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5 Senior Citizens Serving Life Without Parole for Pot


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: abuse, americans, congress, constitution, corruption, crime, democrats, dishonesty, Drug War, economy, ethics, freedoms, Govtfearmongering, healthcare, lies, media, nonviolent crimes, obama, politics, propaganda, republicans, Seniors )

Kit
- 559 days ago - alternet.org
Right now, five adults await death in prison for non-violent, marijuana-related crimes. Their names are John Knock, Paul Free, Larry Duke, William Dekle, and Charles "Fred" Cundiff.



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Kit B. (277)
Friday December 28, 2012, 11:15 am
(Photo Credit: Farsh/ Shutterstock.com)



5 Senior Citizens Serving Life Without Parole for Pot
Should five non-violent offenders die behind bars for a crime Americans increasingly believe should not even be a crime?


Right now, five adults await death in prison for non-violent, marijuana-related crimes. Their names are John Knock, Paul Free, Larry Duke, William Dekle, and Charles “Fred” Cundiff. They are all more than 60 years old; they have all spent at least 15 years locked up for selling pot; and they are all what one might call model prisoners, serving life without parole. As time wrinkles their skin and weakens their bodies, Michael Kennedy of the Trans High Corporation has filed a legal petition with the federal government seeking their clemency. Otherwise they will die behind bars for selling a drug 40% of American adults have admitted to using, 50% of Americans want legal, and two states have already legalized for adult use. Since these men were convicted of these crimes many years ago, public opinion and policy related to marijuana have shifted greatly. Should these five non-violent senior-citizen offenders die behind bars for a crime Americans increasingly believe should not even be a crime?

1. John Knock, 65, has been incarcerated for more than 16 years. The only evidence against him was the testimony of informants; Knock was convicted of conspiracy to import and distribute marijuana. The judge sentenced him to 20 years for money laundering plus not one, but two terms of life-without-parole -- a punishment typically reserved for murderers. Despite the uniquely unjust sentence, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court denied his pleas for reconsideration via appeal or court order.

Waiting for death in jail, Knock suffers from chronic sinus problems linked to an untreated broken nose. Due to circulatory problems, one of his ankles swells to twice its size. Knock also suffers from what the legal petition called “untreated" hearing and vision problems. Easing some of his pain are visits from his family and his participation in prison programs. He has taught home building and physical education inside the prison that has become his home. According to the legal petition, he is assured employment and a home should his sentence be commuted.

2. Before he was incarcerated, Paul Free obtained a BA in marine biology and was starting a school while teaching English in Mexico. Now 62, he has continued his passion for education behind bars, where he has lived for the past 18 years. Free helps inmates prepare for the General Equivalency Diploma tests, and according to the petition, prison officials have applauded Paul’s hard work and his students’ high graduation rate. Paul suffers from degenerative joint disease, failing eyesight, sinus problems, and allergies, and he has had 11 skin cancers removed.

3. Once a union carpenter, Larry Duke, a 65-year-old decorated Marine, has spent the last 23 years of his life behind bars for weed. On top of the difficulties life in prison lays on the psyche, Duke suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from multiple tours in the Vietnam war. Like Knock, Duke received two life sentences without parole for a non-violent marijuana conspiracy, and was unsuccessful at appeal. According to the legal petition, Duke is the longest-serving nonviolent marijuana prisoner in the nation.

Despite his incarceration in a country that has failed him, Duke works from behind bars to design patentable concepts that would assist the general public. While locked up, he has already managed to obtain a federal patent for a water-delivery system he plans to market to the U.S. Department of Defense. According to the legal petition, Duke enjoys the support of his wife and a growing family including two children, two grandsons, three siblings and many nieces and nephews. “They all want him to come home and be part of their lives and dreams,” the petition said.

4. William Dekle, 63, is also a former U.S. Marine serving two life sentences without parole, 22 of which he has already completed in a Kentucky penitentiary. Despite the depressing possibility that he will die behind bars, Dekle has participated in more than 30 prison courses, including counseling other inmates. Before his conviction, Dekle was a pilot certified in commercial and instrument flying, as well as multiengine aircraft. Now he suffers from a chronic knee injury. He is supported by his wife, two daughters, and grandchildren, who call him “Papa Billy.” Dekle’s relatives would ensure a stable home environment should he be granted clemency, the legal petition said.

5. Charles “Fred” Cundiff is a 66-year-old inmate who has served more than 20 years of his life sentence for marijuana. Before the marijuana arrest that changed his life forever, he worked in construction, retail and at a plant nursery. In prison, he worked for Unicor (Federal Prison Industries) for 12 years before his declining health interfered with his ability to work. Battling skin cancer, eye infections, and severe arthritis in his spine, Cundiff uses a walker. While the legal petition makes no mention of family, it says he is regularly visited by “friends from his youth.”

While these men have all spent many years behind bars for crimes they were convicted of many years ago, the same draconian punishments are handed down to marijuana criminals -- young and old -- to this day. Conspiracy charges, combined with mandatory minimums for marijuana sale and firearms charges, can quickly add up to decades behind bars. Should anyone in the entire criminal operation have a gun (legal or not), everyone involved can be charged with firearm possession during a drug offense, a five-year mandatory minimum that can reach 20 if the person is charged with continuing criminal enterprise -- a long-term, large-scale operation. In the end, these sentences are often not applied, but used to encourage guilty pleas in exchange for a lesser sentence.

Marijuana prisoner Chris Williams is an example of one such case. He was recently facing a mandatory minimum of 85 to 92 years behind bars for providing medical marijuana in Montana, where it is legal. Citing a moral opposition to plea bargains forced by the threat of a lifetime in jail, WIlliams rejected a deal that would have drastically reduced his sentence by cutting away mandatory minimums. Then, this Tuesday, federal prosecutors agreed to drop six of eight of Williams’ charges, provided he waive his constitutional right to appeal. Now Williams faces a mandatory minimum of five years for the firearm-related charge, and another five for distribution.

“With the rest of my life literally hanging in the balance, I simply could not withstand the pressure any longer,” Williams said in a statement. “If Judge Christensen shows mercy and limits my sentence to the five-year mandatory minimum, I could be present at my 16-year-old son’s college graduation. This would most likely be impossible had I rejected the latest compromise.”
****Links within body of article at VISIT SITE*****

By: Kristen Gwynne | alternet |
 

Arielle S. (314)
Friday December 28, 2012, 11:16 am
Is this from the "let's see how ridiculous we can be" file? Because it IS ridiculous! In the meantime, scores of corrupt politicians and CEO's enjoy the good life....no wonder they say justice is blind.
 

Diane O. (149)
Friday December 28, 2012, 11:55 am
I am going to assume that these five "senior cons" can read and write. Fifteen to twenty years ago when they were arrested, tried in a court of law and then sentenced either by a jury or took a plea bargain....that they could read. So, what part about selling an illegal drug didn't they understand?

I understand that they are "sorry" today but the fact is they broke the law. It doesn't matter if you can get stoned on the streets of Colorado.....and have people offer to buy you a drink because you're so cool....what matters is that you follow the law or guess what? That's right....YOU GET ARRESTED FOR BREAKING THE LAW.

I know our liberals like their marijuana and they want it legalized but until it is legal in your state when you sell it, buy it and get caught smoking "it" then you are knowingly breaking the law which makes you a "risk taker" and our prisons and jails are filled with "risk takers."
 

pam w. (191)
Friday December 28, 2012, 1:06 pm
Oh, good grief!

Everyone knows our prisons are overcrowded and an enormous drain on resources. Everyone knows we can't keep incarcerating people because they harm animals, own an ounce of marijuana (well, in SOME states) or spit on the sidewalk unless we intend to spend even billions MORE on prisons.

These men are now long past "violent offenders."

Put them on parole and let them out!

 

Kit B. (277)
Friday December 28, 2012, 1:10 pm

It does make a difference when one READS before commenting, Diane. Though Pam is correct we already do have a serious prison problem, these are not violent offenders. There are people in and out of prison for murder while these and others serve life for maybe selling one harmless "drug".
 

Diane O. (149)
Friday December 28, 2012, 1:19 pm
The law is the law, Kit and Pam. Why do we have judges, juries, DEA, etc??? So, what you two are saying is that by the "wave of a hand" a judge can say, "hey, we didn't mean for you fellas to have stayed hee that long...go pack your bags you are outta here." That's not the way you want our court system to work especially if the man who murdered your best friend had received life when he was 25 years old. You would want him to die in prison.

We have laws on the books. Judges have sentencing gudelines for their states and they have to issue the proper sentence depending on the guidelines.

Seems to be that you two might feel more comfortable in a lawless society.

 

Kit B. (277)
Friday December 28, 2012, 1:48 pm

A man known well for being a comedic actor, has a father serving a life sentence for murder. Charles Harrelson killed Judge John Wood, who was very proud of handing down sentences that were beyond the pale in marijuana cases. The point is that these are not violent crimes, and we have prisons full of young men and women that have harmed no one, but had a small amount of Marijuana on their person.

Lawless society? That is dim-witted even considering the source.
 

Barbara K. (87)
Friday December 28, 2012, 2:23 pm
It is disgusting that these old men must spend the rest of their lives in prison for crimes that harmed no one. Meanwhile, we have CEOs stealing us blind and doing false foreclosures on people's homes and destroying people's lives, who are living the high life. Time to let the old fellas out and put the crooks in the prisons. Hopefully, they old fellas will be able to have a place to live and receive medical care. Put the real crooks in prison. All these nonviolent people who are seniors now should be released. There would then be no overcrowding. Of course, with the prisons being privatized, they will try to hold on to all they can so they can bleed more money from the taxpayers.
 

Tamara Noforwardsplz (185)
Friday December 28, 2012, 2:37 pm
Wait, what's that I hear? Oh, Diane, I think I hear your right wing nuts calling you.
 

Diane O. (149)
Friday December 28, 2012, 2:43 pm
Tamara, this isn't about politics. It's about breaking the law and these five people certainly broke the law. They KNEW they were breaking the law but they did it anway. What about that don't YOU understand?

Barbara, CEO's aren't breaking the law. They have championed growing businesses and took them to a high level with their expertise and experience. These CEO's are responsible for the millions and millions of jobs that middle class and lower middle class Americans enjoy to take care of their families and pay into retirement accounts plus they receive healthcare and other benefits. I have NO problem with the CEO's receiving huge bonuses for a job well done. It's a win/win proposition because it works. Take away the CEO's and you take away successful businesses and poof....there go the jobs....maybe even your job or your sister's job.
 

Diane O. (149)
Friday December 28, 2012, 2:45 pm
IMO, this is a ridiculous thread topic. Personally, I would never break the law. If the law states that if I'm caught with marijuana I'll be prosecuted then I won't go there. Responsible people think like that. The risk takers are in jail.
 

JL A. (274)
Friday December 28, 2012, 5:48 pm
Such laws are made by politicians trying to earn points--especially the changes to the marijuana laws that upgraded them from misdemeanors to felonies to be "tough on crime" and thus taught the pot heads how to be better criminals at taxpayer expense. all the research supports drug courts and early intervention for initial arrests for such crimes does far more to make the community safer by removing the addiction and stopping the criminal behavior. Only people who prefer to spend taxes without getting what they are supposedly paying for based on emotion rather than data or other facts believes the propaganda from elections that they actually get anything in terms of safety or crime reduction and community safety by spending $30,000 or more per year to keep them in prison (more with the increased health care costs as they age)--a fiscally irresponsible position to advocate since it is NOT cost-effective in criminal justice evaluations done to date.
 

JL A. (274)
Friday December 28, 2012, 5:56 pm
One law of relevance, IMO, to claims made in this thread:
Cyber Harassment Law & Legal Definition

Cyber harassment refers to online harassment. Cyber harassment or bullying is the use of email, instant messaging, and derogatory websites to bully or otherwise harass an individual or group through personal attacks. Cyber harassment can be in the form of flames, comments made in chat rooms, sending of offensive or cruel e-mail, or even harassing others by posting on blogs or social networking sites. Cyber harassment is often difficult to track as the person responsible for the acts of cyber harassment remains anonymous while threatening others online. This usually applies to school-age children.
 

Kit B. (277)
Friday December 28, 2012, 6:00 pm

Thanks J L - both comments apply very well to this thread.
 

Gysele van Santen (207)
Friday December 28, 2012, 7:06 pm
for WEED? life?? that's bullshit, so wrong on so many levels. not fair at ALL.
 

JL A. (274)
Friday December 28, 2012, 7:09 pm
Thanks for the supportive feedback Kit. I prefer not to let people claim ignorance of the law as an excuse for breaking it.
 

Jane Mckenzie (20)
Friday December 28, 2012, 7:36 pm
noted
 

Mm M. (449)
Friday December 28, 2012, 7:38 pm
Goodness look what all of the "Stars" get away with. Pot smokers actually are given a long leash this really surprised me Kit! xo
 

Robert B. (57)
Friday December 28, 2012, 7:43 pm
Diane O. , You are so rigid and clueless it boggles the mind. Yes you are correct in that they broke the law , but you are wrong in saying that it's just tough shit about the sentence they got. "The law is the law" is pure bullshit when it is not properly administered as is the case here. That the judge gave a harsh sentence that should ONLY be for violent offenders is OVER THE TOP and these sentences are DEAD WRONG and UNJUST. It is obvious to any moron that these sentencing guidelines are immoral and not legal. This country used to put people in stocks and whip them, well guess what? Those "guidelines" were also DEAD WRONG. AND CHANGED! It's called legal progress and making things right!!!!!!! I bet you'd love public hangings. The law is SUBJECT TO IMPROVEMENT, it is NOT WRITTEN IN STONE.
 

Heidi Aubrey (16)
Friday December 28, 2012, 8:06 pm
I don't care what sensationalist stories you post. I will in no way support illegal drug use. And yes pot is illegal worse it makes people stupid. No? Then you have never witnessed someone high on pot. I see them on the freeway driving 35 miles an hour in a 70 mph zone. They can't remember a thing, act stupid, laugh stupidly over absolutely nothing for hours and can't be trusted to do their jobs unless of course it requires nothing more than pressing a button. Worse is 95 percent of all felons committed their felonies while high..Someone else paid the cost for their high.
 

JL A. (274)
Friday December 28, 2012, 8:14 pm
What source does that 95% come from Heidi? It is way more than the actual data:

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Home | Drugs and Crime Facts
Drugs and Crime Facts
Drug use and crime

At the time of the offense | Prior drug use by offenders

At the time of the offense

Drug-related crime
Offenders under the influence at the time of the offense

Drug-related crime

In 2004, 17% of state prisoners and 18% of federal inmates said they committed their current offense to obtain money for drugs. These percentages represent a slight increase for federal prisoners (16% in 1997) and a slight decrease for state prisoners (19% in 1997).

Source: BJS, Drug Use and Dependence, State and Federal Prisoners, 2004, NCJ 213530, October 2006 and Substance Abuse and Treatment, State and Federal Prisoners, 1997, NCJ 172871, January 1999.

In 2002 about a quarter of convicted property and drug offenders in local jails had committed their crimes to get money for drugs, compared to 5% of violent and public order offenders. Among state prisoners in 2004 the pattern was similar, with property (30%) and drug offenders (26%) more likely to commit their crimes for drug money than violent (10%) and public-order offenders (7%). In federal prisons property offenders (11%) were less than half as likely as drug offenders (25%) to report drug money as a motive in their offenses.

Percent of prison and jail inmates who committed offense to get money for drugs

Local jail inmates State prisoners Federal prisoners
Offense 2002 2004 2004
Total 16.4 % 16.6 % 18.4 %
Violent 8.0 9.8 14.8
Property 26.9 30.3 10.6
Drugs 24.8 26.4 25.3
Public-order 5.2 6.9 6.8

Source: BJS, Substance Dependence, Abuse, and Treatment of Jail Inmates, 2002, NCJ 209588, July 2005 and Drug Use and Dependence, State and Federal Prisoners, 2004, NCJ 213530, October 2006.



The Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that in 2007, 3.9% of the 14,831 homicides in which circumstances were known were narcotics related. Murders that occurred specifically during a narcotics felony, such as drug trafficking or manufacturing, are considered drug related.
Drug-related homicides

Year Number of homicides Percent drug related
1987 17,963 4.9 %
1988 17,971 5.6
1989 18,954 7.4
1990 20,273 6.7
1991 21,676 6.2
1992 22,716 5.7
1993 23,180 5.5
1994 22,084 5.6
1995 20,232 5.1
1996 16,967 5.0
1997 15,837 5.1
1998 14,276 4.8
1999 13,011 4.5
2000 13,230 4.5
2001 14,061 4.1
2002 14,263 4.7
2003 14,465 4.7
2004 14,210 3.9
2005 14,965 4.0
2006 15.087 5.3
2007 14,831 3.9

Note: The percentages are based on data from the Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR) while the totals are from the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR). Not all homicides in the UCR result in reports in the SHR.
Source: Table constructed by ONDCP Drug Policy Information Clearinghouse staff from FBI, Uniform Crime Reports, Crime in the United States, annually.
Offenders under the influence at the time of the offense

Victim's perception
College student victims
Victims of workplace violence
American Indian victims
Perspectives of probationers, state and federal prisoners, and jail inmates

Victim's perception

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), in 2007, there were 5.2 million violent victimizations of residents age 12 or older. Victims of violence were asked to describe whether they perceived the offender to have been drinking or using drugs.

About 26% of the victims of violence reported that the offender was using drugs or alcohol.

Victim's perception of offender drug use chart [D]

Click on the chart to view the data.

Source: BJS, Criminal Victimization in the United States, 2007, Statistical Tables, Table 32.

College student victims

Overall 41% of violent crimes committed against college students and 38% of nonstudents were committed by an offender perceived to be using drugs, 1995-2000. About 2 in 5 of all rape/sexual assaults and about a quarter of all robberies against a college student were committed by an offender perceived to be using drugs.

Source: BJS, Violent Victimization of College Students, 1995-2000, NCJ 196143, December 2003.

Victims of workplace violence

Of workplace victims of violence --

35% believed the offender was drinking or using drugs at the time of the incident
36% did not know if the offender had been drinking or using drugs
27% of all workplace offenders had not been drinking or using drugs

Victims of workplace violence varied in their perception of whether the offender used alcohol or drugs by occupation.

47% in law enforcement perceived the offender to be using alcohol or drugs
35% in the medical field
31% in retail sales

Source: BJS, Violence in the Workplace, 1993-99, NCJ 190076, December 2001.

American Indian victims

Among victims of violence who were able to describe alcohol or drug use by offenders, American Indians (71%) were more likely than any other racial group to report an offender under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Overall, American Indian victims reported alcohol use by 62% of the offenders, compared to 42% for all races. In violent crimes experienced by American Indians where use was known, 48% of the offender was under the influence of alcohol, 9% were under the influence of drugs, or 14% were under the influence of both.


Violent victimization, by the perceived drug or alcohol use of the offender and by race of victim, 1992-2001

Perceived drug or alcohol use by offender

Race of victim Total Alcohol Drugs Both Neither
Total 100 % 33 % 10 % 9 % 49 %
American Indian 100 48 9 14 29
White 100 34 9 9 49
Black 100 26 11 9 55
Asian 100 27 8 6 60

Note: Percents refer to the annual average for 1992-2001. Table excludes those respondents who were unable to report whether or not they perceived the offender to have been using drugs or alcohol.
Source: BJS, American Indians and Crime, 1992-2002, NCJ 203097, December 2004.



Perspectives of probationers, prisoners, and jail inmates

Probationers
Prisoners
Jail inmates

Probationers

The first national survey of adults on probation, conducted in 1995, reported that 14% of probationers were on drugs when they committed their offense.

Source: BJS, Substance Abuse and Treatment of Adults on Probation, 1995, NCJ 166611, March 1998.

Among probationers, 49% of the mentally ill and 46% of others reported alcohol or drug use at the time of the offense.

Source: BJS, Mental Health and Treatment and Inmates and Probationers, NCJ 174463, July 1999.

Prisoners

In the 2004 Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 32% of state prisoners and 26% of federal prisoners said they had committed their current offense while under the influence of drugs. Among state prisoners, drug offenders (44%) and property offenders (39%) reported the highest incidence of drug use at the time of the offense. Among federal prisoners, drug offenders (32%) and violent offenders (24%) were the most likely to report drug use at the time of their crimes.

Source: BJS, Drug Use and Dependence, State and Federal Prisoners, 2004, NCJ 213530, October 2006.

About 74% of state prisoners who had a mental health problem and 56% of those without were dependent on or abused alcohol or drugs. By specific type of substance, inmates who had a mental health problem had higher rates of dependence or abuse of drugs than alcohol. Among state prisoners who had a mental health problem, 62% were dependent on or abused drugs and 51% alcohol.
Over a third (37%) of state prisoners who had a mental health problem said they had used drugs at the time of the offense, compared to over a quarter (26%) of state prisoners without a mental problem.

Source: BJS, Mental Health Problems of Prison and Jail Inmates, NCJ 213600, September 2006.

Abused state inmates were more likely than those reporting no abuse to have been using illegal drugs at the time of their offense. This pattern occurred especially among female inmates. Forty-six percent of the abused women committed their current offense under the influence of illegal drugs. Among women who were not abused, 32% committed their offense while on drugs.

Source: BJS, Prior Abuse Reported by Inmates and Probationers, NCJ 172879, April 1999.

A third of the parents in state prison reported committing their current offense while under the influence of drugs. Parents were most likely to report the influence of cocaine-based drugs (16%) and marijuana (15%) while committing their crime. About equal percentages of parents in state prison reported the use of opiates (6%) and stimulates (5%) at the time of their offense, while 2% used depressants or hallucinogens.

Thirty-two percent of mothers in state prison reported committing their crime to get drugs or money for drugs, compared to 19% of fathers.

Source: BJS, Incarcerated Parents and Their Children, NCJ 182335, August 2000.

Jail inmates

Of inmates held in jail, only convicted offenders were asked if they had used drugs at the time of the offense. In 2002, 29% of convicted inmates reported they had used illegal drugs at the time of the offense, down from 35% in 1996.

Marijuana and cocaine or crack were the most common drugs convicted inmates said they had used at the time of the offense --

14% had used marijuana in 2002, down from 18% in 1996.
11% had used cocaine or crack, down from 14% in 1996.

In 2002, jail inmates convicted of robbery (56%), weapons violations (56%), burglary (55%), or motor vehicle theft (55%) were most likely to have reported to be using drugs at the time of the offense.

Source: BJS, Substance Dependence, Abuse, and Treatment of Jail Inmates, 2002, NCJ 209588, July 2005.

According to the Survey of Inmates in Local Jails, 1996, more than half of the jail inmates with an intimate victim had been drinking or using drugs when they committed the violent crime.

Source: BJS, Violence by Intimates, NCJ 167237, March 1998.

Seventy-six percent of jail inmates who had a mental health problem were dependent on or abused alcohol or drugs, compared to 53% of inmates without a mental health problem. This was the highest rate of substance dependence or abuse among all inmates, including state and federal prisoners.
By specific type of substance, jail inmates who had a mental health problem had higher rates of dependence or abuse of drugs than alcohol. An estimated 63% of local jail inmates who had a mental health problem were dependent on or abused drugs, while about 53% were dependent on or abused alcohol. Over a third (34%) of local jail inmates who had a mental health problem said they had used drugs at the time of the offense, compared to a fifth (20%) of jail inmates without a mental problem.

Source: BJS, Mental Health Problems of Prison and Jail Inmates, NCJ 213600, September 2006.

Based on data from the 1996 Survey of Inmates in Local Jails, 29% of veterans and 32% of nonveterans in local jails were under the influence of drugs at the time of offense.

Source: BJS, Veterans in Prison or Jail, NCJ 178888, January 2000.

up arrow To the top
Prior drug use by offenders

Probationers | Jail inmates | and federal prison inmates
Probationers

In 1995 the first national survey of adults on probation reported --

nearly 70% of probationers reported past drug use
32% said they were using illegal drugs in the month before their offense.

Marijuana (10%) was the most commonly used drug among probationers at the time of the offense.

Prior drug use of adults on probation at the time of offense, by type of drugs, 1995
Type of drug Percent of adults on probation who were under the influence of drugs at the time of offense
Any drug 14 %
Marijuana/hashish 10
Cocaine/crack 4
Heroin and other opiates 1
Barbiturates 1
Stimulants 2
Hallucinogens 1

Note: Excludes 11,712 probationers for whom information on drug use was not provided.
Source: BJS, Substance Abuse and Treatment of Adults on Probation, 1995, NCJ 166611, March 1998.

In 1995 adults age 44 years old or younger on probation (87% of all probationers) reported similar levels of prior drug abuse, and their incidence of drug use was consistently higher than that of older probationers. Over 70% of probationers under age 45 reported some prior drug use, compared to 37% of those age 45 or older. Thirty-five percent of probationers under age 45 -- but 9% of older probationers -- reported drug use in the month before their offense.

Source: BJS, Substance Abuse and Treatment of Adults on Probation, 1995, NCJ 166611, March 1998.

Two-thirds of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) offenders on probation reported using drugs in the past. Among DWI probationers, marijuana (65%) and stimulants (29%) were the most commonly used drugs. Seventeen percent of those on probation reported drug use in the month prior to arrest.

Prior drug use reported by probationers
Percent of probationers


Level of prior drug use DWI offenders Other
offenders
Ever used drugs/a 67.9 % 69.9 %
Marijuana/hashish 64.6 67.2
Cocaine/crack 28.1 31.7
Heroin/opiates 5.7 8.8
Depressants/b 14.6 15.6
Stimulants/c 28.5 24.4
Hallucinogens/d 19.9 19.6
Ever used drugs regularly/e 55.6 % 64.2 %
Used drugs in month before arrest 16.6 % 35.7 %
Used drugs at time of arrest 3.3 % 16.1 %

a/Other unspecified drugs are included in the totals.
b/Includes barbiturates, tranquilizers, and Quaaludes.
c/Includes amphetamines and methamphetamines.
d/Includes LSD and PCP.
e/Used drugs at least once a week for at least a month.
Source: BJS, DWI Offenders under Correctional Supervision, NCJ 172212, June 1999.

Among DWI offenders, the most commonly reported experience associated with drug use was domestic disputes:

19% of probationers said they had arguments with their family, friends, spouse, or boyfriend/girlfriend while under the influence of drugs.
About 1 in 10 of those on probation for DWI had been arrested or held in a police station as a result of their drug use.
3% of those on probation had lost a job because of their drug use.
8% of those on probation said they had been in a physical fight while under the influence of drugs.

Source: BJS, DWI Offenders under Correctional Supervision,
NCJ 172212, June 1999.

Nearly 40% of mentally ill probationers and 30% of other probationers reported using drugs in the month before their offense.

Source: BJS, Mental Health and Treatment and Inmates and Probationers, NCJ 174463, July 1999.

Jail inmates

More than two-thirds of local jail inmates (68%) were found to be dependent on drugs or alcohol or abusing them, according to a 2002 survey of men and women held in local jails.

The rate of substance dependence or abuse varied by gender, race, and offense:

44% of men and 52% of women were dependent on drugs or alcohol.
78% of white, 64% of black, and 59% of Hispanic inmates were dependent on drugs or alcohol or abusing them.
Inmates convicted of burglary had the highest rate of substance dependence or abuse (85%), followed by inmates convicted of DWI/DUI (82%), weapons violations (79%), and drug possession (75%).
The lowest rate of substance dependence or abuse was among inmates convicted of sexual assault (50%).

Of those inmates held in local jails, only convicted offenders were asked if they had used drugs in the time leading up to their current offense. In 2002, 55% of convicted jail inmates reported they had used illegal drugs during the month before their offense, unchanged from 1996.

marijuana use in the month before the offense increased from 36% to 37%;
stimulants increased from 10% to 11%; and
cocaine or crack use decreased from 23% to 21%.

A higher percentage of jail inmates in 2002 than in 1996 reported regular drug use (used drugs at least once a week for at least a month).

Source: BJS, Substance Dependence, Abuse, and Treatment of Jail Inmates, 2002, NCJ 209588, July 2005.
Prior drug use of jail inmates, by type of drug, 2002 and 1996
Ever used drugs Ever used drugs regularly/a Used drugs in
the month before
the offense Used drugs
at the time
of the offense
Type of drug 2002 1996 2002
1996
2002 1996 2002 1996
Any drug 82.2 % 82.4 % 68.7 % 64.2 % 54.6 % 54.0 % 28.8 % 34.9 %
Marijuana 75.7 78.2 58.5 54.9 37.5 36.0 13.6 18.0
Cocaine or crack 48.1 50.4 30.9 31.0 20.7 22.8 10.6 14.3
Heroin or opiates 20.7 23.9 12.0 11.8 7.8 7.9 4.1 5.1
Depressants/b 21.6 29.9 10.7 10.4 6.1 5.3 2.4 2.2
Stimulants/c 27.8 33.6 17.1 16.5 11.4 9.6 5.2 5.6
Hallucinogens/d 32.4 32.2 13.4 10.5 5.9 4.2 1.6 1.4
Inhalants 12.7 16.8 4.2 4.8 1.0 0.9 0.2 0.3

a/Includes all inmates with a current conviction or with a prior conviction, but no new conviction for the current charge.
b/Used drugs at least once week for a month.
c/Includes barbiturates, tranquilizers, and Quaaludes.
d/Includes amphetamines and methamphetamines.
e/Includes LSD, Ecstasy, and PCP.
Source: BJS, Substance Dependence, Abuse, and Treatment of Jail Inmates, 2002, NCJ 209588, July 2005.

Over three-quarters of DWI offenders in jail reported using drugs in the past. Among jail inmates held for DWI, marijuana (73%) and cocaine-based drugs including crack (41%) were the most commonly used drugs. Thirty percent of those in jail reported drug use in the month prior to arrest.

Domestic disputes were also one of the most commonly reported experiences associated with drug use:

25% of jail inmates said they had arguments with their family, friends, spouse, or boyfriend/girlfriend while under the influence of drugs.
Nearly 1 in 5 of those in jail for DWI had been arrested or held in a police station as a result of their drug use.
About 10% of DWI offenders in jail had lost a job because of their drug use.
About 15% of jail inmates said they had been in a physical fight while under the influence of drugs.

Source: BJS, DWI Offenders under Correctional Supervision,
NCJ 172212, June 1999.

In the month before the offense, 82% of jail inmates who had a mental health problem, compared to 70% of those without, had used alcohol or drugs. By specific type of substance, jail inmates who had a mental health problem had higher rates of alcohol use in the month before the offense than drug use. Among local jail inmates who had a mental health problem, 81% reported alcohol use in the month before the offense and 62% drug use.

Inmates who had a mental health problem had higher rates of drug use in the month before the offense, compared to those without a mental problem. More than 6 in 10 jail inmates with a mental problem had used drugs in the month before the offense, compared to slightly more than 4 in 10 inmates without a mental problem. Marijuana was the most common drug inmates said they had used in the month before the offense.

Among jail inmates who had a mental health problem, in the month before the offense:

more than two-fifths (43%) had used marijuana or hashish.
a quarter (24%) had used cocaine or crack.
an eighth (12%) had used methamphetamines.

Source: BJS, Mental Health Problems of Prison and Jail Inmates, NCJ 213600, September 2006.

In local jails, veterans (81%) reported levels of prior drug use similar to nonveterans (83%), but lower levels (44%) of drug use in the month prior to the offense than nonveterans (50%) in 1997.

Source: BJS, Veterans in Prison or Jail, NCJ 178888, January 2000.

State and Federal prison inmates

In 1991, 60% of federal prisoners reported prior drug use, compared to 79% of state prisoners. In 1997 this gap in prior drug use was narrowed, as the percentage of federal inmates reporting past drug use rose to 73%, compared to 83% of state inmates. By 2004 this gap was almost closed, as state prisoner reports of lifetime drug use stayed at 83%, while federal inmates rose to 79%. This increase was mostly due to a rise in the percentage of federal prisoners reporting prior use of marijuana (from 53% in 1991 to 71% in 2004), cocaine/crack (from 37% in 1991 to 44% in 2004), and hallucinogens (from 15% in 1991 to 26% in 2004).

The proportion of state prison inmates reporting the past use of cocaine or crack declined slightly between 1997 (49%) and 2004 (47%). Marijuana use (78%) remained stable since 1997 (77%), and remained the most commonly used drug. Past use of opiates, including heroin (23%) remained almost unchanged since 1997 (24%). Past use of methamphetamine rose from 19% in 1997 to 23% in 2004.

Although the proportion of federal prisoners held for drug offenses dropped from 63% in 1997 to 55% in 2004, the percentage of all federal inmates who reported using drugs in the month before the offense rose from 45% to 50%.
Drug use by state prisoners, 1997 and 2004
Percent of inmates who had ever used drugs

Type of drug 2004 1997
Any drug 83 % 83 %
Marijuana 78 77
Cocaine/crack 47 49
Heroin/opiates 23 24
Depressants 21 24
Stimulants 29 28
Hallucinogens 33 29

Source: BJS, Drug Use and Dependence, State and Federal Prisoners, 2004, NCJ 213530, October 2006.

Nineteen percent of state inmates told interviewers that they had been physically or sexually abused before their current offense. For state prisoners reporting prior abuse, 89% had ever used illegal drugs: 76% of the men and 80% of the women had used them regularly. Of those not reporting prior abuse, 82% had used illegal drugs: 68% of the men and 65% of the women had used them regularly.

Illegal drug use was more common among abused state prison inmates than among those who said they were not abused. An estimated 76% of abused men and 80% of abused women had used illegal drugs regularly, compared to 68% of men and 65% of women who had not been abused.
Current and past violent offenses and past drug use, by whether abused before admission to state prison, 1997
Percent of state prison inmates
Offense history
and drug use
Reported being abused Reported being not abused
Total Males Females Total Males Females
Current or past violent offense 70.4 % 76.5 % 45.0 % 60.2 % 61.2 % 29.1 %

Used an illegal drug
Ever 88.6 % 88.5 % 88.9 % 81.8 % 81.9 % 77.4 %
Ever regularly 76.3 75.5 79.7 67.9 67.9 65.0
In month before offense 61.4 59.7 68.6 55.3 55.3 54.0
At time of offense 39.6 38.0 46.2 30.7 30.7 32.0

Source: BJS, Prior Abuse Reported by Inmates and
Probationers, NCJ 172879, April 1999.

About 8 in 10 state prisoners who had a mental health problem said they had used alcohol or drugs in the month before the offense, compared to 7 in 10 without a mental problem. State prisoners who had a mental health problem had similar rates of drug (63%) or alcohol (62%) use in the month before the offense.
State prisoners who had a mental health problem (62%) had a higher rate of drug use in the month offense compared to those without a mental health problem (49%). Marijuana was the most common drug inmates said they had used in the month before the offense.

Among state prisoners who had a mental health problem, in the month before the offense:

46% had used marijuana or hashish.
24% had used cocaine or crack.
13% had used methamphetamines.

Source: BJS, Mental Health Problems of Prison and Jail Inmates, NCJ 213600, September 2006.

In 1997 a majority of parents in state prison reported some type of prior drug use --

85% reported any past drug use
58% reported use in the month before the current offense.

Nonparents in state prison reported slightly lower levels of prior drug use --

80% reported any past drug use
55% reported use in the month before the current offense.

Percent of parents in state prison who used drugs in the month before the current offense, 1997

Marijuana 39 %
Cocaine/crack 27
Heroin/opiates 10
Stimulates 9
Depressants 5
Hallucinogens 3
Inhalants 1

In 1997 mothers in state prison were more likely than fathers to report drug use in the month before their offense: 65% for mothers and 58% for fathers. Cocaine/crack was the most common drug used: 45% for mothers and 26% for fathers.

Nearly half of parents in federal prison reported using drugs in the month before their offense and 3 in 4 had ever used drugs. Nearly a quarter of parents in federal prison were under the influence of drugs when committing their offense. Aside from marijuana use (higher among fathers), mothers and fathers in federal prison reported similar drug use histories.

Source: BJS, Incarcerated Parents and Their Children, NCJ 182335, August 2000.

79% of veterans in state prison reported prior drug use during their military service.

Prior drug use of veterans in state prison, 1997

Percent of veterans who reported prior drug use

Drug use Combat Noncombat
Any prior drug use 69 % 82 %
In the month before 30 49
Prior use of intravenous drugs 23 25

Vietnam-era veterans drug use histories varied little from Post-Cold War-era veterans in state prison --

Equal percentages of Vietnam-era and Post-Cold War-era (72%) veterans reported prior drug use.
37% of Vietnam-era veterans and 44% of Post-Cold War-era used drugs in the month before the offense.
21% of Vietnam-era veterans and 20% of Post-Cold War-era veterans used drugs at the time their offense.

Source: BJS, Veterans in State and Federal Prison, NCJ 217199, May 2004.


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Robert B. (57)
Friday December 28, 2012, 8:18 pm
Diane O., You really believe that there are CEOs that don't break the law!!!!!!! Are you kidding?!!!!! And IF you don't think conservatives smoke pot or worse, then I have a very nice bridge to sell you. The whole point of this thread is that some sentencing guidelines are either OUTDATED or FLAWED and must be revised and past sentences must be adjusted. Lawmakers ARE NOT PERFECT.
 

JL A. (274)
Friday December 28, 2012, 8:43 pm
Good points Robert--so many fines are so small that CEOs and other executive staff call them "part of the cost of doing business" as the routinely intentionally violate the relevant laws designed to protect the rest of us.
 

Jelica R. (157)
Friday December 28, 2012, 9:28 pm
CEOs think that, if not caught, you didn't break the law.

Laws are passed to regulate the relationship between people and are based on moral values of a given society. The penalty for violating the law reflects a "just and fair" compensation for the damage caused to individuals and the community, reflecting the morals of a society (thus, the penalty for the same offense can vary from state to state). Therefore, the judge, in pronouncing sentence declares it to be "in the name of the people," expressing penalty which equal "peers" find to be appropriate.

Laws that do not reflect the values of a particular society either can not be implemented, or penalize too much members of that same society that strive to be protected from dangerous actions of individuals. In this way, something that is common in the society, legislators arbitrarily proclaim to be a social deviation.

We all know that justice and law are not synonymous. However, when the law says that normal (standard) behaviour is deviant (marginal), especially in the case of non-violent offenses that does not endanger anybody, except maybe the offender, this ceases to be law enforcement or the pursuit of justice. This is a travesty.
 

JL A. (274)
Friday December 28, 2012, 9:34 pm
To return to the core issue and provide some additional context, most have been calling the current SCOTUS the most conservative ever. In their last session, their ruling related to juveniles receiving sentences without the possibility of parole---they stated something to the effect that such a sentence is intended to be limited to the most heinous crimes and ones from which no rehabilitation (or for Christians, no possibility of redemption) can be possible...how do either of these concepts appropriately apply to the five cases in this article?
 

Marie W. (64)
Friday December 28, 2012, 10:58 pm
And animal abusers run free?!?!
 

Diane O. (149)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 2:52 am
Robert, if there are CEO's who break the law then why aren't they being charged with a crime? There are criminal minds in every nook and cranny in our society. Just because you don't approve of how money is appropriated or misappropriated doesn't mean that a crime has been comitted.

Fifteen years ago when these people were charged with breaking the law that was the law on the books. It is still on the books. Until they are changed they cannot be dismissed because someone no longer likes the law applied to these risk takers.
 

Heidi B. (0)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 4:22 am
Has the world & its Judges lost ALL sense of common sense and decency?
These people should be in the community serving Community Service Orders for 'non-violent, marijuana-related crimes', NOT a Sentence of Death!!!
 

Barbara K. (87)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 5:28 am
It is amazing that the Tbaggers think that it is okay for CEOs and bankers to destroy people's lives with false foreclosures that make the people homeless and steal their homes and destroy their lives. Some banks have already been charged by the New York Attorney General and are still investigating more. Of course the Tbagging news reporters don't tell much about it in the news. They are too busy keeping their watchers and fans stupid. This story, however, is about old men in jail for non-violent crimes. They are in ill health and there is no reason to keep them there. No one was hurt by their actions, unlike what happened with the CEOs theft of Millions of dollars and calling it bonuses. That money should be going to the stockholders. It's time for stockholders to dump their stock or set the CEOs straight. They also don't deserve to walk away with Millions of dollars for crashing their banks, or walking away with Billions and filing bankruptcy for their companies. If they have that much money for themselves, the companies are not bankrupt and the workers and taxpayers should not be left holding the bag while the CEOs live in their Ivory Towers.
 

Jennifer C. (172)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 5:35 am
Thanks.
 

Diane O. (149)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 6:54 am
Barbara, subprime mortgages crashed the banking and the brokerage businesses. The subprime mortgage debacle started with democratic president Jimmy Carter and was enhanced by democratic president Bill Clinton. It morphed into the banks relaxing their lending practices to give people mortgages who really didn't qualify for them under the old standards. Those old standards worked. Bank of America got into the lending business in a big way and then bought Countrywide and that was their demise.

We never should've bailed out one company. IMO that was a huge mistake. Those companies should've gone bankrupt, merged with another company, etc and the taxpayers should not have been involved.

The taxpayers are always left holding the bag when a democrat is in office. Democrats Barney Frank and Chris Dodd stood boldly before the congress in early 2006 and stated that our economy was "fine"...imagine that....and didn't vote to pass John McCain's GSH Reform bill presented in late 2005....a bill that knew that Fannie and Freddie were way out of control and heading for a crisis. This bill was to immediately regulate Fannie and Freddie but, unfortuantely, the advice from the all democratic congress was dead wrong.
 

JL A. (274)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 7:53 am
The illegal foreclosures by banks has nothing to do with presidents--these foreclosures are often on people that were eligible for nonsubprime and even had mortgages that weren't subprime.
I guess respect for the law is not an expectation certain persons hold for corporations or those who work in them unlike what was stated before (sounds as if they are excused from complying with the law somehow).

Mergers to eliminate competition even further was and is not in consumer nor country's best interests--makes them even bigger and more harm if they fail (a way to make all pay, not just taxpayers). When the government is paid back (like has occurred with interest)--the taxpayers are actually better off.

Skewed selection of facts with conclusions beyond what the facts support is rarely helpful--and the above comment HAS NOTHING to do with the topic and article of this thread which is about justice denied.
 

Barbara K. (87)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 7:54 am
Subprime mortgages were Bush's doing. I really don't care about your opinion. I am intelligent enough to know what is happening and to see that you are a Koch paid shill. I've been watching politics much longer than you. The Democrats are the only ones who don't put the country into recession, but it happens every time rethug is there. The Dems have been cleaning up after them for decades. You are so busy paroting what you are told to say and given your talking points that you make no sense yourself. So just bug off.
 

Barbara K. (87)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 7:55 am
Oops, my response was for Diane O; not to you JL. lol. Glad to see your comment too.
 

Freya H. (300)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 8:05 am
Inexcusable and unforgivable! If there are any petitions out there calling for their pardon and release, I will sign them and pass them along. Or do I need to make one?
 

Dandelion G. (374)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 8:08 am
I see the Heartless One is here. I would think that with your concern over wasting tax monies that keeping non violent offenders in prison for so many years would be a concern for you. That letting them out finally would be a tax savings, therefore a good thing. Perhaps at their ages and health at the very least finish their sentence with some ankle monitoring; at a cost savings to the public as they would pose little problem to the community at large. Although I'd rather they have time served and be done with it at this point.

Yes, they broke the law, but as they say, unjust laws are to be broken. We have a symbol of a woman standing with the scales in her hand, to balance the crime and the punishment so that the scales balance. When you have somone charged with marijuana receiving the same sentence or more than some murderers get, I'd say the scale is out of balance.

I don't use marijuana but I think that the laws set up around this issue have caused more problems than it was suppose to help. It was overkill and politically motivated from the very beginning and too many have had their lives destroyed over it while we should be using our resources and time to take care of the truly criminal cases.

Is the trouble with so many can't use their common sense, but our Heartless One tends to Walk in step to what ever is dictated to her. You would of made a fine SS storm trooper, just following orders without question. Oh I know I'm in the clouds and all that. Don't worry, I'm sure you have some little come back for me, you always do.

I will agree however with most of your statement of Dec. 29 at 6:54; however the Republicans are far from having clean hands in all of this. Is the problem with what is happening, the Republicans keep pointing their fingers at the Democrats and the Democrats at the Republicans when both have made the messes we are now all living under.

Perhaps one Party did more in one direction than the other, or one party went along with the other and got caught holding the bag at the end, if you don't know the history leading up to it who started things, the one holding the hot potato is the one held accountable. Another Party may have passed one stupid policy but the other Party has had their share of stupid policies as well.

We are never going to get out from under this if the we all can't use more common sense and find some common ground in which to work upon. There has never been more rift in this Country since back during the Civil War and I do suggest that people stop supporting extremist policies and laws, such as what these men were caught under. Is the trouble, too many talk about freedom and individual rights and then will support and even condone laws that do the exact opposite, like what happened to these men.
 

JL A. (274)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 8:18 am
Excellent observations Dandelion--perhaps the biggest problem is those who point fingers and never have anything resembling a viable solution (e.g., just a rehash of what made things worse instead of helping). Freya--it can't hurt to create a petition even if there is already one out there.
 

Diane O. (149)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 8:42 am
Barbara, you haven't done your homework, dear. George W. Bush didn't have anything to do with subprime mortgages. Nada nil zero. It just happened to fall on his watch and President Obama was the recipient of that horrible American debacle. I shouldn't say American debacle because the subprime lending was actually global. Do more research and when you do, start with googling information about Jimmy Carter's affirmative action reach while he was president and how he leaned on the banks to "relax" their normal lending practices, in other words change the rules, so that minorities could own a home. Next, google Bill Clinton and his pressure on the banks to lower their lending practices. It started in 1977 with the Community Reinvestment Act. In 1995 Bill Clinton loosened the lending practices by rewriting the Community Reinvestment Act. In 1996 Bill Clinton was faced with an all republican congress.

All of this fell on George W. Bush's watch and it destroyed our economy. GWB didn't have his pinky finger on the subprime mortgages.
 

Diane O. (149)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 8:44 am
correction: all republican congress came in 1995.
 

Diane O. (149)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 8:54 am
JLA, illegal foreclosures? Has anyone been officially charged for illegal foreclosures? If so, I've missed that in the news.

And, further to this thread topic, laws are in place to prosecute those who break the law. The five people honored here knew they were breaking the law and they did it anyway. Drugs are illegal in our country with the exception of Washington and Colorado. We've got 48 more states to buy into this and so far there isn't any activity moving towards this with the exception of California. My guess, based on the history of California, they will vote to legalize drugs in their state and at the same time get guns out of their state. Meanwhile, due to extremely poor leadership in that state, they'll continue to fall into the deep dark hole of spending more money than they bring in, continue to raise taxes and continue to count the number of people leaving California taking their businesses with them. So, what will be the outcome of this fiasco? It doesn't take a Harvard education to understand where that will leave California.
 

Barbara K. (87)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 9:18 am
They are in the process of being investigated and some have already been charged. They are going thru Congressional hearings for several months now. Guess you need to turn the channel. There are 800 lawyers working on them, and the last I knew, the AG is looking for more lawyers. But this has nothing to do with the topic at hand, so I will stick with that. These old men are spending more time in prison than some murderers and are unlikely to be a danger to anyone. Why keep supporting the Private Prison System with our tax dollars to keep old men in prison for simple crimes that didn't harm anyone? Vengeance is no excuse.
 

lee e. (114)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 9:55 am
Oh my - Diane the heartless wench is here again - I've missed your ideological rants - "deear"!
I love to smoke when I can - and will continue to do so - it helps with my ailments - and yes these people may have committed a "crme" - and while I find JLA's research abundantly fascinating - I can't believe that marijuana use alone could possibly be responsible for violent behavior - crack, and alcohol - of course - but I've never witnessed any violence from a pot-head - just weight gain frm the "muchies" and a tendency to "slow down"! Dandelion's "scale" analogy is brilliiant and one I concur with - I would gladly sign a petition - and hope that the President might grant pardons!
As for the prison system and its' being over-crowded - I tend to believe there's a greed-motive associated with this and also while there is over-crowding, there's also a great profit to be made in privatized penal colonies in the US!
Thanks for this story!
 

Arielle S. (314)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 10:05 am
Dear Heartless Wench - yes, they broke the law and they were punished - the point is that they were punished UNFAIRLY. It is truly stupid to keep someone in prison that long for smoking pot. And btw, there have been and are investigations ongoing in illegal foreclosures - a crime that has caused all kinds of heartbreak devastation, pain, grief and sorrow - but what will happen, if anything? Banks will pay a fine...whoopee.
 

Craig Pittman (44)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 10:58 am
Diane if the logic holds that the law is the law and sentences are carved in stone then people like Nelson Mandela would still be in prison. There would be no civil disobedience, women would not now have the vote and there would still be segregation. Laws were broken to achieve these advances. Laws were broken in the cases being discussed here but the sentences were disproportionate to the crimes committed. That is why were are advocating they be changed.
 

Jim Phillips (3215)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 11:20 am
For the "Heartless Wonder". She can't be too heartless as she does show lots of "empathy" for her much beloved CEO's. Obviously, she has very little to no compassion for her fellow human beings, people who are old, infirm and sentenced under and to unjust laws as indicated in the story. They should be released.

Off topic as follows.

I put the blame the beginning of the many of today's financial problems squarely on this man:

Phil Gramm

"As Chairman of the Banking Committee, Senator Gramm steered through legislation modernizing the nation's banking, insurance and securities laws."

"As chairman of the Senate Banking Committee from 1995 through 2000, Gramm was Washington's most prominent and outspoken champion of financial deregulation. He played a leading role in writing and pushing through Congress the 1999 repeal of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial banks from Wall Street. He also inserted a key provision into the 2000 Commodity Futures Modernization Act that exempted over-the-counter derivatives like credit-default swaps from regulation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Credit-default swaps took down AIG, which has cost the U.S. $150 billion thus far."

"Between 1999 and 2001, Gramm was the chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. During that time he spearheaded efforts to pass banking deregulation laws, including the landmark Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999, which removed Depression-era laws separating banking, insurance and brokerage activities," including "the helping to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act."

"On Capitol Hill, he was the most effective proponent of deregulation in a generation, by dint of his expertise (a Ph.D in economics), free-market ideology, perch on the Senate banking committee and force of personality (a writer in Texas once called him “a snapping turtle”). And in one remarkable stretch from 1999 to 2001, he pushed laws and promoted policies that he says unshackled businesses from needless restraints but his critics charge significantly contributed to the financial crisis that has rattled the nation."

"He (Gramm) led the effort to block measures curtailing deceptive or predatory lending, which was just beginning to result in a jump in home foreclosures that would undermine the financial markets."

Backed by Sources as follows:

http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/g/phil_gramm/index.html

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1877351_1877350_1877330,00.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/26/phil-gramm-glass-steagall-financial-crisis_n_1705610.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Gramm

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=safari&tbo=d&rls=en&q=senator+phil+gramm+deregulation&revid=1155341342&sa=X&ei=VS_fUKnML8q80AHCjoDACw&ved=0CIYBENUCKAE

Ty, Kit
.
 

Dandelion G. (374)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 11:23 am
Victims of illegal foreclosures to get small settlement checks
Illegal foreclosures Widespread Across USA Experts Say
Law Firm website that is talking only about illegal foreclosure as there as so many they are pointing people to them
Five Major Banks in Massachusttes Being Sued for Illegal Foreclosures
And that is just the tip of the iceberg and finding information very quickly. So yes, I guess you missed a lot of news as it's been all over the internet, the radio, newspapers, TV, of the robo signings and people being illegally taken out of their homes due to these illegal foreclosures. One case they even had the man removed and he had a paid off loan. So watch out Diane you might be next. Good people being taken advantage of by these banksters and the other Corporate swindlers.

Gee California seems like they are trying to do some correct things, they are, as you said "they will vote to legalize drugs in their state and at the same time get guns out of their state". Sounds like a good plan to me, will be less chance of getting shot and as Lee said, he has never witnessed any violence from a pot head and Lee is living in a major city. Oh and California is passing significant protection laws to protect homeowners in future on the illegal foreclosures that you never heard of, again, go California.
California passes significant protections against illegal foreclosure
 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 12:10 pm

We joked here on Care2 about "low information" voters, now we see clearly that the low information status goes far beyond their lack of knowledge of candidates. Understanding the facts of Marijuana has brought many once "harsh" judges (republican) into the forefront of leading the movement to reform and decriminalize Marijuana use. The only people that should ever be condemned to a life in prison are those who are violent offenders. At no time does this article or anyone state that in some states that the use, or sale of Marijuana is not illegal, but again the point is lost for those who lack an understanding of the law and who have no empathy for others.

So yes, "Heartless One" it is illegal, but so is plagiarism, and we all see how often you steal others comments from web-sites and pretend they are your own words. Do you deserve a life in prison for that offense?
 

Christeen Anderson (465)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 12:18 pm
My advice would have been to wait until it becomes legal. Do the crime-serve the time.
 

Barbara K. (87)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 12:18 pm
Jim Phillips, yes, I remember when all that was happening. Never could stand Phil Gramm, of Texas of course.
Dandelion: Thanks for putting up the info that I was referring to earlier. Illegal foreclosures were done to millions of people.
Kit: Year are absolutely correct. One of the big dangers in this country is the Low information Voters. They just bury their heads and listen to the lies spewed as if they were truth. Too lazy to find out the truth, and not know the truth if it slapped them on the head.

I fully agree with all 3 of you. Bravo!
 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 12:26 pm

In many cases that would be true, Christeen. When one commits a heinous crime against society, that should be punished any crime should be punished appropriately not used as a form of threat against the public at large.
These people have not harmed others, there is no excuse, no justification for life in prison for a misdemeanor.
 

Diane O. (149)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 1:51 pm
Robert, you may think that I am "rigid" but I believe in obeying the law. I'm a realist to my core. A woman cannot be "just a little bit pregnant." She is pregnant or not. In this case, they didn't just break the law a little bit they knowingly sold, distributed or whatever it was they did and broke the law which makes them risk takers who knew the consequences of their behavior.

If you don't like the sentencing guidelines used by our judges then you need to do something about it. You can comment all you want but you aren't getting anywhere here. Start one of your petitions and/or become proactive on a national level and stop complaining. Meanwhile, we have 5 people in the prison system who you folks want to wave a magic wand over and dub them as "sorry for their actions and can they leave now?"

Barbara, I whole heartedly agree that we have a serious, a very serious, problem with low information voters. That is exactly how Obama got elected in 2008 and 2012.
 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 2:05 pm

Actually - you [Diane] are the classic example of the "low information" voter. You have a tendency to react from only a personal perspective with the inability or inclination to consider that your views may be poorly or ill informed. This is just one of hundreds of issues where you demonstrate your lack of empathy coupled with a gross lack of knowledge.

Obama was duly and legally elected by a majority of the citizens, that you don't like that is of no consequence. Had Romney been elected than many of us would not be happy, but we would have accepted the unhappy results and moved on with our lives, something you are unable to do.
 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 2:09 pm

Diane - you seem to have missed this posted above, it was meant for you and those of your ilk.

Cyber Harassment Law & Legal Definition

Cyber harassment refers to online harassment. Cyber harassment or bullying is the use of email, instant messaging, and derogatory websites to bully or otherwise harass an individual or group through personal attacks. Cyber harassment can be in the form of flames, comments made in chat rooms, sending of offensive or cruel e-mail, or even harassing others by posting on blogs or social networking sites. Cyber harassment is often difficult to track as the person responsible for the acts of cyber harassment remains anonymous while threatening others online. This usually applies to school-age children.

 

Natalie V. (27)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 2:20 pm
noted
 

Diane O. (149)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 2:36 pm
I don't harrass anyone. I also know that when I decided to express my personal opinions on a public forum that not everyone would agree me. That makes me an adult. You don't see me whining and complaining publicly about it do you? I don't call people names and I state exactly how I feel about an issue. If you don't like what I say then you can scroll on by and not comment.

It's the fact that I challenge your opinions that rubs you the wrong way. I've been challenged for years over my opinions and I love it. I can learn something new every day.

So, chill, Kit, and make yourself a cup of hot tea.


 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 2:41 pm

Wrong. You harass and attempt to mock each person that disagrees with your ill formed opinions. You offer nothing of substance but have an attitude that only you are correct on any given topic. You are not.

Many people challenge my thoughts or opinions, you have yet to offer a challenge as that implies an intellectual capacity that you have not shown. Though to be fair, you do give the insight of the typical ill-informed yet self righteous republican.
 

Barbara K. (87)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 2:48 pm
Bravo, Kit!
 

Diane O. (149)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 3:09 pm
Well, Kit, are you now harrassing me? LOL!

You are welcome to your personal opinion of me. The problem from where I sit is that you have difficulty when people don't agree with you. I don't have a problem when people disagree with me because I value freedom of speech. I am also confident that my opinions are well researched and when someone disagrees with me I don't lose any sleep over it. We are a divided country. This is to be expected.

How do YOU feel about freedom of speech?

I don't agree with your opinions on global warming and your socialist mentality. We come from two very different sides of the political aisle. You are a staunch group hug democrat and were more than likely a hippie in the 60's and I'm a personal responsibility republican who kept her bra on in the 60's and 70's.

Obama only won by 51% so there you go!! 49% of us didn't agree with Obama. And 49% of us aren't going to agree with your line of thinking. I'm not alone, Kit. And neither are you.

And to be fair to you,and I can't resist saying this, you do give the insight of the typical ill-informed self righteous democrat.

Fair? So, let's stop making this personal and continue to share our opinions about these topics because there is NOT ONE of us here who is an expect on anything.
 

Diane O. (149)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 3:47 pm
typo: "who is an expert on anything."
 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 4:14 pm

Any fool knows that the "bra thing" is an urban legend. I guess what you are saying is that you spent your life being a grouchy old lady. Too bad, many of us prefer to enjoy life and not spend our time making others dislike us. Of course, your are wrong again - nothing surprising there. One example is a woman on Care2 that spends her time deep in biological research, I think she qualifies as an expert. As for climate change, many can be well informed without being an expert, of course that applies to many things. So far, you have shown no signs of bothering to be informed beyond what Faux news may offer.

As for the percentage results of the election - you are no Nate Silver.

Freedom of speech - a phrase used most often on Care2 by those who wish to justify their own inability to have a reasonable and respectful dialogue with others.
 

Diane O. (149)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 4:24 pm
Thank you for letting us know how important you are, Kit. How else would we know if you didn't tell us?

The bras were being burned in public. It happened.

So, tell me, what were the results of the election? Was it a close race or was it a landslide victory? Tell me. I never mind learning something new every day.
 

Diane O. (149)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 4:28 pm
I don't know about others here on Care 2, but I would like to read your published and documented research. Since you are passionate about global warming and an expert, I would feel honored to read about it. That would make an excellent thread than many of us would enjoy. You might be able to convert me.

 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 4:31 pm

You are welcome. Like I said an urban myth:

http://www.snopes.com/history/american/burnbra.asp

But like any FACT check that is left for you - I have my doubts that you will use and read the link.
 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 4:36 pm

I have left you many links on many different subjects, you have yet to read and learn from any one of them. You asked on the other site about weather patterns I tried to not burden you with too much and gave you 3 solid science links. So attempts at sarcasm aside, first learn the facts or leave the topic to those who have.

I'm sorry you don't have a computer or you too like the rest of us could look up the actual final results of the election. Romney did however, get his 47% - mostly white males and foolish white females.
 

Diane O. (149)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 4:51 pm
You sound very bitter, Kit.

I read the links you provided. I already knew the final results of the election. 47% was the final number which presses my point that Obama didn't win by a landslide. Divided country. Still. Foolish white females? Does that mean that black males and foolish black females voted for Obama? That sounds racist to me. Does it to you?

Why do you think our country is divided on the global warming theory? Do you think that the majority of Americans believe it is real or a myth? And, one last question...why don't all Americans buy into the global warming theory? If it has been proven beyond a doubt then why aren't we all on the same page with this?
 

Carrie B. (300)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 5:03 pm
Oh my, why am I not surprised to see the self righteous, condescending Diane here talking about being so pure and good, while also advocating turning the poor, elderly, and ill out on the streets in many of her comments on many other threads.

Diane, you break the law every day in your own elitist way of being "on the edge" of being legal - like your hero Mitt Romney. Ah yes, why not show and explain all those tax returns and off shore holdings?

Learning something new everyday is something Diane is not capable of doing or willing to do because it would interfere with her own self serving personal agenda. Saying those who broke the rigid and unwarranted laws about pot just doesn't fit into that agenda. Better to let the elderly rot in jail than look at the big picture and accept a wrong and then attempt to right it.
 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 5:11 pm

What happened to bra burning? Just can not admit that you were wrong or spoke out of turn?

No, I think as in any election people vote for what they perceive is their own best interest. For others it's a vote for something larger than themselves. Our country is not really divided on the global warming issue, nor is there an active debate, the studies are complete the science has been reviewed by peer journals and is accepted by the science community. That some are slow in understanding is largely due to both a lack of understanding about science and often the lack of the impetus to investigate, independent of what is said by the dying voice of the deniers.

Many on Care2 are liberal or democrat and I have yet to see one post that this election was a landslide.

The voice of the crazed candidates that spoke loudly to the issue of rape was enough to say that any woman supportive of that party and further the party platform is enough to call those women foolish.

I don't think in terms of race, I'll leave that one to you. The statement about the number of white men and women who voted for Romney is just a fact. The Goats Of Past are not understanding the change in reality about America, that too is just a fact.
 

Aaron Bouchard (121)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 5:22 pm
Noted
 

jan b. (3)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 5:26 pm
There is nothing fair about our court-system. Everyone should absolutely dread being accused of doing wrong. I think this beats every other thing I've ever read about. It's sad that some people served life sentences before DNA freed them......our system is not even close to being perfect. Our judges have human frailities and do the jurors .
 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 5:32 pm

Very true Janice. The system is not fair and often neither are the laws. I remember reading while the Travon Martin situation was being discussed. A woman in Florida was so fearful of her ex-husband she finally bought a gun. Her worst fears were realized and she brandished the gun to scare her husband, she is serving 22 years in prison for brandishing a gun, had she killed him the law would have been on her side. That is deeply wrong and very disturbing.
 

Marg W. (61)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 5:47 pm
Read the sociopath next door by Martha Stout! You will find a few of the posting on care2. You will recognize them! They have no conscience and no heart!
 

Sharon H. (289)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 6:11 pm
Diane's gone back to her little group to be pet and stroked and told how wonderful she is and how awful we all are for picking on someone as wonderful and smart as she. She's a legend in her own mind and lives on the pedestal she has placed herself on. Oh, and notice how perfect she thinks she is...SHE would NEVER break the law...Anyone, given the right circumstance could break a law. She's never had to steal a loaf of bread to feed a hungry kid but would be the first one here condemning someone for it because 'it's against the law and they should have known better.' There's no compassion in her ice cold heart...you almost have to feel sorry for he.....almost.
 

Dotti Lydon (116)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 6:15 pm
First of all, Kit, thank you for the excellent article. This is now directed to the Heartless One from an ex-California gal. I know how you feel about California as you have posted so many times about California and you have probably never been there. Yeah, we sit around all day smoking pot. I am gathering from your posts that you have never, ever in you life broken the law?? No jaywalking, etc??. Hard to believe, oh ye perfect one. Have I smoked pot? You betcha. It is now legal in WA state. I have dealt with mean drunks, but never a mean pot smoker. So, Heartless One, put that in your pipe and smoke it.
 

Kathleen B. (37)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 6:35 pm
To those who say "the law is the law" and if you do the 'crime' do the time; I say, have you no sense of mercy? Does anyone think this is fair?
The only reason it isn't decriminalized is because it puts too much money in the hands of: corrupt police, attorneys, judges, wardens, prison guards, probation officers, parole officers, drug rehab programs, CIA gun runners, paid informants, doctors, magistrates, city,state & fed officials all are supported by keeping marijuana illegal.

My dear Dotti, don't let those who think they're perfect ever disturb your peace of mind, their heads are obviously empty, besides lacking compassion and empathy. I agree with you Dotti, I'll socialize with those who smoke herb before you could pay me to spend time with a sloppy drunk. Each to his own, but alcohol is avoided like the plague in my family due to stumblebum ancestors.
 

JL A. (274)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 6:38 pm
There was a major class action multi-billion dollar settlement for illegal foreclosures (robo signing, etc. foreclosing on homes they didn't even have mortgages on, etc.)--however the banks are allegedly violating the settlement agreements by not negotiating with individuals but only with those they sold paper to...the AGs of states responsible for monitoring the banks' compliance are preparing new charges which may include criminal charges against the bank officials involved this time --any one who has done their research or even homework would know all about this.
I am proud of CA and Kamala Harris (CA's AG) who didn't trust the banks with the multi-state agreement.
 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 6:41 pm

I can not imagine anyone being rude to Dotti she is one of the sweetest people on Care2. I agree drunks are obnoxious people to be around, those high on Pot are mellow and more interested in a nap than a fight.

Yes, J L that has been in the news and posted many times on Care2, it doesn't take much work to dig out the facts.
 

JL A. (274)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 7:47 pm
Thanks Kit--sometimes low information seemingly is because people do not believe rules and laws apply to them and so they ignore the facts staring them in the face. You correctly pointed out factual errors, which is different from the other person calling people names and other forms of harassment. C2 is based in CA, which has even stronger laws that the statute I provided that you added to this thread.

And, to return to the travesties of injustice you began this thread about--additional evidence of imperfections of the justice system:

Innocence Network Exonerates 22 in 2012

Innocence Network ReportA report released by the Innocence Network documents 22 people exonerated by Innocence Network member organizations for crimes they didn’t commit in the past year. Several of them served over a quarter century in prison before being exonerated. Misidentification continues to be the leading cause of the wrongful convictions overturned, but this year also saw false confessions, faulty forensics and police and prosecutorial misconduct as contributing factors.

The 22 people profiled in this year’s report served more than 279 combined years, including 20 years one man spent confined to a mental hospital, before they were finally freed. Each case represents countless hours and sometimes years of ardent advocacy by attorneys, paralegals, investigators and students that comprise the Innocence Network.
 

Janet W-c (0)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 7:53 pm
I think if what they did was an illegal action then they need to serve their time, but to make this unpardonable is crazy. They even let murderers out on pardons! Something's wrong somewhere.
 

Barbara K. (87)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 7:54 pm
I don't believe I had run across anyone so rude and snotty and arrogant as Her Royal Lowness, D.O. For the record and to inform that lowly one, Obama officially won the election with 53% of the vote, that makes 47% for Romney. It was all over the news (probably not on FAKE NOOZ - that is why they are so ignorant); about how ironic it was that Romney lost with 47%, of the vote, the same number he condemned. He has been charged with a crime and may end up in jail. I bet she didn't know that either. Actually only knows the talking points she is fed, I see. When the Auto "Bailout" was done, Romney hurriedly bought up the Delphi Companies all over the country (they were the only ones who made the steering wheels for GM), then he took Auto Bailout money on them to the tune of $15 Million, then fired all the workers and sent all the jobs to China. I would love to see that loathsome freak in jail. He will probably buy his way out, but I don't think he will be successful. He had no right to that money. He is a bloodsucking thief, always has been. I am a Michigan resident, he was born here. He and his followers are a bunch of heartless zombies. I am so glad I'm not one of "them". Christian in name only. He was served the papers just a few days before the election, out of Ohio. The state that he screwed the most, and actually thought he would win. LOL! Well, I'm glad that Anonymous checked the voting machines in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida (should have done Michigan too) and found that they were rigged, and unrigged them. That is why Rove was so surprised that they lost, he had those machines rigged for a different outcome. The Rs are still freaking out as they thought they had it in the bag. LOL! Serves them right, they think if they can't win, they will just cheat and steal. I think that is against the law, don't you, Ms. Sanctimonious one? They are also uncovering some other illegal Romney activities. Aren't we so happy that that SOB lost? He also had a private fund set up by his son and Millionnaire and Billionnaire buddies invested in it so he could give funnel Government Contracts into it and it was immediately moved to the Cayman Islands before the election. That is illegal too, your royal lowness. I'll bet your lacking brain didn't know any of that either. It has been in the news. You really need to change the channel so you can gain some real knowledge.
 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 8:03 pm

Thanks Barbara and J L for the additional information and comments and yes, Janet even murders are released on parole.
 

Sharon H. (289)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 8:24 pm
Kit..You're right about Dotti. She's a personal friend and a real sweetie. She also has a heart of gold and does a lot of wonderful charity work as a volunteer in Seattle. I'm proud to call her my friend.
What's even more tragic than this is that the states who have made it legal for medical marijuana are now having to worry about the federal narcs. They're arresting the people who run the state clinics. Remember when Paul Rand said that the states should be running themselves? Well, I wonder how he feels about this? We have states who do run themselves regarding this and in comes the federal government sticking their big nose in the state business. Guess they want a smaller government except when it comes to women's health and medical marijuana. I'm in NC and medical marijuana goes up before our congress in January. We've been petitioning and submitting as much research and info as we can in the hope that it will pass..I am allergic to EVERY kind of narcotic pain med out there.....EVERY kind. I have Osteoarthritis in my shoulders and lower back and dormant MRSA. I don't know what I'll do if I ever break something, need an operation, or get cancer or some other disease that requires high doses of pain meds. The strongest pain med I can take is Ibuprofen....which i do by the handfull daily. I also have congestive heart failure and it's very dangerous for me to take that much Ibuprofen. My family doctor has not referred me to any specialist to try and correct my back problem. I go to the heart failure clinic regularly so that they can monitor that, At this time, I don't know of anyone who could get me some marijuana, but if I did, I would get it instantly. Of course, miss perfect Diane would probably be here telling me I should be in prison,but who gives a flying f*ck what she thinks? What she doesn't know is that that plant is one of the most perfect plants on the earth. so many wonderful things can be done with it, and since it comes from Mother Nature's kitchen, big Pharma wouldn't be able to control it. It only became illegal in 1937 when was an extremely ambitious man,.Harry J. Anslinger, recognized the Bureau of Narcotics as an amazing career opportunity — a new government agency with the opportunity to define both the problem and the solution. He immediately realized that opiates and cocaine wouldn’t be enough to help build his agency, so he latched on to marijuana and started to work on making it illegal at the federal level. This is something Diane would actually admire in a person...greed,and ambition for yourself at any cost. So you see, it was for personal gain that it became illegal in the first place. now, the drug lords are paying off the government officials to keep it illegal so that the continue making money...and so does the government....including some of Congress. Remember Glenn Frey's song, 'Smugglers Blues?' It tells about the government's take from drugs.
Well, sorry to go on so but I felt the need to tell it like it is and to address once again the heartless woman that Diane O is.
 

Sharon H. (289)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 8:35 pm
Wow Barbara...while I was typing my comment, so were you and what a great comment it is too! Mitt is the exact kind of person DO admires. She thinks he's so brilliant in business and if he has to screw a few thousand decent workers, then WTF?? After all, as Michael Corleone said...it's not personal...it's strictly business."
 

Robert B. (57)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 8:51 pm
Diane O. , you are so funny. You said "Robert, if there are CEO's who break the law then why aren't they being charged with a crime? There are criminal minds in every nook and cranny in our society. Just because you don't approve of how money is appropriated or misappropriated doesn't mean that a crime has been comitted. "

Why don't you google "CEOs sentenced" That will answer you question. And I guarantee you that none of these CEOs get a life sentence, other than for murder maybe. You see, rich people rarely get life sentences and you will never see a millionaire on death row. You see Diane, the law is biased in favor of those that can afford high priced lawyers. That's why there are so many corporate crooks.
 

JL A. (274)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 9:59 pm
To add to what Robert says, and when you break the law on behalf of your corporation they usually will provide that legal counsel and write it off as a business expense on their taxes.
 

JL A. (274)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 10:09 pm
Fast & dirty web search on corporations breaking the law:
Pfizer Broke the Law by Promoting Drugs for Unapproved Uses ...
www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid...
Nov 9, 2009 – “It's an unbearable cost to a system that's going broke,” says Avorn, who ... The 1962 law required pharmaceutical companies to prove their ...
Tobacco Companies Broke Law by Selling Untaxed Cigarettes ...
www.nytimes.com/.../tobacco-companies-broke-law-by-selling-untax...
Aug 22, 2012 – The judgment was the latest victory in a battle that the city and state have waged to collect taxes on cigarettes sold by Indian-owned businesses ...
 

JL A. (274)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 10:17 pm
http://www.care2.com/news/member/663679641/3507426

Includes several CEOs who broke the law and analyses of why...
 

Dotti Lydon (116)
Saturday December 29, 2012, 10:30 pm
I just want to thank you all. I tried to send stars to All, but if I have missed you, here is one now. I would guess that the Heartless one has given up for today. But, she shall return.
 

paul m. (93)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 5:28 am

Noted.....
 

Jim Phillips (3215)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 6:22 am
Election Results for 2012

Presidential
Candidate Vice Presidential
Candidate Political
Party Popular Vote Electoral Vote
Barack H. Obama Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Democratic 65,587,153 50.96% 332 61.7%
Willard Mitt Romney Paul Ryan Republican 60,848,333 47.28% 206 38.3%
Gary Johnson James P. Gray Libertarian 1,273,906 0.99% 0 0.0%
Jill Stein Cheri Honkala Green 466,877 0.36% 0 0.0%
Write-ins All Others: 1.76%

Popular Votes: Rounding out the numbers
Obama = 51%
Romney = 47%
All Others = 2%
Total = 100%

Electoral Votes:
Obama = 332 or 61.7%
Romney = 206 or 38.3%
All Others = 0 or 0%

or as in rounding out the numbers:
Electoral Votes
Obama = 62%
Romney = 38%
Total = 100%


http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/national.php?year=2012&minper=0&f=0&off=0&elect=0

Ty, Kit.
.
 

Ro H. (0)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 7:01 am
A lot of you fell for the Okey Doke, pot is safe.
 

Barbara K. (87)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 7:13 am
Ro H: Most of us did not.
 

Gloria picchetti (287)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 7:33 am
Heartbreaking injustice. All of these five could have had wonderful lives and helped a great many others instead of wasting away for no reason whatsoever.
 

Nancy M. (199)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 7:45 am
Could turn ou to be the new reitrement plan if Republicans have their way. Not enough SS to meet your needs? Smoke pot and go to jail for the rest of your life. At least you'd have shelter, food, and medical care. (not that I recommend this route).
 

JL A. (274)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 8:25 am
Nancy--the pattern you mention is one many parolees and ex-felons will admit to. If they need dental care or other expensive medical issue, they will do something to become incarcerated again since the economic realities in the community do not permit them to get such basic needs met. This is one of the hidden cost savings of universal health care in other countries (costs more for a prisoner to go to the hospital, etc. due to supervision costs).
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 9:28 am

President Obama has responded to the concern that both Colorado and Washington will have to deal with the Feds and said he sees no reason for that to occur.

Nancy may have a point, sardonic though it may be, if more and deeper cuts are planned for Social Security and Medicare, life on the street or in prison may become the only alternative for far too many seniors.

It is rather stupid to increase the age of retirement at the same time we need those jobs for the young people.
 

Joanne Dixon (35)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 9:34 am
Much as it grieves me to even acknowledge Diane O, I feel I must point out that she is wrong on one vital point - no, they did not ALL break the law. Chris Williams provided medical marijuana in Montana, WHERE IT IS LEGAL. Did she even read the article?
 

JL A. (274)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 10:44 am
You cannot currently send a star to Joanne because you have done so within the last week
 

Roxy H. (340)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 11:02 am
This story just burns me... so wrong :( thanks Kit for getting this story out
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 11:53 am

@RoH - just a little bit of research and you would know and understand a few things about Marijuana, things that are actual science research and not just more propaganda. That of course does require an open mind.
 

Freya H. (300)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 1:17 pm
I just created a petition to the President to grant clemency to these five. You can sign it at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/724/791/124/clemency-for-five-senior-citizens/.
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 1:21 pm

Freya please double check that link here is what I got when trying to sign:

Your search for "http://www.thepetitionsite.com/724/791/124/clemency-for-five-senior-citizens/." returned no results.

We recommend that you try the following:

Check that your words are correctly spelled.
Try a different section of the site.
Remove double quotes. Quotes indicate an exact phrase, removing them broadens your search. For example, try recipes for almond croissants instead of "recipes for almond croissants".
Your search may be too specific, so try using fewer words. For example, instead of typing tax free municipal bonds, try searching for municipal bonds or tax free bonds.
 

Freya H. (300)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 1:34 pm
Did you accidentally include the period? I've done that when copying and pasting a link. I just checked it, and got the petition.
 

Jae A. (323)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 2:15 pm
Both of these guys should be released a.s.a.p. Waste of tax payer money period. Use their cells for some Wall Street CEO . There certainly are more deserving people for being behind bars..those who have committed very very very serious crimes...many against humanity itself, again and again on a very large scale....like Dubya Bush and Dick Cheney who I think would make perfect candidates to occupy the two cells these men do .

Joanne Dixon...From what I have been able to tell from other threads where Diane O. comments...I'd say that she seldom,if ever, does read the article or the complete comments of others...to me it appears that she looks for any key rightwing talking head words that she can 'run with'. From there she just takes her rightwing Fox propaganda scripts and starts copying thoughts from them into her comments in my opinion. Her idea of reseach is Rush Limballs,Glen Beck, and of course FoxFakeNews. Origional thoughts just don't seem to come to her, nor does common sense,logic/reasoning...those just aren't the way she rolls 'in my opinion'.
I wonder about people like that ... were they born that stupid or have they worked hard to become ,or at least appear , that way ?

Another fact is that many on the 'rightwing' side are coming to their senses ...many are actually accepting scientific facts about Cannabis and support its legalization in all states. So ..Diane O, it's not just a 'liberal ' thing...it the senseable thing ...and that comes from anyone with facts in hand and as kit says.. an open mind ...that can accept facts. Which of course is taboo within the teabagger klan and other hard core rightwing extremist groups... but others read threads on care2 also that aren't rightwing 'extremist'...such as rightwing moderates and they might appricate knowing facts over B.S./fiction.

Just curious RoH...when was the last time you went to a doctors office ? I was last in a doctors office in 1973..at which time I was just an occassional weekend consumer of cannabis..Saturday nights a couple times a month maybe... and had been for maybe three years...but soon after that I began to be a reg. evening consumer...aka user not abuser.... of the herb. Prior to that last doc visit I was as reg. with doctor visits as anyone...maybe more than most pre any cannabis consuming. I am also a cigarette smoker..and I have used other 'street drugs' and taken my share of pharameds in the past but gave up drinking alcohol in 1972 ..due to near liver failure which was also the reason for my last string of doctor office visits..and for that final exame in '73 . It can be said for sure that I didn't start out with the healthist system when I first began consuming cannabis on any real reg. basis. In fact it is what helped me back to health from that near liver failure episode...It was the only thing I found that could help me keep 'food down', as the saying goes.Calmed my stomach/system and gave me an appetite which I didn't have without it at that time. A lot more medical conditions and or avoiding of them have been helped by my consumption of cannibus over that of any pharamed. Take for example....Sleep aids..pharma scripts as well as over the counter, cause liver damage...but not cannibus. For anyone who has sleep problems that's a big deal and an important fact to know.

As a side note when it comes to going to doctors....Mac is also a reg. consumer of cannabis and he has been to a doctors office once in our 31 years together...it was a requirement for a job..some 20 something years ago Anyway...The list of benifits go on and on and the legality of it should not even be a topic as it should be legal in all states in my opinion.

As mentioned...I am curious when it comes to people who are so against cannibus, as to how often they go to a doctors office and how often they are sick with various common ailments much less more serious ones.

To all: How many pharmameds are on you night stand/in kitchen cabinets or in your 'medicine cabinets' ?.Ours has cannabis,sulfur tabs,aspirine,dmso,aloe vera and a small variety of other 'health store herbs', along with four vitamin supplements..B/C/L-Arginine and Chromium picolinate.

Yes, it is also true that certain strains of cannabis can also be used to enhance an upper 'party attitude' .WHich makes it both healthy and enjoyable...what pharmamed can you name that can say that about itself ? Not one I can think of. The pharameds have so many side effects,many that are often more harmful than what they are suppose to be treating . These two men were trying to stay healthy..and or party without the use of harmful additives such as alcohol/pharameds... and in the one mans case..such as with mine and Mac's consumption of it....doing so legally in his state.

Of course I could come down with a serious illness in the near future or perhaps not ..that remains to be known but as for the last 40 something years I have been what most people would think of as a fairly healthy individual..staying so without going to a doctor, for which I do give cannabis the majority of the credit for that being why...and the quality of life for all those years healthwise.

Personally I'm more concerned about the 'legal' amounts of air pollutions,due to deregulations, and additives in our food/water/soil than about those who consume cannabis legally or otherwise. Those who are doing those things to our earth and it's people are the ones who should be serving life sentences in my opinion. Their actions are a danger on a massive scale to others...unlike either of these men.

That being said......puffpuffpass
 

Jae A. (323)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 2:18 pm
P.S....signed and noted.
 

Jae A. (323)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 2:34 pm
One other item in our 'medicine cabinet' is one that I believe everyone should read about and consider its use...
....Essiac Tea.... which concist of four Herbs. About the best immune system builder one can take..and it is also... all natural. It can be found in some health food stores ..small business owners as well as in some corporate chain stores such as Whole Foods. 'Clarks' health food stores in Ca. carry it also. So with a couple of stops in some states now..one being a medical cannabis dispensary and another that of a health food store.. you can begin a healthier existence..in my opinion.
 

Jim Phillips (3215)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 4:31 pm
Petition signed.

These 5 men, and others like them, including women, who are old, infirm and sentenced under and to unjust marijuana laws, they should be released immediately. There are many others in prison including younger men and women who were sentenced under unjust laws and should be released as well.

Prisons are for violent offenders like murderers, rapists, corrupt government officials, bush and his cabinet, cheney, and those CEO's. bankers, wall street brokerage houses should nicely fill up those cells left empty by the marijuana people.

There should be a separate news story on this petition in Care2 to help and ensure more signatures.


Clemency for Five Senior Citizens Sentenced to Life for Marijuana

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/724/791/124/clemency-for-five-senior-citizens/

Five senior citizens are serving sentences of life without parole for non-violent crimes related to marijuana. All have been in prison for at least 15 years. A letter from the law offices of Michael Kennedy - which one can view at http://norml.org/pdf_files/brief_bank/petition_for_clemency.pdf since it is far too long to repeat here - explains exactly why these five people, and probably a lot of others serving time for marijuana charges, should be pardoned and set free.

Ty, Freya.
.
 

Jelica R. (157)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 6:07 pm
Thanks, Freya. Signed your petition: Clemency for Five Senior Citizens Sentenced to Life for Marijuana
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 7:11 pm

Thanks Jae and Freya I do believe I was the first to sign the petition, happy to say. Thanks to Jelica for giving us an active link.
 

Barbara K. (87)
Sunday December 30, 2012, 7:48 pm
Also signed your petition, Freya, thanks for posting it.
 

Nancy M. (199)
Monday December 31, 2012, 7:53 am
@JL A- I do remember back in the late 80s early 90s when people would talk about all those prisoner's getting free college. and some poorer people talking about how they should committ crimes just to go to jail and get that free college.

Shame really what kind of cr*p goes on in our country.
 

Nancy M. (199)
Monday December 31, 2012, 8:01 am
Will check out Freya's petition.

Life imprisonment for pot is extreme when you consider that guy in Webster NY had served 18 years for murder plus another 8 on parole. Hammered his grandmother to death. And then 32 years later sets a town on fire to trap the firefighters. THAT is the person who should have had life inprisonment.
 

Dandelion G. (374)
Monday December 31, 2012, 8:09 am
In some societies the best and the brightest are given free college education for the people feel it benefits all to do this. Therefore when someone is performing surgery on you, or designing your home, or managing your business it is from the brightest among society and not those who simply had enough money to do so, or had to go to prison to achieve the goal, even sadder.

I recall reading stories of people doing a crime, not a violent one, but just enough of a crime so they could get the much needed medical help they needed, and I say, what a stupid society we have when that has to become a way to obtain health care. Is why other societies pool their resources and offer health care to all members of society, it keeps costs down when it is monitored instead of all these various plans and negotiating of the medications can be done to keep costs lower. People getting preventative care keeps people from moving into higher cost care, it also works out better not having sick people showing up for work and spreading germs, one has healthier employees to enable them to offer better service to the public or to increase productivity as they feel good.

Only a few make out in this society at the expense of the rest, this is not a way to keep going, and we can see the failure of this system in so many ways and in many places across this land.
 

Carol D. (104)
Tuesday January 1, 2013, 3:06 pm
What a ridiculous sentance to give people for smoking pot If they are so worried about it they should be giving them more rehabilitation not sentancing them to death I consider cruelty to animals worse than this
signed
 

Gene Jacobson (241)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 12:37 pm
Let the punishment fit the crime. Times have changed since those sentences were issued, it is time that be rectified. These men present no clear and present danger, their crimes were not crimes of violence. It was hemp itself that brought about these draconian laws as it is such a useful natural crop that it can be used for everything from clothing to paper as well as provide medical benefits. No surprise manufacturing interests were desirous of getting rid of it so long ago. But that time has passed and we should be making use of this versatile natural product. And these poor men should be set free, and "debt" they had to society was paid long ago, in full.
 

Nancy C. (796)
Wednesday January 2, 2013, 5:40 pm
67th on petition. The pregnancy/pot smoking analogy really kills me...
 

Tom Tree (254)
Saturday May 24, 2014, 8:57 am


Ridiculous! I
 
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