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12/02/2018

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TC: Similar legislation was being considered by the congress in 2014. Senators Grassley, Cornyn and Sessions wrote a " Dear Colleague " letter urging other Senators to oppose these proposed changes in the law.

Now Grassley has done a 180 and has joined this odd coalition pushing for this current bill.

I have written several letters to the N&R detailing reasons for not passing this bad law.

Here is the most recent

https://www.greensboro.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/counterpoint-sentencing-reform-act-based-on-a-lie/article_6887962a-e4bb-5c37-a4e7-4079de7a3e82.html

I have also contacted Senator Tillis in person and thru staff expressing concerns I had over this . In one of my letters , I expressed disappointment of his support of the bill in committee.

Yes, you are correct, the Majority leader holds the trump card. Let's hope he uses it.

The President has been wishy washy on this issue. He is being pushed by his son-in-law to support the bill.

Sigh !

Yes, Fred, the son-in-law is a problem-- in many ways.

You might be aware that Congressman Mark Walker is also a supporter of this type of legislation.

Walker is a " compassionate " Christian but perhaps he is unaware of the problems inherent with legislation.

Perhaps someone in his district would send him this.

From the Crime and Consequences Blog

"A Second Chance

July 23, 2018 3:29 PM | Posted by Kent Scheidegger 

Carrie Teegardin reports for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

"Fulton County Superior Court Judge Doris Downs decided last year to give Jayden Myrick ... a chance to turn his life around.

Myrick had been arrested at the age of 14 for his role in an armed robbery and agreed to a negotiated plea of 15 years, to serve seven years in adult prison, according to the Fulton County District Attorney's Office.

But after two-and-a-half years in juvenile detention, the judge gave him a break. She put Myrick on probation and placed him in a special program whose director confidently claimed her program could keep tabs on Myrick and reform him, just as it had many other violent youths, according to a transcript of the hearing.

Sounds wonderful.  What could go wrong?

"I don't want anybody else to be held at gunpoint by this man," the judge said in court when a prosecutor objected to her plan, according to the transcript. "I want to end it. You're interested in punishment. I'm interested in rehabilitation and community safety for the future, because he is going to get out, and I want him to be a positive influence in the community."

Now 17, Myrick is accused of shooting Christian Broder, 34, a restaurant manager from Washington, D.C., who was waiting for an Uber ride as he left a wedding reception earlier this month at Atlanta's Capital City Country Club. Broder, an Atlanta native, died Friday as a result of the wounds he suffered in the shooting. He is survived by his wife and a 9-month-old daughter.

*      *      *

The Fulton County District Attorney's Office objected when Myrick asked to be released from his sentence before he turned 17 and would be sent from juvenile detention to adult prison. The DA's office said Myrick had 32 misconduct violations while in juvenile detention, and that his behavior was still unpredictable.

But Downs insisted that the probation program, called Visions Unlimited, was the best option. She told Myrick, "I am expecting you to become a changed person" through the program, according to the transcript.

*      *      *

The DA's office said Sunday that there were soon signs that Myrick was not on the right path. Just 20 days after the hearing, the DA's office asked that Myrick's probation be revoked based on Instagram posts showing him with guns, known gang members and a posted video showing him holding a baggie of pills for sale.

Downs revoked Myrick's probation, and he was to remain in jail until February. The DA's office said he was released on Feb. 21 and was supposed to go back into the Visions Unlimited program but apparently did not report there. The DA's office said it found more posts on Instagram showing that Myrick was violating his probation and reported that to the judge, but that no action was taken.

The "second chance" initiatives we are seeing now are not just for non-violent people who have made a single "mistake" in a mostly law-abiding life.  The people in them are not closely supervised, and their special good deals are not expeditiously revoked when their post-mercy behavior shows them to be ungrateful, unworthy, and likely to commit further crimes.

And innocent people die as a result."

Thanks, Fred. I hope the GOP does not make an error of epic proportions with this bill. Some seem to want it badly; and they are unfortunately very foolish. As I said in my original post, I am in favor of eliminating non-federal crimes from the federal courts and federal law enforcement agencies. We need to be guided by the Constitution's original meaning. For truly federal crimes, I hope we are not engaging in wishful thinking.

TC: I agree that federal crimes should be in the US District court. And state crimes should be in the Superior Court of whatever state.

During my 7 years as Agent-In-Charge of the DEA office in Greensboro, never did we stink up the federal court in the Middle District with petty small time drug dealers . By DEA's own guidelines, our investigations were directed toward high level traffickers .

You mention Senator Tom Cotton's opposition to the bill.

In an op-ed he said:

"Virtually no one goes to federal prison for “low-level, nonviolent” drug offenses, especially mere drug use or possession. In 2015, there were 247 inmates in federal prison for drug possession. In these rare cases, the inmates usually pleaded down from a more serious offense. In the extreme case of a manifestly unjust sentence, the pardon power is a better instrument of justice than broad sentencing reductions. President Trump has shown himself more than willing to intervene to redress such cases. "

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