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AlterNet: Mukasey's Racist Threats on Changing Crack Sentencing Fall on Deaf Ears

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 06:57 AM
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AlterNet: Mukasey's Racist Threats on Changing Crack Sentencing Fall on Deaf Ears
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 06:58 AM by marmar
Mukasey's Racist Threats on Changing Crack Sentencing Fall on Deaf Ears

By Liliana Segura, AlterNet. Posted March 8, 2008.

The attorney general's last-ditch attempt to preserve our federal crack cocaine sentencing guidelines was pure "War on Drugs" propaganda.




Look out: Michael Mukasey wants you to know that you're less safe today than you were last week -- and it's got nothing to do with FISA.

The attorney general has been issuing dire warnings for months about the horrible things to befall society if Congress allows a change in federal sentencing guidelines that could lead to the early release of some 20,000 prisoners convicted for crack cocaine offenses. The sentencing revision was officially decided upon by the U.S. Sentencing Commission on Nov. 1; on Dec. 11 it voted to make the decision retrocative, meaning that federal prisoners already serving draconian sentences for crack cocaine convictions could also catch a break. The first wave of prisoners became eligible for release on Monday, March 3 -- but not before Mukasey made it his mission to stop it.

The attorney general -- who some would argue might have better things to do -- went before Congress multiple times to try to derail the measure, employing classic White House-style fear-mongering. "Unless Congress acts by the March 3rd deadline," he warned members of the House Judiciary Committee in February, "nearly 1,600 convicted crack dealers, many of them violent gang members, will be eligible for immediate release into communities nationwide." Channeling Dick Cheney, he said, "Many of these offenders are among the most serious and violent offenders in the federal system, and their early release at a time when violent crime is rising in some communities will produce tragic, but predictable results."

In fact, the vast majority of people locked up on federal crack cocaine charges are nonviolent offenders -- with one recent analysis by the Sentencing Commission showing the number close to 90 percent.

Regardless, Congress wasn't convinced by Mukasey's theatrics and let the revision stand. March 3 came and went. In the few days since the new sentencing guideline took effect, hundreds of court orders have flooded the Federal Bureau of Prisons. It is unclear how many prisoners have been freed.

Are you reeling from the sudden crime wave? .......(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/79051 /




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zanne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 06:59 AM
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1. Fear, fear, fear. nt
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