Back in 1993, a 23-year-old man witnessed a drug deal. The participants of the deal pled guilty. They are out of jail. He refused to plead guilty for having witnessed the deal. He is still in prison. He will probably never get out, unless he gets pardoned.
The cost to the taxpayers is around $29,000 per year. The cost to him is his life.
Prior to his conviction, he had no criminal record.
President Obama said before he was elected that he opposed mandatory minimum drug penalties. He spoke of the need for second chances. Yet he has pardoned only 23 people, which makes him the least forgiving of Presidents in this area.
The prisoner may get a pardon. The Washington Post ran an article about him. Publicity helps a little.
The Post story revealed that information had been disregarded in the case’s documentation. He might otherwise have gone free. Bush might have pardoned him.
The war on drugs has been a failure for approximately 70 years. It has filled our very expensive prisons with people who did not commit violent crimes. Instead of mandating restitution to their victims, the state has made taxpayers the victims. The victims have no rights. Neither do the taxpayers.
And neither does a witness to a drug deal.
The main justifications for civil government are these: it protects us against violence, fraud, and invasion. Yet if we look at how the money is spent, almost none of it protects against the first two, and with the collapse of the USSR in 1991, invasion has been out of the question. Yet the Defense Department’s budget keeps growing.
The various levels governments spend most of the money on wealth transfers. Most of what does not go for wealth transfers goes for regulation of our lives.