Pubdate: Mon, 31 Jan 2005
Source: Washington Times (DC)
Copyright: 2005 News World Communications, Inc.
Author: John Chase


Alan Reynolds' column "Let judges use judgment" (Commentary, Sunday)
is the most accurate description I have seen of the federal criminal
justice system, especially as it relates to so-called drug offenses.
Justice Thurgood Marshall, who said he would never give a drug dealer
a break, would turn in his grave if he could see the
Constitution-bending results of that kind of thinking.

Now that the system is beginning to regain some sanity, we must
consider the tens of thousands of prisoners who sit in prison
sentenced on charges not admitted to and never heard by a jury -- that
is, in violation of the Sixth Amendment, as recently ruled by the
Supreme Court. In fairness, their sentences should be recalculated to
what they would have been if those unproved charges against them had
never been made. At the barest minimum, those prisoners should be
allowed to earn more than the current, and varying, limits on "good
time" toward their release.


Palm Harbor, Fla.
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