ACLU: Thousands serving life for non-violent crimes

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#1 Posted by thebest31406 (3638 posts) -

A shocking new study by the American Civil Liberties Union has found that more than 3,200 people nationwide are serving life terms without parole for nonviolent offenses. Of those prisoners, 80 percent are behind bars for drug-related convictions. Sixty-five percent are African-American, 18 percent are white, and 16 percent are Latino — evidence of what the ACLU calls "extreme racial disparities." The crimes that led to life sentences include stealing gas from a truck, shoplifting, possessing a crack pipe, facilitating a $10 sale of marijuana, and attempting to cash a stolen check.

8 Shocking Facts From the ACLU’s Report on Life Without Parole

http://nation.time.com/2013/11/14/8-shocking-facts-from-the-aclus-report-on-life-without-parole/

  1. The number of U.S. prisoners who received life sentences without parole quadrupled between 1992 and 2012.
  2. More than 18 percent of nonviolent offenders serving life without parole in the federal system are in for their first offense.
  3. Lance Saltzman, of Florida, removed a gun from his home that belonged to an abusive stepfather who had used the weapon to threaten his mother repeatedly, he said. He was convicted of armed burglary and, due to a previous burglary conviction when he was 16, sentenced to mandatory life without parole.
  4. In the state of Illinois, a black person is 33.25 times more likely than a white person to be sentenced to life without parole for a non-violent crime.
  5. Clarence Aaron, a college student with no prior criminal record, was given three life-without-parole sentences for his minor role in two planned large drug deals, one of which never took place. He received longer sentences than his co-conspirators and has spent the past 20 years in prison.
  6. Black prisoners comprise 91.4 percent of the non-violent life-without-parole population in the state of Louisiana.
  7. Vincent Winslow was homeless when he acted as a go-between in the sale of two $10 bags of marijuana to an undercover cop. The seller was not arrested. Based on decade old drug possession conviction and unarmed burglaries committed 14 and 24 years earlier, Winslow was sentenced to life without parole.
  8. The crimes for which people have been sentenced to life without parole (when combined with prior convictions) include stealing: small change from a parked car, a pair of socks, nine children’s videotapes, a pair of work gloves from a department store, a leaf blower, three golf clubs, chocolate chip cookies and a slice of pizza.

News articles here

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/11/aclu-over-3000-prisoners-serving-life-without-parole-for-nonviolent-crimes/

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/13/us-prisoners-sentences-life-non-violent-crimes

https://www.aclu.org/living-death-sentenced-die-behind-bars-what

Actual study is here. Yes it's 240 pages but the real meat of the study lies within I. Executive Summary and IV. Findings.

https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/111213a-lwop-complete-report.pdf

#2 Posted by foxhound_fox (91129 posts) -

How many are in Sheriff Arpaio's county?

#3 Edited by deeliman (3540 posts) -

Too late; there's already a thread on this.

#4 Posted by thebest31406 (3638 posts) -

@deeliman said:

Too late; there's already a thread on this.

damn that Aljosa23 lol. I must be slippin'.

Mods, please close this thread.

#5 Posted by Aljosa23 (26208 posts) -

@thebest31406 said:

@deeliman said:

Too late; there's already a thread on this.

damn that Aljosa23 lol. I must be slippin'.

Mods, please close this thread.

Should probably delete my thread instead, this one is better.

#6 Posted by thebest31406 (3638 posts) -

@Aljosa23 said:

@thebest31406 said:

@deeliman said:

Too late; there's already a thread on this.

damn that Aljosa23 lol. I must be slippin'.

Mods, please close this thread.

Should probably delete my thread instead, this one is better.

Thanks. You posted first though. If you want you can copy and paste my post onto yours.

#7 Edited by m0zart (11568 posts) -

Sad. Enough to make you heartsick and hopeless... certainly not the America I was taught to love.

#8 Posted by Shottayouth13- (6879 posts) -

That's some disturbing news.

#9 Posted by DaBrainz (7721 posts) -

Watch them try blaming it on republicans when Billy boy was the one championing 3 strikes.

#10 Posted by thegerg (16243 posts) -

@foxhound_fox said:

How many are in Sheriff Arpaio's county?

Probably not too many. Just from scanning through the article I can tell you it didn't talk about Arizona much, and it's important to note that the prison in that county only holds a fraction of the state's convicts.

#11 Posted by thebest31406 (3638 posts) -

@DaBrainz said:

Watch them try blaming it on republicans when Billy boy was the one championing 3 strikes.

That fact always gets swept under the rug.