Monday, October 05, 2009

Criminally Inane Incarcerations

The Washington Times buries the key graf at the end of this piece, but their point is good one.
The Norrises' nightmare began with the search in October 2003. It didn't end until Mr. Norris was released from federal supervision in December 2008. His wife testified, however, that even after he came home, the man she had married was still gone. He was by then 71 years old. Unsurprisingly, serving two years as a federal convict - in addition to the years it took to defend unsuccessfully against the charges - had taken a severe toll on him mentally, emotionally and physically.
This old guy spent two years in jail for a paperwork glitch over importing otherwise perfectly legal orchids. The other person profiled in the article similarly was jailed for what was essentially a paperwork infraction. I recall other similar cases from that time period.

The Times doesn't really make clear that these arose after 9/11 when the Bush administration declared war on pretty much everything in their relentless grab for executive power. But they're correct in calling for the Congress to make some serious changes in our federal criminal law so that people like these, who obviously present no danger to society, don't end adding to our already ridiclulously large prison population.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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