Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

October 18, 2014

President Obama Appoints Drug War Opponent To Head DOJ’s Civil Rights Division

President Obama has appointed attorney Vanita Gupta to head the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. What should be of interest is Ms. Gupta’s opposition to the Drug War and calls for prison reform. Reason has more: A drug-war denouncing, prison-reform crusading, longtime civil-rights attorney is President Obama’s new pick to head the Justice Department’s civil […]

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May 21, 2012

Quote of the Day: Penn’s Sunday School Lecture on Obama’s Drug War (Beyond) Hypocrisy Edition

What troubles me about this… I think it’s beyond hypocrisy. I think it’s something to do with class. A lot of people have accused Obama of class warfare, but in the wrong direction. I believe this is Obama chortling with Jimmy Fallon about lower class people. Do we believe, even for a second, that if […]

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January 10, 2012

Rick Santorum is Not as Pro-Family as He Would Have Us Believe

If someone were to pose the question: “Among the candidates running for president, who would you say describes himself as the most ‘pro-family’?” I suspect that most people would say Rick Santorum and for good reason. To Santorum, the decline of the traditional, nuclear family is the root cause for every problem facing America right […]

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June 22, 2011

Repost: Anyone Who Believes America is Winning the Drug War Must Be High

Last Friday, June 17, 2011 marked the 40th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s “War on Drugs.” As Jacob Sullum points out here, the drug war didn’t actually begin with Nixon and it’s not likely to end on Obama’s watch (even though the Obama administration admits that current drug policy over this period has been a failure). […]

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December 23, 2010

Is it Possible that More Conservatives are Getting a Clue About Criminal Justice Reform and Even the War on (Some) Drugs?

Up until about Monday of this week, such a question would have made me laugh. As I have increasingly involved myself in criminal justice issues, I have found the Democrats to be slightly more willing to take on the Prison Industrial Complex, mandatory minimum sentences, and decriminalization (if not outright legalization) of marijuana. These Democrats […]

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November 29, 2010

Hope n’ Change: Pardon Edition

Thus far, President Obama has pardoned 4 turkeys and 0 people. Does anyone else have a problem with this? George Lardner Jr. writing an article for The New York Times entitled “No Country for Second Chances” does: If by tomorrow [November 23, 2010] he pardons no one but turkeys, President Obama will have the most […]

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November 8, 2010

Correcting the so called “Corrections” system

As of today, it should be clear to everyone in this country, that our system for dealing with criminals (I won’t call it a “criminal justice” system since justice has so little to do with it), is utterly broken, beyond any conventional concept of repair. At this point, again I say, it should be clear […]

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July 29, 2010

Innocence Project Press Release: House Passes Bipartisan Bill to Review and Reform the Criminal Justice System

House Passes Bipartisan Bill to Review and Reform the Criminal Justice System Innocence Project praises the House of Representatives’ leadership and urges the Senate to enact this legislation as soon as possible (Washington, D.C.: Wednesday, July 28, 2010) – Late yesterday, the House of Representatives passed critical bipartisan legislation, “The National Criminal Justice Commission Act […]

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May 17, 2010

Modern Jurisprudence is PROFOUNDLY Broken

Two contrasting stories out of the Supreme Court today, that bring home the fact that jurisprudence in this country is profoundly… hopefully not irreparably… broken. First, from the New York Times: NO MORE LIFE SENTENCES FOR MINORS WHO HAVEN’T MURDERED…. In yet another 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court said this morning that incarcerated minors can’t […]

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March 25, 2010

Legalization Of Marijuana To Be On California Ballot In November

Advocates of marijuana legalization have succeeded in getting a referendum on the November ballot: LOS ANGELES, March 24 (UPI) — California will again be the flashpoint in the smoldering debate on legalization of pot as officials said Wednesday the question will be on the November ballot. Los Angeles County elections officials Wednesday submitted their official […]

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December 4, 2009

Liberty Rock Friday: “Prison Song” by SOAD

Here’s a perfect song to complement my recent call to action to pass the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009. System of a Down “Prison Song” Toxicity (2001) Written by: Tankian, Serj;Malakian, Daron;Odadjian, Shavarsh; and Dolmayan, John They’re trying to build a prison, They’re trying to build a prison, Following the rights movements You […]

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December 2, 2009

Action Alert: Help Pass the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009

In April of 2009, I wrote a post entitled “Reforming America’s Prison System: The Time Has Come” A full 8 months later, the time has truly come. Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-VA) bill S.714, the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009, is scheduled to be before the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow. The purpose of the […]

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October 23, 2009

Quote Of The Day

We all know youths who have changed for the better. When I was a lawyer in Cody, the court sometimes appointed me to represent juvenile offenders, and parents who knew of my history often asked for help with their children. I once handled the case of an 18-year-old who stole a car and drove it […]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 3:16 am || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: Crime and Punishment,Legal,Mandatory Minimum Sentences,Quote of the Day
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July 15, 2009

Mother Jones Takes on the War on (Some) Drugs

The July/August 2009 issue of the Left-leaning Mother Jones dedicates several articles to the asinine War on (some) Drugs. The title of the magazine’s cover story states it best – “Totally Wasted: We’ve blown $300 billion. Death squads roam Mexico. Cartels operate in 259 cities. This is your War on Drugs. Any Questions?” Reason’s Nick […]

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June 12, 2009

Charles Lynch Sentenced to 1 Year and 1 Day in Prison

Read the news story here and reason‘s coverage here. The video below is Lynch’s response: While I’m not happy that Mr. Lynch is doing time for legally dispensing marijuana under California’s compassionate use law, he certainly could have received a much harsher sentence (up to 100 years). U.S. District Judge George Wu should be commended […]

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May 14, 2009

Drug Czar Calls For End To “War On Drugs”

It’s too early to tell if it’s a semantic change or a major step in the right direction, but these comments from President Obama’s “Drug Czar” are encouraging: WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s new drug czar says he wants to banish the idea that the U.S. is fighting “a war on drugs,” a move that […]

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April 11, 2009

Reforming America’s Prison System: The Time Has Come

Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) in his recent article calling for a major reform of America’s prisons in Parade Magazine brought some very disturbing, eye opening, statistics about America’s prison system to light. In summary this is some of what he found: -Since 1984, America’s prison population has quadrupled from 580,000 to 2.3 million -Though the […]

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April 1, 2009

Open Thread Question of the Day: How Can We Fix Our Prisons?

Our prison system, holding nearly 25% of the worlds reported prisoners, may seem like an April fool’s joke but certainly is not a laughing matter. I’m in the early stages of writing a post in response to Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-VA) recent article in Parade entitled: Why We Must Fix Our Prisons. Sen. Webb is […]

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March 3, 2009

A Song and Open Letter to a President Who is “No Stranger to the Bong”

Thank you, President Obama, for keeping your campaign pledge to end raids on medical marijuana dispensaries that are legal under state laws in California and elsewhere. Thank you for reversing an inhumane policy established by the Clinton administration and continued by the Bush administration. Given the experience you and other elected officials have had with […]

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January 19, 2009

Bush Caves, Commutes Sentences for Ramos and Compean

Well, maybe I should say he partially caved. With less than 24 hours left in his presidency, Bush decided to commute Ramos and Compean’s sentences rather than granting full pardons. The Associated Press reports that the president chose to commute their sentences because he agreed with the court’s finding that the men broke the law […]

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