The Ugly Truth of Mandatory Drug Sentencing

clarence aaron

Seth Ferranti: Clarence Aaron is serving three life terms for a small-time college cocaine deal, another victim of heinous mandatory drug sentencing laws. If he’s waiting for Obama—or anyone else—for help, he’ll be waiting a long time.

10 Most Read Articles — 12 to 19 May 2012

This week, Shamus Cooke’s article, “Why U.S. Politicians Are Quiet About Europe’s Meltdown,” led the way, suggesting that working people in the U.S. need to learn to speak Greek, and adopt an increasingly popular slogan that rejects austerity measures: Tax the Rich!

Defying Racial Stereotypes

MIRAL

David Love: Given the paucity of positive images of Arabs out there, no single film can be all things to all people. And no film by itself can articulate the full breadth of the occupation or the Mideast conflict. But this is a good start.

One More Chance for Youth

Youth Justice Coalition

Diane Lefer: Youth in life without parole cases are often acting under the influence of an adult. In nearly 70 percent of California LWOP cases in which the youth was not acting alone, at least one codefendant was an adult.

Will Tedi Snyder Die in Prison?

Diane Lefer: Though the Supreme Court ruled on May 17 in Graham v. Florida that juveniles must not be sentenced to life without parole for any crime short of homicide, California continues to impose sentences so extreme they are the effective equivalent of life without the possibility of parole.

Fast 4 Freedom

curb

Diane Lefer: AB900 was a huge victory for the prison-industrial complex. “People are making a profit out of putting people in cages,” said Geri Silva.

Mandatory Minimums: Cruel and Usual

Juvenile Justice

Diane Lefer: The right to a speedy trial turns out to mean nothing when you’re a juvenile, even a juvenile being tried as an adult. After almost three years in lockup, with no trial scheduled, her son agreed to plead guilty to get it over with. “Even the judge couldn’t believe it. He said, ‘They gave you a strike and a felony for that?’”

Friday Feedback: Prison Reform

Friday Feedback: People are understandably appalled when violent offenders get early release and go on to commit horrendous crimes, including the recent murder of Chelsea King for which a parolee has been arrested. What is less understood is that thousands of people — including juveniles as young as 13 — are being handed life sentences, including life without any possibility of parole.

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