The following article, Kamala Harris Proposes Massive Criminal Justice Reform; Here’s What It Includes, was first published on Flag And Cross.
A really big, important issue that we as Americans really don’t seem to be discussing enough right now is that of criminal justice reform. Our current justice system is a wreck and that’s putting it mildly.
Many of the things folks go to prison for are first offenses and of such a minor nature that the punishment almost seems to border on cruel and unusual. Those who should be tossed in the clink for their crimes — or receive the death penalty — seem to get off with a slap on the wrist.
Things are backwards and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris seems to think she has the answers. Harris has proposed a rather sweeping criminal justice reform platform that includes legalization of marijuana.
You’ll have to see for yourself if this is the right course of action or not.
Harris said that she would strive to “End Mass Incarceration and Invest Resources into Evidence and Community-Based Programs that Reduce Crime and Help Build Safe and Healthy Communities.”
She said she would do this by legalizing marijuana, initiating sentencing reforms, ending money bail (which she said unfairly allows wealthy people to post bail while keeping poorer prisoners locked up), clearing the rape kit backlog (more than 100,000 rape kits are sitting untested across the country), and ending private prisons.
She also proposed placing a sales tax on marijuana and using the money to provide “services to individuals most adversely impacted by the War on Drugs.” In addition to prosecuting cases of marijuana use as California’s attorney general, Harris opposed marijuana legalisation when she was a district attorney in San Francisco.
In a tweet thread on Monday, Harris said her “plan will transform our country’s broken criminal justice system by ending mass incarceration, holding law enforcement accountable, ensuring those in the system are given dignity, and getting profit out of the equation.”
Throughout my career, I’ve fought to reform our criminal justice system. My work on re-entry and racial bias has been a model for others — but we must do more. Today, I'm proud to release my comprehensive plan for reform. https://t.co/lF2trSxksV
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) September 9, 2019
It’s not that much of a stretch to say that the war on drugs has been a huge failure. There’s more drug use than ever and prisons are overflowing with individuals who aren’t violent offenders, but individuals with drug addiction problems.
This might sound incredibly libertarian-ish, but the truth is, a lot of these folks shouldn’t be in prison. That should be reserved for violent offenders and those who absolutely need to be removed from society for the safety of others all around them.
What the exact solution to this problem is, I have no idea. I don’t think it’s a wise idea to legalize all drugs. However, something needs to be done differently and sentencing changes are definitely part of that.
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