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Reason Foundation Submits Letter to U.S. Sentencing Commission Supporting "Drugs Minus Two" RetroactivityJuly 11, 2014, 5:10pm
The good, the bad and the ugly in criminal justice lawsJune 12, 2014
Although Louisiana enacted some minor criminal justice reforms worth highlighting, their positive impact will likely be overshadowed by a number of bad or downright ugly laws passed this legislative session. Such laws look set to increase the number of low-level, nonviolent drug offenders in prison, as well as the amount of time they’ll be required to stay there—all with no added benefit to public safety (and certainly not to taxpayers). This article contains a summary of the (sort-of) good, the bad and the (very) ugly new criminal justice laws in Louisiana.
State should increase availability of voluntary drug treatment while reducing harsh mandatory minimum sentencesMay 2, 2014
The Louisiana legislature is in the midst of a heroin panic. A bill that breezed through the House on a 94-1 vote, and is now with the State Senate, would require anyone caught in possession of heroin — no matter how small an amount — to serve at least two years in prison. It would also double the mandatory minimum sentence for selling any small amount of heroin from five to 10 years in prison. Another bill that would allow 99 year prison sentences for heroin distributors just passed a Senate panel and is headed for a full vote.
Excessive sentence of 13.3 years in prison for possession of small amount of marijuana should be reviewedApril 17, 2014
Brief Amicus Curiae of Micah Project, Prison Fellowship Ministries, Reason Foundation, ACLU of Louisiana, and Drug Policy Alliance
State of Louisiana v. Bernard Noble
Bernard Noble is a 45 year old man who was sentenced to 13 years and four months of hard labor in prison without the opportunity for parole for possessing the equivalent of two marijuana cigarettes. Eight of the 12 Louisiana judges who have reviewed Mr. Noble's case have taken issue with its disposition, and several have variously expressed "shock, literal shock" about the "absolute horrific" sentence Mr. Noble received, a sentence "grossly out of proportion for the severity of the crime," that simply "imposes needless and purposeless pain."
This brief of Amici Curiae seeks to place Mr. Noble's case in the broader context of sentencing policy and sentencing data. It is Amici's belief that the need for this Court's review of this case will become clearer and more urgent when Mr. Noble's sentence is viewed in the context of the purposed of punishment, the dramatically lower penalties that would attach to Mr. Noble's offense in virtually every other state in the union, and the tangible ways that Mr. Noble's sentence will negatively affect him, his family, his community and the taxpayers of Louisiana without enhancing public safety or health.
This brief demonstrates that Mr. Noble's prison sentence of 13.3 years is grossly disproportionate to both Mr. Noble's instant offense and his criminal history, cannot be squared with the sentencing practices of other states, fails to advance the core purposes of punishment, does not align with Louisiana public opinion, and is an affront to common decency. The Louisiana Supreme Court should grant Mr. Noble's petition for Certiorari.
The rollout of Reason Foundation's Annual Privatization Report 2013 continues today with the release of the Criminal Justice and Corrections section, which which provides an overview of the latest on privatization and public-private partnerships in criminal justice and corrections.
View Resources by Type
- Developments in Criminal Justice and Corrections
Annual Privatization Report 2013 examines criminal justice and corrections trends
Leonard Gilroy, Harris Kenny, Alexander Volokh and Andrew Livingston
May 6, 2013
- The Nonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Act: Prison Overcrowding, Parole and Sentencing Reform (Proposition 5)
Policy Brief 74
October 1, 2008
- Illegally Green: Environmental Costs of Hemp Prohibition
March 13, 2008
- Sensible Policies for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Los Angeles
March 1, 2007
- Taxing Illegal Drugs: How States Dabble in Drugs and Why They Shouldn't
Policy Study 357
February 1, 2007
- Reason Foundation Submits Letter to U.S. Sentencing Commission Supporting "Drugs Minus Two" Retroactivity (7/11)
- Louisiana’s 2014 Legislative Session Roundup (6/12)
- Louisiana's Heroin Panic Makes Poor Policy (5/2)
- State of Louisiana v. Bernard Noble (4/17)
- 40th Anniversary of the Rockefeller Drug Laws: Time to Re-think Sentencing Policy (5/8)
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Editor in Chief, Reason.com and Reason TV
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