State Prisoners


Stephanie Troy: Making the Most of a Bad Sentence

Stephanie’s story is a messy one, reflecting the chaotic life of a drug addict. It also shows how drug-weight threshold laws can have a devastating “cliff effect” on low-level offenders. Arizona lawmakers thought that their one-size-fits-all prison sentences for drug offenses would only apply to major dealers. Meet Stephanie Troy, who received more than five… Read more »

Michael Giles: No Ordinary Defendant

Michael is a veteran serving a mandatory 25-year sentence under Florida’s 10-20-Life law after he fired two shots in self-defense, shots that did not seriously injure his attacker. Read more about what Michael’s incarceration means to his family via an op-ed by his mother, Phyllis Giles. On Feb. 6, 2010, active duty air force serviceman… Read more »

Calvin Bryant: 17 Years for a First Offense

  Beloved by friends, family, teachers, and co-workers, Calvin Bryant is now serving 17 years for a first-time offense. His sentence was grossly enhanced by Tennessee’s harsh and unfair drug-free school zone law. In 2009, Calvin Bryant was convicted of selling drugs and sentenced to 17 years in Tennessee state prison. He was a first-time… Read more »

Sara Moore: “A Great Little Kid”

  Sara was so far into her drug addiction that nothing mattered. Not friends, family, or work. She sold drugs out of her apartment and was arrested, and because she lived in a school zone, her sentence was much greater than it would have been otherwise. She knew she was in a school zone, she… Read more »

William Forrester

William Forrester became addicted to pain medication after surgery. In the fierce grip of his disease, he obtained oxycodone with a fake prescription. He badly needed help with his addiction; instead he is now in state prison for a mandatory 15 years. “The pain never seemed to go away, no matter how much medication I… Read more »

Terrance Davis: 101 Feet and 22 Years

  Because of the Drug-Free School Zone Act in Tennessee, this low-level drug offender is serving a decade longer than he would have without that enhancement. A distance of 101 feet. For Terrance Davis, that length was the difference between 12 years in prison—with the possibility of parole after serving four years—and the sentence he… Read more »

Erik Weyant

Threatened in a parking lot by a group of men and fearing a beating or even worse, Erik pulled out his legal handgun and fired shots into the air. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for aggravated assault with a firearm without intent to kill. Twenty-two-year-old Erik worked long hours renovating homes and… Read more »