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May 30, 2014

US House hearing on "Penalties" as part of Over-Criminalizaiton Task Force

Taking place as I write this post is a notable hearing (which I am watching live via this link) of the Over-Criminalizaiton Task Force of the Judiciary Committee on the topic of "Penalties." Here is the witness list, with links to their written statements: 

A quick scan of the submitted testimony linked above reveals that regular readers of this blog will not find all that much which is new from the witness. But the submitted statements still provide a very effective review of all the essential elements of the modern debate over federal mandatory minimum sentencing provisions.

UPDATE:  TheHouse hearing adjourned just before 11am, after most of the usual suspects had the opportunity to stake out their usual positions.  I doubt this hearing moved the needle in any significant way, though I still found notable and telling that the US House Representatives arguing against the modern drug war and sentencing status quo generally seemed much more passionate and animated than those eager to support the status quo.

May 30, 2014 at 09:11 AM | Permalink


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Go bill go. But nobody is listening. Bill your exercise in futility is fun to watch you jump thru imaginary whoops.

The federal system is unsustanable. Bill is as much of a dinosaur as the laws he thinks we need to retain.

Bill you need to switch to decaf going forward.

Posted by: Midwest Guy | May 30, 2014 11:30:35 AM

Here is the opening paragraph from Mr. Otis's written testimony, in which supporting an incremental sentencing reform measure is tantamount to surrendering to the U.S.S.R...

"It’s hard to recognize Ronald Reagan’s America in the landscape we see today. President Reagan believed in strength, resolve and accountability for bad actors, both foreign and domestic. What we see now is doubt, decline and retreat – retreat as the not-so-former Soviet Union invades the Ukraine and, at home, as the Administration, and some in our party, seem to want to find a way to be more accommodating to drug dealers."

Posted by: Jeremy | May 30, 2014 3:35:24 PM

This William G. Otis guy sounds like Bill Otis.

Maybe he can go on that MSNBC guy who wrote a book nostalgic about "Reagan's America" where Tip O'Neill can work with the other side and sigh nostalgic about days past.

The hiatus is explained.

Posted by: Joe | May 30, 2014 5:40:34 PM

Bill, no offense but that opening paragraph reads like you lifted it from The Onion. Being passionate is fine, but that's the kind of thing I would expect to hear from an old guy in a bathrobe telling the neighborhood kids to get off his damned lawn.

Posted by: The Death Penalty Sucks. | May 30, 2014 8:28:21 PM

How may one explain the failure of the criminal law? It over-criminalizes, where all of us are committing three felonies a day. Yet it protects and fails to answer the 20 million real crimes of The FBI index felony list.

Blacks are the most victimized by the vile feminist lawyer, yet continue to vote for the party of the vile feminist lawyer. Instead of screaming for protection and voting Republican, they defeat themselves repeatedly, and stymie police protection.

It is time to have a scientific standard of safety and effectiveness for all prior and new laws, or they are void. Both parties are run by lawyers. No one is advocating restraining this out of control profession, with the organization of a criminal cult enterprise, run by an elite of 15,000 people who have totally infiltrated and now control the three branches of government. So there is no legal recourse.

These phony lawyer theater hearings are not about ending over-criminalization. They are about releasing criminals to generate more lawyer jobs.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 1, 2014 2:57:14 AM

Mr. Bill and his pal argue mandatory minimums make the justice world go round because without snitches there can be no justice.

When lies lead to wrongful convictions.

Posted by: George | Jun 1, 2014 10:12:07 PM

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