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Death by Imprisonment: America's War on Melanin Possession and the Indigent

MiAngel Cody | Posted 08.03.2014 | Politics
MiAngel Cody

Although the 1986 overdose death of 11-year-old Reynolds Allen Wintersmith Jr.'s mother, unlike that of all-American basketball standout Len Bias that same year, did not thrust our nation's legislators into reactive political pandemonium, the federal drug-sentencing policies of that year would later impact this motherless son's life in a most damning and undeniable way.

Ryan J. Reilly

'Tough On Crime' Skepticism Gets Its Turn At CPAC

HuffingtonPost.com | Ryan J. Reilly | Posted 03.07.2014 | Politics

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- In a back corner of the exhibition hall for the Conservative Political Action Conference -- past the National Rifle Associatio...

Windy City Gun Sentences Driven by Politics, Not Facts

Julie Stewart | Posted 12.16.2013 | Chicago
Julie Stewart

While it used to be the conservatives who proposed new mandatory sentences for every crime du jour, in Democratic Illinois, it's the left-leaning policymakers who are agitating for the new gun law. What the heck is going on in the Land of Lincoln?

Clemency Reform: We're Still Waiting

Julie Stewart | Posted 09.18.2013 | Crime
Julie Stewart

A year ago, The Washington Post and ProPublica reported that the Obama administration was set to reverse its poor record on clemency. It didn't happen. Since winning reelection, President Obama has not commuted a single sentence.

Crack Laws Must Be Repaired

Julie Stewart | Posted 08.10.2013 | Crime
Julie Stewart

Applying the FSA retroactively would not undermine public safety. Indeed, by passing the FSA, Congress made clear its view that shorter, fairer crack sentences are compatible with public safety.

Any Hope Left for Clarence Aaron?

Julie Stewart | Posted 05.08.2013 | Politics
Julie Stewart

Clarence Aaron has been in prison for 20 years and the president has the power to order him released tomorrow. It is way past time for Clarence Aaron's mother to live on more than the thin gruel of hope dished out by the president.

Mandatory Minimum Cop-Out

Julie Stewart | Posted 04.16.2013 | Crime
Julie Stewart

While the instinct to lock up dangerous, gun-toting criminals is a good one, the proposal unveiled in Chicago on Monday is a cop-out.

Sentences So Long They Scare Us to Death

Mary Price | Posted 04.03.2013 | Crime
Mary Price

The tragic suicide of Aaron Swartz has prompted long overdue reflection about the power of federal prosecutors.

Increase Options for Sentencing Relief

Julie Stewart | Posted 12.25.2012 | Crime
Julie Stewart

Clemency applicants frequently wait years for a response. Most are denied with little or no explanation -- or for reasons that seem subjective and inconsistent.

Mothers and Mandatory Minimums

Julie Stewart | Posted 05.15.2012 | Crime
Julie Stewart

Mothers dispense and believe in justice. But as mothers like Janet Earle have learned the hard way, mandatory sentences that ignore individual circumstances do not deliver justice. They inflict unnecessary pain and misery, and they must be repealed in Florida and across the country.

Victim of an Unjust Law

Julie Stewart | Posted 04.26.2012 | Politics
Julie Stewart

But because of Florida's inflexible sentencing laws, Marissa Alexander now faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years in state prison, despite the fact that she did not harm anyone.

Mandatory Minimum Gun Laws Ensure Nothing But Disparity

Julie Stewart | Posted 06.19.2012 | Politics
Julie Stewart

If you were not already convinced that mandatory minimum sentencing laws are a colossal fraud, recent developments in New York City should convert you.

A Way Forward on Marijuana

Julie Stewart | Posted 06.09.2012 | Crime
Julie Stewart

Despite the growing support for legalizing marijuana, federal law still imposes extraordinarily heavy punishment for growing it.

NJ Gov. Christie's Fresh Approach to Drug Offenders

Julie Stewart | Posted 03.27.2012 | Politics
Julie Stewart

Governor Christie's plan for nonviolent offenders -- coming as it does from a former U.S. Attorney and Republican statewide leader -- has the potential to be a game-changer.

New Government Report Criticizes Mandatory Minimums

Julie Stewart | Posted 01.02.2012 | Politics
Julie Stewart

Our federal prisons are already operating at 140 percent of their capacity. To slow this problem, the report urges Congress to avoid passing new laws that will waste expensive prison space on low-risk offenders.

Want to Cut Spending? Invest in Jim Webb's Criminal Justice Commission

Julie Stewart | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Julie Stewart

If we are honest, we will admit that some of the most devastating consequences of our criminal justice systems do not lend themselves to measurement in dollars and cents.