Published: Monday, April 1 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
"Case in point: A 20-year-old man was arrested for possession of $350 worth
of marijuana. Because he was carrying a gun (which he never used) federal
guidelines sentenced him to 55 years in federal prison. Had he not had the
marijuana but instead shot someone and pled guilty to manslaughter, his sentence
would have been far less than that".----What I find
amazing is that given this obvious injustice, Congress does nothing to fix what
they have done. I also find it amazing that no president sees fit to pardon this
man and others who are victims of bad laws. If common decency isn't enough
to do either, wasting of our tax dollars should be a motivator. How can we
afford to keep such people in prison? The US has more people in prison per
capita than any other nation. What are we getting for this huge expense?
Thank you, Senator Bennett, for pointing out some of the injustices that are
perpetrated by mandatory minimum sentencing laws. We are destroying the lives
of many of our young people by these laws, particularly those that mandate
lengthy minimum sentences for minor drug crimes.
Street drugs though harmful to health of individuals, are generally not harmful
to the rest of the population. Incarceration rates are needlessly too high,
prohibitively costly, and mixes these offenders with hard-core criminals.
For many reasons Mr. Bennett is absolutely correct.
The notion that a crime against our society is different because of arbitrary
definitions by different governments in itself a crime against America. The
problem is that we have too many governments over the same people. Most of the major strife of our nation is between our governments, with the
conflict centered of commercial aspects. Governments from the federal to the
smallest town control the commercial activity of their venue. And each
government has a different set of commercial interests with different goals and
philosophies. 200 years ago the physical location and distance
between people required local governments. That condition no longer exists.
Yet the seemingly sacred notions about government needs have not changed. The
most glaring example of such a false notion is that people have the most control
over local government because they are close to it. The number of scams in
local government to steal from the people belie that notion. If we
are to have smaller, less costly and better government we need to eliminate the
redundant and duplicated governments.
“Street drugs though harmful to health of individuals, are generally not
harmful to the rest of the population. Incarceration rates are needlessly too
high, prohibitively costly, and mixes these offenders with hard-core
criminals.”In the last half century, my extended family has be
decimated by the street drugs. The innocent along with the guilty. I would support the mandatory execution of anyone who makes, sell, transports
or otherwise promotes the use of street drugs.
Why is kidnapping a federal offense? Because a national hero's (Charles
Lindbergh's) son was kidnapped and murdered and the public outcry was so
great that Congress made it a federal offense. Maybe it's once again time
to trust states with investigating and prosecuting that crime as well.
Although I agree with Fmr. Senator Bennett, I find it funny that as I read your
articles, you act as though you are an outsider who had no effect on the
subject. I don't remember in your 18 years of service, you ever making
this point and trying to do away with the Federal Mandatory minimum sentences.
You act as though your hands are clean, but you had 18 years to stop this
problem. Just like TARP, federal spending, or the Iraq war, you could have
voted differently, and I find it somewhat hypocritical that you now act as if
your hands are clean. I am still waiting for the postcard sized tax form you
promised in 1993 in your campaign ads.
Probably the only way to end the drug problem would be the Chinese method under
Mao Zedong. The Chinese people were highly addicted to opium, primarily due to
English business interests in India that needed outlets for their product. The
Chinese tried to fight back during the opium wars but were unsuccessful .Under Mao those that were repeat users and dealers were given death
sentences, which over a few years ended the opium trade in China. In recent
years as China has relaxed enforcement their drug problem is beginning to
return. Relaxing the enforcement against illegal drugs is not the answer. There
may in fact be no real answer other than Mao's method. No I don't
advocate Mao's method. Education has not been effective.
Brer RabbitI do.
I agree with Ultrabob's comment of too much government. Congress should eliminate federal intrusion into the power that belongs to the
people and the States.**10th amendment to US Constitution.
iron&clayRIVERTON, UTApparently you don't understand
the significance of the word "or". The unfortunate truth is that the
states are different entities than the people. The Constitutional use of the
word "state" has the meaning of the "state government unit".
The impediments placed on voting by the people, by the state governments have
effectively robbed the people of their power over government, for the time
Like a mass murderer who later feels regret, Robert Bennett now espouses the
idea that there are too many people in federal prison. Where were these
sentiments when he was in a position to meaningfully act upon them?What passes for justice on a federal level in this country is a disgrace.
Federal prosecutors, with their absurd 99% conviction rate, pose a greater
threat to the populace than those they are supposedly protecting us from.
It's nice to see Bennett's take on the matter. Too bad he didn't
do something about it when he could.
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