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Tag: sentencing

President Obama Calls for Reformed Drug Sentences That Overwhelmingly Face Young Black Men

president obama state of unionBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama on Thursday delivered a clear message Wednesday when he commuted the federal prison sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders: The time has come to overhaul a criminal justice system that locks away too many nonviolent offenders.

Obama also expressed concern that may of the nonviolent offenders who are incarcerated are young black men, CNN reports. 

During an impassioned speech at the annual NAACP convention in Philadelphia, Obama bemoaned the fact that inmates are confined to horrible prison conditions, including rape and solitary confinement, which he declared “have no place in any civilized country.”

“In too many places, black boys and black men, and Latino boys and Latino men, experience being treated different under the law,” Obama said, claiming his assertion wasn’t “anecdote” or “barber shop talk,” but instead backed by data.

Obama is trying to gain bipartisan support for reforming the current sentencing laws.

Former CIA Director Petraeus Faces Sentencing for Leaking Classified Information

Former CIA Director David Petraeus

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former CIA Director David Petraeus faces sentencing Thursday for allegedly leaking classified information to a mistress who was writing his biography, Reuters reports. 

The retired U.S. Army General has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material.

But Petraeus won’t be sent to prison because of an agreement he made with prosecutors in March to pay a $40,000 fine and receive two years of probation.

A federal judge, however, is not bound by the agreement with prosecutors.

Petraeus reigned from the CIA in 2012 following the revelation that he was having an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell.

AG Holder Says Drug Cases Down Because Less Focus on Smaller Offenders

Holder speaks in Philadelphia/doj photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal prosecutors handled fewer drug prosecutions last year because of a new approach to handling smaller non-violent offenders, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Attorney General Eric Holder said at a National Press Club address that prosecutions for drug cases fell 6% last year.

Holder said the feds are placing more focus on larger drug dealers, instead of smaller offenders.

Prior to the change in focus, Holder said drug users were getting sent to prison with no possibility of parole.

“For years prior to this administration, federal prosecutors were not only encouraged — but required — to always seek the most severe prison sentence possible for all drug cases, no matter the relative risk they posed to public safety,” he said. “I have made a break from that philosophy.”

He added: “These numbers show that a dramatic shift is underway in the mind-set of prosecutors handling nonviolent drug offenses. I believe we have taken steps to institutionalize this fairer, more practical approach such that it will endure for years to come.”

Other Stories of Interest

 

Sentence for Ex-FBI Agent Who Killed His Son’s Girlfriend Will Stand, Judges Rule

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Former FBI Agent Edward Preciado-Nuno will still service an 8-to-20-year sentence for killing his son’s girlfriend in Las Vegas in 2008.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the Nevada Supreme Court rejected his challenge, which argued that a juror wasn’t impartial.

The court disagreed, saying the juror had “demonstrated the ability to set aside any preconceived prejudices.”

Preciado-Nuno was a 25-year FBI agent and a former Marine who served in Vietnam.

Relatives of ‘Whitey’ Bulger Victims Spoke Out Before He Is Sentencing Today

Whitey Bulger

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The relatives of James “Whitey” Bulger’s victims spoke out Wednesday during a pre-sentencing hearing for the notorious mobster, the Boston Globe reports.

But no matter what the relatives said, Bulger stood impassively with his back to them.

“You won’t even turn around and look at us?” said Patrick Callahan, shaking his head in disgust after speaking of his father, John B. Callahan, who was shot to death in Florida in 1982 on orders from Bulger. “Coward.”

The Globe wrote that Bulger declined to speak out on his own behalf.

“Mr. Bulger has made clear to us that his position is the same today as it was when he gave a colloquy to Your Honor at the time of his trial, that he believes the trial was a sham,” defense attorney Hank Brennan told the judge.

Boston Mobster ‘Whitey’ Bulger Faces Victims’ Families, Life in Prison Today

Updated Bulger photo/wbur

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

James “Whitey” Bulger, who once ruled violently over Boston’s criminal world, is expected to get a sentence of life in prison today and hear from victims of his crimes.

It’s unclear whether the 84-year-old man will speak during the trial.

But those who will speak are wives and children of some of Bulger’s victims, the Boston Globe reports.

Prosecutors are seeking two life term sentences plus five years following the 31 criminal convictions.

If Bulger’s trial is any indication, it’s hard to tell how Bulger will react today. He’s shouted at witnesses in the past.

OTHER STORIES OF INTERST

Matt Connolly: ‘Whitey’ Bulger Sentencing Has Turned into Charade

Whitey Bulger/fbi

By Matt Connolly 
Patriot Ledger

This week we see the commencement of the Great Charade which will receive as much coverage in the local media as the Red Sox Parade.

If some had their innermost wishes fulfilled, Whitey Bulger would be fettered to a stake on the back of a duck boat and driven through the streets of Boston. Then the great mass of the citizenry could shout out vile epithets at him and children under twelve allowed to throw small stones at him. Instead of this Lady Godiva-like tour, the event will be held in a courtroom and limited to a handful of people. As for the small stones, the ever mindful courthouse security will search all pocketbooks, backpacks and pockets to ensure no one sneaks any in.

Having attended all of Whitey’s trial, I will be sure to miss this tawdry display hearkening back to the Colonial Days of stocks and scarlet letters. But don’t get me wrong, I’ve not a handful of sand’s worth of sympathy for Whitey. It’s the extraordinary absurdity of the event and its effect on the judicial system that bothers me.

To read more click here.

Victims Of ‘Whitey’ Bulger to Speak Out During Mobster’s Trial Wednesday

Whitey Bulger/fbi

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After all these years, family and friends of victims killed by convicted mob boss James ‘Whitey’ Bulger will finally have their say in court this week.

More than a dozen relatives of Bulger’s victims want to speak during his sentencing Wednesday, the Boston Globe reports.

“I just want Whitey Bulger to know the person he killed,” said Donahue, whose husband, Michael, was killed by Bulger in 1982. “He knew nothing of my husband. He knew nothing of my family.”

Added Edward Connors, whose father was killed by Bulger, “I don’t even need to look at him. The only satisfaction is that I know he’s going to die in jail, as opposed to with his freedom.”