Thursday, January 26, 2006

The incidence of news stories that make me want to cry increases daily

"Forced to impose a sentence he deemed unjust, a Northern District of New York judge took sharp aim last week at a federal statute that required him to impose a life-without-parole term on a 32-year-old "relatively small-time drug dealer" with an IQ of 72."

""The increment of harm in this case bears no rational relationship to the increment of punishment that I must impose."

"There is something terribly wrong with a system in that you, a drug dealer, are imprisoned for life without release, while a defendant who crosses state lines and actually rapes and sexually abuses a very young child may be free in less than 13 years," Hurd wrote. "The harm you caused cannot compare to murder, torture, arson, rape, child abuse, manslaughter, embezzlement of millions of dollars by corporate executives or even the San Diego Congressman who took over two millions dollars in bribes."

A glimmer of hope: "Additionally, in an August 2003 speech at the American Bar Association's annual meeting, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy urged the ABA to speak out against mandatory minimum sentences."


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