Minute by minute, rain turns to snow over the grey shine of soaked Brooklyn streets. I’m looking out over a busy corner, bout to head out into the wetness, still have a few office hours left at the University and my department, Political Science, is having a holiday party.
You outa congratulate yourselves. So many of you are truly interested in staying up with the news. Ask me how I know.
Okay, I’ll tell you: readership to this blog doubled with the U.S. Supreme Court piece. Y’all newsie and nerdy just like me. Yadadamean?
December 13: Crack Update and a Poetic Injection of Love
U.S. Sentencing Commission Lightens the Load of Nearly 20,000 Inside: You’re Getting Out a Bit Sooner!
“Here’s a peak at the magnitude, the numbers that stand to be affected by we’re talking about. The Sentencing Commission is supposed to meet tommorow in Washington, seems they’ve been feeling like it ain’t so great that everyone and their moms knows their policies are racist. You could tell because they recently issued new guildelines, dropping the average sentence for cocaine possession about a year, from 10 years to 9 years. Tommorow the Commission is going to decide if the reduction should be made retroactive. “If the answer is “yes,” some 19,000 prisoners could have their sentences reduced.” (Stout, NYT)”
In their meeting on Tuesday, the U.S. Sentencing Commission issued a 7-to-0 vote in favor of making sure that their new, less racist, sentencing guidelines applies retroactively to folks who already been through the court, the lawyers, meeting a cell mate or two or six, sleeping screams, which means those already inside, already been had their sentence get a rare retroactive break of day in their long, long nights. While exact numbers of the currently incarcerated men and women who stand to benefit from this positive change are hard to come by, David Stout at the New York Times estimates 20,000 or so will come up offa this.
But let’s not get it twisted. At least 17,000 incarcerated folks who are inside behind crack “have no hope of a break.” (Stout, NYT, 12/12/07) Even still, Bush’s office made sure to let it be known they oppose the Commission’s retroactive move.
Senator Edward Kennedy explains why he thinks this is a positive move, “Nearly 20,000 nonviolent, low-level drug offenders will be eligible for a reduction in their excessive prison terms they recieved in the past because of the unacceptable disparity in the sentencing guidelines between crack cocaine and power cocaine offenses.”
It all starts March 3. That day marks the ready, get set, go for incarcerated folks who fit the bill. That’s when all of them gotta put in a petition to the slow ass correctional administrators and judges who, due to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, have more ammo to free people as they see fit. Those political prisoners will “be eligible to petition a judge to be resentenced under the new guidelines. The delay [between now and March 3] will give prison administrators…time to prepare for a surge of applications.” (Stout, supra)
There are about 200,000 federal inmates. A “high percentage” of them are inside behind drugs. Of that number, most were not out there being Denzel in American Gangster. We’re talking Common, T.I., street level, getting by, first time offenders, who got caught up when anti-crack laws were at their persecutive heyday. Stout reports that 60, 000 federal inmates are released every year. And 63, 000 come right back in, every year, to take their places.
A Revolutionary Take on Retroactive Sentences:
political prisoners. wrong laws. bodies caught. trapped. fuck a year off, fuck your non-existent apology for families torn, fuck anything but FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS EVERYWHERE, NOW. dear readers, let us beware the trojan horse. im telling this to myself too, feel me? let us not be afraid to rejoice. and let us not forget, they ain’t giving nothin without expectin something back. what is that something? our silence? our lives? our sons and daughters? our soldiers fighting for a war we don’t believe in anymore? our votes? not our votes, shit, this presidential race is about as real as the wwf.
An Poetic Injection of Love:
It’s snowy and dusty white outside. And I’m about to start getting ready to bounce out But before I do, a poetic injection of love, for my mamis, papis, queens, kings, studs, bring, me, everyone, fighting, staying, holding, crying, understanding, coming, for everyone:
u wud like being my daddy, #1
you would like being my daddy/cuz boss begats boss
legs crossed/ur back embossed
indian ankles/adorned with bells
poundpound/ima bring we back from hell
between me for a spell
its heaven/to keep it real
best prize/price-is-right wheel
i castles your king/ n give ur pawn sumthin he can feel
you would like being my daddy, #2
u wud like being my daddy, cuz baby boi, i know you need one too, and that i’m not the only one whose father made them blue, left them in the mirror like, who? u wud like being my daddy, let me introduce you to all my selves, we’re on the couch, breathing, eye contact, personalities rise and shine and hide again, why, in the big new york city night sky do i only see one star and that’s u baby boi, only you big boy, strong arm me to toy. strong arm me to toy.
Whew. Stay tuned for the next update of “All the News That’s Fit to Flip,” by political poet, NaxaL, aka Roopa Singh.