Top Cop Says Stop

I agree with Eric Holder, the Attorney General of these United States of America: His gang at the federal Department of Justice should stop unfairly locking people up.

At the American Bar Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco, Mr. Holder admitted that, “too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason.”

Specifically, the AG argued for “fundamentally rethinking the notion of mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related crimes,” acknowledging “they oftentimes generate unfairly long sentences,” which breeds “disrespect for the system.”

Unfair long jaunts in prison do tend to ruin people’s lives — er . . . unfairly. Bad system.

Holder also pointed to the enormous cost of incarceration: $80 billion annually. Since 1980, our population has grown about 33 percent and our prison population 800 percent.

So, to hand out fewer of the “excessive prison terms” the DOJ has been meting out for decades, Holder is changing Department of Justice policies for charging “low-level” and “non-violent” suspected drug offenders – so they don’t face mandatory minimum sentences.

Like me, the ACLU is “thrilled.” But while calling Holder’s policy pivot “a great step,” Julie Stewart, the president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, added, “what’s being proposed here is very modest.”

A federal public defender in Virginia points out that prosecutors are likely to continue using mandatory minimums as a weapon, saying, “There is a real difference between general guidance from the attorney general and actually taking actions on the ground.”

The Department of “Justice” is locking people up “unnecessarily.” Attorney General Holder speaks out against it, but it is his job to actually stop it. Now.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Aug
    16
    8:53
    AM
    Jay

    One way not to be arrested for drug dealing is SIMPLY DON’T DEAL DRUGS. No crime, no time; do the crime, do the time.

    As to drug use being harmless/victimless— I defer to an acquaintance who is a medical doctor who treats children (not babies–usually) whose parent(s) used drugs during pregnancy, as part of his practice. He said there are problems- that these children have, due to this. And is costly-in terms of health care; education, etc.

  2. Aug
    16
    11:49
    AM
    Drifter

    As one of the biggest felons to hold a government position in U. S. history, Mr.Holder should have been locked up,long ago.

    Wait a minute! He’s the Attorney General and he’s making the rules.

    Why even write about this vermin in a normal context?

  3. Aug
    16
    12:32
    PM
    Rollin L

    Here is the problem with treating drug use as a non-violent or victimless crime. Most of the murders in America and Mexico are drug related. All monies spent to purchase drugs that are out of the cartel supply chain is, in effect, material support to a form of terrorism that may well be more destructive than even al Qaeda can measure up to. We just have not yet had the stomach to refer to the drug cartels as terrorists with the legal status that branding would bear. Don’t forget, too, that Afghanistan is a major supplier, so there is a potential direct support of even islamic terrorism just by buying drugs.

  4. Aug
    16
    3:29
    PM
    Pat

    Jay,
    Let me add some other victims of drug use: the people who are assaulted, robbed or even killed by those seeking money to buy drugs and by those who are high. Those who pooh-pooh drug use should try telling MADD that drug use (alcohol is a drug) is ‘victimless’.

    As for being against mandatory minimums, they are a powerful tool for a DA to get a guilty plea. I don’t see that Holder is proposing anything all that radical. Don’t local DA’s do the same thing all the time? Avoiding a mandatory minimum sentence is a powerful inducement to plead guilty to a lesser offense.

    If Holder’s goal is to legalize all drugs then I wish he could just say so and go all the way.

  5. Aug
    16
    4:16
    PM
    Rick_in_VA

    The best thing about this article is the picture. It shows Holder exactly where he should be.
    BEHIND BARS!

  6. Aug
    16
    5:10
    PM
    Eldon Knowles

    The Attorney General’s job is to enforce the law. Minimum Mandatory Sentencing is the law. The President should lead on this issue and persuade the House and Senate to change the law. BUT this President is not a leader.

  7. Aug
    16
    9:28
    PM
    Paul Jacob

    How much of the crime around drugs is due to the illegal nature? There was a ton of crime swirling around alcohol when it was illegal, but there isn’t any at all today.

    Sure, drunk people and high people can commit crimes, but it makes sense to police those crimes and put those people away, as opposed to arresting close to a million people a year for pot who haven’t committed another crime.

  8. Aug
    17
    12:21
    PM
    Jay

    Mr. jacob,

    i read ( forgot exaxctly where) that in The Netherlands, where drug use is legal, there is still a great deal of crime surriunding it, and that the Dutch were rethinking their stance. i am sure that you or someone else with more time and resources can find the source. I stilol do not agree that it is victimless; see my original comments, from a doctor I know.

  9. Aug
    17
    2:14
    PM
    Brian Richard Allen

    The Department of “Justice” is locking people up “unnecessarily.” Eric Holder speaks out against it but it is his job to actually stop it ….

    Rubbish. Congress makes the “laws.”

    Herr Holder’s job — and his fascistic boss’s, is to obey, to police and to administer the Law.

    All of which, would it ever happen, would make a nice change.

  10. Aug
    17
    2:17
    PM
    Brian Richard Allen

    There is only one real “drug crime:”

    PROHIBITION.

    Repeal that and every other so-called drug crime is history.

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