Rudy Valdez and Cindy Shank of HBO Documentary 'The Sentence' It's Tuesday: Cindy Shank was living a comfortable life at home with her three little girls and husband when one day the feds came knocking. They were there to arrest her for not telling the police about an ex-boyfriend's drug dealing several years prior. That's the story behind a new HBO documentary, 'The Sentence' - directed by Shank's brother, Rudy Valdez. Sam talks to Cindy and Rudy about documenting the impact on their family, a mother's love for her children, and how the film has brought politicians together on both sides of the aisle.
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'The Sentence' Documents Toll of Mandatory Sentencing Laws On A Family

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'The Sentence' Documents Toll of Mandatory Sentencing Laws On A Family

'The Sentence' Documents Toll of Mandatory Sentencing Laws On A Family

'The Sentence' Documents Toll of Mandatory Sentencing Laws On A Family

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/657490835/657651919" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Filmmaker Rudy Valdez, Autumn Shank (Cindy's daughter), and Cindy Shank at a special screening of The Sentence at SVA theater on October 10, 2018 in New York City. Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for HBO hide caption

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Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for HBO

Filmmaker Rudy Valdez, Autumn Shank (Cindy's daughter), and Cindy Shank at a special screening of The Sentence at SVA theater on October 10, 2018 in New York City.

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for HBO

Cindy Shank was living a comfortable life at home with her three little girls and husband when one day the feds came knocking. They were there to arrest her for not telling the police about an ex-boyfriend's drug dealing several years prior. Shank was sentenced to 15 years in prison due to something called mandatory minimum laws. These laws are minimum sentences set for certain crimes like Shank's that judges cannot lower, no matter the circumstance.

Cindy Shank and Rudy Valdez attend The Sentence premiere at The Ray during the 2018 Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2018 in Park City, Utah. Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images hide caption

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Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

All this is the story behind a new HBO documentary, The Sentence — directed by Shank's brother, Rudy Valdez. Sam talks to Shank and Valdez about documenting the impact of this sentence on their family, a mother's love for her children, and how the film is inspiring Republican and Democratic politicians to take action.

This episode was produced and edited for broadcast by Anjuli Sastry and Jordana Hochman. It was adapted for Web by Anjuli Sastry.