U.S. Justice Department announces clemency review of drug offenders

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“Although it’s being done through the pardon power, it really is a kind of administrative action to make some of the newer laws retroactive,” said Robert Weisberg, a law professor at Stanford University and co-director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center.

I wonder how this is going to be spun by the right. “He’s buying votes!” or “He freeing criminals into the population!” are probably some of the tamer things that will be said.

Shame on Charles Grassley for trying to convolute the subject of sentencing for nonviolent drug offenders by needlessly adding “child pornography, terrorism, sexual assault, domestic violence, and various fraud offenses” into the discussion. Fear mongering at it’s best.

The US is home to draconian drug laws that have no positive effect on the community and only serve to protect the monopoly that dangerous drug cartels hold on the drug trade, and steal the futures of nonviolent drug offenders and turn them into violent criminals. Drug addiction treatment would do more than a prison sentence ever could.

But the prison-industrial complex is a powerful lobby, one that directly profits from incarcerating citizens. Any move to reduce sentencing for non-violent offenders, or focus on rehab over prison, will be met with fierce opposition; I guess we’ll find out who in congress has been bought off by the prison industry based on how they react to these developments.

Apr 23, 2014 1:25pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Crash866 wrote:

USofRationality

And you said this:
the prison-industrial complex is a powerful lobby, one that directly profits from incarcerating citizens. Any move to reduce sentencing for non-violent offenders, or focus on rehab over prison, will be met with fierce opposition; I guess we’ll find out who in congress has been bought off by the prison industry based on how they react to these developments.

So putting people in prison who sell hard drugs is only about the prison system, the lobbying group they have and corrupt politicians?
Has nothing to do with putting criminals who sell poison behind bars and public safety.

I wonder how this is going to be spun by the left…oh wait you already did

Pot, Kettle, Black…

Apr 23, 2014 2:37pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Crash866 wrote:

Hard stance on guns. Check. Hard stance on hard drugs…not so much.

Apr 23, 2014 2:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

Crash866 wrote:
“So putting people in prison who sell hard drugs is only about the prison system, the lobbying group they have and corrupt politicians?”

I can play the semantics game, too:

Putting nonviolent drug offenders behind bars for years if not decades for the crime of supplying a product that should be legal is about one thing and one thing only: maintaining the abundant resource supply that the private prison industry profits off of – humans.

But anyway, thanks for shedding some light on the inner working of the mind of a fear monger :)

By the way, what is alcohol, nicotine, oxycontin, etc. if not drugs/poison? Why is it that only the drugs/poisons that conservatives like to indulge in are acceptable? And why do you want to government to stay out of YOUR business, but you want it to tell ME what I can and can’t do in the privacy of my own home?

Hypocrisy, thy name is Republican.

Apr 23, 2014 3:28pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Chazz wrote:

One can only hope that when these non-violent crack cocaine pushers get out of prison and get back to business they sell their products to the children of our enlightened political leaders and citizens who think those products are not so bad.

Apr 23, 2014 3:35pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:

@Chazz

100 years ago when we gave women the right to vote the religious zealots had enough people to finally mount a successful attack on our freedoms and liberties and started prohibition. Please tell me how that worked out, and then please tell me why we did not revers the prohibition on other substances such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. How do you think the war on drugs is going?

As far as this story goes, we finally reversed the racist laws that made crack cocaine worse than cocaine in the eyes of the law. The original drug laws were racist, and that law was racist. All the DoJ is doing is undoing the longer sentences given to people caught with crack cocaine, and shortened it to what the sentence would have been had it not been cooked…

Apr 24, 2014 11:27am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Snertly wrote:

Baby steps forward, or just the smallest possible smidgen to suggest that something reform-like might be happening?

If the administration wants to signal a change in the war on drugs, the best way to do this would be to remove marijuana from Schedule I.

Apr 24, 2014 12:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Art16 wrote:

This is confusing at best. Let drug offenders out of jail early flies in the face of the “war against drugs” because the punishment never fit the crime. Too many people are soft on drugs, including Junior High Obama, who admitted his drug laced past, and it shows in his personality. If you want to seriously diminish drug dealers, make the punishment not worth the risk of doing it. This does nothing but send a message that drugs are OK and the government has a soft spot for drug crimes. The real soft spot is the brain of the DOJ.

Apr 24, 2014 12:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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