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Yeah, let’s vote for more of this.

November 5, 2016

With President Obama’s  reported additional commutation of sentences for 72 more Federal prisoners on Friday, some of them with firearms enhancements added to their drug-related sentences, that brings the current total to nearly 1,000.

This is the most of any president, ever, and there is no end in sight during Mr. Obama’s remaining time in office.

One third of these commutations are for people serving life sentences. Even if you stipulate that mandatory sentencing is too much of a one-size-fits-all solution, it seems unlikely that all of these 944 sentences were undeserved.

The President feels that arbitrary sentencing for long periods of time makes community reintegration harder, if not impossible, and adds to prison overcrowding.

He also has made no secret of his belief that the people in jail for crimes in general and mandatory minimums in particular were and are being discriminated against solely on the basis of race.

The White House and the press make a big deal out of these being “nonviolent” crimes.

Nonviolent is not the same as non-impactful. There is no part of society that is not adversely impacted by the drug trade.

The President believes long sentences for drug-related crime are unjust. Before you buy into that, think about just these 10 things.

  1. How many little children go to bed hungry because mommy and/or daddy spent the welfare check on dope?
  2. How many of those children were born addicted?
  3. How many children are in foster care because of dope?
  4. How many businesses are ripped off by employees stealing to support their habits?
  5. How many burglars, shoplifters and prostitutes have been created to support the drug trade?
  6. How many people are so damaged mentally and physically that they will forever be a drain on our healthcare system?
  7. How many people are hurt or killed by drug-impaired drivers?
  8. How many parents have to identify the bodies of their sons and daughters who OD’ed, either accidentally or on purpose?
  9. How many of these nonviolent offenders are sucking up healthcare resources, public and private, to cycle endlessly from jail to rehab to the streets and back to jail?
  10. How many babies are aborted so the mother can get back to hooking to support her habit?

Add to that the statistics that show that the post-release three-year recidivism rate is 76.9% for drug-related offenses,  and you have to wonder what in the world the President is thinking.

It stands to reason that one of the first steps to tackling the problem would be to work aggressively to stop the inflow of drugs and get what’s already in here off the streets. It’s kind of hard to relapse if you can’t find a fix.

For some reason, every time anyone brings that up that part of the solution, there is a chorus from the left that says it can’t be done, because it is too hard and  besides, it’s discriminatory.

That would suggest there is an upside to the status quo.

Look at how much money is in the system  just to treat drug addiction. Who would ever support killing that cash cow?

It’s hard (but not impossible) to set up outcome monitoring for all of these 1,000 or so people. It would be interesting to see how many relapse within the next president’s first term. Of course that would involve tracking the people, and that’s discriminatory.

It has been a plank in the Democratic platform forever that people commit crimes because they are hapless victims of a discriminatory society, thus few are actually guilty.  They just got arrested more often than their privileged counterparts.

Yeah, let’s vote for more of that kind of reasoning.

From → op-ed

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