1st prison inmate to die of coronavirus wrote heartbreaking letter to judge Patrick Jones “spent the last 12 years contesting a sentence that ultimately killed him,” one of his former lawyers said.
This article was sent to me by my friend, great attorney, Steve Hampton. It is a poignant reminder of the real toll of mass incarceration: needlessly ripping apart families.
We can be sure that many, many inmates will die from coronavirus, for the prison “health care” is abominable.
Excerpts from the Article:
In the months before the coronavirus infiltrated the U.S., a 49-year-old inmate began drafting a letter inside the walls of a federal prison in Louisiana. The man, Patrick Jones, had been locked up for nearly 13 years on a nonviolent drug charge. He hadn’t seen his youngest son, then 16, since the boy was a toddler.
“I feel that my conviction and sentence was also a punishment that my child has had to endure also and there are no words for how remorseful I am,” Jones wrote to U.S. District Judge Alan Albright in a letter dated Oct. 15. “Years of ‘I am sorry’ don’t seem to justify the absence of a father or the chance of having purpose in life by raising my child.”
Jones was arrested in 2007 after cops found 19 grams of crack and 21 grams of powder cocaine inside the apartment he shared with his wife in Temple, Texas. His wife testified against him and was spared a prison sentence.
Jones wasn’t so fortunate. He was ultimately ordered to spend 27 years behind bars, in part because he lived within 1,000 feet of a junior college and already had a long rap sheet, mostly burglaries that he committed when he was a teenager living on the streets.
He was now writing the judge in the hope of receiving a sentence reduction through the newly signed First Step Act, which offered relief to some inmates convicted of nonviolent drug crimes. “My child having his own experience of raising his own child would validate my life experience and give meaning to my existence in this world, because 83582-180 has no meaning,” he wrote, referring to his federal inmate number.
“It is just a number to be forgotten in time. But Mr. Patrick Estell Jones is a very good person. Caring, hard working, free and clean of drugs and a lot smarter now, with a balanced outlook on life.”
The judge denied the request on Feb. 26. Twenty-two days later, Patrick Estell Jones was dead, the first federal inmate to die of the coronavirus disease.
He had contracted COVID-19 at the low-security prison in Oakdale, Louisiana, a penitentiary now dealing with the deadliest outbreak of any of the 122 federal facilities. “He spent the last 12 years contesting a sentence that ultimately killed him,” said Alison Looman, a New York-based lawyer who had represented Jones in an earlier bid for clemency. “Ironically, it seems it is his death that might finally bring his case some attention.”
The U.S. has seen a movement in the past several years to reduce the sentences of nonviolent drug offenders, but criminal justice reform advocates say Jones’ case illustrates the limits of the effort.
“You see everything that is wrong with our sentencing system in this case,” said Kevin Ring, president of the criminal justice advocacy group FAMM, which stands for Families Against Mandatory Minimums.
Ring ticked off the series of factors that led to Jones’ lengthy prison term: a questionable accounting of the amount of drugs he was selling, his apartment’s proximity to a junior college, his decision to go to trial rather than take a plea and a criminal record that was made up largely of teenage offenses.
“He was no choirboy, but his life had meaning,” Ring said. “I feel like his life was taken from him when he was sentenced, and then he was killed in prison, and both of those things should trouble us.”
At least 18 inmates and four staff members have tested positive, according to the federal Bureau of Prisons, but prison union leaders say the real numbers are significantly higher.
“You’re just afraid all the time,” said an Oakdale corrections officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he’s not authorized to speak to the media. “You’re afraid of catching it and bringing it home to your family. You’re afraid of spreading it in the community.” The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on jails and prisons across the country. Last week, the Bureau of Prisons announced that it was locking down all inmates in their cells or quarters, with limited exceptions, for 14 days, but new cases keep popping up.
“There’s a feeling of terror not knowing when this is going to end,” the Oakdale staffer said.
If you are a concerned relative of anyone in jail or prison, maybe send an email to the warden: “If (name and number of prisoner) dies of coronavirus in your facility, I shall sue you personally.” READ Put it in Writing! = http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/practical-tip-put-writing/ – Always do this!
Excerpts from the Article:
This global pandemic is being touted as a game-changer that will make us re-examine our personal lives, political polarization and profit-driven culture.
This virus should have us questioning how we’ve gone about our business. And at this moment, when everyone is being urged to keep their distance, the crowded confines of a jail or prison are not what the doctor ordered. But despite calls from Gov. Ralph Northam and activists for law enforcement, prosecutors and judges to rethink arrests and incarcerations, some area officials are touting business as usual.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is NOT a get-of-out-jail-free card in Chesterfield County,” Police Chief Jeffrey Katz posted on Facebook. Katz added that Chesterfield Sheriff Karl Leonard “assured me that the Chesterfield County Jail is open for business.”
I get it: “Arresterfield” has a reputation to keep. Police want to send a get-tough signal to crooks who might want to exploit this situation. And authority has been known to seize moments of crisis to flex its muscle. But now is no time to double down on the misguided policies that have resulted in the U.S., “The Land of the Free,” having the highest incarceration rate on the planet, with 2.2 million people in our prisons and jails, according to The Sentencing Project.
“Business as usual” was a problem before COVID-19. “The jail is not a business enterprise that needs to justify to the public that it’s still a functioning business,” said Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia.
No one is asking law enforcement to release or fail to arrest anyone who’s a direct and imminent threat, she said. “But we are asking the question, ‘Why the heck do you have all these people in your jail who’ve never been convicted of anything?’ … It’s kind of the opposite of ‘get out of jail free.’ It’s the ‘get in the jail without reason.’”
Our isolation provides ample opportunity for introspection. It’s time to deconstruct a mass incarceration system that routinely jails the mentally ill, the homeless and drug-addicted, and metes out disproportionate punishment to people of color or those too poor to pay bail. We also incarcerate too many elderly inmates who have aged beyond risk to society.
Jails are not hermetically sealed environments; guards enter every day, possibly bringing the coronavirus with them. Unless inmates have access to room service, private showers and a better supply of Purell hand sanitizer than most of us, there’s heightened risk in institutions that too often are crowded and less than sanitary. Marc Mauer, executive director of The Sentencing Project, cites encouraging measures undertaken scattershot across Virginia, but said “this problem needs to be addressed statewide.”
Low-risk people shouldn’t be held in jail, he said, adding that thousands of people in state prisons with high-risk medical conditions or who have served enough time to pose little risk to society should see their sentences reduced.
This pandemic has highlighted many other aspects of American life — our flawed, profit-driven health care system, the hollowing out of essential government agencies, disregard for science and the devaluation of integrity — that need a reset.
Our incarceration-heavy approach “is something I’m hoping we will come out of this crisis viewing differently,” Gastañaga said. “The criminalization of the poor, the criminalization of people who have addiction issues and health care issues, is not going to stand us in good stead as a society, either in terms of its outcomes or its justice, ever.”
In a post-pandemic societal order, we have much to rethink and redo.
“If the nation is successful in substantially reducing prison and jail populations to save lives, we may come to recognize that excessively lengthy prison terms are harmful to the individuals in prison and create greater problems for their families and communities.”
Just as this virus is teaching us the folly of the concept of borders as barriers, the bars of a jail or prison will never create enough distance between us and what ails our community.
This image pretty well sums it up. Did you know that for every 1 person arrested, 29 people make money?!
It is no wonder that all manner of people/groups spend BILLIONS of dollars annually fighting needed changes to our wildly screwed up justice system.
For them, it is merely job preservation.
Never mind that most of them don’t actually help anyone, (neither individuals nor society) that the system is so fucked up that thousands – yes, thousands – of innocent people are locked up, convicted, every year, that lives are ruined needlessly, families are torn apart, by imprisoning non violent offenders and the mentally ill …
READ How The War on Drugs Destroyed Justice = http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/how-the-war-on-drugs-has-destroyed-justice/ = I remember when the system worked well; justice nearly always was the result. Today it is a total train wreck – perhaps the most vivid manifestation is that we are imprisoning hundreds of innocent people every year. This is WHY it is a train wreck! READ IT!
Prison guard unions, police unions, DAs’ Associations, private prison companies, the thousands of contractors who provide goods and services (most services – “programs” – are a joke, totally useless) to inmates and probationers [nearly 5 MILLION Americans are on probation – most needlessly!] … all these and more stand in the way of justice and of real progress! 🙁
But you can be damn sure of one thing: I’ll keep fighting, keep sounding the alarm. PLEASE DO YOUR PART AND SHARE THIS POST! Thanks.
The fucking guards should pay, inasmuch as THEY bring in most of the drugs! If you don’t think so you have NO clue about what goes on in our prisons. I have seen it!
Excerpts from the Article:
On March 15, 2019, the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADOC) implemented a change to its disciplinary procedures for prisoners. Policy No. 803 now mandates that prisoners requiring hospital treatment for substance abuse must repay the cost of “all medical related expenses,” including ambulance transport, as well as the “cost of staff overtime.”
ADOC spokesperson Bill Lamoreaux said that while the department “understands that the struggle with addiction is not an easy one,” it believes that “obtaining contraband illegal drugs while incarcerated requires a series of deliberate and extremely poor choices.”
Even prior to this policy change, the ADOC charged prisoners a $4 copay for healthcare visits and took 10 percent of deposits into prisoners’ trust accounts to cover medical treatment costs. ADOC prisoners who test positive for illegal drugs must also pay for the urinalysis test. Prison officials insist the policy is designed simply to hold prisoners accountable for their actions.
ADOC prisoners with jobs typically earn 10 to 80 cents an hour. About seven percent of the state’s prison population – around 3,000 prisoners – receive drug treatment, though 78 percent have “significant substance abuse histories,” according to a March 2019 ADOC report. Methadone is only provided to pregnant prisoners who are addicted to opioids, per accepted medical protocols.
Rebecca Fealk, program coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee in Arizona, said prisoners have told her group, “Oh yeah, my treatment was a worksheet that asked me about negative outcomes from using.”
Karen Hellman, division director of Inmate Programs & Reentry for the ADOC, admitted to the state House Judiciary Committee in March 2019, “I could not today treat everyone in the system who needed treatment immediately. The need of the inmates is greater than our capacity to deliver.”
Dr. Josiah Rich, director of The Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights at Rhode Island’s Miriam Hospital, said that Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is a disease and the new policy betrays “an ignorance about what the disease is and how to treat it.”
“People don’t decide, ‘Hey, I think I’ll overdose today,’” Rich said. “They don’t decide, ‘Oh, I better not overdose today because I might have to pay money from my account to pay for the treatment I’m going to need.’ People overdose because there’s a discrepancy between how much tolerance they have and the amount and purity of the drug and the potency of the drug that they consume.” Dr. Kimberly Sue, medical director of the Harm Reduction Coalition and a physician at New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex, agreed that the ADOC’s policy “runs counter to the reality of addiction.”
“An opioid overdose inside a prison indicates medical mismanagement of a treatable disorder,” she said, adding that “for the people currently incarcerated, we should be providing medications if at all possible in the case of [OUD].”
Treating addiction as the poor choice of people who just need a stronger sense of morality is really “just reflexively punitive and entirely counterproductive,” noted David Fathi, director of the ACLU’s National Prison Project.
“From a public health perspective, this is the worst policy imaginable,” he added. “The solution is treatment, not punishment.”
The ADOC is struggling to meet the terms of a class-action settlement reached in 2015 over its healthcare services. For its failure to do so, U.S. Magistrate Judge David Duncan levied a $1.4 million fine in June 2019. [See: PLN, April 2019, p.56; May 2018, p.28].
In December 2019, U.S. District Court Judge Roslyn Silver named an outside evaluator to report on the ADOC’s medical services. Fathi said the new policy “certainly is consistent with some of the resistance that we have seen in the case to providing even basic and life-saving healthcare,” and “This obviously does affect the ability of our clients in [the class-action suit] to get necessary healthcare.”
Essay on the Guilty Plea, by Ken Abraham: The ‘Voluntarily and Knowingly Made’ Standard – This is a HUGE Myth! – kra
This is one of the greatest myths in the world of criminal justice: that one’s guilty plea is/was ‘Voluntarily and Knowingly Made’ .
About 95% to 98% of all cases end in a guilty plea. In 2018 alone, in the federal system there were 73,109 federal convictions with 71,550 of them being guilty pleas. And the federal system is only 15% of all cases!
When one pleads guilty [READ Rush to Sentence – A Major, Awful Consequence of our “War on Drugs”! = http://www.citizensforcriminaljustice.net/rush-to-sentence-a-major-awful-consequence-of-our-war-on-drugs/ to learn WHY so many cases end in a plea,], the judge asks you, on the record, a series of questions. You usually also sign a page with the same questions, saying that you understand them and agree to them, further dooming your chances of getting JUSTICE later – and thereafter, you chances of undoing that guilty plea are, literally, less than one in a million!
The standard is whether one’s guilty plea was ‘Voluntarily and Knowingly Made’ . What a sad joke! Far, far faaaaar too many times, the defendant is too petrified and/or ill-informed by his jackass lawyer to know what the hell is going on! He/she is “a deer in the headlights”, doing what his/her attorney told him or her to do!
For various reasons, many of those attorneys should be SHOT. And if you don’t think so you need to …
How an Unheralded Change to Criminal Procedure Law §150.20 Will Overhaul Arrest Procedures in New York – EVERY State should have such arrest and ticketing procedures! – kra
This sensible policy will save taxpayers millions of dollars in prison and other costs; enacted nationwide, it could save tens of billions of dollars. As with so many needed reforms, it threatens the useless jobs of thousands of cops, prison guards, private contractors, and others … who spend countless millions of $$$$$$$$$ lobbying against needed reforms.
Excerpts from the Article:
On Jan. 1, 2020, a highly publicized criminal justice reform law went into effect in New York state. In the wake of the law’s enactment, the Governor, legislators and the legal community have primarily focused on changes to two aspects of the criminal procedure law: bail and discovery. While these changes have caught the headlines, the Legislature has instituted another modification to the Criminal Procedure Law that could even more significantly impact the lives of New Yorkers. The Legislature has amended the text of CPL 150.20(1)(a), which covers police practices for issuing appearance tickets for certain offenses. The new text of CPL 150.20(1)(a) reads,
Whenever a police officer is authorized pursuant to section 140.10 of this title to arrest a person without a warrant for an offense other than a class A, B, C or D felony or a violation of section 130.25, 130.40, 205.10, 205.17, 205.19 or 215.56 of the penal law, he [may] shall, except as set out in paragraph (b) of this subdivision, subject to the provisions of subdivisions three and four of section 150.40 of this title, instead issue to and serve upon such person an appearance ticket.
(emphasis added). By replacing the word “may” with “shall”, the plain meaning of CPL 150.20(1)(a) now bars arrests for most low-level offenses and instead mandates that police serve an appearance ticket upon most individuals who have committed misdemeanors or violations. Specifically, the statute states that police must not only issue an appearance ticket to an individual suspected of a low level crime but must issue a ticket instead of arresting that individual. An “appearance ticket” in the statute refers to any instrument issued by an authorized officer that directs a person to appear in criminal court. In practice, an “appearance ticket” can refer to a desk appearance ticket (DAT), which is issued at the police precinct following an arrest, or a criminal summons, for which an arrest is not required. Because CPL 150.20(1)(a) bars arrests for most low level crimes, it follows that the police are required to issue a criminal summons on the street to a person who is suspected of a low level crime as opposed to issuing a DAT, for which an arrest is required. In limited circumstances pursuant to 150.20(1)(b), such as a sex-related offense or domestic violence, the police can arrest the individual and not issue an appearance ticket.
This alteration constitutes a sea change in arrest procedures in New York state, where until now, the police have had discretion regarding when to issue an appearance ticket and when to arrest. In 2018, in New York City alone, 128,194 individuals were arrested for misdemeanor offenses, and countless more were arrested for violations. Under the new CPL 150.20(1)(a), a large majority of these individuals can no longer be arrested. Although the meaning of the law is plain and unequivocal, nobody—not the Governor, legislators, or criminal justice stakeholders—have addressed its implementation or ramifications.
The question then becomes, if officers are not permitted to arrest an individual when there is probable cause that a low level crime was committed, then what level of intrusion is permitted before the officer issues an appearance ticket? Drawing from People v. DeBour, which defines the levels of police intrusion, police will be able to ask the suspect questions implying criminality (DeBour level 2) and will be able to forcibly stop and detain the individual (DeBour level 3). Prior to the change in law, it was common police practice to either handcuff individuals or to transport them to a precinct before issuing appearance tickets. However, both of those actions constitute arrests and therefore are now prohibited by 150.20(1)(a) for most low level offenses.
First, the Court of Appeals has held that handcuffing an individual constitutes an arrest unless the individual poses a threat to the officer’s safety. In People v. Allen, 73 N.Y.2d 378 (1989), the Court of Appeals reasoned that the use of handcuffs will constitute an arrest if they are applied gratuitously and for reasons unrelated to the threat of danger to officers. See also People v. Tirado, 69 N.Y.2d 863 (1987); People v. Robinson, 282 A.D.2d 75 (1st Dept. 2001). In Allen, the police handcuffing a suspect did not constitute an arrest because the handcuffing took place following a chaotic chase of the suspect and because the police had reasonable suspicion that the suspect was armed and dangerous. These factors rose to the requisite level of danger to permit the application of handcuffs without constituting an arrest. This New York jurisprudence indicates that after the passage of CPL 150.20(1)(a), the police will only be able to place handcuffs on an individual suspected of a low level crime if they believe that that suspect is armed and dangerous or otherwise poses a threat to police. For most low level crimes covered by CPL 150.20(1)(a), that will not be the case. In most situations, individuals charged with low level offenses will pose minimal danger to the officers, which will make the act of handcuffing an arrest. Thus, police will only be able to forcibly stop individuals up to the point of Debour level 3 before issuing them tickets for low level crimes and will not be able to handcuff them unless they pose a threat to the officers.
Second, transporting an individual suspected of low level crimes to the police precinct for booking before issuing them an appearance ticket (the procedure for issuing a DAT) likely constitutes an arrest and is therefore prohibited for most low level offenses. In People v. Hicks, 68 N.Y.2d 234 (2002), the Court of Appeals held that the suspect was not arrested when he was transported for one mile in a police cruiser and without handcuffs for the purpose of being identified by a witness on the street. However, in Hicks, the court noted that if the person were transported to the police station, such transport would have increased the level of intrusion to an arrest. Consequently, if the police transport an individual to the precinct solely for the purpose of issuing an appearance ticket, such action will likely constitute an arrest in violation of CPL 150.20(1)(a).
For low level crimes covered by CPL 150.20(1)(a), the police will not be able to place an individual in handcuffs unless their safety is threatened and will not be able to transport an individual to the precinct prior to the issuance of the appearance ticket. Therefore, for the vast majority of low level offenses, the police will have to issue appearance tickets on the street following a maximum DeBour level 3 intrusion.
At this point, no police department in New York state has implemented new protocols for street level interactions for low level crimes. This means that a large number of people have already been arrested for low level crimes who should have been issued appearance tickets instead. Such action violates the Legislature’s explicit decision in CPL 150.20(1)(a) to reform arrest practices, which will limit the negative consequences of arrests such as missed work, neglected child care, and most importantly, a significant invasion of an individual’s privacy and personal integrity.
Criminal justice stakeholders throughout New York must be aware of this paradigm-shifting development in arrest and ticketing procedures.
Study: Medical Cannabis Access Associated with Fewer Workers’ Comp Claims – Another good reason to legalize! – kra
Read this and then open the Study to learn of lower absenteeism and other workplace benefits where Pot is legal!
Excerpts from the Article:
The enactment of state-specific medical cannabis access laws is associated with a decline in workers’ compensation claims, according to data published in the journal Health Economics.
A team of researchers affiliated with Temple University in Pennsylvania and the University of Cincinnati in Ohio assessed the relationship between medical marijuana legalization laws and workers’ compensation claims over a 23-year period.
Authors reported that legal cannabis access was associated with a nearly seven percent decline in workers’ compensation claims. “Post MML, workers’ compensation claiming declines, both the propensity to claim and the level of income from workers’ comp,” authors determined. “These findings suggest that medical marijuana can allow workers to better manage symptoms associated with workplace injuries and illnesses and, in turn, reduce need for workers’ compensation.”
They concluded: “Our findings add to the small, but growing, literature on the effects of MMLs on labor market outcomes. On net, the available findings suggest that MML passage may increase work capacity among older adults, reduce work absences, improve workplace safety, and reduce WC (workers’ compensation) claiming and the pain and suffering associated with workplace injuries.”
Full text of the study, “Medical marijuana and workers’ compensation claiming,” appears in Health Economics. Additional information is available in the NORML fact-sheet, “Marijuana Legalization and Impact on the Workplace,”.
A CASE STUDY IN HOPE LESSONS FROM OAKLAND’S REMARKABLE REDUCTION IN GUN VIOLENCE – EXCELLENT 107 PAGE REPORT – KRA
This is FANTASTIC good news! Time to get serious about gun control! If you ARE a gun control activist, READ THIS ARTICLE … it will help you.
Excerpts from the Article:
“The good news is that, as this series of reports has shown, urban gun violence is preventable. Just ask the residents of Oakland, California, long considered to be among the most dangerous cities in America—where shootings and homicides are down almost 50% since 2012.”
Giffords Law Center, Faith in Action, and the Black and Brown Gun Violence Prevention Consortium are proud to present A Case Study in Hope: Lessons from Oakland’s Remarkable Reduction in Gun Violence, the third installment in our series of reports on tackling the gun violence crisis in our cities.
Interpersonal gun violence in the United States has been steadily climbing for the past two decades. In 2017, more than 14,500 Americans were victims of gun
homicide, and tens of thousands more were injured in a shooting. This is unacceptable.
Nowhere is this public health epidemic more evident than in our cities, particularly in underserved communities of color. Truly making our nation safer requires
addressing this violence head-on. The good news is that, as this series of reports has shown, urban gun violence is preventable. Just ask the residents of Oakland, California, long considered to be among the most dangerous cities in America—where shootings and homicides
are down almost 50% since 2012.
This tremendous progress didn’t happen spontaneously. It was the result of hard work and careful planning, collaboration among a wide range of stakeholders, and most of all, hope. A Case Study in Hope tells the remarkable story of Oakland’s long struggle to reduce gun violence and identifies key takeaways for cities around the country facing this epidemic.
As Oakland partners have learned, reducing shootings requires true collaboration between community members, law enforcement officers, and city leaders working in concert to intervene with the small population of those at highest risk for engaging in serious violence.
A Case Study in Hope lays out in detail the steps Oakland took to get to this point and presents best practices for other cities to learn from this encouraging success. By scaling up strategies like these, we can build the safer, healthier communities that all Americans deserve.
I post this here and send out the Letter because it is important for everyone involved in the criminal justice system to have integrity, be honest, have courage! Too many, instead, are self-serving, greedy, cowards with no moral compass!
Letter to the Editor – “Guts and Glory” to Mitt! – 2/6/20
Every one of those Senators took an oath – made a promise to you and to the nation – to decide IMPEACHMENT in an honest way, impartially, based on the facts. And Mitt Romney is the ONLY Republican who did!
Surely a modern re-write of Profiles in Courage would include Mitt Romney.
READ https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/02/romney-impeach-trump/606127/ Romney Votes “Guilty”
Ken Abraham, former prosecutor, founder of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE, Dover, DE 302–423-4067
I get lots of letters published, and ghost write for others. THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO REACH THOUSANDS OF READERS! The keys to getting your Letter published are:
1. Keep it to 250 words or fewer.
2. Do not make it about “poor little old me”. Describe the problem as one which not only affects the individual, but is a senseless or ineffective measure, policy, or law which also harms communities and society. For example, with reentry, the obstacles make it unnecessarily difficult for the individual, but also harm society by making it hard to become productive, spending money and paying taxes in the community, and they cause increased recidivism = increased crime.
3. Speak from your heart.
4. Google any facts you are not sure about.
5. Do not name-call.
Do what works: Write that Letter!
Letter to Editor – sign name, town, state, and your phone number (they often call to verify that you sent it), and “Member of Citizens for Criminal JUSTICE” if you like – shows you are part of a large group.
Send the email to yourself, and put on the “bcc” bar the email addresses for Letters to the Editor for the top ten newspapers in your state and several national ones – The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, U S A Today (google the Letter to Editor email addresses). Any questions, CALL me at 302-423-4067!
GOOGLE THE EMAIL ADDRESSES FOR “LETTERS TO THE EDITOR” FOR THE TOP TEN NEWSPAPERS IN YOUR STATE AND SAVE THAT INFORMATION FOR REPEATED USE – Some papers will print a letter from you every 2 ekke, some every 30 days, some every 90 days. They have varying policies. But if you really want to make a difference shoot them a new letter once a month! I send one out every 2 weeks.
Need a Letter on some criminal justice issue and not a great letter writer? NO EXCUSE! Email me a rough draft and call me and I’ll polish it up! firstname.lastname@example.org .
ANY QUESTIONS, CALL ME AT 302-423-4067.
No one governor can end the “war on drugs”, but ALL should call for its end. Any cop can tell you that at least 85% of ALL crime is drug related!
This is not rocket science; it is about dumbass politicians standing up to those lobbying them against constructive changes: Prison guard unions, police unions, private prisons and the dozens of companies that serve them, and scores of others, making money on the status quo!
Excerpts from the Article:
Gov. Larry Hogan called for decisive action to fight “out-of-control violent crime” he said is “destroying Baltimore” in his annual State of the State address Wednesday to the Maryland General Assembly. From a boy shot in the stomach while riding in a car with his family on a Saturday morning to a grandmother killed in gang crossfire last month, Hogan cited examples to emphasize the toll crime is taking and the need for action.
“This is an urgent crisis, and we have an obligation to do something about it right now,” Hogan said. “There can be no more excuses and no more delays.” Baltimore had 348 homicides last year — the fifth straight year of more than 300 killings — making it the city’s most violent year ever per capita. Last month, 12 people were shot, five of them fatally, in eight separate weekend shootings.
The governor, as well as lawmakers from both parties, have proposed packages of legislation to try to address the problem.
Hogan has proposed tougher penalties for witness intimidation and for people who use guns to commit violent crimes. He’s calling for stronger penalties for people who possess stolen firearms and guns with obliterated serial numbers, as well as for people who possess or supply illegal guns to violent criminals.
Democrats, who control the legislature, proposed a package of their own Tuesday. Sen. Melony Griffith, a Prince George’s County Democrat who gave a response to the governor’s speech, said the plan seeks to fight crime and its root causes, including the closing loopholes in the law related to illegal firearms.
“We know there’s no single solution to this complex issue, but there are steps that we can take to implement thoughtful and comprehensive approaches to addressing crime,” Griffith said. Del. Luke Clippinger, a Baltimore Democrat who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, said he did not believe simply raising penalties would be enough. He noted that the state increased penalties in 2018 for repeat violent offenders.
“We apparently don’t talk about that very much anymore, because we’ve gotten no evidence at all that that actually did anything,” Clippinger said. “We need to look at the bigger picture.”
Lawmakers say the severity of the problem demands a bipartisan response. “It has to be, because it’s not just Baltimore city anymore,” said Sen. Stephen Hershey, an Eastern Shore Republican who is the Senate minority whip. ”It’s spreading out to the neighboring counties. It has to be something that is addressed by both sides.”
Homicides jumped about 85% in Baltimore County last year compared to the prior year, from 27 to 50.
The Whole Story: