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February 28, 2018

New Buried Alive Project taking on LWOP sentences for federal drug offenses

An important new effort to take a hard look and extreme federal sentences recent launched under a (great) fitting name: The Buried Alive Project.  Here is how the project's website explains its basic mission:

The Buried Alive Project works to raise awareness and help eliminate life without parole sentences for federal drug offenses through transformative legislation and litigation.  We use statistics and stories to educate the public and amplify the voices of those directly impacted.  The human element is rarely addressed but necessary to drive change needed to reform the criminal justice system.  By engaging people across the country, this project will harness America’s collective interest, passion, and direct experience of this issue into concrete change.

The Dallas Morning News has this Q&A with Brittany Barnett, a lawyer who help found the Buried Alive Project.  Here is an excerpt:

Who are some of the individuals who remain buried alive by this sentencing?

Alice Johnson, a 62-year-old grandmother and great-grandmother from Memphis, is serving her 21st year of a life without parole sentence for her role in a non-violent drug conspiracy.  Like Sharanda [Jones], this is Ms. Alice's first ever conviction — felony or otherwise. Absolutely no aspect of her offense was violent.

Ms. Alice, who has served one-third of her life in prison, has an outstanding record of achievement in prison and works diligently to prove she is deserving of a second chance at life. A life without parole sentence demands a special kind of courage — the ability to act with grace and dignity in a totally degrading situation. Ms. Alice epitomizes this special kind of courage.

Keeping Alice in prison for the rest of her life serves no useful purpose to her or society. We cannot barter human lives for sake of appearing tough on crime. It is an utter waste of human life and taxpayer dollars.

February 28, 2018 at 12:38 AM | Permalink


Good morning to whomever is reading this email.

I have a brother at a Federal Prison in West Virginia and a nephew in Tennessee (both African Americans) who are buried alive in the extreme federal sentences they have received.

My brother gave me this email address and I am just reaching out to see who contacts me.

Please contact me at [email protected] as soon as possible.

Thank you in advance for reaching out to me.


Monica Wimbley-Thibou

Posted by: Monica Wimbley-Thibou | Jun 13, 2018 10:41:42 AM

My Daughter, Tiffany Arnold is also one of many who is not going to get a second chance in life to be with her Son's and now Grandson because of this harsh sentencing for non-violent drug charge. Once this sentencing was enforced its like now it has been forgot about and so are they. The Family's have to go on and suffer and they pay the price for this forgotten, senseless verdict given to them. Thanks to people like you, you help us get this out there to be noticed and try to get the attention of the ones who have the power to change this. It may be to late for her, but from a Mother who has had to try to go on and live a life without one part of my life has been the hardest thing I have had to do. Knowing she's there but I can't hug her or even see her because she's so far away.

Posted by: Pat Patton | Jul 10, 2018 1:46:59 PM

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