For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Monica Pratt Raffanel (202) 822-6700 or media@famm.org

Families Against Mandatory Minimums

FAMM Condemns Mandatory Life Sentence for Michelle Lyn Taylor, Says Law Warrants Reform

WASHINGTON - Families
Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), the nation’s only nonprofit advocacy
organization dedicated to fighting one-size-fits-all sentences,
condemned the mandatory life sentence issued to Michelle Lyn Taylor on
April 15 in Elko County, Nev.

According to
published news reports, a jury convicted Michelle Lyn Taylor, 34, of
lewdness with a minor under 14 for forcing a 13-year-old boy to touch
her breast through her clothing and soliciting him for sex.
  Conviction
for lewdness with a minor under 14 carries a mandatory life sentence in
Nevada with parole eligibility after 10 years. The jurors did not know
she faced a life sentence.

“We believe the life sentence handed to Michelle Lyn Taylor is a total
travesty of justice,” said Julie Stewart, FAMM founder and president.
“FAMM does not condone criminal behavior, especially where a minor is
the victim, but no reasonable person can believe that the punishment
fits the crime in this case. Life sentences are usually reserved for
murderers and repeat violent offenders.”

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“FAMM opposes mandatory minimum sentencing laws that carry
disproportionate one-size-fits-all sentences and enormously expensive
penalties.
 Keeping Michelle Lyn Taylor in jail for the rest of her
life could cost Nevada taxpayers well over $1 million. This seems like
a terrible waste of a life, and limited taxpayer resources,” concluded
Stewart.

 

The harshness and high
expense of mandatory sentences, like the one meted out to Michelle Lyn
Taylor, are two reasons why other states are reforming mandatory
minimums.  Over a dozen cash-crunched states,
including New Jersey, Rhode Island and Michigan have enacted
significant sentencing reforms in the last decade, saving millions of
dollars and reducing pressure on overcrowded prisons. FAMM can provide
background about the states that are rejecting mandatory minimums and
retooling their sentencing laws.

Families Against Mandatory Minimums is a national nonprofit,
nonpartisan organization supporting fair and proportionate sentencing
laws that allow judicial discretion while maintaining public safety.
For more information on FAMM, visit www.famm.org or contact
Monica Pratt Raffanel at (202) 822-6700 or media@famm.org.

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