... Like many petty criminals snared by sentencing rules aimed at drug kingpins, Ms. Dallaire had virtually no hope of an early release, even after the Supreme Court’s 2005 decision and subsequent Congressional action reducing prison terms in crack cocaine cases. She got there through an exquisitely rare constellation — her exemplary prison record, Judge Lagueux’s nagging conscience and the interest of another judge who persuaded a top lawyer to volunteer his time to work for her release. Without those, Ms. Dallaire would still be working three jobs at the Danbury federal prison.
“There are a lot of people like Denise doing bone-crushing time under the old sentencing regime, and we need to try to find ways to help them,” said Judge John Gleeson....
March 29, 2013
"'I felt bound by those mandatory guidelines and I hated them,' Judge Lagueux said from the bench..."
"... as [Denise] Dallaire sobbed quietly and the room froze with amazement. 'I’m sorry I sent you away for 15 years.' He urged her to get home quickly to her ill mother but not to run down the court steps as people do in the movies. 'Those steps are dangerous,' he told her."