Thursday, May 8, 2014

U.S. Laws Defy Basic Rules Of Justice: Report

Too many laws in the U.S defy basic human rights principles of justice by resorting to overly punitive sentences for nonviolent and low-level crimes, according to a report published Tuesday by Human Rights Watch.
“Almost 30 years of harsh sentencing laws have left the US with over 2.2 million men and women behind bars, most for nonviolent crimes,” the 36-page report concludes, pointing to the more than 53 percent of state prison inmates with sentences of at least a year who are serving time for non-violent offenses.
“Fair and prudent punishment is not only a core human rights principle, but a core principle of American justice that has been neglected for far too long,” Jamie Fellner, co-author of the report and senior adviser to the U.S. Program at Human Rights Watch, said in a press release Tuesday. “There is growing national recognition that disproportionately harsh laws are not needed to protect public safety and to hold offenders accountable for their crimes. To the contrary, community well-being is best served by fair laws and just sentences.”

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