Showing posts with label mandatory minimums. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mandatory minimums. Show all posts

Let's Hope For Jury Nullification: Prosecutor Wants Man To Serve 20 Years In Prison For Stealing $31 Worth Of Candy

by Josie Duffy.    What if justice was a result and not just a process? Louisiana has the dubious honor of being the most incarceratory state in the world's most incarceratory country. In New Orleans, Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizaro has been hailed as a reformer—organizations like Court Watch NOLA and others have publicly    ... MORE

Jacob Sullum: 2 Ranchers, 2 Fires, Too Long Behind Bars

The injustice of mandatory minimums.        The occupation of buildings at Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by a group of armed and disgruntled ranchers has brought national attention to a case that illustrates the injustices wrought by mandatory minimum sentences. The men who took over the buildings on January 2, led by Nevada   ... MORE

Absurdly Harsh Penalties Sparked Oregon Rancher Protest

by Jacob Sullum.      As Ed Krayewski noted yesterday, the armed men who are occupying an office building at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon broke off from a demonstration protesting the sentences received by two ranchers, 73-year-old Dwight Hammond and his 46-year-old son Steven, who in 2001 and 2006 set fires on their own  ... MORE

Mandatory Minimums Don't Prevent Crime

by Kristie Eshelman.        You would think that the threat of longer sentences should reduce the amount of crimes being committed. After all, it’s a basic law of behavior that people respond to incentives, so harsher punishments should serve as a deterrent to potential criminals. Unfortunately, decades of experience have taught us that this     ... MORE

Jordan Richardson: A Serious Problem In Our Legal System

Justice is a result, not simply a process.       A life sentence. For Sharanda Jones, a first-time, nonviolent cocaine offender, it wasn’t sinking in. “I was numb,” she remembers. “I was thinking about my baby. I thought it can’t be real life in prison.” Having grown up in a disadvantaged family, Sharanda started working at the age of 14, later opening ... MORE

Why Should Non-Criminals Care About Justice Reform?

by Julie Borowski.  Criminal justice reform has been a hot topic lately. It’s something that both Republicans and Democrats can find common ground on. However, I get the sense that many Americans aren’t convinced that it would benefit them personally.  Most of us are probably law-obeying citizens whom would never dream of being involved in illicit    ... MORE

Tim Mak: He’ll Rot For Pot: 55 Years For Weed

Koch brothers seek reform.      A father of two was sentenced to 55 years in jail for selling pot. The Koch brothers want to help set him free and make him the face of their new campaign for criminal justice reform. Weldon Angelos could have hijacked a plane and spent less time in jail. But due to mandatory sentencing laws, the father of two was      ... MORE

Jed S. Rakoff: Why Innocent People Plead Guilty

And why does the system promote such?     The criminal justice system in the United States today bears little relationship to what the Founding Fathers contemplated, what the movies and television portray, or what the average American believes. To the Founding Fathers, the critical element in the system was the jury trial, which served   ... MORE

Jeff Mizanskey Is Serving Life in Prison for Marijuana

by Aaron Malin.    Rapists and murderers come and go, but he's there for the duration. As I prepared to leave home for my interview with Jeff Mizanskey I looked up the address of the prison where he is held. In disbelief, I typed the characters into the GPS on my phone: 8200 No More Victims Road. Jeff Mizanskey is serving a life sentence without   ... MORE 

Jacob Sullum: Must Conservatives Be Cop Lovers?

Rand Paul challenges his fellow Republicans.     Running for the U.S. Senate in 2010, Rand Paul became known as that crazy right-winger who expressed reservations about the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But in the last two years, the Kentucky Republican has emerged as his party's most passionate voice on criminal justice reform, explicitly       ... MORE

Jacob Sullum: Why Prosecutors Love Mandatory Minimums

Prosecutorial power hinders justice process.   In 1996, when he was the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Eric Holder urged the D.C. Council to reinstate mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses, which it had abolished in 1994. Two decades later, as an attorney general who has repeatedly criticized "draconian"       ... MORE