Going, Going Gone, 2013 soon to be history. What has transpired in 2013 is a far cry from what needs to happen. An opinion letter in the New York Times expresses disdain with the meager results for overdue justice.
Politic365.com calls Aaron’s sentence “one the worst examples of over sentencing in America.”
FAMM Founder and President, Julie Stewart tells us in Politic365.com that there are “several thousand more [8,800] federal inmates where they came from” and that does not factor in state prisoners; “clemency is not the real solution to America’s prison problem. ...The sentencing laws themselves are the problem.“
Aaron was just 22 when arrested and 24 years old when convicted, not unlike many of the young men who would not plead guilty or accept a plea deal.
After about 20 years and at least two attempts at clemency, Aaron got lucky. An investigation revealed possible racial bias in the Justice Department. Pardon Attorney Rogers “withheld key information” recommending President Bush not grant Aaron clemency.
“An analysis by Linzer and LaFleur found that ‘white applicants were four times more likely to receive presidential mercy than minorities.’ The Obama administration is commissioning a review of its clemency process”
Because Aaron could not snitch, he was punished with an extreme sentence. But there are many who do not take a plea offer and are punished severely for exercising their right to trial. Commonly, young men feel justice will prevail because they are innocent. Never in trouble before, naive about the government’s power, they are found guilty and meted out an ungodly sentence to suffer like Job.
And now Aaron and the others have to wait until April 2014; until Spring, when life becomes new.
For those who were granted clemency, Merry Christmas; but as Mr. Carney opines, that does not alleviate the “mass incarceration scheme of the last 40 [or 50] years... an international disgrace in a country claiming to be governed by the rule of law.”
It is not just the drug war that disgraces “a country claiming to be governed by the rule of law.” Fifty years ago President Kennedy’s last bill, October 31, 1963, “Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act of 1963″, Public Law 88-164 was not funded as he urgently requested. Was deinstitutionalization the beginning of this prison gulag? As it was said in the 111 Congress, September 15, 2009, "Human Rights at Home: Mental Illness in U.S. Prisons and Jails by DAVID FULLER, OUTREACH AND HOUSING COORDINATOR "Why did I have to be punished so severely, for so long, for being sick?"