Yeah, I'm not a big fan of this actually. It like gun control in my mind. The more you limit it the less success you have in solving the problem. No drug control and no gun control and the problems sort themselves out naturally
I would issue 20 year sentences to street dealers and give them much less sentences if they inform on the big dealers they bought from. Any dealer that sells opiates to a user who dies from overdose should be subject to death penalty himself.
WASHINGTON — As a senator, Jeff Sessions was such a conservative outlier on criminal justice issues that he pushed other Republicans to the forefront of his campaign to block a sentencing overhaul, figuring they would be taken more seriously.
Now Mr. Sessions is attorney general and need not take a back seat to anyone when it comes to imposing his ultratough-on-crime views. The effect of his transition from being just one of 535 in Congress to being top dog at the Justice Department was underscored on Friday when he ordered federal prosecutors to make sure they threw the book at criminal defendants and pursued the toughest penalties possible.
“This is a key part of President Trump’s promise to keep America safe,” Mr. Sessions said as he received a law enforcement award.
Given Mr. Sessions’s long record as a zealous prosecutor and his well-known views on the dangers of drug use, his push to undo Obama-era sentencing policies and ramp up the war on drugs was hardly a surprise. But it was still striking, because it ran so contrary to the growing bipartisan consensus coursing through Washington and many state capitals in recent years — a view that America was guilty of excessive incarceration and that large prison populations were too costly in tax dollars and the toll on families and communities.
In an increasingly rare achievement, conservatives and liberals had come together on the issue, putting them on the verge of winning reductions in mandatory minimum sentences and creating new programs to help offenders adjust to life after prison. Given the success shown by similar changes at the state level, bipartisan majorities in the House and the Senate seemed eager to move ahead on the issue last year.
Despite the strong support, stiff opposition from Mr. Sessions and a few other outspoken Republicans — Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia among them — stalled the bill in the Senate and sapped momentum from a simultaneous House effort.
As the 2016 elections approached, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and majority leader, shied from bringing to the Senate floor the politically charged issue that had divided his party. So the effort died, much to the disappointment of the unusual cross-section of advocates behind it.
Backers of the sentencing overhaul say that Mr. Sessions, who as a senator from Alabama supported legislation that would have made a second marijuana trafficking conviction a capital crime, is living in the past and is badly misguided.
“Locking up people who don’t pose a threat to public safety is a waste of taxpayer money, a waste of resources and doesn’t deter crime,” said Steve Hawkins, the president of the Coalition for Public Safety, a sentencing reform advocacy group whose partners are as diverse as the liberal Center for American Progress and the conservative FreedomWorks.
These organizations, along with Koch Industries, argued for sentencing changes as a way to save governments the huge costs of maintaining prisons and to make more productive contributors out of nonviolent offenders — a rare win-win for ideologically divided factions.
The wide backing, which came as an opioid crisis was hitting economically struggling communities across America, struck a chord with Republicans who might usually balk at a less punitive model. Prominent Republican backers in the Senate included John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 party leader; Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the Judiciary Committee chairman, who was instrumental in advancing the legislation; and Mike Lee of Utah, a well-respected younger conservative.
But while these lawmakers saw an opportunity to take a new approach to sentencing and incarceration, Mr. Sessions was not convinced. Despite a broad decrease in crime in recent years, Mr. Sessions believed that a recent surge in violence in some cities showed that America was again at risk. An early backer of Mr. Trump, Mr. Sessions shared his stark vision of an urban America besieged by criminals, and argued that plea deals disguised the real nature of crimes committed by people portrayed as nonviolent.
Mr. Sessions repeatedly said that going soft on crime would accelerate a return to the days of drug-fueled criminality across the country — a point he reaffirmed on Friday.
“We know that drugs and crime go hand in hand,” he said. “Drug trafficking is an inherently violent business.”
In the Senate, Mr. Sessions was more than willing to cede the limelight on the issue to Mr. Cotton, a rising star among conservatives who referred to the Senate legislation as the “criminal leniency bill” and said America was suffering from an “under-incarceration” problem. But Mr. Sessions remained a crucial force.
“He’s been the No. 1 opponent of the bipartisan effort in the Senate to reduce mandatory minimums for low-level nonviolent drug offenses,” said Senator Richard J. Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, who was one of the chief authors of the bipartisan bill.
Advocates of the sentencing changes say they hope that the unilateral move by Mr. Sessions will stir Congress to intervene and establish new policy through legislation. And Jared Kushner, the president’s adviser and son-in-law, has been assigned the job of working on a criminal justice overhaul, among other issues.
But pushing the bipartisan approach would require confronting the sitting attorney general and perhaps the president — a challenge many Republicans may not be willing to accept. None of the chief Republican backers of the Senate legislation issued any public reaction to the new Justice Department directive on Friday — not a good sign for proponents of an overhaul.
As a senator, Mr. Sessions succeeded in stalling the sentencing reform movement. As attorney general, he has sent it reeling in Washington, and it could be very hard for advocates to regain their footing while he is the nation’s chief law enforcement official.
Sessions was a huge mistake by Trump that will be fixed within a year. He should have named Gowdy, but Gowdy might have passed. Trump was/is just paying back a favor to Sessions, that's all. I mean he has excused himself from all the important investigations that are ongoing. So he is basically useless and 20 years behind the times. But then so is Trump.
Nothing to see. Best bet if interested is to listen in one window, play around on GIM or surf the web in a different window. In my opinion it's well worth a listen and will open your eyes to the real Jeff Sessions. It's someone's opinion so take it fwiw and dyodd.
Streamed live 52 minutes ago
In 2016 it was decided to end contracts with private prisons due to their safety and security issues. This was great news for our country as Private Prisons do not benefit anyone but themselves. They take advantage of slave labor to maximize profits and give nothing back to the state that houses their facility.
However now that Attorney General Sessions is in charge, he wants to bring them back with a vengeance as well as fill them up. He has instructed federal prosecutors to seek the highest sentences possible, including low level offenders. Why the sudden change? does he have a vested interest? Yup, sessions is invested in Vanguard funds, Vanguard owns more private prison stock than any other investment management company. This blatant reversal back into the stone age is a perfect example of corruption and more than enough reason for the American People to call for his resignation.
This is a bigger deal than most would think, in the fact that by giving people longer sentences the tax payers will be paying more to house those individuals and see nothing for it, money does not go back to the state, it goes into the shareholders pockets, so essentially tax payers are funding session's and other shareholder's investments and destroying savable lives in the process. This isn't the answer to the war on drugs or to reducing crime in general. Tune in to hear our insight!
Big Herc wants to share his view on this subject. Having done nearly a decade in Prison, Big Herc has first hand insight on how this type of situation goes down. Tune in to get the scoop!
Yeah I ranted on my forum for years about the private prison thing after meeting Davy Kidd and Catherine Austin Fitz in Montanan many years ago. CAF did a scathing report on Dillion, Reed & Co. and how they were setting up for Private Prisons.
Then again Trump is big on jailing pot smokers and leekers who tell the truth, so I'd expect him to support Sessions backwards ideas.
I stopped watching the video. It seems people are waking up to all this now when many of us have been screaming in their ears for years now without accomplishing much more than just getting older.
UPDATE: Here is the link to Ms. Fitts screed about Dillon, Reed and Co. This is a must read for anyone looking into the rabbit hole as it goes way deeper than just prisons. http://www.dunwalke.com/introduction.htm
Sessions has been a fkin nothing burger since day one, Trump is really fkin up, dems minority party and running the show, clinton and obama operatives still in charge at fbi, doj, cia, sos , everywhere, only saving grace so far is clinton didnt get in, every thing he promised to do is going south lousy 1.8 b for wall in budget we know dems wont allow and rinos wont go nuclear on. Sad
When you're a government agency, asking for a tax increase is always a hassle. As Ryan McMaken notes, for the most part, taxpayers don't like taxes, and if asked if they want to pay more, they're likely to often say "no." Moreover, when public officials pass tax increases, they may face the wrath of taxpayers at the ballot box. For this reason, governments are always looking for ways to get revenue without having to use tax revenue.
One such 'hidden' method of seizing wealth from the taxpayers is through what is now called "civil asset forfeiture."
This occurs when a law enforcement agency seizes the assets - including real estate, cars, cash, and other valuables - from private citizens based merely on the suspicion that the person has committed a crime with the assets in question. No due process is necessary. No conviction in a court of law need occur. While it is technically possible to sue a government agency to reclaim one's possessions, this requires immense amounts of time and legal fees to pursue. Needless to say, civil asset forfeiture has become a lucrative source of income for law enforcement agencies. And, over the past 30 years, the practice has become widespread.
As Martin Armstrong detailed, between 1989 and 2010, U.S. attorneys seized an estimated $12.6 billion in asset forfeiture cases. The growth rate during that time averaged +19.4% annually. In 2010 alone, the value of assets seized grew by +52.8% from 2009 and was six times greater than the total for 1989. Then by 2014, that number had ballooned to roughly $4.5 billion for the year, making this 35% of the entire number of assets collected from 1989 to 2010 in a single year. Now, according to the FBI, the total amount of goods stolen by criminals in 2014 burglary offenses suffered an estimated $3.9 billion in property losses.
This means that the police are now taking more assets than the criminals.
“Civil forfeiture laws represent one of the most serious assaults on private property rights in the nation today. Under civil forfeiture, police and prosecutors can seize your car or other property, sell it and use the proceeds to fund agency budgets—all without so much as charging you with a crime. Unlike criminal forfeiture, where property is taken after its owner has been found guilty in a court of law, with civil forfeiture, owners need not be charged with or convicted of a crime to lose homes, cars, cash or other property. Americans are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but civil forfeiture turns that principle on its head. With civil forfeiture, your property is guilty until you prove it innocent.”
- “ Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture,” Institute for Justice
In jolly old England, Robin Hood stole from the rich to give to the poor. But as John Whitehead noted, in modern-day America, greedy government goons steal from the innocent to give to the corrupt under court- and legislature-sanctioned schemes called civil asset forfeiture. This is how the American police state continues to get rich: by stealing from the citizenry.
At every turn, “we the people” are getting swindled, cheated, conned, robbed, raided, pickpocketed, mugged, deceived, defrauded, double-crossed and fleeced by governmental and corporate shareholders of the American police state out to make a profit at taxpayer expense.
Some state legislatures (Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Ohio) are beginning to push back against these clearly unconstitutional asset forfeiture schemes. As the National Reviewreports, “New Mexico now requires a criminal conviction before law enforcement can seize property, while police in Florida must prove “beyond reasonable doubt” that property is linked to a crime before it’s seized.”
And it is that pushback that has seemingly pushed the federal government to 'fix' the situation. As Reuters reports, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Wednesday that the federal government will reinstate a program that helps local and state law enforcement seize cash and other assets they suspect have been earned from crimes.
Local police will now be able to seize cash, often from those suspected of drug crimes, even in states that do not condone the policy.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told reporters that most seizures were warranted because the "vast majority" of people who have property taken by police do not contest it in court.
"This is going to enable us to work with local police and our prosecutors to ensure that when assets are lawfully seized they are not returned to criminals," said Rosenstein at a media briefing at the Justice Department.
The Obama administration had rolled back the policy in 2015, saying it incentivized police to take money from people who had committed crimes.
Since former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder weighed in on the issue in 2015, Justice Department agencies like the Drug Enforcement Administration has been barred from rewarding local police for taking possessions from people they stop.
Now, the federal government will again be able to return up to 80 percent of the assets seized to local law enforcement.
Rosenstein said the 2015 policy had a chilling effect on seizures by local law enforcement.
Many states have civil asset forfeiture laws that allow the state government to redistribute money seized for programs like education. But the federal program returns cash directly to the police department that took the asset, allowing them to buy new equipment or as drug sniffing dogs.
The Justice Department under President Donald Trump has made efforts to improve relationships with local and state law enforcement, which they viewed as damaged under the Obama administration. Rosenstein said that the president had heard from police who were concerned about the 2015 policy, but the administration was not acting to score political points with police unions that supported Trump's campaign.
"This is not an effort to appease any particular constituency. It is an effort to empower law enforcement," Rosenstein said.
The Police State's tentacles just reached a little further into your 'pocketbook' as what has become known as “policing for profit,” goes nationwide.. by federal law!
DoJ's Full new asset forfeiture policy letter below (confirming police can sezie proeprty from people not charged with crimes even in states where it is banned)...
As John Whitehead concluded so eloquently, remember, long before Americans charted their revolutionary course in pursuit of happiness, it was “life, liberty, and property” which constituted the golden triad of essential rights that the government was charged with respecting and protecting. To the colonists, smarting from mistreatment at the hands of the British crown, protecting their property from governmental abuse was just as critical as preserving their lives and liberties. As the colonists understood, if the government can arbitrarily take away your property, you have no true rights: you’re nothing more than a serf or a slave. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was born of this need to safeguard against any attempt by the government to unlawfully deprive a citizen of the right to life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. Little could our ancestral forebears have imagined that it would take less than three centuries of so-called “independence” to once again render us brow-beaten subjects in bondage to an overlord bent on depriving us of our most inalienable and fundamental rights. Yet if the government can arbitrarily freeze, seize or lay claim to your property (money, land or possessions) under government asset forfeiture schemes, you have no true rights.
Enough is enough.
We leave it to Liberty Blitzkrieg's Mike Krieger to sum it all up...Washington D.C. has become a clear threat to hundreds of millions of Americans who just want to lead a decent lives for themselves and their families. The only policies coming out of that cesspool have made things far worse for the political and economic well-being of the vast majority of us. The time for us to take our constitutional powers back and reinstate self-government is long overdue.
“We hope to issue this week a new directive on asset forfeiture — especially for drug traffickers. With care and professionalism, we plan to develop policies to increase forfeitures,” Sessions said in prepared remarks before the National District Attorneys Association. “No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime. Adoptive forfeitures are appropriate as is sharing with our partners,” he continued.
Conservatives are trashing Jeff Sessions' controversial asset-seizure program David Choi
Republican lawmakers are up in arms over a new Justice Department directive allowing the federal government to take assets that were lawfully seized by local or state law enforcement officials.
Critics challenged the constitutionality of the program and alleged it encourages law enforcement agencies to seize property from individuals who were merely suspected of criminal activity and not formally charged with a crime, violating due process.
"Instead of revising forfeiture practices in a manner to better protect Americans' due process rights, the DOJ seems determined to lose in court before it changes its policies for the better," said Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah.
"The Fifth Amendment protects us from the government depriving us of our property without due process of law," read a statement from Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. "I oppose the government overstepping its boundaries by assuming a suspect's guilt and seizing their property before they even have their day in court."
"Civil asset forfeiture is unjust and unconstitutional," tweeted Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan. "It's a big-government scheme to take people's property without due process. End it."
"This is a troubling decision for the due-process protections afforded to us under the Fourth Amendment as well as the growing consensus we’ve seen nationwide on this issue," Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California said in a statement. "Criminals shouldn’t be able to keep the proceeds of their crime, but innocent Americans shouldn’t lose their right to due process, or their private property rights, in order to make that happen."
Announced on Wednesday, the civil-asset forfeiture directive allows local law-enforcement to avoid state regulations that places limits on forfeitures. By allowing the federal government to acquire the seized assets, the state or local agency may be eligible to receive up to 80% of the proceeds, bypassing state laws that require the assets to be deposited into general funds for the state. The remaining 20% of the funds would be kept by the federal government.
The Justice Department's inspector general found that civil-asset forfeitures took in nearly $28 billion in the last decade. In 2007, the DEA reportedly seized around $4.15 billion in cash alone. Additionally, The Washington Post reported that in 2015, seizures out-earned the losses from burglaries in the US.
A US Coast Guard service members offload bails of cocaine interdicted in international waters, from the Cutter Bernard C. Webber at Coast Guard Station Miami Beach, June 13, 2016, in Miami Beach, Florida.Associated Press/Wilfredo Lee
However, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said that the goal of the directive was to target assets stemming from criminal activity and "seizing the proceeds of crime."
"It's not about taking assets from innocent people," Rosenstein said, according to The Washington Examiner. "It's about taking assets that are the proceeds of […] criminal activity, primarily drug dealing."
"Sometimes there will be criminal prosecutions, sometimes there won't," Rosenstein said.
Although the policy is a reversal of former Attorney General Eric Holder's restriction during President Obama's tenure, the memo does enact several safeguards to address some concerns. According to the memo, law-enforcement agencies must "provide additional information about the probable cause determination justifying the seizure."
State and local agencies would also be required to request their federal "adoption" of seized property within 15 days after being taken, and the federal agency must notify property owners within 45 days of seizure.
President Donald Trump has previously expressed opposition to weakening the program, after hearing from several sheriffs who complained that they faced pressure in February.
"I'd like to look into that," Trump said. "There's no reason for that."