Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz praised President Barack Obama for commuting the sentences of eight crack cocaine offenders Thursday, and said he should begin using the process more.
Obama has not used his commutation and pardon power much during his presidency, and chose to do so in these cases because of the disparity of sentences between crack and powder cocaine. Most convicted of using crack cocaine are black, while most convicted of using powder cocaine are white.
The Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 cut those disparities, but the people whose sentences where commuted on Thursday were convicted prior to the law’s enactment. They likely would have gotten shorter sentences if convicted under the current law.
Thirteen others received pardons from Obama.
Okay, thank you President Obama… Now what do we do with these people who have been or will be released from prison?
While this is a good thing that has been done for these individuals who were given the harshest of sentences, 25 to life for getting caught with a pebble of crack cocaine in their pockets and an empty glass pipe or a baggie with just the residue left over, soon after the three strikes law went into effect, the question is now, what will become of these individuals when they are released with their $200 gate money and their toothbrush, sadly many will return to the life they lived prior to going to prison.
Where will they go? where will they live? and more importantly where will they work? Who will be there for them? certainly not the unforgiving society that they are being released back into.
Society today is unfortunately very unforgiving and don’t believe that an ex-offender has the right to be given a second chance and it is mainly for this reason that most ex-offenders re-offend after only weeks of being back on the streets because they need to make money in order to support themselves, their families or their habits
The revolving door of recidivism needs to be stopped and it is not something that only some of us can do to help them help themselves, but all of us. There is a growing need for programs with resources that actually work to help the ex-offenders being released get a job, get housing and get re-established. It is a proven fact that when an ex-offender is given a second chance by way of employment that they feel better about themselves and they do change their lives and become responsible members of society. Without a job which is the starting point the ex-offender will more than likely become a repeat offender.
My husband and I are trying to start a transitional housing/recycling center in which we will be able to house at least 8 individuals and equip them with vocational skills, help them to get their identification updated and clothing for interviews as we also will in the vocational skills classes have mock interviews in order to prepare them for a possible interview. The problem that we face is getting the funding to procure the building for housing or the land for the recycling business. While there is money out there we still have not been able to get the help needed to write the grant proposal for funding.
Anyone reading this post is free to offer up any ideas or help. This video speaks not only for the thousands of cats and dogs who face the cruelty of man but for the ex-offenders of the world also who are treated the same way, they have no-one to care for them, and they have no where to go. These animals are being advocated for, now who will advocate for the thousands of ex-offenders who pretty much share the same fate as these animals…Have a heart and adopt and ex-offender…