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In many states the National Rifle Association strongly lobbied for lengthy mandatory-minimum sentences. See "Truth in Sentencing". NRA is today's paramilitary Brownshirts and Hitler Youth promoting vast concentration camps mostly for nonviolent "undesirables."Talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh and George Noory of Coast to Coast AM repeat the NRA's "tough on crime" and "law and ORDER," stormtrooper door-buster, SWAT slogans.
George Noory needs to acknowledge and apologize for his part in promoting the lock-em-up, gun fanatics and their racist support of mandatory-minimum sentencing for many non-violent crimes such as cannabis possession (!) or growing.
Today (like the Nazis and their militia partners, the SA Brownshirts) the problem is the Republicans and the Ku Klux Klan remnants that form today's far-right-wing militias. It is the "Southern Strategy" of politics and labor camps on a grand scale. Gitmo writ large.
Click here for larger chart, and info on the sources.
The New York Times says it is the length of sentences that causes the huge U.S. inmate count that dwarfs other nations.
New York Times: American Exception. Inmate Count in US Dwarfs Other Nations'. Apr 22, 2008. Page 1, Section A, Front Page. Archived here too.
From the New York Times article (emphasis added):
Still, it is the length of sentences that truly distinguishes American prison policy. Indeed, the mere number of sentences imposed here would not place the United States at the top of the incarceration lists. If lists were compiled based on annual admissions to prison per capita, several European countries would outpace the United States. But American prison stays are much longer, so the total incarceration rate is higher. ... "Rises and falls in Canada's crime rate have closely paralleled America's for 40 years," Mr. Tonry wrote last year. "But its imprisonment rate has remained stable."
*Mandatory-Minimum Drug Sentences. U.S. CHARTS. Non-violent possession only. Drug War concentration camps for "undesirables." Sentences that usually do not allow parole until at least around 80% of the sentence served. Federal laws, and most states, have mandatory minimums.
The majority of the 2.3 million U.S. prisoners are incarcerated due to the drug war.
See also: Inside the Iranian Crackdown. Parallels to U.S., DEA, NRA.
*November 1997. DRCNet Legislative Alert -- Oppose Mandatory Minimums (11/20/97). Drug Reform Coordination Network -- Rapid-Response-Team. "When the provision was being debated three years ago, the National Rifle Association ran ads featuring actor Charlton Heston, claiming the bill would 'let 10,000 drug dealers out of prison.' "
*August 1994. DRCNet. The Activist Guide. NRA and Charlton Heston Criticize Safety Valve. "In a highly dishonest advertisement by the National Rifle Association on CNN last Tuesday, actor Charlton Heston criticized the Crime Bill, claiming that it would let 10,000 drug dealers back out on the streets. ... The U.S. Sentencing Commission has calculated that only 1,600 prisoners will be released under the retroactive safety valve clause. Only first time, low level, non-violent offenders who have cooperated fully with federal authorities will be eligible."
*March 1999. NRA officer brags about drug mandatory minimum sentences, and 3 Strikes for drugs. California NRA (National Rifle Association). Author of the article: "Ralph Weller is an NRA, CRPA Member, an officer in a San Diego NRA Member's Council and a gun rights activist in Southern California. He is also the web master of www.calnra.org and manages other pro-gun organization websites." The author is an NRA officer. The article was posted on an NRA website in March 1999. Weller's article starts a few paragraphs into the messages archived below.
*March 1997 "In These Times" article called "The NRA strikes back." From the In These Times article: "...the NRA was 'instrumental' in passing truth-in-sentencing measures which lengthened average prison sentences." Article is a few paragraphs into the messages at the first 2 links below):
http://www.prop1.org/legal/prisons/970317itt.htm - last article.
Mandatory minimum sentencing is also called indeterminate sentencing. Previous to its massive implementation, judges and parole boards had more say due to what existed more before: determinate sentencing.
*NRA Members' Councils of California. Anthony Canales: "In reality, the defenders of judicial discretion towards determinate sentencing would have one and all believe that the judiciary is up to the task. ... But when these same judges request discretionary authority for a lessening of time under incarceration for those who would sell heroin to children, or help maintain the status of the narcotraficantes as a scourge to the Colombian people, or even to effectively reduce the business costs of those drug industry soldiers who find it “necessary” to engage in gunplay in minority neighborhoods, then one must take pause and consider other alternatives. It may just be that, for the sake of the children, the public must resist the blandishments of the legal elites until such time as common sense is exhibited more clearly."
*NRA Institute for Legislative Action - NRA-ILA: "CrimeStrike lobbied successfully to increase prison capacity in Texas, Mississippi, Virginia and nearly tripled the funds allocated for state prison construction in the 1994 Federal Crime Bill. ... CrimeStrike helped win passage of Truth-In-Sentencing laws ... CrimeStrike was instrumental in helping Washington State Initiative 593, the nation's first 'Three Strike, You're Out' law, qualify for the ballot and then win passage by the largest margin in state history. CrimeStrike also provided grassroots support for the California 'Three Strikes' law, which also won at the polls."
*August 1999. Three-Strikes Law Is Missing the Mark! Polly Klaas grandfather. CALIFORNIA: "78% of second-strikers and 50% of third strikers were convicted for nonviolent offenses. ...crime fall at a quicker rate in non-three-strikes states." NRA law!
*July 1999. USA. DRCnet. News Briefs. 25 years to life for stealing food. Appeal lost. 3 strikes law. Drug war tool. See end of http://www.prop1.org/legal/prisons/970317itt.htm about this Republican, NRA (National Rifle Association) law.
United States Sentencing Commission
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The United States Sentencing Commission is an independent agency of the judicial branch of the federal government of the United States. It is responsible for articulating the sentencing guidelines for the United States federal courts. The Commission promulgates the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which replaced the prior system of indeterminate sentencing that allowed trial judges to give sentences ranging from probation to the maximum statutory punishment for the offense.
The commission was created by the Sentencing Reform Act provisions of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984. The constitutionality of the commission was challenged as a congressional encroachment on the power of the executive but upheld by the Supreme Court in Mistretta v. United States, 488 U.S. 361 (1989).
Unlike many special-purpose "study" commissions within the executive branch, Congress established the U.S. Sentencing Commission as a permanent, independent agency within the judicial branch. The seven voting members on the Commission are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and serve six-year terms. Commission members may be reappointed to further terms with the consent of the Senate. No more than three of the commissioners may be federal judges, and no more than four may belong to the same political party. The United States Attorney General and the chair of the United States Parole Commission sit as nonvoting ex officio members of the Commission.
Current membershipThe following table lists commissioners as of March 2009.
|Ricardo H. Hinojosa (Chair)||Judge, United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas||June 26, 2003|
|Ruben Castillo (Vice chair)||Judge, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois||November 12, 1999|
|William K. Sessions III (Vice chair)||Chief Judge, United States District Court for the District of Vermont||November 12, 1999|
|William B. Carr, Jr. (Vice chair)||Former United States attorney, Eastern District of Pennsylvania||December 5, 2008|
|Dabney Friedrich (Commissioner)||Former White House Assistant Counsel||March 1, 2007|
|Beryl A. Howell (Commissioner)||Managing Director, Stroz Friedberg, LLC||November 21, 2004|
|Jonathan J. Wroblewski (Ex-officio)||Deputy Director of the Office of Policy and Legislation, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice|
|Edward F. Reilly, Jr. (Ex-officio)||Chair, United States Parole Commission|
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