Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A.G. Holder moves to reduce drug possession prosecution as federal judge limits stop and firsk

25 % of the world's prisoners are in American jails. The war on drugs is a dreadful failure.   It must end.  Conservatives like Right on Crime have broken with lock em up an throw away the key.  Today the Obama administration joined them.  
Drug busts fill our prisons with black and hispanic men for long terms, even though drug use is no more prevalent in black and Latin neighborhoods than in white neighborhoods. Attorney General Holder yesterday declared in a speech to the American Bar Association that the Obama Administration will take substantial measure to avoid and reduce incarceration for drug possession.

Judge Shira Scheindlin Withdraws Landmark Metadata OpinionAnd  Shira Scheindlin, a federal district judge, has released a 109 page opinion, with her long expected ruling: black and minority men are systematically targeted by the NYPD.  As suggested by the Justice Department she appointed a federal monitor to oversee the department to put an end to its duplicitous policy of racial profiling.  I live in Washington Heights in Manhattan.  In twenty seven years I have never seen a stop and frisk in our neighborhood.  But  on the "other side of Broadway" few blocks away in what the song calls Spanish Harlem young men are frisked often on suspicion.  When their pockets are emptied they are arrested for open possesion of marijuana - a drug that is commonly used with impunity in my middle class neighborhood . - GWC

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