On the Record on criminal justice reform

Paul Howard, Fulton County district attorney, in the AJC, Feb. 17: “What is the effect of the mandatory minimums? In Atlanta, since 1994 when the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ took effect, the violent crime rate has dropped 62 percent. The sentences handed down in our criminal justice system should be fair and just, and each defendant must receive equal treatment. So every time I hear of the judges talking about wanting more discretion, I am reminded of sentencing disparities. Black defendants are at least 30 percent more likely to be in prison for the same crime. Whenever the judges are allowed to sentence at their discretion, the disparity increases. That’s why I believe it’s important that everyone who commits a similar crime should receive a similar sentence. There is racial disparity. One of the best ways to avoid it is to make the sentences the same. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but it does provide a measure of protection because it provides a system of fairness.

Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills, from a 2012 open letter critical of sentencing reform that was later approved: “I find it truly incredible and absolutely amazing that such drastic changes could happen so quickly, especially since the vast majority of the citizens of this state have no knowledge of the consequences that will follow these changes in our laws.
“Every thief, burglar, check forger, and hoodlum from Trenton to Tybee, from Bainbridge to Blue Ridge, will be grinning from ear to ear.”

From a February 7 message by Sills on gun control, posted on the sheriff’s department website: “The media very rarely even makes mention of a criminal’s previous arrest record. Last year, our General Assembly rammed through legislation that they called “Criminal Justice Reform.” In reality it was nothing more than a statutory degradation of morality, as its primary component did nothing more than change a litany of felony crimes, making them misdemeanors and shifting the burden of cost from the state government back to the counties.

Governor Deal touted that it was simply too expensive to keep criminals in prison because we were mad at them. I believe we should be nothing less than furious with recidivist criminals. The emotional and financial expenses that victims and others are left with in the wake of their incessant pernicious voyages far exceeds the cost of keeping the savages caged and away from society.”

2 comments Add your comment

casswell g north

February 24th, 2013
10:22 am

Enter your comments her

As an inmate myself what i dont understand is whats there to get georgias prisons are overflowing with inmates with non threatening crimes ranging from theft to burglary to lesser included crimes of robbery to person to person crimes and what all these have as there connecting factor is mandatory sentencing schemes.All of the jails are bursting with violent offenders old and young alike whos incarceration is vital to the security of every one in the state of georgia yet they languish in the counties denied access into a state system on lock because the men and women and believe it children that should be getting rehabilitated are instead serving no purpose but of those who are tied to whipping posts and beat for the masters pleasure any changes made to the mandatory sentencing laws will be much needed and a long time coming.

Jesus Christ crushes NWO, DBMs

February 23rd, 2013
2:19 pm

Prior to integration in the south, 1970, there were an insignificant number of black persons in prison. Check the record. But today every one out three African American men aged 21-31 are on parole, probation, or in prison. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the cause of these alarming numbers.

Prior to integration in the south, African Americans as a group were self reliant, took personal responsibility, and shunned big government. But integration upset this progressive trend. As a result, African Americans depend upon government to meet our basic needs and to solve our problems. Any thinking person knows that’s a prescription for creating criminals, imprisonment, and death.

Obviously, Paul Howard and Howard Sills do not believe it is their duty to address the heart of the criminal justice issue. The former merely wants everyone to suffer equally without prejudice, and the latter wants future generations to suffer the consequences of ill-advised integrationist leadership.