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Early release for nonviolent offenders proposed (possibly Abramoff, Skilling?)

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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 04:47 PM
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Early release for nonviolent offenders proposed (possibly Abramoff, Skilling?)
Source: Houston Chronicle

WASHINGTON Drug traffickers, white-collar criminals, corrupt congressmen and thousands of other federal inmates could see their prison time slashed in half if legislation drafted by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee becomes law.

The House Judiciary crime subcommittee on Thursday will examine a bill by the Houston Democrat that would mandate early release for federal inmates convicted of nonviolent crimes if they are 45 or older, have served at least half their sentence and have not engaged in violent conduct behind bars.

Jackson Lee described her legislation as a way of returning nonviolent offenders to society so they can be productive citizens, help their families and reduce spiraling incarceration costs.

. . .

High-profile Houston cases
Jackson Lee's proposal could free some high-profile, white-collar criminals from prison early. Among the possible beneficiaries: former Enron executives Jeffrey Skilling and Andrew Fastow, disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, recently convicted Houston oilman Oscar Wyatt and, according to federal Bureau of Prisons estimates, as many as 12,400 others.

Some civil rights advocates have argued that a 1984 law establishing mandatory minimum sentences, aimed primarily at drug offenders, has resulted in harsh penalties for thousands of minority citizens.

Read more:

I wonder how many minority citizens convicted of drug offenses are over the age of 45. If mandatory minimum sentences are the problem, then that is the area of law which should be addressed. This bill really sounds more like a perk to the white collar offenders not minorities.

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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 04:52 PM
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1. Sheila Jackson Lee wants Abramoff and Skilling out of jail?

Can I have some of what you are smoking? One second thought no, I don't smoke trucker speed.
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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 04:58 PM
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2. I agree she doesn't
but this bill doesn't sound as if it does what she wants to accomplish.

Mandatory sentencing is the problem, not paroling older non-violent criminals.
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flashl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 05:04 PM
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3. Revolving doors?
After years of negotiation, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Orin Hatch were finally able to pass their anti-gang bill. In essence, the bill will make it easier to classify youth as members of gangs, and intensify the penalties for those who are charged with crimes. Despite its devastating implications, particularly for young people of color, the legislation was uncontested by Senate colleagues and publicly celebrated as a victory in the War on Gangs. As always, the language of war was used to sanitize a filthy set of politics.

For decades, politicians have used the rhetoric of war in order to draw public support for questionable domestic policy initiatives. In 1971, President Nixon launched a full scale War on Drugs that has heavily tipped the criminal justice scales against poor people, petty drug users, and small time dealers. More recently, after the September 11 tragedy, President Bush unleashed a War on Terror that has undermined any semblance of individual privacy and civil liberty for the entire nation.

In case you havent noticed, there is a disturbingly consistent pattern here. First politicians create a common enemy. Not a real enemy, but an indefensible bogeyman say, a suicide bomber or a crack rock that we all agree is bad for society. Then they tell us that we are facing an immediate threat because of this bad entity. Once everyone is sufficiently (and irrationally) scared of our enemy, the government then prosecutes a war in order to snuff it out. Given the bellicose nature of American society, this becomes a reasonable if not axiomatic conclusion. After all, if you dont support a war against bad things then you must a supporter of bad things, right?


I wonder who Senators Dianne Feinstein and Orin Hatch are trying to jail?
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texastoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 06:28 PM
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4. I heard it being discussed by a liberal commentator yesterday
He said while he agrees with Sheila Jackson Lee on most issues, this bill is one where he will part with her. He smelled the white-collar perk a mile away.

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happygoluckytoyou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-06-07 06:37 PM
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