Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Early Release for Non Violent Prisoners

Early Release for Non Violent Prisoners.

  That should be a good thing right? After all it surely is an injustice that many of these folks were incarcerated because of unequal sentencing practices or even for not having enough money for a proper defence. 

 There is no doubt that the largest part of those unfairly sentenced will belong to visible minorities. Mandatory minimum sentences and unequal sentences for a smaller amount of crack cocaine versus a larger amount powder cocaine also contributed to the differences in sentences face by African Americans. We net also snared a few marijuana users who received long sentences in some states while other states charge people with misdemeanors.

 The US. Sentencing Commission voted to retroactively reduce the penalty for crack cocaine to become effective March 3, 2008. Now as we look around the net more and more institution are announcing plans to release non violent offenders early. I'm not going to start listing  them here it's easy enough to do a search online to come up with dozens of examples.

 Many people are concerned about the effect these releases will have on the crime rates in the communities these ex-offenders will be released to and rightfully so.

 I believe the people being released should get a fair chance and that includes some intervention on the part of the system that put them at a disadvantage in the first place.
The very minimum we should expect, is for the government bodies that will be saving substancial sums to take some of that money and place these people in drug rehabilitation  
and employment preparation programs at the very least. We should all make as much noise about this situation and create as much pressure as possible on our elected representatives ASAP especially since this is an election year.


Making The Walls Transparent (MTWT-Texas) said...

Dear Friend,

Many of you realize that our American criminal justice system is plagued by many problems. These problems contribute to innocent people being convicted and guilty ones remaining free to commit more crimes. To date, “15” innocent people wrongfully convicted in Dallas County Texas have since been exonerated through DNA evidence. Because of the now well-known problems at the Houston Police Department crime lab, which erroneously analyzed and presented the DNA evidence used to convict many Texas defendants there has been a much needed demand for reforms in several areas with respect to our justice system. When miscarriages of justice like these wrongful convictions occur, we must have dedicated lawyers willing to fight to ensure justice is done, plus we must have mechanisms in place for investigating and addressing the root causes of these miscarriages. When we study our criminal justice system in the U.S., with special attention given to states such as Texas, and take the necessary measures to improve the quality of justice administered, we not only reduce the chances of convicting the innocent, we increase the chances of convicting the guilty. We also show the World that our justice system is strong enough and has the decency to recognize and repair its own mistakes, which is the characteristics of a country that has bestowed upon itself the title "Beacon of Democracy".

In the Texas justice system, and particularly in Dallas County, there are many examples of the fundamental unfairness, class discrimination, blatant racism, police, judicial and prosecutorial misconduct and repeated human/civil rights violations that take place daily. No better example of this is the arrest, indictments and prosecution of Lakeith Amir-Sharif on charges that lack a factual basis and are based solely on sloppy police and prosecution investigations, questionable acts by judges, and the knowingly perjured testimony of a angry, vindictive, and heart broken ex-girlfriend named Cathy Jonette Hawkins. A casual review of the circumstances of Mr. Amir-Sharif's cases will leave you wondering why has the Dallas D.A.'s office continued to prosecute this innocent man; and at the expense to taxpayers of over two hundred fifty thousand dollars to date ($250,000.00). You’ll see that the only thing Lakeith is guilty of is having an affair, but that isn’t a criminal offense, nor is it reason to warrant a 20 - 30 year sentence as the prosecution is seeking. Lakeith is a former service man who is the father of 7-girls, one is a 2 ½ year old whom he is raising alone. Lakeith is a good father and provider for his family, but the State of Texas is more interested in keeping the wheels of it’s prison system greased with the lives of low-income black and brown men, women and children. This ill-conceived prosecution was started by the racist and unethical former D.A. Bill Hill, and it illustrates for people everywhere why Texas (and especially the Dallas justice system which leads the nation in the number of DNA exonerations) is in such a crisis. The case of Mr. Amir-Sharif is 101' study of American Injustice at it's best/worse.

Lakeith Amir-Sharif is "INNOCENT" and we at Making The Walls Transparent, America’s Wrongfully Convicted and Justice Watch will continue to say it until justice is served in Lakeith’s case and other cases in which the defendant is not guilty of the crime they have been charged with.

Prospector said...

I wasn't aware of the Lakeith Amir-Sharif case but I have looked around since you mentioned it to me. I will continue to enquire about his case and encourage others to do likewise.

It certainly won't help to replace the non violent prisoners with innocent ones. We should take every action possible in order not to leave those whose cases are in doubt, to fend for themselves. The people must stand up and speak out against injustices being carried out by the system. If we are going to maintain a system of justice, it will have to be one worthy of our respect and confidence.
If it can't be that way then it's time for a change, as Barak Obama might suggest.