Two Big Wins For Criminal Justice

It’s been a good week for minorities in particular and criminal justice in general so far.  Minorities are being attacked on so many sides these days, it’s good to get a few wins in.

First, a judge has put an end to the abhorrently racist Stop And Frisk laws that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has imposed on the city.  What purports to allow police to frisk anyone they stop unshockingly ended up being a reason to harass mostly law abiding black people.  I’m sure Bloomberg will appeal, but I’m guessing Stop And Frisk is gone for good.  Good riddance!

Second, Attorney General Eric Holder recently announced that they will greatly restrict their pursuit of non-violent Mandatory Minimum drug cases.  This one’s a bit more mealy mouthed, but still important.  Basically, the way I understand it is they will still prosecute offenders (which is bad in many cases) but will not present evidence that would require judges to enact Mandatory Minimum sentences on those convicted.  As with Stop And Frisk, Mandatory Minimum laws are blatantly racist.  They impose harsher minimums for smaller quantities of drugs more likely to be used by minorities while allowing lighter minimums for larger quantities of drugs more likely to be used by non-minorities.  This is more a step in the right direction than a win.  Mandatory sentencing laws are ridiculous and will still be law.  What Holder is proposing is kind of a trap door work around than a solution.  I’ll take it, though.

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