Obama Frees 46 Inmates – 1.85 Million To Go

As a gesture of acknowledgement towards the corrupt justice system in America, Obama freed 46 nonviolent drug offenders earlier this month. But, that's a pittance in regards to the entire situation involving nonviolent individuals in the criminal justice system. According to Punk Rock Libertarians:

….in July of this year, President Obama took the shocking action of granting freedom to dozens of nonviolent drug offenders. The Justice Department generated six criteria that inmates must meet to be considered in the call for clemency. A small fraction of the 30,000 applicants advanced to final consideration, and only a small fraction of them reached the president’s desk.

Any time government releases people from a cage for a nonviolent deed is great. Obama’s action was a tiny gesture to the national groundswell for drug decriminalization.

When we consider the reality of the US jail system and the number of people locked up for nonviolent offenses, freeing 46 people becomes almost a joke (except to the people who were freed, of course).

It is estimated that 77% of federal prison inmates are there for nonviolent offenses, or what is better called Victimless Crimes. This descriptive is not limited to drug offenses. It includes a range of behaviors deemed illegal by the State, but in reality there is no victim.

Michael Suede provides compelling reasoning why all drug offenses are victimless crimes, and all “public-order” offenses are also victimless crimes.

Public-order offenses include such things as immigration and weapons charges, as well as things that hardly anyone would consider even offensive—public drunkenness, selling lemonade without a license, dancing in public, and feeding the homeless without a permit.

Suede points out that “the “criminals” involved in the drug trade aren’t actually violating anyone’s rights. When a drug dealer is hauled before a judge, there is no victim standing behind the prosecutor claiming damages. Everyone participating in the drug trade does so voluntarily.”

With this rationale, we find that 77% of inmates in prison are there for victimless crimes. Since 1980, when the drug war began a frenzied rate of incarceration, the US prison population quadrupled to over 2.3 million, increasing 30% over the past ten years.

A primitive, immoral view of drug use combined with a corporatist state seeking to profit from prison construction, quickly produced the highest rate of incarceration in the world, more than five times the world average. The US holds roughly 25% of the world’s prison population. The fate is worst for black males between the ages of 20 and 34, with one in nine behind bars.

The job of the state is to ensure that nobody is violating other's rights by initiating force upon them. That's it. Nothing more. Nothing less. By making nonviolent behaviors like drug possession or literally dancing at the Jefferson Memorial illegal you are enacting crimes against humanity. Every government on the face of the Earth needs immense reform.

Source: Punk Rock Libertarian



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