Letter to the Editor: Presidential Election and Sentencing Reform

Letter to the Editor: Presidential Election and Sentencing Reform
September 08
07:15 2016

GOP, Democratic presidential  hopefuls are both scary

To the Editor:

One candidate has “made billions” saying “YOU’RE FIRED” and “IN REAL ESTATE,” on the backs of small contractors he’s bankrupted by building his palaces and casinos.

Though running for president, he refuses to disclose any financial information, even whether or not he pays taxes.

He admires Vladimir and Saddam.  He accuses his opponent of having every character flaw he flaunts.

Where is the media outcry for his tax returns, conflicts of interest, health records and foreign entanglements?  All we know is that he’s stiffed small businesses and “Trump U” students, insulted Hispanics, African-Americans, war heroes, grieving parents, women and Muslims, and manufactures his products in China and Bangladesh.

On international television he tells his opponents “to go F$#? themselves!”  He’s so utterly unfit for the presidency that he’s scary!

The other candidate has released 30-plus years of tax returns and spent her entire adult life in public service under the grueling media spotlight –not to become a billionaire reality TV star, but to stand up for her family and all American families.

Before she was asked to serve as Secretary of State, her family established a charity that has helped mil-lions around the world and is internationally respected.

She is by all measures the most qualified candidate for President, and one of the best-liked Americans on earth!  Nonetheless, every aspect of her life has been under relentless, merciless criticism, because she’s scary too!  She is, after all, a strong, smart, experienced, passionate and capable woman.

Ann Guill 


Donald Trump doesn’t speak for this black woman, black community

To the Editor:

Donald Trump doesn’t speak for me or the African-American community. It’s insulting and offensive that Donald Trump thinks one church appearance will undo the divisive undertone of his campaign.

He’s played to misleading stereotypes about people of color, courted white nationalists with a wink and a nod, and up until now he has refused to speak in front of a black audience.

Black America is fully aware of what’s at stake with a Trump presidency, and his vision for America hardly includes us. Trump wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act without even thinking through how it would hurt African-Americans. He’s repeated by likened inner cities to war zones, and he refused to disavow an endorsement from former KKK leader David Duke four times in one interview.

Hillary Clinton gets it. She began her career working for the Children’s Defense Fund, where she investigated segregation in Alabama schools. Clinton helped expand Head Start, and sponsored laws to end racial profiling. There couldn’t be a clearer contrast between the Democratic and Republican candidates, and I’m standing with her because I know she’ll stand with me.

Virgie M. Rollins, a Michigan native

Democratic National Committee Black Caucus Chairwoman 

Detroit, Michigan

President Obama got it right: Sentencing reform needed in U.S.

To the Editor:

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers Jr.(D-Michigan) and House Judiciary Crime Subcommittee Ranking Member Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) released the following statements after the White House announced the commutation of the sentences of 111 individuals last week:

Conyers: “We are grateful for having worked with President Obama to make reforms to our criminal justice system.  Without his persistent leadership, this would not have happened. It adds to the legacy of the 44th President. This is the right thing to do, but it is only a partial solution to the problem.  My position consistently has been that Congress needs to take action to reform sentencing laws to prevent unfair and unjust sentences from being imposed in the first place.

I appreciate the President’s support for legislation we have been working on to reform sentencing and other aspects of our criminal justice system.”

Jackson Lee: “I am encouraged by President Obama’s commutation of sentences of 111 individuals –who were all victims of unjust sentencing. Nearly all of these men and women would have been released and contributing back to society already had they been convicted under today’s laws or reform proposals. I welcome and applaud the commutations of the sentences of these individuals.  Incarcerating people for unwarranted lengths of time serves no constructive purpose.  The President has recognized this, as has Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and I hope the Administration’s Clemency Project will continue to address the multitude of cases in which sentence reductions are appropriate.  Of course, the need to engage in such a broad review of sentences exists largely because our sentencing laws and policies, particularly for drug offenses, urgently need to be changed.  We need to eliminate mandatory minimum sentencing and let judges impose appropriate sentences based on the facts and circumstances of each case, and we should eliminate the higher penalties for crack cocaine relative to powder cocaine offenses.  I am heartened that there is a growing, bipartisan recognition of the problem of over incarceration and I hope this will lead to sentencing reform this Congress.”

U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Michigan)

U.S. Rep.  Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) 

House Judiciary Committee Members

Washington, D.C.

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