A report released by the Criminal Sentencing and Disposition Commission made recommendations on Thursday that included elimination of mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug and property crimes and a retroactivity provision that would allow inmates currently serving sentences on such crimes to seek early release. The retoactivity provision would allow thousands of inmates to petition for their release from prison. Attorney General Grewal served on the Commission.
The Commission also recommended a new mitigating factor that would allow sentencing judges to consider a defendant’s youth, an expansion of the compassionate release program for older and terminally ill inmates and a resentencing mechanism for juveniles were were sentenced to long prison sentences. You can read the entire report here.
“Our current mandatory minimum laws for these nonviolent offenses reflect the harsh, inflexible and often misguided mindset of the 1980s’ so-called war on drugs,” Governor Murphy said. “They haven’t served the cause of justice. They have devastated the lives of too many individuals and families, mostly people of color, and it’s past time that they are retired”.
Senate President Steve Sweeney (D, Gloucester) said “It is a celebration that we’re going to do away with the old time of ‘lock ‘em up and throw away the key.’ That these are lives that are being impacted. This is long past due. It’s 2019 and we’re destroying people. People that made mistakes. They’re not criminals, they’re people that made mistakes”.
“The term ‘justice for all’ shouldn’t be something we throw around willy-nilly. It should be a guiding principle,” said Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D, Middlesex). “And today we take a step forward to making sure that that is in fact a reality in the state of New Jersey.”
Do the Governor, Senate President and Assembly Speaker think the people of New Jersey are stupid (maybe they are – after all they elected Murphy, Sweeney and Coughlin to serve)? Murphy seems to be telling us that the war on drugs is a mistake. We have a drug epidemic in New Jersey in across the county. Those in possession of drugs to distribute or consume are guilty of a crime. Does Murphy believe we should only prosecute crimes he finds convenient?
Senate President Sweeney, the people in prison who you claim “made mistakes” are by definition criminals. Where do you draw the line? What other crimes do you and the Governor now find acceptable? Should we simply do away with law enforcement?
Assembly Speaker Coughlin how about justice for New Jersey families? Why does your version of justice for criminals trump (pun intended) justice for the law abiding citizens of New Jersey?
Democrats are working to make New Jersey unsafe and unaffordable for the middle-class tax, tax paying, law abiding citizens of he state. When will enough be enough?
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