Odds and Ends

“bullet” Remember when Attorney General Mukasey was screaming that we would shortly be overrun by armies of violent criminals because of the adjustment to crack sentencing? Turns out he was… what’s the word… lying.
Christian Science Monitor:

In an effort to eliminate a legal inequity š one that has hit African-Americans especially hard š federal judges have begun reducing the sentences of thousands of crack-cocaine offenders.
Some police groups and prosecutors, as well as US Attorney General Michael Mukasey, assert that in trying to right a historic wrong, violent criminals are headed en masse back to the streets.
So far, indications are that this is not the case because the release process has safeguards built in. Statistics from the US Sentencing Commission, as well as interviews with federal public defenders and criminal-justice experts, indicate that federal prisoners who are to be released early are predominantly nonviolent and have good conduct records while in prison. Of the 19,500 drug offenders eligible over the next 30 years to apply for early release, 3,417 have had their sentences reduced as of Monday. Of the 1,500 inmates eligible for immediate release, dozens so far have been let go in the past month.
“There has been no release of a flood of violent criminals,” says Michael Nachmanoff, federal public defender for the Eastern District of Virginia. “The people who are being released … overwhelmingly had cases where there was no violence whatsoever and who were given unduly harsh sentences. And now, their sentences are being reduced by a modest amount.”

“bullet” Via Radley Balko, comes this quote about cash seizures

If the drug dealers can write off these kinds of losses as mere incidental costs of doing business, the “War on Drugs” is lost.

“bullet” Speaking of Radley, be sure to read his column on the Byrne Grants and drug task forces.
“bullet” Efficiency in the war on drugs. Officer investigating suspected drug activity accidentally shoots two teenagers. With the same bullet.
“bullet” At Transform: Cannabis making politicians go all weird. Again.
“bullet” Maia Szalavitz: Prosecutors Try to Silence Pain Activist, Don’t Like Fair Play

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