Federal prosecutors routinely threaten extraordinarily severe prison sentences to coerce drug defendants into waiving their right to trial and pleading guilty. In the rare cases in which defendants insist on going to trial, prosecutors make good on their threats. Federal drug offenders convicted after trial receive sentences on average three times as long as those who accept a plea bargain, according to new statistics developed by Human Rights Watch.
A recent HRW report details how prosecutors throughout the United States extract guilty pleas from federal drug defendants by charging or threatening to charge them with offenses carrying harsh mandatory sentences and by seeking additional mandatory increases to those sentences. Prosecutors offer defendants a much lower sentence in exchange for pleading guilty. Since drug defendants rarely prevail at trial, it is not surprising that 97 percent of them decide to plead guilty.
Prosecutors give drug defendants a so-called choice – in the most egregious cases, the choice can be to plead guilty to 10 years, or risk life without parole by going to trial. Prosecutors make offers few drug defendants can refuse. This is coercion pure and simple.
Photo: The federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana. The prison is one of 130 federal facilities to which convicted federal drug defendants can be sent. © 2001 Andy Clark/REUTERS
Whatever causes night in our souls may leave stars.
After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted” (John 6:12).
The Bible tells of a time when Jesus fed a crowd of five thousand with only five loaves. That day, everyone had more than enough to eat and there were still twelve baskets full of bread. That’s because we serve a God of abundance! I love that Jesus told the disciples to collect all the leftovers “so that nothing is wasted.” With God, nothing is ever wasted. He’ll never waste an experience; He’ll never waste a hurt; He’ll never waste a dream; He’ll never waste even a single piece of bread.
God is still in the miracle-working business. He is still our Creator and He is a Restorer. If you’ve felt like you’ve wasted years of your life in the wrong job, hanging around the wrong people, doing the wrong things, God will gather those years and restore them back to you. He’ll take those experiences that the enemy meant for your harm, and He’ll turn them around for your good. He’ll make you stronger, wiser, and better off than you were before. He can launch you further into your destiny than before. Be encouraged today because with God all things are possible and nothing is ever wasted!
A Prayer for Today
Heavenly Father, I give You every bit of my life, my past, my present, and my future. Thank you for taking every experience in my life and turning it around for my good. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
I like this quote.
When people are abused and assaulted, it is like the doors to their souls slam shut. The goal of Joyful Heart is to let the light, and the life, back in—to banish the darkness and let the healing begin.
- Mariska Hargitay, Founder & President of the Joyful Heart Foundation
- See more at: http://joyfulheartfoundation.org/
- 52 doctors and nurses were killed in a coordinated attack that targeted Yemen’s Ministry of Defense, according to government officials. Several foreign nationals have been reported killed in the attack, including doctors from Venezuela and the Phillipines.
- 162 people…
Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.
The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.