Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Senators Won't Heed Mukasey's Request

WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats on Tuesday rejected Attorney General Michael Mukasey's request to change new sentencing guidelines that would enable thousands of federal inmates to seek reductions in their crack cocaine sentences.

In testimony last week, Mukasey asked Congress to pass legislation by March 3 that would block or alter the U.S. Sentencing Commission's directive to apply the possibility for reduced sentences retroactively to people already convicted of crimes involving crack cocaine. The retroactivity could flood courts with applications for early release of thousands of violent criminals, the Justice Department says.

But Democrats and others have long sought ways to correct the fact that the law comes down on crack offenders 100 times harder than those convicted of crimes involving powdered cocaine, and blacks are disproportionately affected by the disparity.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy, D-Vt., accused Mukasey of falsely suggesting that the new policy would automatically set free 1,600 violent offenders “to prey on hapless communities.”

“As the attorney general, himself a former federal judge, should have known ... no one can be released without a hearing before a federal judge who is obligated to evaluate each case and to consider factors such as the criminal history and violence,” Leahy said in a statement.

“We can't let such scare tactics by the administration deter us from our goal of achieving fairness and legitimacy in the criminal justice system,” said Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.


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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

How did Senator Kennedy get off without being charged in the death of the woman who drowned in his car??? There is no legitamacy in the criminal justice system. djw

Anonymous said...

I think you're missing the point. Mukasey was asking the Senate to reconsider the sentencing reform to PREVENT federal drug offenders from being released or having their sentences reduced. He's the Attorney General after all...and a REPUBLICAN.

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