A Judge Called His Mandatory Sentence 'Excessive' and 'Wrong.' Less Than a Year Later He Died In Federal Prison
Added 06-14-19 05:21:02pm EST - “Frederick Turner was sentenced to a mandatory 40 years on nonviolent drug and firearm charges. He ended up in a high-security federal prison, and now he's dead.” - Reason.com
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Less than a year after being sentenced to prison for 40 years under a mandatory minimum sentence that the judge declared "excessive" and "wrong," Frederick Turner, 38, was found dead in his cell at a high-security federal lockup in Colorado on Wednesday, according to a criminal justice advocacy group.
FAMM, an organization that works to repeal mandatory minimum sentences, announced Turner's death yesterday and said his family had been working to get Turner, who had no prior criminal convictions, transferred to a different prison for his safety.
"The thing that's so frustrating is this was entirely foreseeable," says FAMM president Kevin Ring. "You were sending this gentle, nonviolent offender into a hell hole run by gangs."
Ring says that Turner was sent to the U.S. penitentiary in Florence, Colorado. The prison has a reputation for violence, and Turner feared for his life after he refused to join a white supremacist gang.
The circumstances of Turner's death are not yet known. The Bureau of Prisons did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but its online inmate locator confirms he died on Thursday.
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