A Case Study in Priorities: Hamedah Hasan

Hamedah HasanHamedah Hasan, a grandmother and mother of 3, she was convicted for playing a peripheral role in a crack cocaine conspiracy headed by a family member. Hamedah had fled a physically abusive relationship and sought shelter with her cousin, who after several months began asking to her run minor errands for the operation. Hamedah's was a first time, nonviolent offense.

Although she never used drugs and felt she had no choice but to participate at the time, Hamedah admittedly chose to engage in the wrong doing. In 1993, she was charged with conspiracy to deliver crack cocaine, which made her liable for all drugs ever associated with her cousin's drug operation, regardless of the role she played. As a result, Hamedah was sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Hamedah has already served over 16 years behind bars. Over the last 16 years, the federal prison system has paid approximately $410,000 dollars to incarcerate and keep Hamedah locked away. In addition, Hamedah's children have grown up without their mother present in their daily lives. She is currently petitioning President Obama to commute her remaining sentence and is being represented by the ACLU.