Crazy Uncle Jeff
Jefferson [Jackson Forrest Stuart] Beauregard Sessions III has concluded that we are entirely too lenient on non-violent drug offenders and that President Obama let a bunch of ’em — a lot of them black — get away, virtually scot-free after just a decade or two in the pen.
Well, things are going to change under Jefferson [Forrest Stuart Jackson] Beauregard Sessions III, believe you me. He just told us that:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a memo Friday reversing his predecessor’s charging policies, signaling a tougher approach to drug crimes that could trigger mandatory-minimum sentences. And while it’s not unprecedented for a new attorney general to redefine charging mandates, many lamented locally that the announcement could usher back in the policies of previous administrations, which inflated prison populations and created racial disparities in the nation’s corrections system.
St. Thomas law professor Mark Osler called the memo the “restart of the war on drugs.” Most people would add “the failed war on drugs.”
Professor Osler ran a clinic at St. Thomas to help federal drug inmates negotiate the gauntlet to petition for clemency under the Obama initiative. He spoke about it and Drinking Liberally in April of 2016. The program came to a smoking halt when we got a new president, of course.
For those of you who are really into this issue, I recommend a recently published law review article about the Obama clemency program, including its weaknesses, written by Professor Osler and NYU law professor Rachel Barko.
And for those of you with a Netfix account — and who doesn’t? — I also recommend the Netflix original documentary 13th, a reference to the 13th amendment.
As the documentary recounts, the war on drugs wasn’t really so failed when you recognize that it was a war on people of color.
That’s why Jefferson [Stuart Forrest Jackson] Beauregard Sessions III is so hot to start it up again.
The other big piece of Jim Crow news this week is the establishment of a panel by President Trump to study voter suppression — I mean voter fraud. You can conclude the panel is really about finding better ways to suppress the vote by this, in an article in the Strib:
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Vice President Mike Pence will chair the panel, and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (KOH’-bahk) will co-chair it.
Kobach is the finest voter suppressor in the business.
N.B. Confederates in the Attic is a reference to a book by Tony Horwitz about the Civil War, still unfinished.
Update: Reader Randy says:
The rebooted war on (some people who use some kinds of) drugs follows closely the announcement that the feds will again be using private prisons, Racism, and a chance to profit from racism–it’s a twofer!
Also–Confederates in the Attic is a great read.
Randy’s first point is made very well in 13th.
Thanks for your feedback. If we like what you have to say, it may appear in a future post of reader reactions.