Monday, October 12, 2015

I'll Meet You Halfway

Where we can engage in a drug transaction:

"Drug inmates with long crime records among those freed early" Associated Press  October 12, 2015

WASHINGTON — A push to overhaul criminal sentencing is prompting the early release of thousands of federal drug prisoners, including some whom prosecutors once described as threats to society, according to a review of court records.

Many of them are small-time drug dealers targeted by an approach to drug enforcement now condemned by many as overly harsh and expensive. But an analysis of nearly 100 court cases also identified defendants who carried semiautomatic weapons, had past convictions for robbery and other crimes, moved cocaine shipments across states, and participated in international heroin smuggling.


The broad spectrum of defendants granted early release underscores the complex decisions confronting the government. 

It's one they have created themselves, and the pri$on-indu$trial complex sure is a good way of controlling people.

‘‘I’m a law-and-order girl, and I believe that you need to send dangerous people to prison for a very long time,’’ said Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. ‘‘But I think that we need to be smart about deciding who are those dangerous people.’’

The antithesis of what is this government in everything they do. Sorry.


About 40,000 of them will be out there roaming around. Who knows how many illegals.

Of course, the program was greeted with much fanfare (it led my Nation coverage this day):

"6,000 inmates to be freed as US eases drug sentences" by Michael S. Schmidt New York Times  October 07, 2015

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is preparing to release about 6,000 inmates from federal prisons starting at the end of this month, as part of an effort to ease overcrowding and roll back the penalties given to nonviolent drug dealers in the 1980s and 1990s, federal law enforcement officials said.


About a third of the inmates are undocumented immigrants who will be deported.

Deported so they can come right back if they don't get lost in the shuffle first.

Because many of those inmates were convicted of crimes that are significant legal offenses, President Obama is unlikely to be criticized as sharply for their release by those who have objected to past deportation decisions by the administration.

The release will be one the largest discharges of inmates from federal prisons in American history.

Literally emptying the jails.

So WHO are they planning to PUT IN THERE?

It coincides with an intensifying bipartisan effort to ease the mass incarcerations that followed decades of tough sentencing for drug offenses, such as dealing crack cocaine, and that have taken a particularly harsh toll on minorities. 

By the same fat political pigs whose crimes are absolved and excused and who passed all the laws setting up said situation. 

Great guys though, huh? Solving problems and such!

“Today’s announcement is nothing short of thrilling because it carries justice,” said Jesselyn McCurdy, a senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union. “Far too many people have lost years of their lives to draconian sentencing laws born of the failed drug war. People of color have had to bear the brunt of these misguided and cruel policies. We are overjoyed that some of the people so wronged will get their freedom back.”

They are still busting people for pot and making it hard to open clinics, but yaaaaaay!

But news of the early releases also raised some concerns among law enforcement officials across the country who are grappling with an increase in homicides. Their fear is that many of the freed convicts will be unable to get jobs and will return to crime.

That fear is well born out seeing as the decades-low percentage of employed adults.

Ronald E. Teachman, who was police chief in South Bend, Ind., until last Wednesday, said that what inmates were convicted of and what they actually did were rarely the same.

He said that prisoners who were released after receiving job skills and other assimilation training often succeeded. But that rarely occurs — even in the federal system, he said.

“People come out of prison hardened and angry and more likely to offend,” said Teachman, now an executive with ShotSpotter, a company that promotes a system for detecting gunfire. 

(Blog editor snorts at the $elf-$erving ince$t)

In April 2014, the US Sentencing Commission reduced the penalties for many nonviolent drug crimes. That summer it said those guidelines could be applied retroactively to many prisoners. Eric H. Holder Jr., then attorney general, had lobbied the sentencing commission to make the changes.

Under the new guidelines, prisoners can ask federal judges to reassess their sentences. Along with examining the inmates’ behavior in prison, the judges look at whether they are likely to act out violently if they are released.

As part of an effort to give the federal Bureau of Prisons time to prepare for an influx of convicts entering probation and re-entry programs, the releases were delayed. They will now take place from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2.

The revolving door of AmeriKan JU$tU$!

“The Sentencing Commission’s actions — which create modest reductions for drug offenders — is a step toward these necessary reforms,” said Sally Q. Yates, deputy attorney general. “Even with the Sentencing Commission’s reductions, drug offenders will have served substantial prison sentences.”

The United States has a quarter of the world’s prison population, and Republican and Democratic lawmakers agree that prison spending, which accounts for a third of the Justice Department’s budget, needs to be reduced.

♫".... in the land of the free...."♫ 

Last week, a bipartisan group of senators proposed a sweeping overhaul aimed at reducing mandatory minimums and winning early release for those serving sentences disproportionate to their crimes.

Maybe they should self-admit.

The changes would be retroactive if the legislation is enacted, and lawmakers estimated that up to 6,500 other prisoners — many of them charged with offenses related to crack cocaine — could qualify for resentencing under the changes. The bipartisan support increases the odds that the legislation will be approved.

Immigrant advocates have accused the administration of breaking up families by deporting immigrants who did little wrong other than coming to the country illegally.

Yeah, it's that last word I keep getting hung up on in a country that is allegedly -- so I have been told and taught -- based on the rule of law.

This criticism was fueled by a record number of deportations in Obama’s first term — although that pace has slowed considerably in the last year.

Also seeDeportations fall to fewest since ‘06

That article was located on page A2 just below where the print version of the releases ended.

“The drug war has devastated families and communities, and it is time for the healing to begin,” said Anthony Papa, a spokesman at the Drug Policy Alliance, who spent 12 years behind bars on a mandatory minimum drug sentence. 

It still is, and the worst gateway now are the legal pharmaceuticals.

This summer, Republican candidates for president, particularly Donald Trump, seized on the killing of a woman in San Francisco by a man who had been deported to Mexico several times and was recently freed from a federal prison. 

Yeah, bad old Trump.

Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, on Tuesday declined to comment on the release of the prisoners, but expressed optimism that both parties would continue to support criminal justice changes.

“We’re pleased to see that many Republicans consider this to be a priority, too,” Earnest said. “At this point, I don’t think there’s a significant level of concern that any rhetoric on the campaign trail could sabotage the important bipartisan work that’s currently ongoing on Capitol Hill. And I hope I’m right about that.”

Papa said, “It warms my heart to hear that 6,000 people will be coming home.”

Let's hope no one is shot in one, huh?


Oh, look who came along for a high:

"A Republican close to Paul Ryan said the only scenario in which Ryan might end up as speaker is if he were to be selected by unanimous acclamation, not subject to bargaining with the Freedom Caucus. To unstick the House from intractable conflict, Ryan would have to make deals with members of both parties on raising the debt ceiling, passing a budget and more, said one Republican who supports him. ‘‘If he does those things, he will have his legs taken out by some of his own members,’’ Representative Charlie Dent, a Pennsylvania Republican, said on NBC’s ‘‘Meet the Press.’’ ‘’He’s going to have the same problems that John Boehner had and Kevin McCarthy was about to experience.’’ Representative Raul Labrador of Idaho agreed that it’s possible that he and other members of the House Freedom Caucus would support Ryan or others. The debate tangles the Constitution with obscure House rules and palace intrigue."


He's deemed the "only person deemed widely acceptable to fill" the job. 

Speaking of nuthouses:

"Inmates slipping away en route to halfway houses" Associated Press  October 05, 2015

WASHINGTON — More than 240 inmates have slipped away from federal custody in the past three years while traveling to halfway houses, including several who committed bank robberies and a carjacking while on the lam, according to government documents.

Some of the inmates who absconded from 2012 through 2014 were reported by prison officials to have histories of violence and misconduct while in prison, the records show.

The federal Bureau of Prisons each year permits thousands of inmates it considers low risk to serve the final months of their sentences at halfway houses where counseling, job placement, and other services are offered. These inmates travel unescorted as part of the process of transitioning back into the community.

They get more services than do law-abiding citizens.

Records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show that 327 inmates were placed on escaped status during those years. About 65 of them were simply late arrivals. 

Or were let go.

The bureau could not say how many who fled have since been caught. The escapees are a fraction of the roughly 30,000 who travel unescorted to halfway houses each year.

Yeah, no need to worry.


With crime at historically low levels (the American people have nothing left to steal, and the elite are well guarded), one wonders if the drug dealers and the rest are being released to then justify increased law enforcement in what seems to be some sort of unsolvable and vicious drug war circle. I suppose once you get your head around the fact that it is the government that is the biggest drug smuggler and banks that benefit most from the laundered money that it all makes $en$e. 

I'll be in for the rest of the night, sorry.