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Oct-07-2015 23:54printcomments

George Martorano, the Longest-Serving First-Time Non-Violent Offender in US Fed Prisons is FREE

My being truly truly thanks all of those upon moving earth, that care so much about me.

George Martorano
George Martorano and his attorney Theodore Simon on the day of his release (10/5/15) after 32 years in custody after release from Coleman Federal.

(SALEM, Ore.) - FREE AT LAST! George Martorano, the longest-serving first-time non-violent offender in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, HAS BEEN RELEASED. After 32 years, nearly an entire “life without parole” for marijuana trafficking.... he is HOME.

In 1982, George Martorano was caught with a truck of marijuana. In 1984, on the advice of his attorney Robert Simone, Martorano pled guilty to 19 counts of drug possession and distribution.

The prosecution had recommended a sentence of from 40 to 54 months, but Martorano was subsequently advised by both the prosecution and the judge, John Berne Hannum, that this plea could result in a sentence of LIFE without the possibility of parole.

On September 20, 1984, Martorano was indeed sentenced to LIFE in prison without the possibility of parole, the longest prison term ever imposed on a first-time non-violent offender in American history.

So why was such a harsh sentence handed to George Martorano?

According to the, the common belief is that in the prosecution’s effort to send a message to George’s father, Raymond “Long John” Martorano, an alleged mafia figure. He was given the maximum sentence allowed by law; life with no parole.

Because he remained silent, they “locked him up and threw away the key,” put him in solitary confinement for four and one half years, and kept him in America’s most notorious prison: Marion, which is completely underground. Marion replaced Alcatraz when the U.S. Government closed it in 1962.

Then George began to write. He wrote and published a book about growing up in the old Italian-American neighborhood in Philadelphia, “South Philly", and continued to write.

He now has 31 works depicting life in prison as well as life on the outside. He teaches reading and writing, yoga, and even counsels suicidal inmates.

According to the WeBelieve Group, George could be “the poster boy” for the fight against Mandatory Minimum sentencing.

Martorano has distinguished himself during his decades. In addition to being a "model" prisoner, Martorano:

  • prevented the hijacking of an aircraft by prisoners while in transit from Philadelphia to Oklahoma, OK following the loss of his 33rd appeal. This incident has been documented by the FBI and FBOP and was called "extraordinary" by D.C. DeCamillus, SIS lieutenant.
  • is considered one of the most prolific writers in the Federal Prison System, having authored more than 31 books. He has also written numerous short stories, screenplays and poems.
  • He was recently asked by The Bureau of Prisons to teach a re-entry class to inmates that are ready to be released and the main subject of this class is “How to successfully transition from prison life to street life”, he authored a booklet for this class titled, The Shot Caller. The Shot Caller is a “How To Guide” and list many businesses that can be started with $1000.00 dollars. This publication has been approved by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP) for use in prisoner re-entry programs.
  • has developed a creative writing course - "The Write to Life" - which has assisted numerous inmates in earning GEDs and developing creative writing skills.
  • is a certified suicide watch counselor. He often uses himself as an example in this role, telling fellow inmates: "If I have hope facing what I am facing every day so can you."
  • was one of the first – if not the first – inmate in the FBOP system to exercise his First Amendment rights digitally, by publishing his work on his blog ( and his website(
  • recently developed a website, to help children of inmates cope with their parent's incarceration.

Martorano had a spotless prison record without an incident of violence in all of his twenty-plus years in America’s toughest jails.

He appealed the sentence tirelessly (with over 35 appeals). is OVER.

My being truly truly thanks all of those upon moving earth, that care so much about me.
And yes, I am free... The morning roars at me with sunrise silence.
And my mind gallops.
Kisses and arms that wrap from loved ones, I feel fast to my heart.
And my mind gallops.
All forms of an uncaged life dance, perform at every jump of eye.
And my mind gallops.
What of me! Today tis to humble myself to all. For imprisoned 32 years I create and understanding of what mankind can be, shall try to be, through a somewhat leader as I.
And my mind gallops.
I subscribe myself,
George Martorano

Sources:, stormyloveministries, webelievegroup, wikipedia, Free George Martorano Justice Campaign facebook


Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied. October 13, 2015 2:32 am (Pacific time)

i dont know George but thank God for his release. The prison system is a mess being arrested for marijuana is so funny its hard to believe. There are so many people outhere selling drugs to children and adults hardcore drugs why dont they focus their attention on these people.

maryanncampbellmcnicholas October 10, 2015 9:36 am (Pacific time)

just legalize it already its pretty bad when a man named George had to spend 32 years in prison for marijuana that's pathetic when there is people out there selling hardcore drugs and get a slap on the wrist maybe the law should take a look and reavaluate these people that have been sentenced to life alittle closer

maryanncampbellmcnicholas October 10, 2015 9:29 am (Pacific time)

thank you for posting this if people would only know what goes on in the prison system they might take notice my cousin in law has been in for 33 years and I talk to him on the phone it is my husbands cousin I haven't seen him in 3 years because he is far but at least I get to hear his voice its tough and he got a life sentence with no paroll for murder I cried when my sister Lenore called me a few minutes after George was released I just imagined seeing Harold walking through the gate some day I am so happy George is out and it is so unexcusable how the judicial system works thank god for ted attorney at law for having him released thans ted lenores sister maryann

Cheri Sicard October 8, 2015 2:54 pm (Pacific time)

Love the story and love, love, love that my friend George is finally free! However, I believe the longest serving, nonviolent, first time offender is actually Antonio Bascaro who has served over 35 years for a nonviolent marijuana only conspiracy offense. Sadly Antonio is still very much incarcerated.

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