HBO's The Sentence Shines a Light on the Devastating Effects of Mandatory Minimum Sentences (Time)
Rudy Valdez at first thought the 15-year prison sentence given to his sister Cindy Shank was a clerical error. The judge had probably meant to give her 15 months, he reasoned. Shank, whose sentence was later commuted, had been found guilty of conspiracy on drug charges, related to the crimes of an ex-boyfriend who had died years ago. Valdez says he thought he’d be able to fix it.