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Argument analysis: Kansas inmates find skeptical audience at the Court

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Amy Howe Editor/Reporter

Posted Wed, October 7th, 2015 7:34 pm

Argument analysis: Kansas inmates find skeptical audience at the Court

After two hours of oral arguments this morning in a trio of Kansas death penalty cases, one thing seemed clear: a solid majority of the Justices appeared ready to reverse rulings by the Kansas Supreme Court that had overturned the inmates’ death sentences. What was less clear, however, was what effect such a ruling would ultimately have.

 

The Court devoted the first hour to the three inmates’ challenges to the instructions given to the juries that sentenced them. The trial court’s failure to make clear in the instructions that they did not need to prove mitigating circumstances — evidence that might sway the jury to spare their lives — beyond a reasonable doubt, they argued, risked confusing the jury and preventing it from taking all of that evidence into consideration. Although some of the Court’s more liberal Justices tried to explore the possibility that the Kansas Supreme Court had relied on state law, rather than the federal Constitution, to rule in the inmates’ favor (which would preclude the U.S. Supreme Court from weighing in), they did not make much headway. Turning to the substance of the inmates’ argument, former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal (representing inmate Reginald Carr) made an impassioned plea for his client’s life. “A man is being put to death,” Scissors-32x32.png

http://www.scotusblog.com/2015/10/argument-analysis-kansas-inmates-find-skeptical-audience-at-the-court/

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Unlock ’Em Up?

Mona Charen / October 8, 2015 / 2 COMMENTS

The Justice Department has announced that it will begin releasing 6,000 “non-violent” inmates from federal prisons starting at the end of this month. Welcome to the era of de-incarceration. At a conference named for former New York Mayor David Dinkins (who presided over the city at a time of runaway crime), Hillary Clinton decried the number of Americans behind bars and declared, “It’s time to change our approach. It’s time to end the era of mass incarceration.”

In this, she is joined by Bernie Sanders and other Democrats, and also by Charles Koch, who wrote recently that “Overcriminalization has led to the mass incarceration of those ensnared by our criminal justice system, even though such imprisonment does not always enhance public safety. Indeed, more than half of federal inmates are nonviolent drug offenders.” Senator Rand Paul has called mass incarceration “the new Jim Crow.” And Carly Fiorina suggested during the last debate that “We have the highest incarceration rates in the world. Two-thirds of the people in our prisons are there for nonviolent offenses, mostly drug-related.Scissors-32x32.png https://ricochet.com/unlock-em-up/

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My Road to Rehabilitation

DECEMBER 6, 2015

My Road to Rehabilitation at USP Hazleton by John Broman, Federal Prisoner #20121-068

 

This month as part of President Obama’s prison reform efforts the Federal Bureau of Prisons is releasing over 6,000 inmates from their incarceration. Most of these inmates are illegal immigrants and low level non-violent drug offenders. This mass release will open up needed money for resources and reduce a greatly overburdened prison system that is barely teetering on the line of collapse

 

Although most of the prisoners will be released from lower security prisons, those of us in the penitentiary are hoping to receive the most from this windfall. Inside the vast complex of federal penitentiaries in the BOP we are the prototype that defines the warehousing mentality. Programs and vocational training courses are non-existent, while confrontations and violence are a daily occurrence. Actually stepping outside for a few hours to breath the fresh air is a blessing we don’t take for granted. Scissors-32x32.pnghttp://www.gorillaconvict.com/2015/12/my-road-to-rehabilitation-at-usp-hazleton-by-john-broman-federal-prisoner-20121-068/

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