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WATCH: Martin Sheen Stars in Powerful New PSA Calling for Drug Sentencing Reform

The actor and his 'West Wing' alter ego have a clear message for Congress and President Obama.
 
 
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Photo Credit: screengrab via youtube

 
On Tuesday, Brave New Films released a  new PSA calling on Congress to pass the  Smarter Sentencing Act. The proposed sentencing-reform legislation aims to reduce prison populations and costs by creating less severe minimum terms for nonviolent drug offenders. (On Monday,Yahoo News  reported that President Obama could grant clemency to "hundreds, perhaps thousands" of nonviolent drug offenders by the end of his second term.) The video was produced in partnership with the ACLU and Families Against Mandatory Minimums ( FAMM), and stars actor  Martin Sheen. It's titled "President Bartlet has a message for Congress," in reference to Sheen's role on  Aaron Sorkin's political drama  The West Wing.
Watch it here:
 
 
 
 
 
"When BNF joined with FAMM and the ACLU to rally support for the Smart Sentencing Act, we couldn't think of a better spokesperson than Martin Sheen," Brave New Films president Robert Greenwald said. "When he portrayed President Bartlett on The West Wing, his character commuted the sentences of nonviolent drug offenders. In the real world, Martin Sheen has been an  advocate for sentencing reform and alternatives to the harsh, long prison sentences we give to nonviolent drug offenders."
Sheen isn't the only one in Hollywood trying to raise awareness about this. Last year,  Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson starred in the drama  Snitch, a film about a father who reunites with his estranged son after the kid is thrown in prison due to draconian  mandatory minimum sentencing laws. The film is based on a  1999 episode of PBS' Frontline  titled, "Snitch: How Informants Have Become a Key Part of Prosecutorial Strategy in the Drug War." (FAMM teamed up with Participant Media, the production company behind the film, to create awareness about the issues of mandatory-minimum drug sentencing.)
 
Now here's a clip of Sheen as Bartlet on the West Wing, talking about the failing War on Drugs and the American preison population:
 
 
 

 
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