Thursday, December 13, 2007

Letting wrongly-imprisoned folks out of jail is hazardous to the public.

From the NYT, on the recent decision to reduce the absurdly long sentences imposed for using crack cocaine:

Hard numbers are elusive, but statistics kept by the commission suggest that, on average, an eligible prisoner might have his sentence reduced by 17 percent, and that about 3,800 inmates would be eligible but not assured of release in the next year. But, addressing concerns about public safety, commission members emphasized that judges, newly empowered by a pair of Supreme Court decisions on Monday, will have wide discretion over which inmates will be granted leniency.

It will be interesting to see if the "which inmates will be granted leniency" turn out to be disproportionately white.

I'd like to see us decriminalize all drugs and spend all that money on treatment programs instead. Still, like Chris Kromm says, this is a step in the right direction.

Of course, one of the possible unintended consequences of dismantling the War On Drugs is that the SWAT teams won't have anything fun to do anymore. Hmmm... I wonder if web developers are next....

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