President Barack Obama has released some prisoners from lengthy sentences for nonviolent drug offenses, but he has not done enough to correct a judicial system that has been used unjustly against people of color.
The federal government should not be incarcerating petty street traffickers for upward of 20 years and housing them with terrorists and killers. Young men of color do more time in federal prison than violent mobsters did during Prohibition. Al Capone served seven years and later died from an STD. The first black president did great in light of the economic mess left by the Bush administration, ended two unpopular wars, tracked down Osama bin Laden and used executive orders to allow thousands of immigrants from Mexico to stay in the country. He could sign an order freeing U.S. citizens who are serving long sentences for nonviolent crimes.
People of color make up the largest population of those incarcerated for drug offenses. African-American teenagers are doing 15 years for drug offenses and men in their 50s with similar sentences may die in prison. Since Obama signed an order allowing thousands of immigrants to enjoy America’s freedom, he should sign one freeing teenagers and old men of color.