ON THIS EPISODE
Do you know your Constitutional Rights? Episode 14 of Gideon’s Promise: The Podcast focuses on the importance of knowing our fundamental legal rights when encountering the criminal legal system and the affects that mandatory minimum sentences have had on Black and Brown communities. Hosts Jonathan Rapping and Ilham Askia sit down with two incredible criminal justice reform advocates, Molly Gill, the Vice President of Policy for Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), and Criminal Justice Reform Activist, Sagan Soto-Stanton whose husband is currently serving a 30 year sentence. Listen in as they discuss War on Drug policies, the importance of knowing our rights, and how we can become active in changing these punitive policies.
ABOUT THE GUESTS
Molly Gill is the Vice President of Policy for Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), a nonpartisan, nonprofit sentencing reform organization in Washington, D.C. Gill is a lawyer, advocate, and expert on sentencing law and policy, with almost 15 years of experience working in the criminal justice field. She coordinates FAMM’s sentencing reform campaigns in states across the country and works with state lawmakers, affected family members, and other criminal justice stakeholders to promote sentencing and prison policies that are cost-effective, protect public safety, fit the crime and the individual, and preserve families. Gill also serves as a commissioner on the District of Columbia Sentencing Commission.
Prior to coming to FAMM in 2007, Gill practiced construction and commercial litigation and began her legal career in the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office in Minneapolis, Minnesota, assisting with the prosecution of murders, gang crimes, and gun offenses. She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Oral Roberts University, where her Christian faith inspired her to advocate on behalf of prisoners.
Gill has drafted legislation and submitted written and oral testimony to legislatures across the country regarding proposed sentencing reforms.
Sagan is married to Terrance Stanton, originally sentenced to life for crack conspiracy charges, reduced to 25-30 years. He went inside in 2013, out date is 2039. They grew up in same neighborhood, and they are now married with two kids together, and he has additional children from a prior relationship.
From Mrs. Soto-Stanton: “My husband is currently in prison, and battling various medical conditions that haven’t been diagnosed just yet. If we were in the shoes of someone who is incarcerated for a non-violent offense, we would want to be able to be home to receive the best treatment. Keeping sick people in prison, and just putting them on a medical waitlist for weeks hoping to be seen, or to receive any type of medical treatment, is absolutely ridiculous!”
YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT
- How the War on Drugs campaign from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and mandatory minimum sentences are connected?
- How public defenders can navigate in and around mandatory minimum sentences to provide positive outcomes for their clients?
- How can we get involved in educating people about their individual rights?
Gideon’s Promise: A Public Defender Movement to Transform Criminal Justice (2020) by Jonathan Rapping.