The Pew Center for the States reported
this week that 1 out of every 33 adults in the United States are in prison, on parole or probation — a significant increase since the 1 in 77 figure 25 years ago. This costs taxpayers $68 billion on average a year. Nonetheless, recidivism rates remain unchanged.
Not surprisingly, the figures for African Americans and other people of color are much higher. As Human Rights Watch reports, "adult African Americans were arrested on drug charges at rates that were 2.8 to 5.5 times as high as those of white adults in every year from 1980 through 2007."
Also this week, the ObamAdmin released memos penned by BushAdmin legal adviser John Yoo, who pretty much treated the U.S. Constitution like toilet paper. Also, The C.I.A. revealed that it destroyed some 100 interrogation tapes. Oopsie!
Yet the ObamAdmin seems determined to carry on many of the onerous policies of its predecessor. (As always, Glenn Greenwald is on top of this stuff.)
But Patrick Leahy doesn't want to prosecute anyone for war crimes, crimes against humanity or violating the law. He just wants a little truth. I want accountability. I want fewer U.S. citizens thrown in prison for non-violent offenses and more political leaders thrown in jail for abusing human rights and violating the Constitution.
And then I want a unicorn.