Target: Mr. Barack Obama, President of the United States of America
Goal: Commend commutation of sentences for non-violent drug offenders
Forty six non-violent drug offenders have just been released early from prison thanks to President Obama and his more lenient view of those who use small amounts of certain drugs. The President has said that those who are being released would all have served their entire sentences already under current laws and that everyone deserves a second chance. This type of attitude towards non-violent drug offenses is extremely progressive and is deserving of great praise.
It’s no secret that U.S. prisons are stuffed to the gills with non-violent drug offenders. Statistics show that almost fifty percent of all inmates in federal prisons are there for drug related offenses and another starling statistic shows that about 93 percent of all inmates are in for non-violent crimes. Much of this is due to harsh mandatory minimum sentencing laws for drug offenses that were enacted in the 1980s. These laws have caused prison populations to explode by an estimate of about 800 percent which is dangerous for inmates and expensive for taxpayers.
Many of those who are convicted of criminal drug offenses have no prior criminal record and a large portion of them were arrested merely for smoking marijuana which is now legal in several states. A criminal conviction can mean difficulty finding work or buying a home, effectively making these “criminals” a further drain on social welfare programs once they are released.
The ultimate solution to this problem is to get rid of mandatory minimum sentences for drug related offenses, but commuting and shortening sentences for non-violent drug offenders is a wonderful step in the right direction. Some of the greatest minds have argued that societies can be judged by how they treat their prisoners and by granting these people a second chance, Barack Obama has shown that the United States can be merciful. Please sign here to commend the President for this great deed and encourage him to release even more non-violent and harmless drug offenders in the future.
Dear President Obama,
I am writing to personally thank you for commuting the sentences of 46 non-violent drug offenders. You know many of the statistics surround the United States’ current prison problem so I will not bombard you with them, I will simply say that you have given 46 people a second chance at living a normal life and that is priceless and worthy of commendation
Some of the greatest minds of our time have said that a society can be judged by how it treats its prisoners and you have shown that ours is capable of mercy. I urge you to look into getting rid of the mandatory minimum sentencing laws that caused much of this trouble but until they are gone, I beg you to keep commuting sentences for non-violent, harmless drug offenders. Many of these people only need a second chance because the deck is so stacked against them from the beginning and some substances that are harmless are still considered illegal.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Chmee2