Michael Mukasey's Cracked Crack Logic

One of the reasons to already be unhappy with the choice of Michael Mukasey as Attorney General is his opposition to retroactively applying the minor sentencing reductions that the US Sentencing Commission enacted for federal crack cocaine prisoners. Former prisoner Malakkar Vohryzek has called him out for fear-mongering distortions on the issue over at D'Alliance. With a little number crunching, Vohryzek finds that in New York City, for example, if every application for a sentencing reduction is approved, all of eight people serving crack cocaine sentences will get out an return to the community a little early. Yet Mukasey has somehow predicted a "crime wave." Shame on him. The NAACP's Hilary Shelton -- a stalwart of the campaign to restore college aid eligibility to students who've lost it because of drug convictions, an effort many of you have read about here -- had strong words for Mukasey (via the Sentencing Law and Policy blog):
The NAACP was both saddened and offended by Attorney General Michael Mukasey's call for Congress to override the decision by the U.S. Sentencing Commission to apply their May 2007 decision to reduce the recommended mandatory minimum sentencing range for conviction of possession of crack cocaine retroactive to those already in prison. "Attorney General Mukasey's characterization of people currently in prison for crack cocaine convictions, and of the impact that a potential reduction in their sentences could have on our communities, is not only inaccurate and disingenuous, but it is alarmist and plays on the worst fears and stereotypes many Americans had of crack cocaine users in the 1980s," said NAACP Washington Bureau Director Hilary O. Shelton. "The fact that a federal judge will be called to review every case individually and take into account if there were other factors involved in the conviction, whether it be the use of a gun, violence, death or the defendant's criminal history before determining if the retroactivity can apply, appears to have eluded the Attorney General," Shelton added. "Furthermore, because more than 82 percent of those currently in prison for federal crack cocaine convictions are African Americans and 96 percent are racial or ethnic minorities, the NAACP is deeply concerned at the Attorney General's callous characterization that many of the people in question are 'violent gang members'."
Also quoted on Sentencing Law and Policy, criticism of Mukasey by the New York Times.
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Trapped by Their Own Facade

More than 600,000 prisoners are released from all the various jails in the United States every year. 20,000 prisoners is a little over three-percent of that total, making it a fairly insignificant number. Yet, there is panic.

One source of the panic is the product of the government’s famous portrayal of the crack dealer as the lowest and most treacherous of all criminals, this despite the fact that much of the cocaine used to make the crack sold in the 80s was supplied to the gangs in LA under the protective eye of the CIA.

Taking their cue from the crack situation, it was Drug Czar Bill Bennett, and his trusty side-kick, John Walters, who predicted the future emergence of super criminals, of people so lacking in moral restraint as to be barely human. We now know they were talking about the future occupants of the White House and ONDCP. But their stigmatization of the crack dealer during that time has made it difficult to release these prisoners, who would, in all likelihood as a first step, simply return to their families for support and reintegration into society.

In an election year, in the land of the Willie Horton political ad, the timing sucks. This despite the fact that the popularity of crack has largely burned itself out of its own accord. Today, if you tell some kid in South Central LA that his mom smokes crack, you’ll start a fight. Yet, no doubt for many voters who've feasted on the drug war propaganda du jour, nothing has changed.



When I saw that the Supreme court monkies wanted to 'Release crack cocaine addicts/dealers out earlier" I just laughted at stated : "They are having trouble getting their lines of coke in the White house eh?".

The WORST of all of the chem drugs is cocaine, and its users/sellers.

Cocaine is proven to make its user either degenerate and become unable to use their mind (the gland that reacts to a bunch of under the sink chemicals fries out pretty damn fast, might be a warning sign eh?) or bodies like someone who has not even considered chemical drugs.

All of the chemical drugs are basically household chemicals that will liquify your brain and make you a mindless, legally alive but not literally, zombie. One who cannot focus, cannot think, comprehend, or do any action. It is sad because the majority of users are GIRLS who think it will do nothing to them, the majority even so stupid as to think "Meth" is good because it makes you skinnier. That is non-sense, it makes you skinny, big deal. What if we don't want you to look like a walking skeleton with skin graphs and no mind?

The point is, none of the government is acceptable, time to stop talking about it and ranting about it and lets DO Something about it.


We must get rid of these pathetic criminals who have some fetish with sending out daily orders to kill innocent american civilians. Be it by gun or by chemical. If this was civil war I personally would consider this CHEMICAL WARFARE.


By claiming coke and meth are the most evil chemicals in the world, you think this evil aura, or whatever it is, can be automatically transferred to the person consuming the chemical. There is no logical reason to believe that. People screw around and sometimes they make mistakes. Sometimes the mistakes are really big. That’s all there is to this. Otherwise, the people you seem to think may be released, won’t be.

It’s obvious you know nothing about drugs or drug users. It doesn’t even sound as if you’ve ever met or known a drug user or dealer in your life. You see the tragic cases of drug misuse portrayed by the media, and you think it’s the norm. It’s sort of like being a witness to every car wreck, and then concluding cars are evil and should be prohibited.

Furthermore, you talk about drug users the way some Southern white bigot in the 50s would talk about blacks. And since the prisoners being released are mostly black, maybe bigotry is your thing?

My advice to you is to take drugs. You need them more than anybody else on this site.


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