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Tag: commuted

President Obama Calls for Reformed Drug Sentences That Overwhelmingly Face Young Black Men

president obama state of unionBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama on Thursday delivered a clear message Wednesday when he commuted the federal prison sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders: The time has come to overhaul a criminal justice system that locks away too many nonviolent offenders.

Obama also expressed concern that may of the nonviolent offenders who are incarcerated are young black men, CNN reports. 

During an impassioned speech at the annual NAACP convention in Philadelphia, Obama bemoaned the fact that inmates are confined to horrible prison conditions, including rape and solitary confinement, which he declared “have no place in any civilized country.”

“In too many places, black boys and black men, and Latino boys and Latino men, experience being treated different under the law,” Obama said, claiming his assertion wasn’t “anecdote” or “barber shop talk,” but instead backed by data.

Obama is trying to gain bipartisan support for reforming the current sentencing laws.

Justice Department Searches for Crack Cocaine Convicts to Be Freed from Prison

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A disproportionate number of low-level drug criminals who are behind bars are African Americans sentenced under strict laws from the days of the crack epidemic.

Hoping to correct that disparity, the Justice Department is encouraging defense lawyers to help identify inmates for clemency, the New York Times reports.

Penalties for drug offenses involving crack were often more severe than those with powder cocaine.

So far, Obama has commuted the sentences of eight federal inmates sentenced to harsh sentences because of crack.

“There are more low-level, nonviolent drug offenders who remain in prison, and who would likely have received a substantially lower sentence if convicted of precisely the same offenses today,” Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole said. “This is not fair, and it harms our criminal justice system.”