Charlton Heston
Heston died Saturday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 84. He had been diagnosed with neurological symptoms “consistent with Alzheimer’s disease” following a 1999 announcement that he was being treated for prostate cancer.

Alzheimers & Cannabis

Heston was a supporter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., calling him “a 20th century Moses for his people,” and participated in the march on Washington in 1963.

"Thank you Miss Rosa"

Race and Imprisonment in the Drug War

A new study released yesterday by the widely known human rights watchdog group Human Rights Watch promises to generate great interest among the mass media and other interested parties. "Punishment and Prejudice: Racial Disparities in the War on Drugs" charges that the war on drugs has been waged overwhelmingly against black Americans, and includes the first state-by-state analysis of the role of race and drugs in prison admissions. All of the 37 states Human Rights Watch studied send black drug offenders to prison at far higher rates than whites.

Heston served four terms as president of the National Rifle Association between 1997 and 2001. He became one of the organization's most effective spokesmen.

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National Rifle Association (NRA)
Their campaign for longer sentences...

"There are only two ways to avoid a mandatory minimum sentence. First, the defendant may provide 'substantial assistance' to the government by turning in other defendants. Second, some defendants qualify for the 'safety valve' that Congress passed in 1994 to address (at FAMM’s urging) the excessive sentences served by non-violent drug offenders. If the judge finds the defendant is a low-level, non-violent, first-time offender who qualifies for the safety valve, the defendant may be sentences under the sentencing guidelines instead of the mandatory minimum sentence law. Although the safety valve is a step in the right direction, the criteria for eligibility is very narrow so thousands of nonviolent drug defendants are still sent to prison for decades under mandatory minimum sentencing laws." - Emphasis added.
continued...famm.org/sentencing

Dr. Mollie Fry gets 5 ******* Years! MM

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Fry, Schafer and family at August 2007 demonstration
(courtesy indybay.org)

Prisons: America's Newest Growth Industry
Private prison companies have some powerful allies in the fight for stiffer sentences and more prison spending. For example, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, which has grown from 4,000 to 23,000 in the last decade, gave more than $1 million to various California state politicians in 1996. The prison lobby is also supported by the National Rifle Association. Armed with an agenda of deflecting public fear away from guns and toward people, the NRA successfully lobbies for prison construction and three-strikes-and-you're-out laws.

The NRA strikes Back By Chris Bryson
An important and largely overlooked force driving the prison boom in the United States is the National Rifle Association. With a membership of some 3 million, an estimated war chest of $140 million, and paid lobbyists in ail 50 states, the NRA has thrown its weight behind so-called "get tough on crime" measures and prison-building initiatives.

Journey for Justice Pedaling for Pot

Slave Labor Means Big Bucks For U.S. Corporations
It seemed like a normal factory closing. U.S. Technologies sold its electronics plant in Austin, Texas, leaving its 150 workers unemployed. Everyone figured they were moving the plant to Mexico, where they would employ workers at half the cost. But six weeks later, the electronics plant reopened in Austin in a nearby prison.

Ganjawar: Slave Labor, Rape & Pillage Deterrent
At the same time, the United States blasts China for the the use of prison slave labor, engaging in the same practice itself. Prison labor is a pot of gold. No strikes, union organizing, health benefits, unemployment insurance or workers' compensation to pay.

As if exploiting the labor of prison inmates was not bad enough, it is legal in the United States to use slave labor. The 13th Amendment of the Constitution states that "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted shall exist within the United States."

There are approximately 2 million people behind bars in the United States -- more than three times the number of prisoners in 1980. The United States now imprisons more people than any other country in the world. In fact, in the last 20 years California has constructed 21 new prisons while in the same amount of time, it has built only one new university. That statistic is even more astounding when we think about the fact that it took California almost 150 years to build its first 12 prisons. Another five new prisons are under construction and plans are in the works to build another 10.

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FAMM - All about Mandatory Minimum Sentencing
Congress enacted mandatory minimum sentencing laws to catch drug “kingpins” and deter drug sales and use. But the laws undermine the American tradition of justice by preventing judges from fitting the punishment to the individual’s role in the offense. Because of mandatory sentencing laws, the population of federal prisons has soared and they are filled with low-level, nonviolent drug law violators – not the “kingpins” mandatory sentences intended to apprehend.

Young Black Americans and the Criminal Justice System
Five Years Later. October 1995 report.

U.S. Federal prison population
number and percent sentenced for drug offenses 1970-1997

*USA. Mandatory Life Without Parole for Woman after First Offense

NRA's Mandatory Minimum Sentencing campaigns

crooksandliars

*Shattered Lives, Human Rights and the Drug War"
Portraits From America's Drug War
Book by Mikki Norris, Chris Conrad, and Virginia Resner

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