For Immediate Release


Monica Pratt Raffanel (202) 822-6700 or

Families Against Mandatory Minimums

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

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.
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.”

“FAMM opposes mandatory minimum sentencing laws that carry
disproportionate one-size-fits-all sentences and enormously expensive
 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


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 or contact
Monica Pratt Raffanel at (202) 822-6700 or


This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news outlet. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Share This Article

More in: