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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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Comments

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjZeW2fcQHM

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.

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Posted by: LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS | Feb 24, 2010 6:50:36 PM

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