Forum Thread

Feds offer clemency for drug offenders

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  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    Congress will never abolish Mandatory Minimums, but they are offering clemency to thousands of federal inmates "IF THEY QUALIFY". That's a big "IF".
    The inmate must have already served ten years, no violence, no member of an organization and no priors. With these requirements I don't expect but a mere 2-3 hundred to qualify.

    The Bureau of Prisons is over populated and broke. A small fix. I've always said the feds would never abolish the sentencing policies or the statutes. It grants the DOJ all the power.

  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    I am not a fan at all of our prison system. He is a huge money drain and it has been largely privatized leading to multiple cases of judges issuing unwarranted jail sentences.

    I am against the idea of locking people up as a punishment. Jails and prisons should be reserved for people who are a threat to society not as a place for "adult time-out". Locking up drug addicts and users for long periods of time is counterproductive and a huge waste of resources (along with the other victimless crimes). Violent criminals, of course, should be locked up and hopefully rehabilitated (something our current system doesn't do very well). Repeat offenders of petty theft and such should warrant some jail time. Non-violent drug offenders should be fined, if they are repeat offenders, then, rehab maybe. Locking them up does not protect the public, it doesn't help the drug user, nor is there any victim to give a sense of justice to. It accomplishes nothing. Granted, this is a gross over simplification of the situation but it is a short summary of the core idea.

    From 1980 to 2003, the prison population increased by a factor of five. In 1980, it was just under 500,000 inmates. In 2003 there was 2,400,000 inmates. This is really weird because violent crime rates have been steadily decreasing or staying constant (depends on the category) over the last 30 years. Mandatory prison sentencing policies and "three strikes" laws have caused the explosion in prison population. "Three strike laws" have non-violent drug offenders serving life sentences when they should have had no jail time at all. Which borderlines on an 8th Amendment violation to me.

    Then there is the corporate crime. Where people embezzle, extract, or screw people out hundreds of millions of dollars only to pay thousands of dollars of fines. That is a huge issue. Especially if lives were ruined because of it. But that is slightly off topic here.
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    It's like I always said..."those numbers were a lie to maintain budgets" Drug convictions is what keeps the machine moving. Imagine if prisons only held violent offenders......it would decimate the private sector that supports the CRIME" industry.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    Cannot disagree with you at all there.
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    In relation to marijuana ever being legal at the federal level. Not going to happen. They'd rather offer clemency as a quick fix than to change the current drug statutes. Here in LA the DEA is leaning on land lords who rent to medical marijuana shops. They threaten property confiscation. Some municipalities will take all your fees and then simply "change their minds" no refunds of course.....Get out is what they say and then offer a marijuana license to some other sap, and do the very same thing
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    Disagree completely. After enough states legalized marijuana, the federal laws will more than likely change completely. No one wants to do it now because there is still a negative public stigma attached to marijuana so no legislator wants to touch it quite yet.