Posted By LambChop
Attorney General Eric H. Holder has decided that “low-level, nonviolent drug offenders” with no “ties to gangs or large-scale drug organizations” will no longer be charged with offenses that impose severe mandatory sentences. That should work – certainly worked in other cases.
It should be interesting to see how the DOJ comes up with which arrestee has ties to organizations and which do not. In the realm of Islamic terrorism, the DOJ has repeatedly failed, claiming that most attacks on Americans have been the result of lone wolves going wacko for no apparent reason.An example of the DOJ's refusal to see ties to terrorism is the case of Major Nadal Hasan’s “workplace crime.” Hasan committed mass murder at Ft. Hood after having scores of emails back and forth with al Qaeda leader Anwar Al-Awlaki. According to the DOJ, Hasan was found to have no terrorist ties.
Holder is calling for this radical change in DOJ policy supposedly because of cost of incarceration -$80 billion in 2010, according to his department’s stats. While the U.S. population has increased by about a third since 1980, the federal prison population has grown by about 800 percent and prisons are reported to be 40% over capacity.
Holder has ordered that the 94 U.S. attorneys must now develop specific guidelines for determining when federal charges should be filed (or not filed) and has gone so far as to give new instructions to federal prosecutors on how they should write up criminal complaints against “low-level drug offenders” to use language that will specifically evade the trigger of a mandatory minimum sentences. Holder is also imposing other new other policies that will require legislative change.
“A vicious cycle of poverty, criminality and incarceration traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities. However, many aspects of our criminal justice system may actually exacerbate this problem rather than alleviate it. Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long and for no good law enforcement reason. We cannot simply prosecute or incarcerate our way to becoming a safer nation. Such legislation will ultimately save our country billions of dollars. Although incarceration has a role to play in our justice system, widespread incarceration at the federal, state and local levels is both ineffective and unsustainable.” -Holder's planned speech today, according to the Washington Post
According to Holder’s logic, eliminate the criminality of the offender’s action and crime will magically disappear.
Holder’s claims are attributed to the notion that part of that the increase in incarceration levels and expense is due to these mandatory minimum sentences for drugs, including marijuana, under legislation passed in the 1980s. Instead of addressing some of the conflicting sentencing requirements, Holder has decided to throw the entire baby out with the bathwater. The administration cites examples like this to justify the change in policy:
Under the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 a minimum sentence of five years without parole was mandated for possession of five grams of crack cocaine, while the same sentence was mandated for possession of 500 grams of powder cocaine, law enforcement officials said, pointing to discrepancies that they say have led to higher levels of incarceration in poorer communities.
Perhaps the “discrepancy” has to do with the fact that people using crack tend to commit more property-related and violent crimes once under the influence?
While these stats are fantastic, if you look at prison stats, closing the southern borders would have a more SIGNIFICANT impact on federal crime and decrease incarceration levels than decriminalizing drug use - 25.9% of federal criminals are citizens from Mexico and Colombia.
Of course, the stickiest widget is that blacks make up 12.9 % of the population of the United States yet make up 37.1% of the federal prison population. That must be because all police and federal officers are racist. But it is highly unlikely that Holder will address the problem with blacks disproportionally committing most of the crimes or address securing the southern border.
93.3% are male.
United States: 162,149 (74.0 %)
Mexico: 39,443 (18.0 %)
Colombia: 2,252 (1.0 %)
Cuba: 1,525 (0.7 %)
Dominican Republic: 2,298 (1.0 %)
Other/Unknown: 11,420 (5.2 %)
- Drug Offenses: 89,909 (47.0 %)
- Weapons, Explosives, Arson: 31,278 (16.3 %)
- Immigration: 22,454 (11.7 %)
- Robbery: 7,947 (4.2 %)
- Burglary, Larceny, Property Offenses: 7,768 (4.1 %)
- Extortion, Fraud, Bribery: 11,086 (5.8 %)
- Homicide, Aggravated Assault, and Kidnapping Offenses: 5,720 (3.0 %)
- Miscellaneous: 1,599 (0.8 %)
- Sex Offenses: 11,637 (6.1 %)
- Banking and Insurance, Counterfeit, Embezzlement: 828 (0.4 %)
- Courts or Corrections: 652 (0.3 %)
- Continuing Criminal Enterprise: 490 (0.3 %)
About 40% of former federal prisoners are rearrested or have their supervision revoked within 3 yrs. after their release.
****Statistics from the Bureau of Prisons updated June of 2013