Tag Archives: American politics

President Obama Commutes More Prison Sentences for Low-level Drug Offenders

News brief: by Mary C. Piemonte

In his continuing effort of granting clemency to nonviolent drug offenders President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 46 men and women, “nearly all of whom would have already served their time and returned to society if they were convicted of the exact same crime today,” according to his press release on July 13, 2015.

In a White House video released that day, Obama said that as a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and criminal defense attorney, he is”well acquainted with how federal sentencing practices” have created in too many instances“unduly harsh sentences” that have lead nonviolent drug offenders to spend decades, if not life, in prison.

And he added that “many people are justly punished for causing harm and perpetuating violence in our communities. But, in some cases, the punishment required by law far exceeded the offense.”

These unduly harsh sentences are one of the reasons the President said he is “committed to using all the tools at his disposal to remedy unfairness in our criminal justice system.”


How Other Countries Deal With Drug Use

by Mary C. Piemonte

Franz Trautmann, a representative from the Netherlands, talking about how other countries deal with drug use, during the “Rethinking the War on Drugs” symposium at Northwestern Law School on Feb. 20, 2014.

U.S. Sentencing Commission Report on Drug War

by Mary C. Piemonte

U.S. Chief Judge Ruben Castillo (Northern District of IL),  and U.S.  Judge Sterling Johnson Jr. (Eastern District of New York), whose investigation as an undercover cop was the basis of the film “American Gangster.” Giving a recent U.S. Sentencing  Commission report on the War on Drugs at the “Rethinking the War on Drugs” symposium at Northwestern Law School on Feb.  20, 2014