How the War on Drugs Failed

Reputed personal injury lawyers are concerned that law enforcement officials are treating members of the American public unjustly. One Atlantic article highlights such brutality.

In recent years, the American war on drugs has been under much scrutiny for its unjust legal practices. This face is illuminated in a touring documentary by Eugene Jarecki. His documentary, The House I Live In, profiles the lives of those victimized and devastated by our so-called war on drugs.

Among the examples featured in the documentary is a person serving an Oklahoma life sentence for allegedly carrying three ounces of methamphetamine. His life sentence is due, in no small part, to the rise of the prison industrial complex. This term refers to prisons owned by private investors who provide financial incentive for incarcerating people.The prison industrial complex imprisons our citizens for petty crimes, with little evidence against them, for inappropriate lengths of time, all in the name of profit margins.

Lawyers throughout the country are hoping that 2012 publicly exposed the harsh truth about our country’s prison system. Two cases in June were milestones in this effort: in Dorsey vs United States, for example, the Supreme Court endorsed new federal sentencing guidelines that bridge the gap between crack and powder cocaine offenders, a landmark decision with roots from the Regan era.

The other June 2012 case involved the abuse and mistreatment of mentally-ill prisoners at the ADX-Florence super-max prison in Colorado. Perhaps the nations most well-known prison, ADX officials are notoriously brutal. The case is still in its nascent phase and the courts have yet to allow the case to proceed further. If that happens, the Bureau of Prisons will be forced to give an explanation under oath for the way its prison officials behave. This would force Congress to intervene and take action, such as they did in 2012 for reports of juvenile rape in prisons.

In November, California’s voters chose to minimize the powers of the so called “three strikes law,” which is often blamed for the state’s overcrowded prisons. The decrepit conditions forced federal courts to order the release of a significant number of prisoners recently. Among the total California electorate, 6 million citizens also voted for ending capital punishment.

In fact, the burden on the prison system on the country was one of the reasons citizens of Washington and Colorado voted for legalizing marijuana. It is well known that California spends more taxpayers’ money on prisons than on schools. Citizens are now realizing that they must stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki hopes that his documentary will open the eyes of many to the dangerous path the war on drugs is leading us down. Jarecki specifically highlights the immense issue of drug addiction – that it is a public health issue, not a criminal law issue.
Those who fall victim to substance abuse are rightful citizens of America, and should be treated as such.

Police brutality and personal injury attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are keeping a close eye on the developments made throughout the country on the counter-war on drugs.

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