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March 5, 2008

Early reports on crack retroactivity implementation

This new Washington Post article — headlined "Government Starts Cutting Sentences Of Crack Inmates: Bureau of Prisons Processes 400 Orders" — provides news from the front lines in the implementation of the new crack guidelines.  Here are the basics:

The federal government said yesterday that it has received hundreds of court orders reducing the prison sentences of crack cocaine offenders in the two days since new sentencing guidelines took effect. A spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons could not say how many prisoners have already been released under the U.S. Sentencing Commission's new guidelines, but the bureau has processed about 400 orders modifying prison terms nationwide.

In addition, the New York Sun has this new piece, headlined "Judges Grant Release Of 3 City Crack Offenders." 

On a slightly different but related front, The Huffington Post has this new commentary titled "Clinton's Crack Cocaine Apology: Too Little Too Late?".

UPDATE:  Here are some more local stories about crack retroactivity implementation:

  • From the News Virginian here, "Crack offenders vying for less prison time"
  • From The Tennessean here, "New sentencing rules for crack-related crimes may free 10 prisoners"

March 5, 2008 at 01:32 AM | Permalink

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What about the kids that are forced to go through the adult court system?
The treatment of our minors is un-exceptable. The day our leader's started allowing our children to go through the adult court system is the day our leader's took our children's rights away...I honestly can't understand why nothing is being done about this? Our leader's are slowly destroying their own people, and wonder why we can't get ahead? Our economy and way of life is only going to get worse if our leader's don't start to realize what they are doing to us. We use to take care of the young, weak and the poor. Now it seems like, it's every man for himself...If this horrible,wrong way of thinking by our leader's doesn't stop, God only knows what kind of future we will have. Our leader's need to admit they were wrong by treating children as adults (18 and under)and fix the mistake. Allow our children to be educated,allow our children to recieve the help that they desperately need. All of our children deserve rights just like every man and woman. Some of our States leader's are slowly trying to fix some of the mess they have caused for some of our children who were and are in adult prisons but left other children behind..So, what does that mean? Are our leader's saying only some kids deserve better treatment and other kids deserve to be un-educated,neglected,abused,sodomized, etc? Please for God's sake give our children their rights back...

Posted by: A concerned mom | Mar 5, 2008 11:38:19 AM

March 5, 2008

To someone, anyone who cares:

I would like to express some of my views and opinions regarding Michigan's Juvenile Legal System.

Juvenile Sentencing:

The juvenile justice system in Michigan is in my opinion poses, "cruel and unusual" punishments against juveniles. Juveniles are being sentenced worse than adults in our state. Michigan is locking children up for an abnormal amount of time and forgetting about them. In Michigan we are considered adults when we turn the age of 18, when we are able to purchase a home, a car, or even vote. I don't understand if the legal age is 18, then why our children are being tried and convicted as adults before the age of 18. Us Michiganders really need to look into the juvenile justice system right now. We want all of our children to grow up to be productive and sane citizens of our state and of our country, but if we incarcerate them for an abnormal period of time, then we are just creating monsters. This has been going on for far too long. Somebody has to take a stand and make some sort of changes in our state. The rights of these children are being violated as we speak. Our children need to be protected by parents, guardians, and our state. Children are not able to protect themselves; it is our duty to protect them.

A juvenile mind is not the same as an adult mind. I am not saying that children should not have some kind of punishment for their crime, but please, for God's sake, do not punish them for several years. Children don't understand the seriousness of a crime, like an adult does. Children do not have cruel intentions. Please look into the juvenile justice system for our children of Michigan.
The juveniles are not separated from the adults in the Michigan prison system. Some of the juvenile offenders are put into a cell with an adult. That is setting these juveniles up for pain and suffering. Juveniles are being denied an education because of the long term sentences that they are getting. If a 15 year old child was at home and his parents don't send him to school for a certain amount of time, the parents would get into trouble with the state. I am assuming it is against the law to keep your minor out of school, so they should be able to get an education while they're incarcerated.
Our state is pretty tough on child predators, but the state doesn't hesitate to incarcerate juveniles with adult predators. Our Michigan children are being taken advantage of in the adult prisons. Basically, we are handing our children of Michigan over to predators. I understand that Michigan prisons are probably over crowded. We have to find another way to reprimand our juveniles. These are the children of our future. Yes, they must have done something very wrong to be incarcerated, but the way that we are sentencing them is cruel and unacceptable. It is against the law to treat children neglectfully. But, that's what we are doing when we lock them up for years and years. Especially when everybody knows what goes on in prison. The inmates are getting raped and beaten. The guards are no better than the inmates.
The People in charge of passing laws in Michigan:
You are highly educated and highly respected members of our great state. Please start protecting the children of Michigan. As a Michigander, I am very concerned about the laws in Michigan regarding our juveniles. We must make a change to better protect our children, who happen to be our future. We all have made mistakes and we will all continue making mistakes throughout our lives. These juveniles have made mistakes and they are being punished way too harsh. That is not justice! Our children look up to us to guide them, and lead them into the right direction. When they make a mistake, instead of us trying to help them and figure out what happened, we just lock them up in prison for 20 years. That isn’t the way things are supposed to be done. We need to take a look at what needs to be done in our juvenile justice system. The matter is so bad in the State of Michigan that we have the United Nations looking into our state. What do the people of Michigan have to do to be heard. Something is very wrong here. Why is it that citizens of our state have to beg and plead for somebody to listen and to do what is right. Please take my views and opinion into consideration. Please help us.

Thank you for your attention in this matter.

Sincerely, A concerned mom


A United States Citizen
And a Michigan Resident

Posted by: A concerned mom | Mar 5, 2008 11:41:45 AM

Ummm, to get back on point, has anyone actually been reading the various press coverage? Every article has a different number of defendants eligible for immediate release, eligible for release in the next year, the amount of reduction they'll receive, differing MISexplanations that the Supreme Court decision 2 days prior to the Commission retroactivity decision "authorized" the reduction - it's shameful! Whatever happended to responsible, or at least professional journalism??????

Posted by: anonymous | Mar 5, 2008 9:49:52 PM

There is little point in relaying anything approaching serious analysis to non-lawyers. They would never be capable of understanding it. They are looking for nice soundbites that will tickle their emotions. So, this is what they get. If they wanted more they would go to law school.

Whatever the case, most people will tell you that a simple “lie” is better than a complex truth. Last time I talked to a non-lawyer (some seven years ago) I thought I could convey the complexity and nuance of an issue. It was just an exercise in frustration as they sought a platitude. So, I find myself agreeing with the notion that the lay people do not deserve anything better.

Posted by: S.cotus | Mar 6, 2008 7:31:39 AM

S.cotus, sometimes you say things that are really naive. Had it occurred to you why the legal system is broken and corrupted with a twist of racism? Ummm, I doubted you ever even bothered because simplicity is beyond your comprehension. Laws were created to give people like you a reason to exist at the expense of keeping the people oppressed. Remember, this system were designed by people like you with your superiority attitude. Guess what? As smart as you people like to think you are, you have practically destroyed many people lives, created an atmosphere of classes of people and this country has one of the largest prison system in the world. Oh, I forgot, without this mess, you people would ceased to exist. You go guy!

Posted by: | Mar 6, 2008 11:33:54 AM

>S.cotus, sometimes you say things that are really naive.

Oh no! Someone, without citation, calling me naive!

>Had it occurred to you why the legal system is broken and corrupted with a twist of racism?

No. Classism, yes. Racism, no.

>Ummm, I doubted you ever even bothered because simplicity is beyond your comprehension.

Simplicity is what we give the non-lawyers.

>. Laws were created to give people like you a reason to exist at the expense of keeping the people oppressed.

Reasonable minds may differ as the reason for law. I think laws were created because of god.

> Remember, this system were designed by people like you with your superiority attitude.

I thought laws were designed by salt-of-the earth types with good hearts. But, I can change my rhetoric if you want.

>As smart as you people like to think you are, you have practically destroyed many people lives, created an atmosphere of classes of people and this country has one of the largest prison system in the world.

I blame the lay people for this. Not the lawyers. They need to stop smoking crack and start reading all Supreme Court decisions.

Posted by: S.cotus | Mar 6, 2008 12:00:55 PM

There was a great write-up on Google Answers on how to research a jail sentence...when the sentincing took place, how long a criminal is sentenced for, where they are in the prison system, and so on.

It's a terrific resource for anyone interested in that sort of information. You can find it at:


How was a criminal case settled and sentenced?

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=357523


Worth a look!

.

Posted by: David | Mar 7, 2008 2:29:13 PM

S.cotus, you certainly have sense of humor. But you'd never acknowledged why the legal system is both corrupted and broke. However, you are quick to say that the problem is with people who'd smoke crack. Tell the truth, Lawyers are responsible for these laws that are discriminating and corrupts. It doesn't matter that the laws were enacted by congress, what matter is that you know these laws are wrong and instead of getting them repealed, you embraced, manipulates them and use to them to further your career at the expense of those whom you believed smoke crack. Some joke you guys are. No wonder people hate lawyers. It like our wives, you can't live with them or without them.

Posted by: | Mar 8, 2008 1:57:57 PM

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