Just Say No to Sensenbrenner
Politicians like Rep. Sensenbrenner just can't say no to ever harsher drug laws, no matter the cost to our prison nation. Sensenbrenner's latest brainchild, which TalkLeft criticized here, "would require five-year terms for the sale or distribution of every illegal drug, no matter how small the amount or the penalty under state law." Pass a joint and do five years in the federal joint.
The cynically titled Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act of 2005 does little to push drug treatment but could do much to harm children. It would also make a bad sentencing system worse and punish judges who have rightly criticized its many inequities. ... Offenders with a prior conviction on almost any drug charge would automatically get 10 years. Adults who sold to minors could get life.
[I]f Dad watches Mom smoke marijuana in their living room, they both head to prison, and Junior goes to foster care.
The LA Times exposes Sensenbrenner's true agenda, and explains why his misguided attempt to add to the booming prison population isn't worth the cost.
To oppose this bill ... is to acknowledge that drug laws have already reached the point of diminishing returns. Drug offenders already are serving longer sentences than felons convicted on federal manslaughter or assault charges. Taxpayers are on the hook for prison costs that are spiraling out of control, and judges of all political stripes have slammed mandatory drug sentences as overkill.
Sensenbrenner and his Republican allies know all this. But furious over recent Supreme Court decisions returning to judges small shreds of discretion in applying these draconian laws, they are bent on reversing those gains. Instead of cutting drug use, the real goal of this bill is to score political points in a larger war against the judiciary.
|< Ethics Committee Members Recuse Selves From DeLay Investigation | Michael Jackson: The Preposterous TimeLine >|