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Monday, December 17, 2018

Bipartisan Senators Support Criminal Justice Reform Despite Scare Tactics

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet. 

 

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) is one of the most extreme authoritarians in Congress. He led the crusade to go behind President Barack Obama’s back and try to derail talks with Iran. He tanked immigration reform twice, once when he was in the House and once in the Senate. And he once claimed the only problem with the Guantanamo Bay detention facility — which has broadly been condemned as a violation of human rights and international law — is that there are too many empty beds.

And, notes POLITICO, he vehemently opposes the FIRST STEP Act, a bipartisan attempt to enact criminal justice reform and lessen mass incarceration:

Cotton is trying to use the same hard-edged tactics he deployed in the past to beat back the bill, arguing that Republican supporters will be held accountable if someone let out of prison under the bill’s terms commits a serious crime.



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Cohen Sentenced To 3 Years For Felonies Directed By Trump

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

A federal judge sentenced Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, to three years in prison for a variety of crimes, including Trump-directed felonies intended to influence the 2016 election.

“Mr. Cohen pled guilty to a veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct,” Judge William H. Pauley said at the sentencing hearing.

The judge rejected Cohen’s plea for a lighter sentence of no jail time, saying that the nature of Cohen’s crimes call for jail time and to send a signal about general deterrence.

“Mr. Cohen’s crimes implicate a far more insidious crime to our democratic institutions especially in view of his subsequent plea to making false statements to Congress,” Judge Pauley said.…

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Neo-Nazi Convicted Of Murder In Charlottesville Riot

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

James Alex Fields Jr., the neo-Nazi who killed anti-racist activist Heather Heyer in a white supremacist riot in Charlottesville last year, was found guilty of first degree murder Friday. A Virginia jury took just over seven hours to reach its verdict.

Fields, who was in Charlottesville to attend the “United the Right” rally with other self-described Nazis and white supremacists, drove his car into Heyer and other counter-protesters, killing Heyer. Another 35 people were injured, some seriously.

Despite the unapologetically racist motivations of crowd that descended on Charlottesville to riot against the removal of a Confederate statue, Trump later said both sides were to blame for the fatal violence and described them as merely “very fine people.”

After the attack, Trump equated America’s founding fathers with the pro-slavery Confederacy and continued his strategy of using the presidency to further racist causes.…

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