I am only one of thousands of first-time, non-violent offenders given a mandatory and lengthy prison term after committing a crime under financial distress. In 1996, I was given a death sentence without sitting on death row. I was convicted as a first-time nonviolent drug offender to life behind bars in federal prison. Since I went to prison, the laws governing my wrong-doing have changed. If I were convicted again today for the same crime, my life might look very different.

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