Fuck Yeah Drug Policy
Posts tagged with criminal justice.
Child rapist to get less time than pot grower | The Province

09/21/11—Prime Minister Stephen Harper is getting tougher on pot growers than he is on rapists of children. Under the Tories’ omnibus crime legislation tabled Tuesday, a person growing 201 pot plants in a rental unit would receive a longer mandatory sentence than someone who rapes a toddler or forces a five-year-old to have sex with an animal. +

Child rapist to get less time than pot grower | The Province

09/21/11—Prime Minister Stephen Harper is getting tougher on pot growers than he is on rapists of children. Under the Tories’ omnibus crime legislation tabled Tuesday, a person growing 201 pot plants in a rental unit would receive a longer mandatory sentence than someone who rapes a toddler or forces a five-year-old to have sex with an animal. +

Massachusetts' highest court to hear case about marijuana cookie | Boston Herald →

a note from Eric Sterling:

In a school disciplinary hearing regarding distribution of a suspected marijuana cookie, at which a police officer was present, a high school student refused to answer questions in a school disciplinary case on the advice of parent and attorney (good advice!). The student was expelled. The student went to court and the court ordered the student reinstated. The school is now appealing to high court in Massachusetts. 

In the criminal context the 5th amendment protection against self-incrimination prohibits drawing a negative inference if an accused declines to testify. Should this rule apply in the school disciplinary context, particularly if the matter may trigger harsh criminal charges (such as distributing drugs in a drug-free school zone) and a police officer is present at the hearing? The high court in Massachusetts is the Supreme Judicial Court.

America’s prisons: a catching sickness | The Economist

IN MAY 1973 New York passed a set of laws that required judges to impose sentences of 15 years to life imprisonment for anyone convicted of selling two ounces (57 grams) or possessing four ounces of “narcotic drugs”—usually cocaine, heroin or marijuana. They came to be known as the Rockefeller laws, after New York’s then-governor, Nelson Rockefeller. They sent New York’s prison population soaring, from an average of fewer than 75 inmates per 100,000 New Yorkers between 1880 and 1970 to five times that rate by the end of the century. Between 1987 and 1997 drug cases accounted for 45% of new prisoners.
[…] The pattern was repeated around the country. As a result, America’s prison population, like New York’s, rose fivefold from 1980 to 2009. The impact has been particularly strong in poor and minority communities: one in 11 black adults are under correctional supervision, compared with one in 45 whites. And 25% of children in much of Harlem and the South Bronx have had one of their parents imprisoned. +

America’s prisons: a catching sickness | The Economist

IN MAY 1973 New York passed a set of laws that required judges to impose sentences of 15 years to life imprisonment for anyone convicted of selling two ounces (57 grams) or possessing four ounces of “narcotic drugs”—usually cocaine, heroin or marijuana. They came to be known as the Rockefeller laws, after New York’s then-governor, Nelson Rockefeller. They sent New York’s prison population soaring, from an average of fewer than 75 inmates per 100,000 New Yorkers between 1880 and 1970 to five times that rate by the end of the century. Between 1987 and 1997 drug cases accounted for 45% of new prisoners.

[…] The pattern was repeated around the country. As a result, America’s prison population, like New York’s, rose fivefold from 1980 to 2009. The impact has been particularly strong in poor and minority communities: one in 11 black adults are under correctional supervision, compared with one in 45 whites. And 25% of children in much of Harlem and the South Bronx have had one of their parents imprisoned. +

"To be clear, no one on the anti-prohibition side of this debate would characterize regulating drugs as a panacea. We have to do a lot better, and while legalization itself won’t be a cure-all for drug abuse problems, it will at least bring those problems out of the criminal realm and above-ground where a true public health strategy can begin to work. As an added benefit, ending prohibition would undo much of the additional non-use-related damage that banning drugs has created."
Chicago to Stop Jailing Marijuana Users? →

Facing a $315 million shortfall, Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced a 5% spending cut and threatened layoffs if necessary. Preckwinkle last week discussed the idea of merely ticketing pot smokers with Chicago Police Superintendant Garry McCarthy, and while no decision has yet been taken, the notion is percolating through the police bureaucracy. +

Ron Paul Would Pardon Nonviolent Drug Offenders

Judge Rules White Girl Will Be Tried As Black Adult →

"This is America. Nobody deserves to be treated as a black man."

How Bad is the Crisis in America’s Prisons?
"The number of federal laws reaches well into the thousands, and it’s growing. Many are so broadly written they allow prosecutors to ring just about anyone they please up on federal charges. This creates a system driven by politics, not justice. It makes criminals out of all of us, making actual enforcement of the law arbitrary and corruptible. Worse, every incentive for a federal prosecutor pushes in the direction of winning convictions, with little if any sanction for crossing ethical and legal boundaries in the process. It’s a system that’s not only ripe for abuse, but that actually rewards it."

Drug War Deserters: Former police officers and judges are among those pushing for an end to the “war on drugs.”

(via CNN)

Prince of Pot's prosecutor declares prohibition a bust →

Marc Emery remains a political prisoner in a country that is rapidly accepting that marijuana prohibition is a failure. Contact your Member of Parliament and demand the federal Canadian government bring Emery home.

(via Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy)

14 Examples of Rampant Racism in the Criminal Justice System →

The biggest crime in the U.S. criminal justice system is that it is a race-based institution where African-Americans are directly targeted and punished in a much more aggressive way than white people. Below I set out numerous examples of these facts. Read more

(via Counter Punch)

Too many laws, too many prisoners →

Justice is harsher in America than in any other rich country. Between 2.3m and 2.4m Americans are behind bars, roughly one in every 100 adults. If those on parole or probation are included, one adult in 31 is under “correctional” supervision. As a proportion of its total population, America incarcerates five times more people than Britain, nine times more than Germany and 12 times more than Japan. Overcrowding is the norm. Federal prisons house 60% more inmates than they were designed for. State lock-ups are only slightly less stuffed.

The system has three big flaws, say criminologists. First, it puts too many people away for too long. Second, it criminalises acts that need not be criminalised. Third, it is unpredictable. Many laws, especially federal ones, are so vaguely written that people cannot easily tell whether they have broken them. Read more

(via The Economist)