President Obama's latest pardons. Are these really the most deserving?

The 95 people pardoned.

I’m seeing a whole lot of crack/meth dealers on that list. I’m puzzled: surely there are more deserving cases than the scum who deal in these lethal drugs?

Look at the dates of the convictions, they are typically in early-mid 1990s. These are minor drug dealers who have served 20-30 years in prison. a lot of murderers. and most rapists serve less time that.

The sole information in the linked article is the names of those pardoned, in what state they were charged, the offenses they were convicted on and the length of their sentences. Without some minimal bit of context, establishing why these particular people are being pardoned at all, I’ll have to decline rendering an opinion. I’m way too busy to research this, but if someone can be turn up some detail, I’ll listen.

He actually only pardoned two people. The rest got their sentences commuted.

Anyone who has not initiated violent force against the person or property of another person deserves to be freed. This includes many more individuals than have been pardoned here. I’m glad they got out, but I’d like to see Obama pardon his political prisoners before he gets out.

One of the racist effects of the War on Drugs is that sentences for crack are much stricter than for the powdered cocaine preferred by white folks. Without knowing anything about the cases in question, pardoning crack dealers seems like a step in the right direction toward righting historic wrongs.

Thanks, guys. Ignorance fought. I should have looked below the surface

And those would be…?

Yeah, I’m with running coach. What’chu talkin’ 'bout, Willis?`

It seems kind of silly to criminalize some recreational drugs and not others.

Have you considered the toll for alcohol and cigarettes?

What about the scum who sell those two items?

Here’s an idea: let people entertain their own lives with their own choices.

Those imprisoned by taxes!

“Between 2002 and 2013, the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled, and more than 8,200 people died in 2013,” CDC said. While I don’t endorse marijuana smoking, I think there is a non-silly difference in the number of deaths between marijuana and heroin, justifying different policies.

Alcohol consumption (and production) is criminalized at certain times and places. Even cigarette use is illegal in many places.

What about the toll for recreational motor vehicle driving? Thousands a year likely die from that. And yet there is no problem with having different rules for that and cocaine.

Each of these more or less dangerous recreations have a combination of laws and regulations. There are places where you would be fined if you smoked a cigarette but offered help to quit if you were seen shooting up heroin.

All this is quite relevant to the thread title. It is impossible to set up a system where the law acts so that a morally worse offense is, in every one of millions of cases, always punished less than a greater one. I’m not going to throw out the whole system of law – or of pardons – as a result, just as I’m not going to send a message that heroin is a-OK. And if marijuana legalization is a slippery slope to selling heroin to all comers in CVS, I would be be against it.

A cocaine or heroin dealer is not enabling people to choose how to entertain themselves any more than a date rapist is. They are in the business of preying on the mentally ill - a self-inflicted mental illness, sure, but still incapable of providing the consent necessary to make their business anything less than evil.

Basically these people were imprisoned when the penalties were much harsher than they are today for drug offenses, and the effect of the commutations is to cut down the length of the sentences so that they would be much closer to what currently sentenced prisoners serve. There are many thousands of prisoners in this situation.

Perhaps he is going for what me and many others have pointed out before, Obama is not the one that deserves the whole blame, but all the ones in congress that do not want to end the war on drugs. What me and others pointed before is that anyone that is in prison for drug offences that were not involved in violence are our political prisoners.

This is because, when one thinks about it, it is clear that drugs remain criminalized for many nations just for political reasons. As the evidence demonstrates that most drugs are less harmful than alcohol.

That study does not look at the evidence. It’s a survey. You are appealing to the authority of someone else’s appeal to authority.

[Morbo]Debunkings don’t work that way[/Morbo]

You need to show that the surveys (it is not just one as the article mentions) are not looking at the data. Those BTW are not the only studies made of the matter.

Another article on the same study:

And that does not take away what they reported, the most important thing is precisely to check with other studies to see if they are confirming what others found before, indeed others did:

In the study I mentioned early the researchers do make the point that while they did start on a judgement basis their point is that making other judgements (like thinking that there are some items that make the other drugs more harmful than alcohol) are not supported by the reported cases.

BTW David Nutt is a psychiatrist and neuropsychopharmacologist, I do think that your say so that I’m committing a fallacy of an appeal to authority is misguided; to be a fallacy the ones pushing a study either pretend to talk on behalf of someone that is in authority but never really supported that study, or that they claim to have an authority that they do not have.