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Obama Will Grant Clemency to Dozens of Nonviolent Drug Offenders


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#1 Sidestreet

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 05:48 PM

 

WASHINGTON — Sometime in the next few weeks, aides expect President Obama to issue orders freeing dozens of federal prisoners locked up on nonviolent drug offenses. With the stroke of his pen, he will probably commute more sentences at one time than any president has in nearly half a century.

 

The expansive use of his clemency power is part of a broader effort by Mr. Obama to correct what he sees as the excesses of the past, when politicians eager to be tough on crime threw away the key even for minor criminals. With many Republicans and Democrats now agreeing that the nation went too far, Mr. Obama holds the power to unlock that prison door, especially for young African-American and Hispanic men disproportionately affected.

 

But even as he exercises authority more assertively than any of his modern predecessors, Mr. Obama has only begun to tackle the problem he has identified. In the next weeks, the total number of commutations for Mr. Obama’s presidency may surpass 80, but more than 30,000 federal inmates have come forward in response to his administration’s call for clemency applications. A cumbersome review process has advanced only a small fraction of them. And just a small fraction of those have reached the president’s desk for a signature.

 

 

http://www.nytimes.c...nders.html?_r=0

 

This is good news.  It looks like he will concentrate on victims of "three strikes" sentencing and mandatory minimums.  I mean, someone is in prison for life because he stole a pair of socks after two priors.  That's some medieval shit!

 

Of course this isn't enough to make a real impact but its a symbolic victory.

 

The pardon power of the president comes directly from Article II of the Constitution:  "The President...shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment."  It has few limits, except that the president can only pardon someone after an offense has been committed.  If he could pardon someone before they committed a crime, it would mean that the president had the power to waive the laws.  Of course, presidents have broken the law tons of times and gotten away with it (Nixon just got greedy and sloppy).


Edited by Sidestreet, 10 July 2015 - 01:09 PM.

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#2 Alder Logs

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 06:12 PM

Leonard Peltier, framed by the FBI, will never see the outside? 



#3 pharmer

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 09:31 PM

methinks he's just laying the groundwork for pardoning several of his staff, as many predecessors have.



#4 Sidestreet

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Posted 04 July 2015 - 11:25 PM

 

Leonard Peltier, framed by the FBI, will never see the outside?

 

Welllll he's seventy years old and his first parole hearing is scheduled for 2024 sooooooooo....  hopefully.  But framing an AIM member would totally be something the FBI would do.  More of that COINTELPRO stuff I mentioned.  Here's a great article on COINTELPRO history and the PATRIOT Act I found while researching the recent "USA FREEDOM" (ugh) Act: http://latcrit.org/m...ylorsaito.pdf. The author talks about how the PATRIOT Act helps to continue the tradition of criminalizing protest.

 

methinks he's just laying the groundwork for pardoning several of his staff, as many predecessors have.

 

who do you have in mind?


Edited by Sidestreet, 04 July 2015 - 11:25 PM.


#5 Sidestreet

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Posted 05 July 2015 - 09:37 AM

Peltier is mentioned in that article I posted:

 

 

Prominent cases in which the FBI used perjured testimony and falsified evidence to convict activists include that of New York Black Panther Dhoruba bin Wahad, whose murder conviction was overturned in 1993 after he had spent twenty years wrongfully incarcerated, and AIM activist Leonard Peltier, who is still incarcerated after twenty-seven years, despite the acknowledgement that his conviction for the 1975 deaths of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation was obtained with the use of perjured testimony and falsified ballistics evidence and despite worldwide recognition of his status of a political prisoner. 


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#6 Green (E)

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 02:23 AM

shit, i'm a nonviolent drug offender. guess i better look into this :)

thanks for the info sidestreet!


Edited by Green (E), 08 July 2015 - 02:24 AM.

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#7 hyphaenation

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 10:10 AM

Free Leonard Peltier...
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#8 Green (E)

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 12:30 PM

FREE EDDY LEPP!


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#9 Sidestreet

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 02:55 PM

Sorry Greenie, they already cut you loose!  You should apply for reparations.

 

Looks like this isn't the first time Obama has done this... but before now he's only freed a whopping 30 prisoners serving long sentences handed down during the "Crack Hysteria Era."  Big deal.

 

His mouth is in the right place though:

 

 

“You’ve got entire generations of men being locked up, which means entire generations of boys growing up either without a father, or if they see their dad, they’re seeing them in prison,” Obama said. The costs, Obama said, are steep in a fiscal sense but also a societal one.

 

Hell yeah free Eddy Lepp!

 

 

California medical marijuana grower, spiritualist, and activist Eddy Lepp was sentenced Monday to a mandatory minimum 10-year prison sentence on federal marijuana cultivation charges in a case where he grew more than 20,000 pot plants in plain view of a state highway in Northern California's Lake County. US District Court Judge Marilyn Patel also sentenced him to five years probation. He must report to federal authorities by July 6.

eddylepp2.jpg
Eddy Lepp (courtesy cannabisculture.com)
Lepp contended that the plants were a medical marijuana grow for members of the Multi Denominational Ministry of Cannabis and Rastafari and legal under California law. But during his trial, he was not allowed to introduce medical marijuana or religious defenses. He was found guilty of conspiracy to possess marijuana with the intent to distribute more than 1,000 pot plants and of cultivating more than 1,000 plants, which carries a maximum life sentence.

 

It's bullshit that he wasn't even allowed to mention medical marijuana or religious reasons.  The accused should be able to mention anything they damn well please to sway a jury!  Same thing happened to Casey Hardison, even though he was making very persuasive logical arguments for changing the law.


Edited by Sidestreet, 08 July 2015 - 02:56 PM.

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#10 fungi2bwith

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 06:42 PM

My great uncle died in prison for 10 lbs of marijuana(25 year sentence, and he was already 55). I wish he could be here to see this....



#11 Green (E)

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 11:48 PM

Similar thing also happened to Ed rosenthal at his trial. He couldnt tell the jury that the CITY OF OAKLAND DEPUTIZED him to grow clones for their sick and dying... totally fucked


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#12 Sidestreet

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 07:09 AM

fungi, that's just awful and I'm sorry.  I don't know what else to say but he'll be in my thoughts today.

 

 

Similar thing also happened to Ed rosenthal at his trial. He couldnt tell the jury that the CITY OF OAKLAND DEPUTIZED him to grow clones for their sick and dying... totally fucked

 

That kind of thing totally undermines the whole reason for having a jury of peers.  We have juries so that everyday people can look at an accused person and decide their guilt with an everyday person's sense of justice.  If you give them a fucked version of the story of course they'll convict!  It's like how people say that you can indict a ham sandwich.  A ham sandwich can't fight back; only one side is represented in an indictment.

 

rosenthal-quote-sm.png


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#13 Sidestreet

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 08:36 PM

"Free them ALL"

 

[Direct Link]


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#14 Alder Logs

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 07:53 AM

Yup, there's the Koch brothers, and then, there's Duh-bya and Jeb, the Coke brothers.


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#15 Sidestreet

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 07:54 AM

Well apparently he went with 46.

 

46 down, 1 million to go...



#16 -=Zeus=-

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 05:27 PM

I was hoping Tim Tyler, who's serving life for selling lsd in 1993 at 23 yrs old would be released, but it appears to be almost exclusively crack related sentences that were commuted. 



#17 niemandgeist

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 10:24 PM

Maybe we can get Obama to do more if we all work together to start a new movement:

 

Clementines for Clemency.

 

We just need a bunch of people to ship crates of clementines to the White House, preferably enough to visibly display just how many people are languishing in prison over non-violent drug sentences. I don't care how hungry you are, but a man can eat only so many clementines.

 

At the very least you figure some prisoners will get some clementines out of the deal.






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