It seems that the American ‘Reform Sex Offender Laws’ movement are starting to make some progress.
RSOL just concluded a successful and exciting three days at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Annual Meeting. There were more than 300 attorneys from all over the country in attendance. RSOL representative Larry Neely attended nearly all the workshops and networked with attorneys from several states, including New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Florida, and Illinois.
Since RSOL is not widely known in the legal community, this networking is extremely valuable if we hope to build future relationship and be considered as both credible and a relevant organization. Every time Larry spoke to one of the attendees about RSOL, they were both surprised and pleased. “I didn’t know you guys were out there!” and “Your advocacy is sorely needed!” were common reactions. Clearly these folks “get” our issue!
Apparently Eric Holder was also at the event. He is the American Attorney General who recently remarked that “Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason”
The highlight was the keynote address by Attorney General Eric Holder. Mr. Holder offered kudos to the NACDL for responding to his “clemency challenge” with more than 1000 lawyers volunteering to provide pro bono representation to inmates that have served more time for drug related offenses than required by current sentencing guidelines. Mr. Holder also lamented that the Criminal Justice Act passed back in 1964, yet millions of Americans remain without access to affordable legal services, in particular the detrimental effect those sequestration budget cuts have had on indigent defense. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested $24 million in new funding for “indigent defense initiatives.” The administration’s priorities for the remainder of the Obama presidency are:
· Passage of the “Smart on Crime Initiative;”
· Moving away from strict sentencing practices;
· Focus on prison diversion; and
· The Clemency Project of 2014.
Mr. Holder’s remarks were well received by the attendees. In fact, he received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his speech.
Time to say enough is enough: Let’s end the anti-drugs, anti-paedophile mass incarceration experiment.