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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Important news on two major criminal justice policy arenas

First, the drug war is slowly but surely being dismantled, ending, whatever.

For example, see this.

The Smarter Sentencing Act is the biggest overhaul in federal drug sentencing in decades. It would:
  • Cut federal mandatory minimums for drug law violations, so that nonviolent offenders serve less time behind bars.
  • Make the reform to the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity that Congress passed in 2010 retroactive, so that thousands of people sentenced under the old draconian and racially unjust policy can leave prison early.
  • Expand the ability of judges to use their own discretion when sentencing defendants, so that judges can consider the unique facts of each case and each individual before them.

Second, states are very desperate, in the face of evidence that lethal injection has serious consequences, to maintain the death penalty, even if it means turning back to old (and seriously flawed execution methods).

Hanging anyone?

Firing squad?


Wow, all this is happening now, in our lifetime.

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