Senator Perdue misses mark on justice reform…again

Following the recent announcement of reduced prison sentences for 214 convicted felons by President Barack Obama, junior Senator David Perdue issued a statement condemning the action.

All of the inmates affected by the clemency are serving time in federal correctional facilities and a large majority of the inmates are incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses that fell under dated mandatory minimum sentencing statutes.

Perdue claims that “approximately one in four” of those who saw a reduced sentence are serving time for “criminal gun charges,” however, as with many mandatory minimum sentencing statutes on the federal level, mere possession of a firearm during the commission of a high and aggravated drug offense often meant additional firearm-related charges. In many cases, a firearm was not used as part of the crime that landed a person in jail.

Despite that fact, Senator Perdue issued the following statement which, in my personal opinion, is extremely reckless:

“Law abiding Americans are apoplectic with the lack of law and order we have seen during President Obama’s tenure. Yesterday, President Obama commuted the sentences of 214 convicted felons—including 67 who were serving life sentences. President Obama’s criminal leniency is unprecedented in modern times—he has commuted more sentences than the past nine presidents combined. This is a drop in the bucket when compared to the 46,000 reduced sentences already authorized by the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

“The U.S. Sentencing Commission is in the process of releasing 46,000 drug trafficking offenders, which is half of the drug trafficking offenders in federal prison and about 25 percent of the total federal prison population. All of this comes at a time when our nation is in the midst of a heroin and opioid epidemic. President Obama may take pride in his criminal leniency legacy, but law-abiding citizens do not. It is time to restore law and order in this country so we can keep American families safe and our country secure.”

Senator Perdue has been a vocal opponent of the current Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, legislation that would let dangerous felons—like some of the criminals who were granted clemency by President Obama yesterday—out of prison early. When this bill was first debated in the Senate Judiciary Committee last October, Senator Perdue introduced amendments to protect victims and communities, but ultimately these amendments were not adopted and the current bill is still dangerous for America.

On average, it costs $30,000 annually to incarcerate an inmate in federal prison. Some of those who received lessened sentences last week were sentenced to life in prison because of a drug crime that occurred decades ago, yet some politicians see no value in re-entry into society, despite the conservative trend to more fiscally responsible justice reform policies – rehab and reduced recidivism over punishment.

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SaltycrackergcpMattMD_actualbethebalanceScottNAtlanta Recent comment authors
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Benevolus
Benevolus

Well this subject is way too complicated to have a very useful discussion here, but I’ll throw something out there anyway. If we’re not going to execute them or keep them locked up until they die, then that means they WILL be getting back into society some day, so it seems like we should be doing everything we can to give them the best chance to re-integrate. What would your life be like if you had to spend even 1 year in jail? Would you lose your home? Your car? Your spouse? What kind of job could you get when… Read more »

xdog
xdog

I doubt Perdue cares one way or another about the cost of incarceration or how many drug felons get pardoned. He’s down with Donald so he’s 1)gonna talk about lawn order and 2)grab every chance to hammer Obama and, by extension, Clinton.

gcp
gcp

193,461 are currently under control of the federal prison system and yes our state and federal prison populations have been falling. This trend could very well be a result of increased sentences implemented in the 1990s thus any changes to current sentencing laws should be closely scrutinized.

Additionally, we still have a 34% five year recidivism rate in the federal system so we don’t want to release someone only to arrest them again. As for the current commutations, some may be merited but not those felons that possessed firearms also.

MattMD_actual
MattMD_actual

Did you even read the main post? Firearms were not used in the commission of the felony, it was just possession (i.e. not a violent crime).

This has nothing to do with changing any sentencing guidelines, our joke of a senator is carping about clemency to rile up the low-information dolts.

I am so glad this fool is hitching his wagon to Trump.

gcp
gcp

Read my post. I understand the firearm was not “used” in a crime. I favor enhanced sentencing for possession while in commission because if you possess you could use that weapon or maybe you used the weapon previously. We have a similar law in Georgia.

MattMD_actual
MattMD_actual

I read your post and do a markedly horrible job of backing it up.

So it’s a thought crime then. You want enhanced sentencing because an additional crime might have happened?

You cannot be this stupid.

gcp
gcp

I support current federal and state laws which criminalize possession by convicted felon and possession while in commission of certain felony offenses and I would not commute those sentences. Possession is not a “thought crime.” You cannot be this stupid.

ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

Its a shame Perdue isnt up for reelection this year. He would certainly have gone down in flames with the moronic drivel that keeps coming out of his mouth

bethebalance
bethebalance

it was a “law and order” mindset, taken too far with some mandatory minimums, that caused so much over-incarceration to begin with. i know the law and order mentality is appealing to many, esp. the older demographic, but our country can do better than us versus them autocracy. can sen. perdue and trump present any modern, thoughtful, or nuanced solutions, or is it just going to be re-fannning the same flames of old? also an anti-opioid bill just passed a few weeks ago- it gives grants to states for anti-opioid law enforcement and rehab. don’t know all abt the provisions,… Read more »

Saltycracker
Saltycracker

I dont care much for our drug laws but care a lot less about an executive branch that continuously rides over the legislative and judicial branches of our government. Purdue is on track. Referring to the earlier post, I’m fond of chickens but fonder of the agreements I’ve made with my neighbors. The post on chicken restrictions and derision of HOA’s gave no clue of any distinction between hens and roosters or HOA’s and public ordinances. Roosters are just noise and HOA’s are groups of individuals that prefer a lifestyle with covenants. Big difference between government ordinances and community covenants.… Read more »

MattMD_actual
MattMD_actual

It is idiotic to say the executive is “overriding” the judicial or legislative WHEN AN EXECUTIVE HAS THE POWER TO GRANT CLEMENCY.

Do you get it yet? Do you see how they have that enumerated power?

Saltycracker
Saltycracker

“Continuously” suggesting other executive actions besides clemency, troll on.