The liberal progressive left is fond of the word “fairness,” and so I found a very good opportunity to challenge them on this fundamental premise. It seems President Obama has a certain penchant — even a fondness — for drug offenders.
As reported by CNN:
President Barack Obama commuted the prison sentences of 46 drug offenders, saying in a video posted online Monday that the men and women were not “hardened criminals” and their punishments didn’t match the crimes they committed.
Obama said the move was part of his larger attempt to reform the criminal justice system, including reviewing sentencing laws and reducing punishments for non-violent crimes. With Monday’s announcement, Obama has commuted more sentences than any president since Lyndon B. Johnson.
“I believe that at its heart, America is a nation of second chances, and I believe these folks deserve their second chance,” Obama said in the video.
The move brings the number of Obama’s commutations to nearly 90. Most of those have been for federal prisoners incarcerated for drug offenses who were slapped with long sentences mandated under guidelines set during a drug-and-crime wave in the 1980s. Under current sentencing guidelines most of those prisoners would have already finished serving time.
Of the 46 prisoners whose sentences were commuted on Monday, 13 were sentenced to prison for life. Most of those commuted sentences will now end in November, a several month transition period that officials said allowed for arrangements to be made in halfway homes and other facilities.
The new round of commutations comes after 22 prisoners convicted of drug crimes were granted release earlier this year. In late 2014, eight criminals were granted commutations.
Unlike a presidential pardon, a commutation does not erase a criminal conviction, only reduces a sentence. In his presidency Obama has granted 64 pardons.
The White House on Monday posted a letter Obama wrote to each of the 46 men and women whose sentences were commuted.
“I am granting your application because you have demonstrated the potential to turn your life around,” Obama wrote. “Now it is up to you to make the most of this opportunity. It will not be easy, and you will confront many who doubt people with criminal records can change. Perhaps even you are unsure of how you will adjust to your new circumstances. But remember that you have the capacity to make good choices.”
Now, I’ve no issue with decriminalizing low-level drug offenses. However, I consider actually selling drugs a violent criminal offense. To me, anytime someone’s promoting a substance to another that adversely affects their body, that’s a violent act with a specified intent. There are many ways we can rehab individuals who commit some of these low-level drug offenses — make them volunteer at substance abuse clinics and attend mandatory training, for example. But my focus is on something totally different here.
How many of our men sit in Ft. Leavenworth, serving sentences for actions they committed in combat based upon horrific rules of engagement? How many of these soldiers and Marines are like U.S. Army 1LT Clint Lorance, who’s serving a 20-year sentence for killing the enemy in Afghanistan. What about the horrific treatment of U.S. Army Special Forces Major Mathew Golsteyn? Both of these stories we’ve brought to you here at this website.
Where’s the Commander-in-Chief’s emotional desire for a “second chance” for these warriors? In other words, where’s the fairness? Why is it that Obama can find the time to commute the sentences of so many drug offenders, but yet not EVER have uttered the names of these two aforementioned soldiers? I suppose it’s the same fairness as sending representatives from his administration to the funerals of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray — while no one attended the funeral of U.S. Army Major General Harold Green, the most senior American to lose his life in Afghanistan.
See, fairness is defined by liberal progressive socialists as that which fits into their political agenda — their insidious concept of social justice. It’s the reason why MAJ Golsteyn is stripped of his Special Forces tab and 1LT Lorance sits in prison, yet a known deserter just had another delay for his military hearing. That person is, of course, Bowe Bergdahl who was supposed to begin his trial process this month. Now it’s been delayed until September — wanna bet it gets another delay? After all, it was National Security Advisor Susan Rice who declared Bergdahl served with honor and distinction — for liberals, his desertion and disparaging references to his fellow soldiers and country are just that.
For President Obama, fairness is releasing drug dealers and protecting deserters — while battle-tested troops remain incarcerated. Is it that Obama believes those men serving time in Ft. Leavenworth don’t deserve consideration for a second chance? Have they not demonstrated the potential to turn their lives around? Heck, Golsteyn and Lorance have been imprisoned or punished for actions taken on the battlefield — hardly a place where Barack Obama would venture.
“Over the last few years a lot of people have become aware of the inequities in the criminal justice system,” Obama said in the video.
Mr. President, I just made you aware of a serious inequity. Just as Homeland Security Director knew not Kathryn Steinle, I’m quite sure you know not the names of Lorance and Golsteyn. Sir, show us fairness. Unless it is, as we believe, that the only lives that matter to you are those which enable your fundamental transformation of America.