Alabama's New Sentencing "Suggestions" Will ...
Samira Jafari of the AP appears in The Decatur Daily with "Experts: New state sentencing guides no quick-fix for prisons" that offers,
According to the sentencing commission, which drafted the legislation, the guidelines will help alleviate overcrowding at the prison system — which stands at more than double designed capacity with 28,000 — if at least 75 percent of Alabama's judges agree to use them. Even then, it'll take roughly four years for the prison population to stabilize.
Back in my days laboring here in the 5th Circuit, one former judge was particularly bizarre in his sentencing so I'd have loved to hear him rail about this legislation. Nobody was as smart as this fellow and he loved to remind everyone of that belief. I also fear the "law and order" vote is increasingly vital with "Godly Conservatives" really not motivated to elect judges interested in "mercy" and the like. So to have the sentences "voluntary" is going to have lots of disparities and perhaps will not mean much. I've been told that Alabama's Favorite Theocrat Roy Moore's home circuit is known for having an extreme amount of folks clogging up our prisons. While I like the idea of dropping drug case time and allowing downward departures or whatever Alabama will call it on simple property offenses, one good start I've already blogged on would be to end the so called "War on Drugs" and to trash the school and housing authority enhancements. Peace ... or War!