Monday, October 12, 2015

Truest statement of the week II

With considerable help from the corporate media, the Obama administration is claiming much of the credit for the pending release of about 6,000 federal prison inmates, most of them convicted under the now-defunct statute that mandated 100-to-1 penalties for possession and sale of crack cocaine, versus the powdered kind preferred by whites. In reality, Obama’s Justice Department has fought since 2011 to prevent most of these same, overwhelmingly Black inmates from being set free under the terms of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. Attorney General Eric Holder successfully argued against retroactive application of the new law, thus condemning the roughly 6,000 federal prisoners convicted under the old statute to serve out their draconian sentences, or to apply for individual review. Ever since, the Justice Department has given thumbs-up or thumbs-down to a steady stream of inmates seeking to prove their individual qualifications for release.
It is, therefore, a revision of history – a lie! – to describe the large, one-time, upcoming prisoner release, scheduled to take place between October 30 and November 2, as an Obama administration “initiative.” The administration’s consistent purpose has been to resist the growing, bipartisan consensus to dramatically reduce prison numbers.

-- Glen Ford, "Obama's Justice: Holder Fought Prisoner Release, Lynch Backtracks on Killer Cops" (Black Agenda Report).

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