Sunday, June 22, 2008

Letter to George Will

Dear Mr. Will:

Regarding your article in the Washington Post on Sunday, June 22, 2008 --

For someone who writes a fair number of excellent columns, you completely blew it on this one. I can only wonder who did the research on this column and I further not that your citation from someone named Heather Mac Donald is absolutely wrong.

Mr. Will, if you believe that "the criminal justice system will do everything it can to keep you out of the ... federal slammer," then you definitely need to start attending some federal sentencing hearings. If it quite common for non-violent federal offenders to get federal prison time for first offenses.

You quibble about the proportion of crack defendants in prison and seem to blame it on the higher murder rate among blacks, as though murderers make up the majority of inmates in the U.S.

You never bother to address the fact that the U.S. has more people in prison than China and India combined and imprisons at a far higher rate that Great Britain. What accounts for these differences? How do these nations stay safe without imprisoning at the rate which we do?

Apparently your interest waned at the point that support for you hypothesis wavered.

You may quibble with Obama over his definition of what consitutes a "young, black male" but your article itself is simply shoddily done and quite disappointing given the caliber of work that you often do.

William Loeffler

Criminal Justice Act Attorney

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