In general, the American people want our criminal justice system to protect us from harm, and also to be fair and effective and efficient.
Instead, our system is the OPPOSITE in many ways. It is ineffective, cruel, unfair, and wastes tax dollars.
For example, research keeps proving that PRISON SENTENCES ARE FAR TOO LONG.
The Justice Collaborative (www.thejusticecollaborative.com) provided this information:
More than 2.2 million people are incarcerated in our country – many serving extreme sentences that don’t advance public safety. These sentences comes at a great cost to taxpayers and our society as a whole. To advance justice and reduce mass incarceration, we need mechanisms to review unjust sentences.
One solution? Prosecutors can form Sentencing Review Units in which a small team of lawyers, investigators, and others review past cases to determine if a sentence is so excessive that it demands a second look by the prosecutor’s office. If the team decides that release would serve the interests of justice and public safety, the prosecutor can argue for these long-incarcerated people to be released and reunited with their communities.
Many prosecutors support Sentence Review Units, but in most states, prosecutors have no mechanism to request that a sentence be reduced – even if everyone agrees it’s excessive. And a judge has no power to reduce the sentence either. Some jurisdictions including California and Washington D.C. have passed laws to break down these barriers and allow for sentence review – and we’re calling on other states to follow.
Sign our petition today calling for Sentence Review Units across the country to review past cases and correct for past excessive sentences that do nothing to advance public safety:
The same organization (www.thejusticecollaborative.com) provided this information:
It would take an 80% reduction in incarceration to get us to the level of other Western democracies. There is no way to make a significant reduction in incarceration without addressing extreme sentences that keep people in prison for decades.
Our panelists [in their recent] webinar took on the discussion of how to reduce extreme sentences and tackle the crisis of mass incarceration directly. They talked about what extreme sentencing is, why it matters and what tools are available to address the problem. Here are some of the things learned:
• The most extreme sentencing is the death penalty or life without possibility of parole (LWOP) – but sentences over 50 years are a de-facto life sentence (since a person is more likely to die in prison than be released)
• Excessive sentences are those that a person wouldn’t receive today or seem vastly disproportionate to the offense
• Sentences of 20 or even 10 years (oftentimes far longer than what justice requires) have been normalized by LWOP and de-facto life sentences
• Extreme sentencing laws like three strikes, mandatory minimums, and parole restrictions disproportionately impact communities of color and lead to mass incarceration
• Letting people out of prison early is not a “gift” – it’s a correction for injustices that have caused unnecessary suffering and harm
• As of 2016, there were 206,268 people in the United States serving a life-sentence or a de-facto life sentence of over 50 years
Their webinar runs for one hour and eleven minutes. You can watch and share the webinar recording at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQSF0vFkR3c
70 criminal justice leaders sign letter rejecting AG Barr’s backward ‘tough on crime’ attitude. See this article: