VIDEO: Former Federal Judge Admits Her Rulings In War On Drugs Trials Were “Unfair”, “Disproportionate”

Most supporters of ending the war on drugs may have gotten a positive push from a least-expected source. Former Federal Judge Nancy Gertner oversaw trials for 17 years after being appointed to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton back in 1994. This past week, she was speaking at the The Aspen Ideas Festival when she admitted that in the 500 trials she worked on that dealt with the nation’s war on drugs, she believes 80 percent of the rulings she handed down were “unfair and disproportionate.”
Miss Gertner went on to tell the stunned crowd, “I left the bench in 2011 to join the Harvard faculty to write about those stories––to write about how it came to pass that I was obliged to sentence people to terms that, frankly, made no sense under any philosophy. This is a war that I saw destroy lives. It eliminated a generation of African American men, covered our racism in ostensibly neutral guidelines and mandatory minimums… and created an intergenerational problem––although I wasn’t on the bench long enough to see this, we know that the sons and daughters of the people we sentenced are in trouble, and are in trouble with the criminal justice system.”
According to an article in The Atlantic, Miss Gertner’s life’s work is now “focused on trying to reconstruct the lives that she undermined––as a general matter, by advocating for reform, and as a specific project: she is trying to go through the list of all the people she sentenced to see who deserves executive clemency.”
Miss Gertner’s speech can be seen below, with her comments on the war on drugs taking place at around the 42-minute mark:


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Richard Lowe

Richard Lowe is a 14-year veteran of the financial sector with licenses as a commodity broker (Series 3) and investment advisor representative (IAR Series 65). Along with a focus on raising capital for the firms he was employed with, he also wrote and edited much of the content published by them. He holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts. He has been a longtime advocate for marijuana legalization due to the social injustices associated with marijuana prohibition and the strong potential for the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

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