A WIN FOR HISTORY AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE: THE FIRST STEP ACT AND FINALLY A LYNCHING LAW
America has repeatedly failed to pass a lynching law to prevent this heinous crime from happening to African-Americans. Well, as of 2018-200 years! later Congress has finally decided to pass a lynching law. Sidebar: Additionally, Congress passed the First Step Act to begin the changes in the nations fragmented and racially disproportionate prison system. Recap: the government created the war on drugs destroying African-Americans and Hispanic communities, giving non-violent drug offenders lengthy jail sentences which have damaged the lives of many men.
“Sidebar: the passage of the lynching law fits the saying it’s better late than never.”
Both the Lynching law and First Step Act are really great policies beneficial to people of color. The incarceration rates and the act of lynching have impaired African-Americans for centuries and now it’s long overdue that concrete legislation passed to bring a change for people of color.
Lynching finally a federal hate crime:
America has been around for 245 years and for the past 200 of those years African-Americans were affected by the hate crime of lynching. Slavery and the Jim Crow era is when the hate crime of lynching was prevalent. African-Americans had no legal rights, no government protection nothing to prevent innocent human beings from being killed because of their skin color and white people would be able to get away with it. For 200 years the nation allowed lynching of African-Americans as a sign of dehumanization because our ancestors were not people and not protected by the laws of the nation.
“Recap: the world knows the dark history of America and the relationship with African-Americans and the indignation from a group of people who literally went to the extreme to prevent African-Americans from succeeding.”
To a lynching law making it a federal hate crime is long overdue. Sidebar: 2 sayings which apply to the new law-it’s better late than never and it’s also a little too late for this law. During slavery, Reconstruction, Civil Rights is when America’s government should have passed a lynching law making it a federal crime. Thousands of lives were lost due to lynching-many innocent lives young and old were lost due to lynching.
“We have an opportunity to recognize the wrongs of our history, to honor the memories of those brutally killed, and to leave a legacy that future generations can look back on knowing that after 200 attempts, and a century of trying, on this day in American history, this body did the right thing.”
The failure of every Congress to pass an anti-lynching is responsible for the death of innocent people, the failure of every Congress to pass anti-lynching law shows us why it’s important to be involved in our politics. The past cannot be rewritten but made right.
First Step in the Right Direction:
The manufactured War on Drugs created by America’s government tore families and communities apart, many non-violent drug offenders arrested received the same long sentences as a violent drug offender contributing to America’s high incarceration rate. Due to this manufactured issue, beginning with President Reagan and lasting into President Clinton, Congress passes the Criminal Bill of 1993 which imposed life-long sentences for drugs at a disproportionately higher rate for people of color.
“Furthermore, the manufactured War on Drugs created by America’s government tore families and communities apart, many non-violent drug offenders who were arrested received the same long sentences as a violent drug offender which is why America is the highest incarcerated nation.”
The Crime bill is responsible for America’s over-incarceration and creating the prison industrial complex of private prisons. Prisoners work for little to nothing and are in subpar conditions compared to if the prisons were operated by the government. After 2 decades of over-incarceration and the Crime Bill disproportionately placing people of color in prison, the FIRST Step Act is a step in the right direction to not only cut the over-incarceration in the prison system, but to change the nation prison laws and system.
A synopsis of the FIRST Step Act:
- The bill will make retroactive the reforms enacted by the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which reduced the disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine sentences at the federal level. This could affect nearly 2,600 federal inmates, according to the Marshall Project. *Crack Cocaine which was used among people of color compared to white people received a longer sentence although both used the drug at the same level. Even with weed a reason why there is a push to decriminalize because people of color are being charged more although studies have shown both people of color and white people use weed at the same levels.
- The bill would take several steps to ease mandatory minimum sentences under federal law.
- It would expand the “safety valve” that judges can use to avoid handing down mandatory minimum sentences. It would ease a “three strikes” rule so people with three or more convictions, including for drug offenses, automatically get 25 years instead of life, among other changes. *A key part of the over-incarceration and long-life sentences is the 3 strikes rule, the FIRST STEP act addresses this rule by reducing long sentences of non-violent offenders. Additionally, with implementing good behavior requirements and rehabilitative programs, many non-violent offenders will be released early or have time cut on their sentences.
“Sidebar: the history of the justice system in America with the crime bill of 1993 and 2 decades later is an example of how our predecessors fail to understand the future and the changing of times.”
Due to unfair long sentencing, many lives were damaged in the prison system. With the advanced world we live and the broken bureaucracy of government, it will be difficult for a person to get their lives on track. Sidebar: the history of the justice system in America with the crime bill of 1993 and 2 decades later is an example of how our predecessors fail to understand the future and the changing of times.
Also published on Medium.