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November 5, 2008

Are we on the verge of a new changed era concerning federal sentencing law and policy?

Yes I hope.  I may be naive in thinking that the historic election results mark a significant turning point in the politics of crime and punishment, but I cannot help but be more hopeful as we begin a new era of leadership in the executive branch of the federal government.

As evidenced by a post titled Jan 21, 2009: crimlaw issues at Capital Defense Weekly, I am not alone at looking forward to a new criminal justice political universe.  But, as a famous lawyer from Harvard once noted, "The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience."  Only time will tell what we can expect in this coming new era.

Some related posts:

November 5, 2008 at 01:00 AM | Permalink

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Much of the reason why these propositions are being challenged is because instead of making sure there are a certain measure of control BEFORE we request the decriminalization and/or legalization of so-called victimless crimes, we discard that and focus ONLY on how can “I” obtain more rights and extend my right to privacy instead of first considering how to extend right to privacy while at the same time preserving social order and not causing MORE harm to society.

We are about 20 years behind the area of pragmatism where we focus on policies that extend our freedoms while at the same time provide protection and security where it is most needed.

We can preserve our right to bear arms while still making sure the arms do not get in the hands of those who are most likely to use it for the wrong reasons.

We can preserve our right to privacy and extend equal protection under the law by allowing gays and lesbians to partake in civil unions and get the same benefits married couples get and not NEED to call it a marriage.

We can preserve our right to privacy and allow those who smoke cannabis smoke a joint in their homes and not have an officer feel the need to intrude or investigate the matter because the officer smelled the nasty smell, while at the same time severely prosecute those who think they can set shop, grow their own and get a whole town high from their grow.

There must be a clear distinction on how different drug usage affect different communities to better understand what drugs (cocaine, heroine, crack, meth/X/Ice, etc...) we should continue to wage war on, and which drugs (Marijuana) are clearly not a threat to citizens. Likewise, we should take a proactive approach to drugs coming into our nation. It is one thing that citizens are growing a Marijuana plant versus a drug cartel sending shipments in hopes that we become a nation addicted to their drugs in order to fuel their economy.

I do not particularly care for “recreational” drugs, yet feel there should be some meeting of the minds on how to best handle our current drug problem, the amount of resources spent on the war on drugs, and the amount of money spent on prosecuting, housing, and treating drug offenders. I don’t think that a person that smokes Marijuana 3-4 times a month MAX should be required to attend an A&D treatment program at tax payers’ expense.

But to some people these ideas are too progressive or simply too “radical.”

Posted by: Ange | Nov 6, 2008 3:30:05 PM

Ange: "...instead of making sure there are a certain measure of control BEFORE we request the decriminalization and/or legalization of so-called victimless crimes, we discard that and focus ONLY on how can “I” obtain more rights and extend my right to privacy instead of first considering how to extend right to privacy while at the same time preserving social order and not causing MORE harm to society."

John K: We're the world's preeminent, most prolific jailer, Ange.

If anything, the past 20 to 30 years have given birth to policies and politicians that have savaged the rights of the accused... draconian policies and cynical pols inspired and supported by fearful folks who somehow feel threated by fellow citizens who smoke pot more than three times per month "MAX."

Your views aren't too progressive or radical, Ange; They're among the reasons we now live in a police state.

Posted by: John K | Jan 23, 2009 12:35:06 PM

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