You won’t find me agreeing with Bill Clinton on a lot of things, but he has come out today to speak out against the harsh sentencing policies that he helped put in place when he was president. I have written many times on the problems of mandatory sentences, from unjust results due to a lack of judicial discretion, to the lack of deterrent effect they actual have. See Marissa Alexander. The pros do not outweigh the cons in most instances. My last post about the man in Bradenton facing 15 years (and $270,000 in taxpayer expense for incarceration) is merely exemplar of a bigger problem.
The good news is, there is an interest in change, and it’s apparent on both sides of the political spectrum. From John Oliver’s takedown of the racist results of decades of draconian sentencing policies, to Senator Rand Paul’s criticism of harsh sentences for Marijuana, there is a real movement developing for common sense in sentencing. The reasons are plentiful for fiscal and moral grounds and in the interest of real justice.