Saturday, January 5, 2008

When the chips are down...

Hillary Clinton shows what she stands for.

Hillary loses to Obama in Iowa by a wide margin. Hillary trails Obama widely in NH polling. Her answer is to make a point of demonstrating how "liberal" Obama is. And the illustrative issues she picks for this purpose are Obama's ties to "left-wing intellectuals", "his liberal voting record on criminal defendants' rights", and his opposition to mandatory minimum prison sentences.

In short, Hillary Clinton stands for a continuation of the Bush-Clinton-Bush system of mandatory minimums, "harsh" sentences for drug possession, and our nation's world-leading incarceration rate. Not to mention the enrichment of corporations (and their shareholders) who build, run, staff, and supply the ever increasing number of prisons in this country.

Among people who commit a certain offense, those who are poor, brown, and/or addicted to drugs are most likely to be arrested, more likely to be prosecuted, more likely to be prosecuted on more (and more serious) charges, and less likely to be able to mount an effective defense against such charges. This country leads the world in incarcerating people. It is no surprise that we incarcerate a much higher percentage of disadvantaged people for the same crimes. It also is not a coincidence. Anyone supporting this systematic incarceration of our fellow citizens is, quite simply, a bad and wrong person.

Putting people into prison for drug possession is wrong. Taking away a judge's discretion to shorten a long prison sentence based on extenuating factors is bad. Supporting either of these things is wrong, bad, and unconscionable.

Hillary Clinton's panicked new approach to this campaign will fail. She will fail. And HipHopLawyer will be happy about that.

1 comment:

Gleemonex said...

As will Gleemonex. If she's the candidate, it's business as usual, and also, we will lose.