March 2, 2009
Change comes to medical marijuana raids and to the federal death penalty
I have been awaiting not too patiently for all the hope and change that was promised by the new administration to find its way to the federal criminal justice system. In recent days, Attorney General Eric Holder has started walking the walk rather than just talking the talk:
1. As detailed in this MSNBC piece, late last week AG Holder officially stated that the Drug Enforcement Administration would end federal raids on state-approved medical marijuana dispensaries. This is big news for supporters of medical marijuana, and could be the first step toward a strategic withdrawl from the worst battlefields in the war on drugs.
2. As detailed in this new piece from The Recorder, just today AG Holder "has authorized a deal that could abruptly end a rare San Francisco death penalty trial only days after it began." The piece rights notes the broad implications of this decision: "Not only does Holder's reversal likely spare defendant Emile Fort his life, but it may signal a less aggressive approach to the death penalty in federal court."
March 2, 2009 at 04:33 PM | Permalink
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If I am reading the article correctly, Holder has agreed to a deal where a baby was killed, and the sentence is only 41 years. Nice sense of justice our new AG has.
Posted by: federalist | Mar 2, 2009 5:01:04 PM
It is hipocritical for Republicans to claim to care about children.
Posted by: E | Mar 2, 2009 6:36:45 PM
E, learn to spell.
Posted by: federalist | Mar 2, 2009 7:02:30 PM
Spelling notwithstanding, he's right. Federalist, you don't care about children (or people). So stop exploiting them to advance your agenda of death.
Posted by: DK | Mar 3, 2009 1:19:28 AM
Federalist, don't you consider 41 years to be a very long term of imprisonment? Consider that, looking back, 41 years ago few even had a color TV, and looking forward 41 years takes us to the year 2050. In other words, I am curious about whether you really complaining about the length of the prison term, or just think that any sentence other than death does not achieve justice.
Posted by: Doug B. | Mar 3, 2009 11:24:07 AM
First of all, isn't the real sentence only 85% of that? Plus, we aren't being taken to 2051, since this guy's been incarcerated for awhile. He probably can get out in his sixties, and no, I don't think that's acceptable.
In my opinion, the only appropriate sentence here is death. I would consider LWOP. Emile Fort is a bad guy--he needs to be executed.
Posted by: federalist | Mar 3, 2009 1:59:01 PM
I'd like to celebrate AG Holder's announcement to stop ending DEA raids on marijuana dispensaries. Federal resources shouldn't be spent intervening in a state-sanctioned industry involving a medically beneficial plant. I have a reservation, however, with the way the "announcement" actually came out.
AG Holder was responding to a question by a reporter. I would distinguish between this and actually making an actual announcement. I am happy that the Obama administration is not taking a too active role in the marijuana decriminalization movement. Political capital is needed elsewhere.
Posted by: RonPaul08 | Mar 3, 2009 4:53:05 PM
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We are wasting billions of dollars and diminishing millions of lives. We need to fix the system. Doing so will require a major nationwide recalculation of who goes to prison and for how long and of how we address the long-term consequences of incarceration. MATERIALS & RESOURCES Read the legislation, S. 714 Fact sheet on the legislation Senator Webb's floor speech introducing the legislation PARADE Magazine cover story, "What's Wrong with our Prisons?" Senator Jim Webb,
Sunday March 29, 2009 The scope of the problem: relevant charts and graphs List of Support for the National Criminal Justice Commission Act Of 2009 Opening Statement of Sen. Webb at Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on National Criminal Justice Commission Act, June 11, 2009 Watch Senator Webb's Floor Speech Introducing the Legislation, March 26, 2009 Senator Webb's article on the Huffington Post, "Why We Must Reform Our Criminal Justice System" MATERIALS FROM PAST HEARINGS, SYMPOSIUMS Joint Economic Committee Hearing, conducted by Senator Webb, "Mass Incarceration in the United States: At What Cost?" October 2007 Joint Economic Committee Hearing, conducted by Senator Webb, "Illegal Drugs: Economic Impact, Societal Costs, and Policy Responses,"
June 2008 George Mason University Symposium, hosted by Senator Webb and the GMU Administration of Justice Department, "Drugs in America: Trafficking, Policy and Sentencing," October 2008 Senator Webb's Keynote Address to the Brookings Institution's Policy Roundtable on the Challenges to Prisoner Re-entry, December 2008 NEWS ARTICLES & COMMENTARY Virginian Pilot editorial: "Time to reconsider U.S. justice system," April 6, 2009 Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star: "Behind-bars review," April 5, 2009 The Washington Post Writers Group: "Webb Leads the Charge for Much-Needed Drug, Prison Reform," April 5, 2009 Economist: "A Nation of Jailbirds," April 2, 2009 Daily Press: "Go After the Real Problem," March 31, 2009 New York Times: "Reviewing Criminal Justice," March 30, 2009 Lynchburg News & Advance: "Webb Takes on Politics' Third Rail: Prison Reform," March 29, 2009 Salon.com: "Jim Webb's courage v. the "pragmatism" excuse for politicians," March 28, 2009 The Virginian Pilot Editorial:
"Time to Rethink Goals of Prison," January 5, 2009 Roanoke Times Editorial: "The Criminal Justice System Needs Help," January 5, 2009 Las Vegas Sun Editorial: "Voice for Broken Prisons," January 3, 2009 U.S. News & World Report: "James Webb Shows Leadership Regarding Prison Reform," January 2, 2009 New York Times Editorial: "Sen. Webb's Call for Prison Reform," January 1, 2009 Washington Post: "Webb Sets His Sights On Prison Reform," December 29, 2008 Daily Press: "Alternative to Jail for Addicts Gains New Supporter," December 28, 2008 The Virginian Pilot: "Senator Elevates Debate on Failed Drug, Prison Policies," October 18, 2008 The Roanoke Times Editorial: "A Sensible Call for Sentencing Reform," October 13, 2008 Washington Post Op-Ed: "Two Separate Societies: One in Prison, One Not," April 15, 2008
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Posted by: LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS | Feb 24, 2010 6:50:36 PM