tv Documentary RT March 6, 2019 11:30am-12:00pm EST
one fields where everything is familiar on the other i wanted a new challenge and a fresh perspective i'm used to suppressing. one all to give you. i'm going to talk about football not for you or else i just think i was going to go . by the way what is that that's like here. i was in los angeles and it was march of one thousand nine hundred one. i go over and i look out the window and there they are. so i was arrested and that day father and i wanted her to bring bargain. i understand she areas not somebody and i could probably wouldn't she guide me but just to savor all the scam not as that's not my daughter so she wouldn't do
this. and as a result they were under. i could not plead guilty to everything that they accuse me of is now. not guilty about ultimately i was convicted for conspiracy and dire received twenty four year sentence there's a way in which you have to see the conspiracy law as a very important tool of law enforcement if the crime is selling drugs and some men in miami cells twenty kilos of cocaine to an undercover agent you want to ask who is the seller working where does the money go if the money goes back to a drug lord in colombia. who's going to keep the proceeds he's in the conspiracy even though he actually wasn't there when this sale took place he's
a conspirator and so part of the goal of the conspiracy law is to make sure that the most senior level all of those in the criminal organization are justly punished the problem is when you flip it around and the lowest level people in the criminal organization get punished just like here the key. and that's the big problem in the way in which the conspiracy laws are being applied. i know end up in federal prison in dublin california i realized that i would need to spend a lot of time in the law library and i needed to film from a arise my sound my case and everything that had gone wrong if you furthered the conspiracy in one step you're guilty for everything in the conspiracy no matter when you entered the conspiracy it could have been on the last day. because i had collected some money on i technically was guilty of conspiracy was held
responsible for everything that everybody else had done and my sentence my twenty four years was established based on the sum total of all the acts the thing that sandy had manufactured that's where my ears came from my ears didn't. things that came from three point seven million tablets of ecstasy but he had manufactured puts me on the chart at this lab just twenty four years that's how a judge sentences you based on a chart the way the sentencing laws apply to conspiracy. being subject to being punished for all the conduct that everybody in the conspiracy has been involved in. so the idea of proportion. punishment can be lost if this triggers a mandatory sentence to add insult to injury while i'm incarcerated for twenty four
years he comes back to the us and goes before the same judge this sentence me to twenty four years and he got three years probation because he cooperated and snatched out everybody. the person who comes in early and cooperates usually ends up with a lower sentence than the person in the conspiracy who walks up two days before the trial and tenders a plea that sentence will be different even though they may be situated the same it's just plain different and those are the yangs and the sayings of the sentencing process that the court has not a whole lot of control over and the u.s. attorneys and the prosecuting attorneys have control over but it does result in a different sentence when you're facing something like twenty or thirty years. you have people that are are doing things they never thought they would do which is turn in their friends testify against friends sometimes they will even make up
false information to testify falsely against people just in order to get themselves out from under the terrible legal situation they are in the pressure to provide information is huge and coercive and un-american. but that's the way mandatory minimums are set up. my mother calls man she said well i need to tell you something. and i'm thinking the worst just while i may is featured in my magazine she's been in prison for a number of years why that was such a catalyst sadly we had something tangible to hand to people the community found out and my brother got involved and of course my father and senator bob byrd. and senator pryor and everyone started actually looking into the case and saying well what could have possibly happened here this just doesn't seem right my story in
case started gaining momentum and we got i think up to fifteen politicians wrote letters supporting my clemency when i read it i was i was sympathetic. because i thought. her husband was the primary driver of the if she was clearly had a subordinate role in these. and she was caught up in the way of these conspiracies. are extremely broad ranging and you don't have to do very much to be to get yourself stuck in a case like i went to my case managers office and walked in the door and she said she was in a frenzy and she said you know where are you going to release to zero and i was like what do you mean and she said were you going to live when you get out of prison and i said well i guess with my parents for
a while and she said because i've got to set you up on probation and i said why and she said you're going home. and. i couldn't process it i was just right. and. my reaction was. i think i was sitting down so i stood up and i said they're going to start and i sat down and i said what do you mean and she said you got an executive clemency president clinton has ordered you out and you have to be out today by five o'clock the president had granted her petition and she was home that afternoon and evening they let her out that day it was really great because we always got bad news in there nobody ever got. it was really nice to have all the women walk me across the compound and there with that. in the compound of victory. it was really hard to because you have to leave you have to leave so many people behind.
we can confidently say to you that we are finally beginning to win the war against crime now is the time to show drug users that we mean to reach our goal of a drug free generation in the united states you will be put away and put away for good three strikes and you are thank you connery mission of the drug war as stated by the nixon administration is to create a drug free society. that's what it's all about that's why we spend billions of dollars and incarcerate millions of people is to create a drug free society. and we've been at this now for good no hard for forty years trillions of dollars into it no wind in sight really and when a reasonable person says how much closer are we to creating a drug free society. you begin to realize that perhaps we've been given
a mission here that is impossible to achieve we saw a violent crimes go through the roof as these. criminal gangster organizations fought one another so we're seeing that type of phenomenon today in our major metropolitan areas like los angeles the crips against the bloods and of course their rent is filings that we're seeing in mexico and in places like south america as these very rich powerful cartels fight one another it lines up perfectly with alcohol prohibition when you look at oklahoma prevision the richest man in the country was ok he controlled if you tried to get in his market he would kill you there were also kinds of sub factions they trying to to manufacture it in their bathrooms and still it was once in a teary you didn't know what it was cut with sometimes it in a freeze people would drink this group of people who drink and could cirrhosis kids would die in the crossfire it sounds all too familiar to this exactly was happening
on the streets today in the united states when it comes to getting violence in the drug one of the problems that we have a drug prohibition is so different of a business you make so much money in such a little time and the difference between arresting someone for dealing drugs and arresting someone for committing rapes. when you arrest a rainbow for someone committing burglaries you know what the rapes stop. the burglary stop when you arrest someone for dealing drugs dealing drugs doesn't stop on that corner you just create a job opportunity for someone else to come in and unfortunately when a job is filled viciously some fighting sioux name and even. the emphasis over criminal justice system should be on violent offenses this is where most people are concerned about. they won murderers and branded they want murders and rapes are solved and they want these people. taken out of the community locked
away in prisons or communities can be saved i don't know what the criminal justice one of the be like without the war on drugs. my only experience of it has been during the war on drugs. and i started family in one thousand nine hundred ninety one war on drugs really heated up in the eighty's kept rolling through the ninety's you know it sort of started tapering off and then to thousands but it's still alive and well it's like pounding funder of anti drug is styria in one thousand nine hundred six we must do something anything and that meant grasping at straws and not looking ahead at what the costs are going to be what might be effective while i was on the hill i increasingly became convinced that the war on drugs was a mistake it was. counterproductive and i wanted to put my energy into ending it and so in january one thousand nine hundred eighty nine i
started the criminal justice policy foundation. and that is been the opportunity for me for the last twenty five years to. mobilize different kinds of strategies to end drug prohibition a lot of it has been through other organizations i helped start families against mandatory minimums in my office i'm still very active with students for sensible drug policy. and with one force me against prohibition. and so a lot of my work is advocacy. strategizing you know what are the ways to change drug policy to reform from the justice system. there are. countless numbers of people who are in prison for inconceivably long sentences for being minor minor offenders. in the drug trade
these are just a handful of you know files from families against mandatory minimums where these people you know james felt life sentence. fidel clark thirty five years timothy tyler life sentence. sure on the jones life sentence. this is not an aberration this is the life blood this is the typical case this is the typical you know clarence aaron who's out in numerous cases i mean these are all excessively long cases these are you know you see colombian drug lords here you see mexico guzman you see in the mexican drug lords here. make this manufacture consent to public wealth. when the ruling
classes protect themselves. with the famous merry go round lifts only the one percent. we can all middle of the room sick. what politicians do so. they put themselves on the line to get accepted or rejected . so when you want to be president. or some want to. have to go right to be close this is what before three of them or can't be good. i'm interested in the waters of. this city.
i was so glad to to start to work my way out of the prison alm so going the clinton house was a halfway house you were half way all but you were still open. so i got to clean the house always already has some experience and or move out of the back row. i called my old boss so he was in a halfway house at the time and i think someone i don't know what company happy i'm doing roofing and his mother came to me and next we would out by him appear shoes that he needed to do his roof and and he just blossom he just blossomed from there i was so happy to be at work and be to be have the ability to work again that i
never missed a day i was always there i was always there hour early before anybody else get there. so unless i was home going i was hungry to work i was hungry to be free. and have the ability to change my life around so all those stains. made me a good employee in the minutes when he dismissed his mind up and saying that he was going to go if you know go into business for sam in this al it all started i just really felt that i had what it took to be entrepreneur and to be successful. so i quit my job and i was fully fledged into business then i had to leave i froze year business i made about thirty some thousand dollars in our first year that. i remember best and back into the business and borrowed tools and while ladders so i'm growing the business or take my second year ari did a. he some. third year i did about one hundred thousand so i'm slowly but surely
progressing so now i'm up to half a million two thousand. and ninety nine or early two thousand my family went over the million dollar more. so while we're at home i never thought that i would hold a million dollar business. a person has to have a dream. you know they have to want to do better for themself and and they can make something of themselves and that's what they want. when you lived a certain way for so long in as far as he. became because a lot of people don't know how to break to change from the street thing that's saying get ahold to you the single hold you want to you. to be on that bull for. for me is to be that beacon of hope oh no matter where you come from the what you've done you can because the same bull i sold drugs on. directly across the
street for my office is used to set a bar called the night light and i've sold drugs out that door for a number of years inside and out so they have no bills or more than they came before and to show people that yes i was that once drove deliberate up and down the street and sold drugs and did all that stuff there i'm now a changed person and i'm now on somebody that they can expire to also. executive clemency was a better sweet victory to be honest right there because it didn't take me very long . after i got out and the excitement exhilaration wore off and i realized at that time i may be free. so many of my friends and other people aren't and. as long as they're not then i'm not really so i started the can do. foundation
which is clemency for all nonviolent drug offenders to try to continue to help some of the women i left behind i did time with danielle barbara mary richardson and they've all done well over twenty years these are all guys who are serving life these are for pot he's for l.s.d. . i have just got back from washington d.c. i was there for a on a fundraiser about the whole clemency project that's happening and in fact i took. all these guys to the front in front of the white house and anyway there's several of them that i stood out in front of the white house advocating for their clemency when i started practicing law almost forty years ago there were about a half a million people in prison. and today there are two point three million people in prison billions of dollars have been poured into the prison expansion not only of
the federal prison capacity but billions have been sent to sate local governments to expand their present capacity and during the one nine hundred ninety s. we were building on average a prison a week and as soon as these prisons were built it's important to emphasize that they were immediately filled up with first nurses and even today many of our prison facilities are operating beyond their design capacity if you compare in the u.s. with other industrialized nations canada western europe we lock up our citizens at five to ten times the rate of those other nations it's not that we have five or ten times the rate of crime of those other nations but we have consciously chosen to have a much more unity to broach. this and other comparable nations and have the nuns was only see a massacre a separation. seems to me to go i.
will and. a lot of. the year and. the pass from their parents children's lives and going to. marry and conditional and. loving and. just because. i'm ours. bred jellicoe i want to six thirty seven zero six my first encounter of the of the prison systems are pretty young. lifestyle of drugs you know starling the thing with me was i got out february i think it was two thousand and twelve within three months i got out of a macor fives boehm arrest to sion paid. child support paid everything i was that's . zero. i started my own business i got a vehicle had tags had a license and everything in october that year i decided smokes weed and i thought
the worst case scenario if i go to probation offices i have to go to a program where i'd be urine test regularly or go to a mean well the reality the fact is dirty urine is a violation and probation officer i have was new and she was a stickler for the law and she violated me their own spot i wept like a little child i couldn't believe i had all made all this work on my i have all this to show you look at all this i have i've done it she's that you've done a lot but you still using drugs and it's against the law. to get sentenced to four years for dirty your analysis. it's a lot watching your children grow up in issue in waves and say by daddy as you're walking out of a business it is just it doesn't get easier you don't stand and as you get older you think you become more custom than this but it never under any circumstances gets easier. as you go on.
c.n.n. . i want to say thank you for spending as much time as you do at the halles watching everybody all mobs at work i know you miss out on playtime i know you miss out on a lot of banks so i just want to start off by saying i think. how do you wrestling . i'm glad you're sticking with it i know you're going so just like i said try to stick with it and you know why you're the manor house. so we're very proud of you of those wonderful. little variance from seven to thirteen really grown up. and i'm sorry i'm not there to guide you as much as i'd like. to turn out. pretty good and i'm very very proud. i really am. now oh i don't know i'm sorry
my baby. i love ya vision very recently you just got. so very proud i know you worked hard to tell me how you are doing when. you're strong so friends. and i. want you know i love you here i miss you very much oh here's what i miss you and there is a bunch of them that i went through it is more moments. any time you hate me you miss me there's a there's an evening same things mama she used were i love you and i miss you all and i hope to see you soon and that he loves you. it's. the four of them. because of the fact that so many of us have lived for thirty years in this box of mandatory sounds
federal sentencing guidelines and you know the drug war we have to start breaking out of that box and thinking about a world away that out the outside of those confines if you're interested in reducing the injustice and to see mass incarceration you have to go to the root of the problem which is too many laws on the books and what is the primary problem there as far as prioritizing which was ought to go first top of my list is to the drug laws because i think we're in another situation where it's very similar to the days of alcohol prohibition where the government has just declared millions and millions of people to be criminals and that's what they've done with the stroke laws there danger of looking at one outrageous case after another can. blind you to the poor. perspective that they are so many. these are actually the typical this is the system it is broadly on just
that it is so wasteful it's so counterproductive it's so inefficient wanted us to be why does it continue. why are we going to be able to spot. more issues on the global level as many of the as major. that's a very deeply disturbing indictment in the ability to waste so much treasure. and inflict so much more money. and cause so much injustice in a society where our credos are about liberty and justice for all.
people have been confirmed dead in a suicide attack on gum far and afghanistan. the british news aid work in syria made a media darling is stripped of his u.k. citizenship over alleged links to jihadists. also desperate families in mortal yemen and marrying off children as young as three in exchange for food according to a new report by the charity oxfam. this is the only way the family i mean it can be made up there.