Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday, September 1, 2017

This is a piece by Nkechi Taifa from The Justice RoundTable Convener's Corner. 

August 25, 2017
Convener’s Corner, Nkechi Taifa
Trump Pardoned Arpaio – What we gonna do???

Excuse my language, but I am pissed. Not because Trump pardoned Arpaio — the Executive has an unfettered constitutional right to grant clemency to whoever s/he wishes. I am outraged because we as a progressive community are too often stymied by what the conservative and law enforcement communities think about our thoughts and actions and, as a result, are afraid to go bold. Trump went bold. He cut right through the red tape and pardoned his bigoted buddy.

The handwriting was on the wall toward the end of the Obama administration. The Executive was urged, time and again, to go bold. Instead, although well-meaning, the progressive administration adopted a process on top of an already flawed process. It followed the long-standing but problematic rule of law of deferring to the same agency that prosecuted and imprisoned those now appealing for release. It would likely be the last opportunity for at least four years for people like William Underwood, Michelle West, Leonard Peltier, Mutulu Shakur, Alice Johnson and John Knock to have any hope of release from lengthy incarceration. 

But the progressive administration was stymied by criteria, by prosecutorial veto, by blind adherence to process and procedure, by red tape, and by the time-honored rule of law.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

These are the people serving Life without Parole for marijuana

This is the letter Life for Pot is sending to the United States Sentencing Commission.  These are our comments for submission.

Dear Members of US Sentencing Commission,

The current level of incarceration is not fiscally responsible and it does not speak to justice.  The time for nuanced and incremental sentencing reform is past.  This is a time that calls for bold decisions and bold actions.

I'm speaking for a unique category of offender whose sentences are in no way proportional to the harm of their offense.  These offenders are nonviolent marijuana offenders with no violent priors and no other substance in their charges.  They have also received unconscionable sentences of Life without Parole or defacto life without parole.

These sentences coarsen our culture and foster disrspect for our Criminal Justice System.  At Life for Pot, we were not surprised to see that the offenders who received these mind bending soulless sentences had for the most part been charged with conspiracy and exercised their 6th Amendment Right to trial.  In other words, at sentencing they received the trial penalty.

Law enforcement is well aware of the consequences of a conspiracy charge.  The most benign consequence is that it is a less costly prosecution.  For the defendant, conspiracy charges require that the defendant either accept responsibility for the actions of many over a period of time or go to trial and most certainly receive a sentence of multiple years more than others.

     Denial of relevant conduct should not be considered in determining whether a defendant has accepted responsibility for purposes of 3E1.1.

Marijuana is a substance that has been legalized to some degree in the majority of the states.  It is a substance that is less harmful and less addictive than alcohol yet it continues to be a Schedule I drug on the Controlled Substance Act's schedule.  Billions of dollars are now being invested in business enterprises for marijuana.  It is not reasonable for this substance to continue to be the reason for the arrest of over 500,000 individuals per year, the incarceration of hundreds of thousands and the expenditure of  up to $ 42 billion per  year.

When Clemency Project 2014 was initiated, we believed that nonviolent marijuana offenders with life sentences and de-facto life sentences would receive Presidential Clemency.  That did not happen.  Of the 1,715 individuals  who received commutations, we only found 39 who were nonviolent marijuana only offenders.  It's difficult to understand how sentences of this magnitude were ever deemed appropriate for nonviolent marijuana offenders, but in the current climate of legalization and the establishment of Cannabis businesses, this level of retribution cannot be defended

A maximum sentence of 10 years should be retroactive. 

Beth Curtis MSW

In a just and reasonable world marijuana should not be regulated and there should not be prosecution for it's use.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Larkin: Reform Clemency NOW !

Larkin: Reform Clemency NOW !: Since January of 2008, this nationally recognized blog has been dedicated to following the very latest news regarding presidential pardons and the pardon power (or clemency powers) as exercised in each state. Reader comments are certainly welcomed but a premium will be placed on civility, relevance and originality. Please refrain from extended copying and pasting.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Life For Pot - Online : About

Life For Pot - Online : About: Life for Pot Commutation executive clemency commutation for nonviolent marijuana inmates sentenced to life without parole nonviolent marijuana prisoners

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Life For Pot - Commutation

Life For Pot - Commutation: Life for pot commutation john knock, craig cesal, paul free, antonio bascaro, larry duke, billy dekle, jeff mizanskey, Life for Pot marijuana, clemency, commutation,

Life for Pot talks about the failure of Clemency Project 2014.