not be a menace to society if released from federal prison. This is to call your attention to three prisoners worthy of immediate clemency: Marian Fry, MD, a breast cancer survivor; her husband Dale Schafer, an attorney whose legal woes began when he ran against an incumbent DA; and Dustin Costa, a cultivator who seemed as humane and as legal-under-state-law as anyone I’ve encountered in covering the medical marijuana movement/industry since its modern inception in 1996. Relevant background material on each case is attached (just click on their names).

Fred Gardner

ps As you undoubtedly know, the bill creating mandatory minimums for drug-related offenses was introduced by Hale Boggs of Louisiana, the Speaker of the House, and adopted by Congress at the height of the McCarthy era. Boggs’ widow held his seat for many years after he died. The Boggs’s daughter Cokie Roberts attained a modicum of influence as a journalist. Their talented son Tommy could have had any job in politics —Governor of Louisiana, Senator, maybe the presidency, with luck— and he chose to run a lobbying firm in Washington, Patton Boggs. I always found that interesting.