Discourse Community Analysis Examples

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Discourse Community Analysis 2 October 2012 Equate the Time with the Crime “I sentence you to serve the mandatory minimum of ten years and you will serve that with the Federal Bureau of Prisons,” said Judge William Maynard of the Northern District of Florida Federal Court. That was the mandatory sentence given to my two younger sisters, May age 25 and Cindy age 27, for conspiracy to maintain marijuana in a drug premise, in other words knowing of drug activity involving marijuana and not reporting it. I was speechless and I thought I had misunderstood the judge. The amount of time given to my sisters is what led me to successfully join the discourse community of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM). As a member of this community,…show more content…
I knew that to be accepted as a member of this community I had to prove my knowledge of the federal law. For example, my family and I frequently discussed how unjust the Federal Sentencing Guidelines were to first-time, nonviolent offenders. As the oldest sister, I knew that I had to do my research to help my sisters. I also knew that I had to learn the penal codes that pertained specifically to my sisters, because the federal law is so extensive I wanted to make sure that I clearly understood it. I developed this knowledge through long hours of research and many trips to the Fort Worth Public Library. As I began my research, I came across some startling statistics, for instance I learned that 92% of federal drug defendants adjudicated in Federal Court are convicted. Knowing that motivated me to start researching online for cases that were similar to my sisters’. While doing this research, I discovered a possible reduction in points for my sisters called the “Safety Valve Law,” a provision in the Sentencing Reform Act. It authorizes a sentence below the statutory minimum for certain nonviolent, non-managerial drug offenders with no criminal history. This law was presented to the judge by my sisters’ attorneys at their appeal hearing; due to my research they were granted their appeal and their sentence was reduced from ten to seven years. Through dedication, time and research I successfully developed my knowledge in federal law and sentencing guidelines. This knowledge helped me become a successful member because I was able to share my knowledge with other group members and they were able to rely on me for

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