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Free Clarence Aaron
The Washington Times ^ | 11-30-04 | Debra Saunders

Posted on 11/30/2004 12:18:53 PM PST by JZelle

The small joys of life when you live freely: walking into your kitchen for that first cup of coffee, driving down a curvy back road with no other cars in sight, choosing what you'll fix yourself for dinner. We take for granted these small freedoms -- yet they are freedoms we should value and recognize. A just society does not yank these rights from a young man for the rest of his life for a petty crime. The United States of America did just that when a federal court in Alabama sentenced Clarence Aaron to life without parole for a first-time non-violent drug conviction. He was 22 years old when he hooked up two dealers for two drug deals; they paid him $1,500. He has been in prison for 11 years, and he will die behind bars unless President Bush commutes his sentence.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption
KEYWORDS: clarenceaaron; plea; threestrikes

1 posted on 11/30/2004 12:18:54 PM PST by JZelle
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To: JZelle

If you can't do the time don't do the crime.


2 posted on 11/30/2004 12:21:06 PM PST by TXBSAFH (Never underestimate the power of human stupidity--Robert Heinlein)
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To: JZelle
Eleven years sounds reasonable for being involved in drug trafficking, IMO. Where's the matching concern for the frequently lifetime addicts buying these drugs?
3 posted on 11/30/2004 12:24:02 PM PST by TChris (You keep using that word. I don't think it means what yHello, I'm a TAGLINE vir)
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To: JZelle

I normally tend to say 'fry them' in cases like this- but if the facts are true and she IS NOT LEAVING ANYTHING OUT (she can thank Dan Rather and others for my skepticism) then this man deserves a second look.


4 posted on 11/30/2004 12:24:23 PM PST by Mr. K ((this space for rent))
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To: TXBSAFH

24, 15 or 9kg of coke is a lot. What is Alabama's sentence range for being a major drug dealer and lying in court?


5 posted on 11/30/2004 12:27:31 PM PST by pissant
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To: JZelle

Seems like people form different opinions of this based on what details they focus on. Certainly reading the first paragraph can evoke sympathy for this person. maybe, just maybe, if that were the only consideration then people would favor clemency; I don't know. (I didn't read the whole thing.)

But focus on what effect the sentence, or granting clemency, in this case would have on the NEXT 100 people considering this crime? I bet it would deter them if they knew the punishment.

Even beyond this case, I think that principle is at work, to society's detriment. A different example: unwed motherhood. Many people felt it was a shame how unwed mothers were stigmatized, and maybe it was excessive say, 40 years ago. I don't know - I am not old enough to remember. But reducing the stigma so greatly not only makes life easier for the poor iunfortunate person trapped in that saituation, but makes the choice of that liefestyle an easier one to make in the future for many more.

Just some thoughts. I don't know if they make a lot of sense.

I have to get back to work!

:)


6 posted on 11/30/2004 12:29:27 PM PST by cvq3842
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To: TChris

Not 11 years. Life without parole.

And the only reason he got such a harsh sentence is because not being a professional criminal, he didn't know the ropes and had nothing to bargain with.


7 posted on 11/30/2004 12:29:35 PM PST by Sam the Sham
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To: pissant

As far as I am concerned this drug dealer is gettign what he deserves.


8 posted on 11/30/2004 12:29:43 PM PST by TXBSAFH (Never underestimate the power of human stupidity--Robert Heinlein)
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To: TXBSAFH
The time should fit the crime


Would you lock up for life in your house your own kid for or coming home drunk? high? and then have to pay for them until you die, everything they need? FOREVER? for a one time offense? come ooonnnn. 50% of criminals are in jail for nonviolent drug charges. that is a lot of people who need help with addiction, not to be put in the same cell with to a child-molestor or a murderer.
9 posted on 11/30/2004 12:30:09 PM PST by gotmatt
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To: gotmatt

I think dealing drug warrents this punishment.


10 posted on 11/30/2004 12:31:01 PM PST by TXBSAFH (Never underestimate the power of human stupidity--Robert Heinlein)
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To: TXBSAFH

then lock up 80% of the highschool in your neighbourhood. that's how many kids there have tried marijuana at least once.


11 posted on 11/30/2004 12:32:31 PM PST by gotmatt
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To: Sam the Sham
Not 11 years. Life without parole.

Sorry, my bad. Geez! I'm on a roll today. :-(

12 posted on 11/30/2004 12:33:50 PM PST by TChris (You keep using that word. I don't think it means what yHello, I'm a TAGLINE vir)
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To: gotmatt

Why have laws at all, we should just start letting people do whatever they want. Drugs, Assault,Robbery, Murder, anything goes I guess?


13 posted on 11/30/2004 12:34:20 PM PST by BOBWADE
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To: Mr. K

The Smith woman here in the Carolinas received 20 years and is able to be paroled sooner with good conduct and she murdered her two beautiful boys.

I agree with you, if the reporting is correct, this is an outlandish sentence.

Frannie


14 posted on 11/30/2004 12:35:36 PM PST by frannie (I REPEAT --THE TRUTH WILL SET US ALL FREE--)
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To: JZelle; hchutch
The local U.S. attorney charged Aaron with dealing in crack because one dealer converted the cocaine he got to crack. The court also convicted Aaron for drugs that never traded hands, as one of the dealers robbed the other. Hence, while 9 kilograms of cocaine were traded, Aaron is serving time for 24 kilograms of crack.

20 f***ing pounds of nose candy?

Aaron also made the mistake of pleading not guilty and perjuring himself in court, which enhanced his sentence.

A "mistake" is something like using the wrong fork at dinner. Perjuring yourself while on trial for a serious felony isn't a "mistake."

15 posted on 11/30/2004 12:39:26 PM PST by Poohbah (Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women!)
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To: BOBWADE
"He got a longer sentence than he would have got had he hijacked an airplane, had he detonated a bomb in a public place, had he committed second-degree murder or had he raped a 10-year-old child."

That's just sick.

16 posted on 11/30/2004 12:41:29 PM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: gotmatt

"Aaron also made the mistake of pleading not guilty and perjuring himself in court, which enhanced his sentence."
"Aaron now admits his guilt"
Sounds like he knew he was guilty and took a chance at lying under oath to the courts to try to weasel his way out of trouble. Sounds like he either got bad legal advice or thought he was OJ or something.


17 posted on 11/30/2004 12:41:35 PM PST by BOBWADE
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To: frannie

The answer is not to reduce this clown's sentence, it's to lengthen the sentences of violent criminals.


18 posted on 11/30/2004 12:45:27 PM PST by Little Pig (Is it time for "Cowboys and Muslims" yet?)
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To: dead
But he chose to go to trial and commit purgery rather than plea bargain. He would have gotten off fairly easy had he admitted his guilt and taken a plea arrangement. Instead he thumbed his nose at society and tried to avoid being accountable for his own actions. Sounds like he got smacked down pretty good but he brought it upon himself.
19 posted on 11/30/2004 12:47:26 PM PST by BOBWADE
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To: BOBWADE

Or contrariwise, lets just execute all convicted felons, any felony, sure would cut down on crime.

I though one of the purposes of prison sentences is rehabilitating the offender to return to society. I don't want MY tax money to keep this guy locked up for the rest of his life. 11 years seems sufficient


20 posted on 11/30/2004 12:50:55 PM PST by Ignatius J Reilly
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To: gotmatt
Then lock them up. I have seen to many lives destroyed with illegal drugs. I believe that dealers should get a mandatory live, no parole on the pea farm chopping cotton. Period.
21 posted on 11/30/2004 12:51:00 PM PST by TXBSAFH (Never underestimate the power of human stupidity--Robert Heinlein)
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To: BOBWADE
He made some very stupid decisions and has paid a very dear price.

So now, the taxpayers have to pay his bills - rent, utilities, education, food, medical, etc. - for the next fifty or sixty years.

It might make a lot more sense to have him apologize to the court and society in general, and let his eleven years served stand as his restitution.

22 posted on 11/30/2004 12:52:07 PM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: dead

Lets bring back the prison farm system. In Tx it used to not only pay for itself, but it showed a small profit to the states coffers.


23 posted on 11/30/2004 12:53:20 PM PST by TXBSAFH (Never underestimate the power of human stupidity--Robert Heinlein)
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To: JZelle

You can bet the ranch there is more involved here than what is being printed!


24 posted on 11/30/2004 12:54:04 PM PST by gunnedah
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To: BOBWADE
Sounds like he got smacked down pretty good but he brought it upon himself.

And now he wants a "do-over", HMMMM

25 posted on 11/30/2004 12:55:15 PM PST by Mister Baredog ((DO IT NOW, if you haven't put up a flag on your FR homepage yet,PLEASE))
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To: Ignatius J Reilly

He undoubtedly got smacked extra hard because of his lying under oath but that does not remove the fact that he was dealing drugs that kill people and destroy lives. The others took the deal, he did not. He is a liar and a drug dealer. I don't feel sorry for him.


26 posted on 11/30/2004 12:56:51 PM PST by BOBWADE
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To: Ignatius J Reilly
I tend to think of prison as punishment, Rehab is just a feel-good term. The more the system gets soft on criminals, the more emboldened they become. At some point the laws have to be enforced.
I kind of like the thought of putting criminals behind bars, perhaps they need to make the prisoners produce to offset the cost of their incarceration. They could even ship in garbage and let them spend 12 hours a day sifting through to recycle plastics and aluminum. Even the tree-huggers would like that. I think prison is to soft and easy and should be so miserable and unpleasant that people will not be so eager to return. (just my two cents worth)
27 posted on 11/30/2004 1:08:23 PM PST by BOBWADE
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To: BOBWADE

I failed to mention three important words that will answer many questions, "WE ALL MAKE CHOICES"


28 posted on 11/30/2004 1:09:47 PM PST by BOBWADE
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To: BOBWADE

I agree that prison should be unpleasant, that should be a part of rehabing someone. When they come out they should be thinking 'there ain't no way I ever want to go there again.'

Love the recycling idea, for me any manufacturing job that is regularly given to an illegal alien because not enough Americans are willing to do it works


29 posted on 11/30/2004 1:21:13 PM PST by Ignatius J Reilly
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To: JZelle

The story is so intentionally obtuse, it is difficult to figure out what he actually did, but if he sold 9 kilos (20 pounds) of Cocaine for only $1500.00 he is too stupid to be out on the street. Street value of 9 kilos ought to be close to a Million dollars.

The convicted criminal's side of the story can be found here:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/snitch/cases/aaron.html
(he was the middleman who put the deal together.)

A different prosecutor responds here:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/snitch/cases/foster.html
(it was a $200,000 deal).


30 posted on 11/30/2004 1:57:52 PM PST by PAR35
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