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Justice Kennedy: “Our [criminal justice system] resources are misspent, our punishments too severe, our sentences too long”

Jul 07, 2013 Justice Kennedy: “Our [criminal justice system] resources are misspent, our punishments too severe, our sentences too long”

Not only civil libertarians decry the heavy handedness of the criminal justice system. Ten years ago, Justice Anthony Kennedy — the Supreme Court’s swing vote for many years on civil liberties issues — proclaimed: “Our [criminal justice system] resources are misspent, our punishments too severe, our sentences too long.” The foregoing is a direct quote from Justice Kennedy’s 2003 speech to the American
Bar Association
, at page 4.

The foregoing quote is found in many places in the Internet without the above hyperlink to the original source. I first saw it on the Twitter page of the New Jim Crow. Thanks to E.D.N.Y. Judge Jack Weinstein for having provided the link to Justice Kennedy’s foregoing speech, in U.S. v. Bannister, 786 F.Supp.2d 617, 623 (E.D.N.Y. 2011) (decrying mandatory minimum sentencing).

Thanks to my friend, great human and great trial lawyer Fredi Sison for having included the foregoing Bannister opinion verbatim in her great sentencing preparation compilation here. Her sentencing compilation is at the Federal Defender’s website, which is chock full of beneficial information and insights.

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