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Positive news in sentencing

U.S. Sentencing Commission Votes to Lower Federal Drug Sentences

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The seven-member U.S. Sentencing Commission voted unanimously today to amend federal drug sentencing guidelines. The change will reduce federal drug sentences by an average of 11 months.

“We commend the Sentencing Commission for taking this important step toward reforming federal drug sentences,” said Julie Stewart, president of Families Against Mandatory Minimums. “This change will save taxpayers money, help to rein in federal prison spending, and bolster the spirits of tens of thousands of federal defendants who are facing impractical and disproportionately long sentences.”

Not enough, but an important step.

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24 comments to Positive news in sentencing

  • Duncan20903

    Oh my gawd! Sanity is breaking out everywhere!

  • claygooding

    Marijuana Statistics Prove Law enforcement Was Wrong

    http://tinyurl.com/kcpd7c3

    Marijuana sales in Colorado on New Years Day, when it first became legal for recreational use, was met with harsh criticism by state law officials who claimed that legalization would turn the tranquil streets of Denver into a crime-filled nightmare where children roamed the streets smoking blunts and with shady pot pimps in every storefront greedily trying to push grass on their next victim. Douglas County Sheriff David Weaver, a staunch adversary of marijuana legalization in his state, claimed in 2012 that if the proposition in favor of marijuana were to succeed, all of his state would pay the price.

    The numbers coming out of the first fiscal quarter for legalization definitely does show the state has changed since it embraced its new outlook on the plant, but unfortunately for its opponents, the change appears to be a good one. Property crimes in Denver alone fell 14.6 percent and violent crimes dropped by 2.4 percent. Add to this the $14 million in sales revenue the state took in on their first month alone, and it looks like the opponents of proposition 64, which legalized marijuana to all citizens, have a lot of crow to eat. “snip”

    The change is coming,,a lot of politicians were waiting on some crime statistics to decide on whether the taxes were worth the risks,,risks are lower than predicted,,way lower.

    Cliff Schrader: Push to legalize marijuana is gaining important momentum

    http://tinyurl.com/m37z3ep

    Marijuana does not lead to reefer madness or mass zombification. It’s supposed to be non-addictive. It doesn’t have the ill-effects of tobacco and it doesn’t lead to criminal behavior. But it has been criminalized to the point of turning law-abiding adults into criminals. “snip”

    Always nice to find a flower amongst the thorns.

  • […] 5. U.S Sentencing Commission Votes to Lower Mandatory Sentences. Ahem, lower, not do away with. Baby… […]

  • Servetus

    Sanity is not breaking out at the Weather Channel, which is cracking up over marijuana.

    Weather Channel writer Sean Breslin believes California’s drought is being strained by the presence of its North-coast marijuana industry. Breslin was countered by knowledgeable water resources professionals. It’s incredible, though. People blame weed for everything. Then there are the people who believe anything bad said about marijuana. It’s like some kind of cult.

  • kaptinemo

    “When the avalanche begins, it is too late for the pebbles to vote.” – Ambassador Kosh, Babylon 5

    We are witnessing the beginning of an avalanche…and this time, we’re not the pebbles, the prohibs are.

    Re-legalization will have to cause massive restructuring of the criminal code, particularly WRT the penal system, since so much of it is now largely based on drug prohibition, meaning, of course, cannabis prohibition.

    Inmates with convictions for non-violent offenses will be able to challenge those convictions with more than a forlorn hope of success. The floodgates of litigation are about to open.

    And Uncle Sam is going to fervently wish he hadn’t made the mistake of cannabis prohibition all those decades ago…because the damage goes that far back. A lot of lawsuits. A lot of money to be paid out as potential recompense for being incarcerated on the basis of a Gub’mint promulgated lie.

    The avalanche is coming, and we’re out of the path of destruction…and the prohibs are right smack in the middle of it. Some of them are realizing what’s coming and have jumped out of the way, but the majority of them are still stupidly standing in the pathway, still screaming their lies ever louder, in hopes they might drown out the rumbling they’re only just now starting to hear because their ears are clogged from believing their own propaganda. The rumbling of approaching payback.

    • allan

      so ummm, Kap… are we thus fans of the alluvial?

      We went about our biz, developed our boilerplates and elevators and let the seeds of dissent germinate. Year after year we sowed those seeds and now, oh my, we are indeed overgrowing the gummint.

      Let’s add some rhythm to the swing of our hammer blows:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRyDlVOE86U

      and in honor of our 300 mph freight train:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5OoQadZTPk (I love this tune! and check out the big hair and alpaca sweaters)

      • kaptinemo

        Allan, what you described is the political equivalent of a natural process called turgor. Slow, steady unending pressure buckling what looked to be impregnable. It’s why a tree root can up-end sidewalks. Politically, it’s why ‘grass-roots’ (No pun intended) organizations can become so powerful.

        What looked adamantine on the outside was rotten to the core from within. And now that it’s been breached, it’s becoming ever more obvious just how corrupt it’s always been.

      • primus

        When it comes to ‘train songs’ I prefer this one;
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCBdiutb-50

        • allan

          that’s a good un and I remember Flatts and Scruggs (and Minnie Pearl and Moms Mabley and even Rusty Warren), but my about-RR fave is:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zb1qsVqjwg

          and the one that got me in trouble in jr high because my friend Bobby and I would break into a spontaneous (and not 1/2 bad) duet in the middle of class:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmOe27SJ3Yc

          my dad was one of those jobless teens that rode the rails in the late 1930s and survived (with the guidance of the benevolent society of hobos).

      • Windy

        My fav train songs are by the group Train, especially the song (self-titled) Train (not named on the album, just a bonus track, 1 of 2) on their first album (self-titled) Train.

  • jean valjean

    this joins the 18 to 1 crack mm and will no be used by sabet to “prove” the wod is over

  • Servetus

    Some LAPD officers were exposed for disabling the auto-recording equipment used in recording encounters between police and motorists or pedestrians. About half the 80 police cars in the Southeast Division that covers Watts and other black communities in LA had antennas removed that allowed for better quality audio recording during police stops. An investigation is continuing, while the LEOs are now being required to account for any missing equipment at the end of their shifts.

    The antenna problem highlights the need for motorists to rely upon their own surveillance equipment for recording police encounters. The faulty equipment scam is too easy and too convenient a method for hiding police corruption for anyone to trust the perverse discretions of today’s LEOs.

    • claygooding

      Dallas Police Union: Recording Cops ‘Creating a Major Officer Safety Issue’

      http://tinyurl.com/kmrs82h

      “”Dallas Police Association President Ron Pinkston wants citizens to stop taping because he worries someone will get hurt. “It’s creating a major officer safety issue,” he said. “We don’t know who it is pulling behind us. We don’t know they’re there to videotape, they might be part of…if that guy has has just done a kidnapping they could be part of the kidnapping. You don’t know.””

      Citizens, who may be aware of police not interested in being monitored, should consider asking the union to fuck off. “snip”

      An example of the fear of a witness. A lapel cam on every officer would help stop the need of citizens stopping to record.

      • Windy

        Better for every citizen to wear a lapel cam (preferably disguised so as to not be immediately recognizable as a cam) because the cops will always find a way to turn theirs off or erase the video/audio when they want to keep their illegal, abusive activities under wraps.

      • B. Snow

        Yeah, Clay – I actually watched that on the local news – the DFW “CBS affiliate” mentioned in the Reason article.
        Anywho, the guy in that “CBS Dallas-Fort Worth” news report linked to in the reason article Police Officers Warned About Civilian Camera Encounters – The guy w/ that “Dallas Policy Volunteer” patch on his camera bag (siting in the back of the pickup there?)

        Yeah, he’s kinda known as general “Tool” = they called him “neighborhood terrorist” – no really… He pissed-off that many people, and so now he switches to the police? (He’s gonna run outta people to side with him at some point.)

        He had a blog that was seemingly pure troll-bait – he spent years bitching about local bars & the drunks that poured out of them at the end of the night – really petty shit. Like people pissing in alleys, around the vicinity of his former residence or wherever. I think he eventually pissed off (pun-acknowledged) so many folks – that they went outta their way and sought out his yard to piss in!

        From what I can tell he deserved it, he ended up moving somewhere else in the D/FW ‘Metroplex’ and somebody burglarized his house before he actually moved in!
        There was a different ‘local blog’ article that quoted him saying: “I’m moving and I’m not telling anybody where.”

        Avi Adelman Won’t Say Where He’s Moving, but He’s “Not Going Away”

        = Uhm, Yeah… that probably didn’t help much.

        IDK, if he was having a new house built or an existing one remodeled – but I thought this was kinda funny…
        Junius Heights Welcomes Barking Dog Avi Adelman By Burglarizing His New House

        Apparently, he’s been a local paparazzi of sorts – for at least a dozen+ years. He switched from monitoring drunks/’crime’ in his neighborhood like a nanny-stater – To monitoring the cops with a camera like a ‘born-again libertarian’…

        Seems like this dude exists to purely to bitch, moan, and complain about stuff and he’s not too picky about “who, what, when, where, & why”… Although the ‘motto’ for this new-ish website (according to his truck’s tailgate) is“What happened in YOUR neighborhood yesterday?”

        Surely, some local reporter ‘knew of him’ (and that he’d love to be interviewed & be on ‘The News’), Seems odd that a guy would switching from being a nosy neighborhood tattle-tale = mostly about public drunks. To following cops and filming them (and ostensibly “neighborhood crime”) and start stirring up shit that way instead… He talks about it like a hobby ‘going out a few nights a week’ – with a camera & a nosy streak – that would shame Pinocchio.

        I mean he was accused of effectively ruining a neighborhood = getting local clubs & bars closed – screwing over a fair chunk of the tax base/economy – then moving out of it in 2012 = after they put in a Walmart where a Whole Foods had been, and the shit-fit he thrown about it failed.

        Dispute over Greenville Avenue’s new Walmart market leads to Dallas attorney suing Barking Dog Avi Adelman

        From what I’ve gathered he’s a severe jackass… and Karma has been biting-back at this “barking dog” bitch. Jeez even his blog’s name is/was obnoxious.

        Even weirder, now he’s calling himself a “crime geek” – He referred to his (new-ish?) site printed on the tailgate of his truck (I’m not gonna use the name here) as a “Police Database for the Public”…

        Damn, I’m really conflicted here, if there’s anyone that deserves that his degree of scrutiny, bitching & moaning. Well, that’s probably any cops that are afraid their “bad-behavior” will be caught on tape!

        And the cops are using such a sorry excuse to try and stop this group of people with camera phones and stuff – who’re calling themselves (“Cop Block” -dot-org) from filming them arresting people and = claiming that the group is somehow ‘endangering the public safety’ or whatever – I just don’t know.

        You gotta hear the reporter when he reads – “cop block” = its giggle-worthy… It’s in the video from the first “CBS-DFW” link above.

  • Paul McClancy

    Meh, it looks like the pols are giving out crumbs when we should be getting a full course.

    OT, it looks like Time magazine is running an issue on synthetic cannabiniods. I haven’t read it yet, but I expect Reefer Madness to seep in at anytime (and some bullsh*t on how it’s related to legalization).

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      Don’t sell Time Magazine short in a knee jerk. At some point within the last couple of dozens of months they’ve been observed sitting on our side of the table. They’ve come a long way since that June 28th, 1968 article called “The A.M.A.: Marijuana Warning.

      I’m only aware of that article because so far it’s the oldest source of “we need more research! we just don’t know enough about merrywanna to re-legalize it” that I’ve been able to document. That argument may well be the best tactical move ever made by the prohibitionists. How could waiting for the “research” to come in be an unreasonable request? All the effort that it requires from the prohibitionists as far periodic maintenance is concerned is absolutely nothing. Almost 46 years old (at least) and still being effectively used to hoodwink the gullible. If they can get away with it we’re going to be hearing that same, lame reasoning in 2060.

      That lament has also spawned bastard progeny in the form of the “we just don’t have a test/breathalyzer to find out if someone is impaired!” meme. That one has practically the same required maintenance as its progenitor. However releasing an alleged study that “associates with”, “might indicate”, or “conclusively demonstrates a possible correlation” with highway mayhem from time to time is needed to keep this one fresh.

      So how many decades constitute a reasonable grace period before accusing them of stonewalling? Well I can’t answer that question with certainty but it sure as heck isn’t even close to as much as 4.6 or even 3.5.

  • Dave in Florida

    This is from a Florida’s UnitedForCare
    Dear Dave,

    I wanted to call your attention to an important article published yesterday in the Tampa Tribune. Dr. Gregory Gerdeman, an Assistant Professor of biology and neurophysiologist who has studied the effects of cannabis on the brain for more than 15 years, makes a strong case for what we all know:

    Marijuana is indisputably, scientifically proven, medicine.

    Dr. Gerdeman powerfully articulates what so many patients already experience: that the medical applications of marijuana are not only numerous, they’re safe and effective. He also points out why some of our opponents’ claims are simply not grounded in science, history or reality.

    Please read the article here and share it with as many people as you can – especially those you know who are undecided or even against Amendment 2. And to reinforce Dr. Gerdeman’s point, please share this short video from CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta that simply explains the complex chemical reactions that make marijuana an effective medicine.

    http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/column-science-is-indisputable-marijuana-is-medicine/2174111

    http://www.unitedforcare.org/video_medical_marijuana_and_the_entourage_effect?utm_campaign=is_medicine&utm_medium=email&utm_source=unitedforcare

  • Windy

    Not so positive news:
    http://www.drugpolicy.org/blog/drug-war-mass-deportation-250000-deported-drug-offenses-last-6-years

    Media and politicians have tried to convince us that everyone who gets deported is a violent criminal, a terrorist or a drug kingpin. But a newly released, first-of-its-kind report shatters that notion, showing instead that the majority (some two-thirds) of those deported last year were guilty of minor, nonviolent offenses – including thousands deported for nothing more than possessing small quantities of drugs, typically marijuana.

    • jean valjean

      thanks for that. for years immigration and the wod have been treated as separate issues ignoring the obvious racism of prohibition. its worth remembering that many of these deportations are for decades old drug convictions for which american familes are broken up affecting multi generations. where is the msm on this policy which destroys families?