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(Springfield Republican)   Not wanting to sentence crack dealer to decade in prison under mandatory sentencing law, judge decides to wait for Congress to pass better law   (masslive.com) divider line 81
    More: Interesting, prison sentences, crack cocaine, defense lawyers, House Judiciary Committee, mandatory sentencing, federal laws, congress, news releases  
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8750 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Mar 2010 at 11:33 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-03-28 06:03:14 AM
That site sucks. So does the judge.
 
2010-03-28 06:42:54 AM
LaChanz: That site sucks. So does the judge.


Okay, I'll bite.

Site is meh, but the judge sounds like a hero. You think mandatory minimum sentencing is just hunky-dory?
 
2010-03-28 06:45:39 AM
Go judge.

I'd rather have a few more crack dealers walking free than to let the Anti-Drug people win.

Besides, how many crack heads would we have if pot and shrooms were legal? Who the hell wants to stay up all night and clean the house?
 
2010-03-28 06:50:34 AM
CamelToe: Okay, I'll bite.

Site is meh, but the judge sounds like a hero. You think mandatory minimum sentencing is just hunky-dory?


This is a multiple repeat offender. I just think that maybe he deserves the jail time. I can see the problem with mandatory sentencing if it's some guy that steals some food to survive, but this guy is scum. Unless he's a complete idiot, he knew what he was up for if he got caught again and decided the risk was worth it.
 
2010-03-28 07:01:51 AM
LaChanz: This is a multiple repeat offender. I just think that maybe he deserves the jail time. I can see the problem with mandatory sentencing if it's some guy that steals some food to survive, but this guy is scum. Unless he's a complete idiot, he knew what he was up for if he got caught again and decided the risk was worth it.

It just seems like it's time to rethink these stupid drug laws, and it's refreshing to see a judge that agrees.

I spend way to much time in politic threads lately, and the smaller government bootstrappy types NEVER bring up the fact that judges hands are tied with all the farkin' zero tolerance and mandatory sentence BS. That's government control they can groove with.

I thought you might be one of those types, but I'm smart enough to realize I am wrong sometimes and man enough to admit when I am.
 
2010-03-28 07:08:20 AM
dailybail.com
 
2010-03-28 07:11:27 AM
Don't get me wrong. I'm about 20 minutes away from a wake -n- bake myself. What I see here is a crack dealer with multiple previous convictions getting off easy. My feelings on this really have nothing to do with zero tolerance. I am all about legalizing but I do feel that crack is a cancer. This guy had all the chances in the world to not sell crack.
 
2010-03-28 07:15:37 AM
There are some people that deserve what the law throws at them. There are some that do not. That's why mandatory sentencing is bad. But sometimes it's deserved.
 
2010-03-28 10:03:35 AM
FTFA: Republican file photo

Even the file photos are partisan.
 
2010-03-28 10:04:10 AM
LaChanz:
This is a multiple repeat offender. I just think that maybe he deserves the jail time. I can see the problem with mandatory sentencing if it's some guy that steals some food to survive, but this guy is scum. Unless he's a complete idiot, he knew what he was up for if he got caught again and decided the risk was worth it.


It's not about whether the guy is scum that deserves jail time. It's about whether it's appropriate that you have to possess 100 times more cocaine than crack to get the same sentence.

"The result is that crack cocaine defendants who are most often black, young and poor are disproportionally sentenced in contrast to white, suburban defendants caught with powder cocaine."
 
2010-03-28 10:19:55 AM
Racht: It's not about whether the guy is scum that deserves jail time. It's about whether it's appropriate that you have to possess 100 times more cocaine than crack to get the same sentence.

It's not about the amount he had, it's about the amount of times he had it. How many times is too many? Look, all I'm saying here is that a broken clock is right twice a day. Just because the law sucks doesn't mean that occasionally, rarely even, it works.

I'm not a "Let's get all the druggies off the streets and into prison where they belong." kind of guy. I just think in this particular case, (from what I can know from TFA,) the guy deserves the jail time. That's all.

This being Fark and all, I expect a whole bunch of hate when this hits the main page. That's what you get here for having an opinion.
 
2010-03-28 10:26:58 AM
LaChanz: This is a multiple repeat offender. I just think that maybe he deserves the jail time. I can see the problem with mandatory sentencing if it's some guy that steals some food to survive, but this guy is scum. Unless he's a complete idiot, he knew what he was up for if he got caught again and decided the risk was worth it.

it's entirely possible that he's an addict. put an addict into a jail cell for 20 years and he'll come out and still be an addict.
 
2010-03-28 10:39:46 AM
Racht: It's about whether it's appropriate that you have to possess 100 times more cocaine than crack to get the same sentence.

That disparity is just insane. I don't know all that much about the differences in crack and cocaine. Is one stronger than the other? Does it have the same effect? The only difference that I know of is the form: one is powder, the other is rock like. If there is no difference is effects, then the sentencing should be the same.
 
2010-03-28 10:40:28 AM
LaChanz:
It's not about the amount he had, it's about the amount of times he had it. How many times is too many? Look, all I'm saying here is that a broken clock is right twice a day.


We can say that this guy deserves the length of sentence that mandatory sentencing guidelines require while still saying that mandatory sentencing guidelines are horrible ideas that should be scrapped. I see no problem with a judge having broad discretion and deciding that someone like this should be put away for a long time. What's relevant is what happens to the other people who don't deserve that length of sentence but are automatically given one because of "tough on crime" politicians.
 
2010-03-28 10:41:57 AM
SpaceyCat:
That disparity is just insane. I don't know all that much about the differences in crack and cocaine. Is one stronger than the other? Does it have the same effect? The only difference that I know of is the form: one is powder, the other is rock like. If there is no difference is effects, then the sentencing should be the same.


Which was exactly the proposal last month. You can thank Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III for the "compromise" in which the bill was only allowed out of committee with a 20:1 disparity instead of 1:1.
 
2010-03-28 10:44:27 AM
Racht: Which was exactly the proposal last month. You can thank Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III for the "compromise" in which the bill was only allowed out of committee with a 20:1 disparity instead of 1:1.

*sigh*

Politicians should be drawn and quartered for their "logic" in many things.
 
2010-03-28 10:52:21 AM
SpaceyCat:
That disparity is just insane. I don't know all that much about the differences in crack and cocaine. Is one stronger than the other? Does it have the same effect? The only difference that I know of is the form: one is powder, the other is rock like. If there is no difference is effects, then the sentencing should be the same.


crack cocaine is essentially a more 'condensed' form of the drug. In some ways it IS 'stronger', but that's not the point. what crack cocaine does is take an already popular product and extend it's marketability. so you can take a kilo of powder and turn it into one shot 'rocks' that are easier to transport, give the customer a shorter, more intense high and easier to sell.

in some ways, crack cocaine is worse than powder product, but it's like the difference between being hit by a hand grenade and a 500lb bomb - to the folks at ground zero, they're still just as dead, the rest is mere detail. it's the same sort of difference to the folks at the bottom barrel of the drug war.
 
2010-03-28 11:34:03 AM
Racht: We can say that this guy deserves the length of sentence that mandatory sentencing guidelines require while still saying that mandatory sentencing guidelines are horrible ideas that should be scrapped.

Absolutely.
 
2010-03-28 11:36:10 AM
Well he's obviously not tough on crime...
 
2010-03-28 11:41:12 AM
LaChanz: Unless he's a complete idiot, he knew what he was up for if he got caught again and decided the risk was worth it.

Crackheads are generally complete idiots, or fast on their way to becoming one.
 
2010-03-28 11:42:02 AM
This way we can arrest him again sooner when he starts selling crack after we release him!
 
2010-03-28 11:42:05 AM
Ordinarily, I'd be of the opinion that a judge refusing to enforce an applicable statute as written smacks of "judicial activism." However, statutes which set forth mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines invade what should be the province of the judiciary and themselves smack of "legislative activism."
 
2010-03-28 11:46:38 AM
Mandatory minimum sentencing laws were a case of the pendulum swinging: they came about at a time when sentences were ridiculously low and recidivism was ridiculously high. The actual minimum sentences, as a result, may be overly harsh in some cases, and if so then they should be changed.

However, the concept of a minimum sentencing standard was created in response to a very real need. To draw an analogy, sometimes corporations that act dishonorably cannot be brought into line except by regulation. The same could also be true of judges, and this was one such case.
 
2010-03-28 11:48:09 AM
The law was drafted in that manner for a reason. Suburban whites who use cocaine tend to be hard working people who are just casual cocaine users. Crack cocaine users on the other end, are often African Americans who are unemployed and often resort to crimes to support their habit. I hope these liberal judicial activist gets voted out in the next election. Keeping these African Americans in jail will reduce the crime rate.
 
2010-03-28 11:50:10 AM
Oakmter: The law was drafted in that manner for a reason. Suburban whites who use cocaine tend to be hard working people who are just casual cocaine users. Crack cocaine users on the other end, are often African Americans who are unemployed and often resort to crimes to support their habit. I hope these liberal judicial activist gets voted out in the next election. Keeping these African Americans in jail will reduce the crime rate.

It was a republican judge...
 
2010-03-28 11:50:48 AM
If you shoot the crack dealer in the head he will not become a repeat offender,
Problem solved.
 
2010-03-28 11:51:07 AM
Millennium:
However, the concept of a minimum sentencing standard was created in response to a very real need. To draw an analogy, sometimes corporations that act dishonorably cannot be brought into line except by regulation. The same could also be true of judges, and this was one such case.


So you're essentially saying that judges, who in our country are tasked with being the fair, unbiased arbiters of law, are not capable of giving appropriate sentences, and must be bound by regulation that overrules the judgments they make and replaces them with the judgments of politicians?
 
2010-03-28 11:53:14 AM
Yeah, good luck with that.
 
2010-03-28 11:53:41 AM
Racht: Millennium:
However, the concept of a minimum sentencing standard was created in response to a very real need. To draw an analogy, sometimes corporations that act dishonorably cannot be brought into line except by regulation. The same could also be true of judges, and this was one such case.

So you're essentially saying that judges, who in our country are tasked with being the fair, unbiased arbiters of law, are not capable of giving appropriate sentences, and must be bound by regulation that overrules the judgments they make and replaces them with the judgments of politicians?


I'm saying that judges are people, no different from any others. Sometimes they don't do the right thing, and sometimes this happens in groups. When that happens, just like any other person or group of people, they need to be brought back into line. With other kinds of groups of people, we call this regulation. Why should it not apply here as well?
 
2010-03-28 11:55:38 AM
Millennium: Racht: Millennium:
However, the concept of a minimum sentencing standard was created in response to a very real need. To draw an analogy, sometimes corporations that act dishonorably cannot be brought into line except by regulation. The same could also be true of judges, and this was one such case.

So you're essentially saying that judges, who in our country are tasked with being the fair, unbiased arbiters of law, are not capable of giving appropriate sentences, and must be bound by regulation that overrules the judgments they make and replaces them with the judgments of politicians?

I'm saying that judges are people, no different from any others. Sometimes they don't do the right thing, and sometimes this happens in groups. When that happens, just like any other person or group of people, they need to be brought back into line. With other kinds of groups of people, we call this regulation. Why should it not apply here as well?


Because of the separation of powers. Congress should afford deference to the courts just like the courts afford congress deference, unless congress has discriminated or deprived someone their rights or some how violated the constitution. That's how our system works.
 
2010-03-28 11:56:23 AM
T-luv:
Oakmter: The law was drafted in that manner for a reason. Suburban whites who use cocaine tend to be hard working people who are just casual cocaine users. Crack cocaine users on the other end, are often African Americans who are unemployed and often resort to crimes to support their habit. I hope this liberal judicial activist gets voted out in the next election. Keeping these African Americans in jail will reduce the crime rate.

It was a republican judge...


A Massachusetts republican is just another liberal with a republican stamp.
 
2010-03-28 11:57:49 AM
"I'm going to have a hard time sentencing people, and nailing them with much harsher sentences," than the new laws warrant, Ponsor said.y


Odd that they just add to the quote like that...


"I really enjoyed working on that project," I just wish jst3p was there to sink his purple headed love warrior into my quivering mound of love pudding, said Winona Ryder.
 
2010-03-28 11:58:30 AM
T-Luv: It was a republican judge...

I'm pretty sure that's a half-ass troll you're responding to.
 
2010-03-28 11:59:11 AM
Oakmter: T-luv:
Oakmter: The law was drafted in that manner for a reason. Suburban whites who use cocaine tend to be hard working people who are just casual cocaine users. Crack cocaine users on the other end, are often African Americans who are unemployed and often resort to crimes to support their habit. I hope this liberal judicial activist gets voted out in the next election. Keeping these African Americans in jail will reduce the crime rate.

It was a republican judge...


A Massachusetts republican is just another liberal with a republican stamp.


But you still hoped that he got voted out. So what kind of judge do you think will replace him? Since he will be occupying the republican spot on the ballot the only alternative is a democrat. I liberal who doesn't hide his liberal ways. Then what would you want?
 
2010-03-28 12:00:30 PM
dailybail.com

CRACK AIN'T SO BAD!
/FTFY Britney Spear's Speculum
 
2010-03-28 12:00:42 PM
Millennium:
I'm saying that judges are people, no different from any others. Sometimes they don't do the right thing, and sometimes this happens in groups. When that happens, just like any other person or group of people, they need to be brought back into line. With other kinds of groups of people, we call this regulation. Why should it not apply here as well?


I would argue that crime is an area in which the incentives of politicians render them particularly ill-equipped to write sensible regulation regarding sentencing. Any politician opposed to tough sentencing requirements can easily be painted as "soft on crime" and subject to a barrage of effective campaign commercials. There's a long history of exactly that. I feel that leads to sentencing requirements that can easily be far too strict than warranted. I'm not opposed to the concept, but would prefer it be done by an independent advisory board or such; some body that doesn't have to run for reelection by uninformed and easily scared voters.
 
2010-03-28 12:03:35 PM
Oakmter: The law was drafted in that manner for a reason. Suburban whites who use cocaine tend to be hard working people who are just casual cocaine users. Crack cocaine users on the other end, are often African Americans who are unemployed and often resort to crimes to support their habit. I hope these liberal judicial activist gets voted out in the next election. Keeping these African Americans in jail will reduce the crime rate.

0/10 - Bo-o-o-ring.
 
2010-03-28 12:04:00 PM
It seems to me, this man is not a violent offender, he's a small time crackhead\dealer. Will life in prison protect you in anyway? He was involved in victimless crimes. This man may have a slim chance for real rehabilitation. No one is saying send him home today, but 20 years is insane.
 
2010-03-28 12:06:53 PM
wumpus: It seems to me, this man is not a violent offender, he's a small time crackhead\dealer. Will life in prison protect you in anyway? He was involved in victimless crimes. This man may have a slim chance for real rehabilitation. No one is saying send him home today, but 20 years is insane.

i agree. 20 years is nuts.
 
2010-03-28 12:07:52 PM
wumpus: It seems to me, this man is not a violent offender, he's a small time crackhead\dealer. Will life in prison protect you in anyway? He was involved in victimless crimes. This man may have a slim chance for real rehabilitation. No one is saying send him home today, but 20 years is insane.

You're an idiot if you think anything involved in the drug trade is a victimless crime.
 
2010-03-28 12:09:56 PM
zepplinrules: wumpus: It seems to me, this man is not a violent offender, he's a small time crackhead\dealer. Will life in prison protect you in anyway? He was involved in victimless crimes. This man may have a slim chance for real rehabilitation. No one is saying send him home today, but 20 years is insane.

You're an idiot if you think anything involved in the drug trade buying and selling of stocks, where scams and schemes costing people their life savings is a victimless crime.
 
2010-03-28 12:10:23 PM
Just rename all of the drug dealers "Darwinism Distributors" and let them do their thing.

/drugs are bad mmmmkay
//except marijuana, which I thoroughly enjoy.
 
2010-03-28 12:13:17 PM
Weaver95: it's entirely possible that he's an addict. put an addict into a jail cell for 20 years and he'll come out and still be an addict.

This.

I think the question here is not so much about whether or not the crackhead deserves to be locked up, but whether or not the taxpayer money consumed by 10 years of incarceration will improve anything for anybody.
 
2010-03-28 12:19:02 PM
Having some front line experience in the war on drugs as a deputy I have seen the agony that crack can bring. I have never seen a casual user of crack they are usually all in with that addiction. I think the mistake that pro drug advocates is they seem to be all or nothing people like the NRA.Legalizing weed would benefit this country and would be fairly easy to get done but instead of just talking about weed the pro drug people insist on including all drugs in the debate causing the inexperienced to correlate weed with all drugs.I support legalization of weed but definitely not crack.
 
2010-03-28 12:19:42 PM
zepplinrules: You're an idiot if you think anything involved in the drug trade is a victimless crime.

You could say the same about alcohol during prohibition... the "drive by shooting" was basically invented by alcohol gangsters.

The drugs don't cause those problems, the laws prohibitting them do.
 
2010-03-28 12:36:49 PM
Judge Ponsor is a Clinton appointee. Sounds like a lib to me.

He presided over a federal capital murder case a while back. He wrote a fascinating article about his experience and about his misgivings over the use of the death penalty. He sounds like a thoughtful, conscientious judge with a sincere desire for fairness and justice. We need more like him.

Link (new window)
 
2010-03-28 12:40:34 PM
If we put all our cocaine dealers in jail then how the fark are we supposed to get our cocaine?
 
2010-03-28 12:54:53 PM
Weaver95: SpaceyCat:
That disparity is just insane. I don't know all that much about the differences in crack and cocaine. Is one stronger than the other? Does it have the same effect? The only difference that I know of is the form: one is powder, the other is rock like. If there is no difference is effects, then the sentencing should be the same.

crack cocaine is essentially a more 'condensed' form of the drug. In some ways it IS 'stronger', but that's not the point. what crack cocaine does is take an already popular product and extend it's marketability. so you can take a kilo of powder and turn it into one shot 'rocks' that are easier to transport, give the customer a shorter, more intense high and easier to sell.

in some ways, crack cocaine is worse than powder product, but it's like the difference between being hit by a hand grenade and a 500lb bomb - to the folks at ground zero, they're still just as dead, the rest is mere detail. it's the same sort of difference to the folks at the bottom barrel of the drug war.


The worst part is that crack is not more condensed. The reason it's so popular with drug dealers is that it's got more filler in it. It gets you higher for a shorter period of time because you smoke it but so does heroin when you free base it. The heroin is not more concentrated because you decided to smoke it.
It carries a harsher sentence because generally poor blacks use it instead of rich white people. Therefore it's scarier to the rich white people that pass laws.
That's why this judge is a hero.
 
2010-03-28 12:55:07 PM
The vast majority of people who try drugs do not become addicts.
 
2010-03-28 12:57:06 PM
Weaver95: LaChanz: This is a multiple repeat offender. I just think that maybe he deserves the jail time. I can see the problem with mandatory sentencing if it's some guy that steals some food to survive, but this guy is scum. Unless he's a complete idiot, he knew what he was up for if he got caught again and decided the risk was worth it.

it's entirely possible that he's an addict. put an addict into a jail cell for 20 years and he'll come out and still be an addict.


Also you are absolutely right. I didn't mean to make it sound like I was completely disagreeing with you in that last post. It's just the semantics happen to make this whole crack thing that much worse than it should be.
 
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