Sunday, November 23, 2014
Do you agree with the 45-year sentence that your judge imposed now that you’ve served the time?
In responding to this question, I can say that I “agree” that my judge imposed the sentence, but I don’t characterize the sentence as being consistent with my perceptions of justice. When we consider justice, from my perspective, we should consider what we’re striving to achieve. Imposing sentences of multiple decades on nonviolent offenders doesn’t make serve the interests of society. Statistics show that the longer we expose an individual to “corrections,” the less likely that individual becomes to live as a law-abiding citizen.
When I make such statements, people sometimes say that the lengthy prison term worked out fine for me. I emerged from prison as a well-educated man with many opportunities awaiting me. Yet my case is an aberration, and I would not attribute my adjustment in prison to any emphasis on the part of prison administrators to prepare me for success. On the contrary, I met considerable resistance from the administrative system of corrections.
The law may have provided for a 45-year sentence in my case, but the concept of “law” does not always equate with the concept of “right.” After all, there were times in our nation’s history where we had other unjust laws. The Alien and Sedition Act, for example, once made it a penitentiary offense to criticize government. Other laws once legalized slavery, or prevented women from voting. Those laws were unjust. In time, I expect that our enlightened society will come to consider 45-year prison terms for nonviolent crimes that involved consenting adults to be unjust as well.
Days since my release from prison: 468
Miles that I ran today: 12.31
Miles that I ran so far this week: 12.31
Miles that I’ve run during the month of November: 153.15
Miles that I ran so far in 2014: 2,203.29
Miles that I need to run in order to reach my annual goal of 2,400 miles: 196.71
Miles I’m ahead of schedule to reach my 2,400-mile goal by the end of 2014: 48.33
My weight for today: 168