Recently, President Barack Obama called for a motion to fix the criminal justice system which would place more focus on specific communities, courtrooms and cellblocks. The new federal review would include an investigation on the use of solitary confinement and a sentencing reform bill by the end of 2015.
Obama announced his criminal sentencing reformation speech at the NAACP’s annual convention.
“In far too many cases, the punishment simply doesn’t fit the crime,” said Obama.
Other incentives called for voting rights to be restored to felons who have completed their sentences. Also, employers should no longer ask about past convictions, and mandatory minimum sentences should either be reduced or discarded entirely. For example, a low-level drug dealer should indeed serve a sentence to society but not a life term in prison.
A day before making his reformation speech in Philidelphia, Obama had commuted the sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders, a record for the most commutations issued by a President in one day for decades. Upon his arrival in Philidelphia, Obama met with former prisoners to discuss their personal experiences of re-entering society. President Obama’s moves reflect a president eager to put his stamp on reducing harsh sentences while cutting unnecessary stresses placed on American taxpayers to support nonviolent convicts.
Public attention to harsh sentencing has been piqued by upsetting events sweeping America, such as the events in Ferguson and Baltimore. Tension between law enforcement and minority groups has grown where communities express concerns of differential treatment. While Obama made a point to emphasize the need for prisons to house – “murderers, predators, rapists, gang leaders” – Obama lamented to instances where young black and Latino men are treated differently than their white peers.
“The statistics cannot be ignored. We cannot close our eyes anymore,” Obama said.
Obama’s sentencing reformation is gaining momentum as optimistic signs of common interest has been expressed between both Republicans and Democrats on the issue. Republicans have spoken largely on the need for structural change. In Iowa, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is working on legislation to reduce mandatory minimums. In a true example of bipartisanship, Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas is backing a bill alongside Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island that would channel low-risk inmate into early release programs. Further, a number of presidential candidates have expressed an active interest in sentencing reformation.
Support for sentence reformation is not without reason. Since Congress enacted mandatory minimum sentencing for drug crimes, the population in federal prisons has grown exponentially from 24,000 in the ’80s to over 214,000.
Rhode Island Drug Crime Lawyer Chad Bank represents clients facing drug crime charges in the state of Rhode Island including crimes for marijuana, cocaine and other drugs. Our law office uses unique defenses and successful legal tactics to fight on behalf of our client’s. If you have been charged with a drug crime in the state of Rhode Island contact attorney Bank immediately. You need experienced and aggressive legal representation to stand for your best interests. Contact our legal experts today. Call (401) 229-5088.