The Sentencing Project News
September 14, 2015
Race & Justice News: Supreme Court to review Georgia death penalty case for racial bias
Reforms: Policing and Municipal Courts in Ferguson and Missouri
Stop and Frisk in Chicago
ABA-LDF Joint Statement on Eliminating Bias in the Criminal Justice System
Persistent Racial Disparities Following Marijuana Reforms in Miami-Dade and Seattle
School Discipline: Students of Color More Likely to Receive Harsh Response to Misbehavior
Racial Disparities in School Discipline in Southern States
Advocacy and Reforms in Miami-Dade, Texas, and Compton
Youth Justice: Justice Department Finds Racial Bias in St. Louis County Youth Courts
Death Penalty: Constitutional Concerns with Executions in Lousiana, Colorado, and Georgia
September 11, 2015 (WBUR)
Race, Class And The Response To Today’s Heroin Epidemic
The Sentencing Project's Executive Director Marc Mauer appeared on WBUR's Here and Now to discuss race, class, and the response to today’s prescription opioid and heroin epidemic with host Robin Young and former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke. In the late 1980s and ’90s, Mayor Schmoke was way out ahead on this issue, shocking people by advocating for decriminalizing the use of drugs, and for treating addiction as a public health crisis.
September 10, 2015
State Advocacy Update: Connecticut Reclassifies Certain Felony Offenses to Misdemeanors
Many state advocates are in the process of getting ready for the next legislative session. Planning may involve organizing strategy meetings or engaging new coalition partners. Preparing for next year is leading many state advocates to assess policy goals that address mass incarceration and enhance grassroots communication strategies among state-based networks.
Reclassifying Felony Offenses:
Scaling Back Mandatory Minimums:
Other News: Alabama, Texas, California, and Tennessee
September 3, 2015
Disenfranchisement News: California expands voting rights to an estimated 60,000 people
California: State expands voting rights to an estimated 60,000 people on community supervision
Maryland: Rally to Unlock the Vote on 50th Anniversary of Voting Rights Act
National: Martin O'Malley calls for restoration of voting rights
International: More than 22,000 Canadians behind bars are eligible to vote
August 24, 2015 (Daily Journal)
Evidence Doesn't Support Federal Prosecutors' Drug Sentencing Reform "Myths"
In July, the National Association of Assistant U.S Attorneys (NAAUSA) released a report that challenges a number of claims attributed to proponents of federal drug sentencing reform. In a recent commentary for the Daily Journal, The Sentencing Project's Jeremy Haile shows that the evidence does not support the prosecutors' "myths." The truth is that federal mandatory minimum drug penalties have exacted enormous costs -- both fiscal and human -- without benefiting public safety.
August 21, 2015 (New York Times)
Joe Biden’s Role in ’90s Crime Law Could Haunt Any Presidential Bid
"Already, in the 2016 presidential race, criminal justice has commanded a level of attention unseen since the 1990s and has compelled both Republicans and Democrats to have something new to say about it. For Mr. Biden to win support from the young voters who were critical to President Obama’s election victories, according to activists like Jeremy Haile, he will need to show his views have evolved," reports the New York Times.
August 16, 2015 (KALW)
How did the US become the world’s leading prison nation?
The Sentencing Project's Executive Director Marc Mauer appeared on KALW's Your Call to discuss how the United States became the world’s largest jailer and prospects for reform today with host Rose Aguilar and UC Berkeley professor Steven Raphael.
August 9, 2015 (Business Insider)
There's blatant inequality at nearly every phase of the criminal justice system
Social science research shows striking racial disparities at nearly every level of the criminal justice system—from arrest rates, to bail amounts, to sentence lengths, to probation hearing outcomes. In eight charts, Business Insider explores what it’s like to be black in the U.S. justice system.
August 7, 2015 (The American Prospect)
The Growing Movement to Restore Voting Rights to Former Felons
On August 6, the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, dozens of Baltimore residents rallied and marched alongside community members to protest their disenfranchisement as the result of a former felony conviction.
In May, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan vetoed a bill which would have granted individuals with felony convictions the right to vote when they return home from prison, rather than making them wait until after their probation and parole sentences have been completed (some sentences can last for decades).
August 5, 2015 (The Los Angeles Times)
California will restore voting rights to 45,000 people on community supervision
California election officials are reversing a policy that prevents 45,000 felons from casting ballots, placing the state in the forefront of a movement to boost voting rights for ex-criminals.
California has until now maintained that state law prohibits felons from voting not only when they are in prison or on parole but also when they are under community supervision.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla said Tuesday that the state would now back voting rights for felons on community supervision, which is generally overseen by county probation departments.