Pubdate: Sun, 03 Jun 2012
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Copyright: 2012 Hearst Communications Inc.
Author: Mikki Norris


Whatever happened to Barack Obama, the community organizer? That's 
who I voted for to be my president - someone who cared about social 
justice and human rights. Why does it take Republican Debra J. 
Saunders to remind Obama to keep his pledge and do something about 
oppressive federal mandatory minimum sentences that continue to mete 
out excessive punishments to first-time, low-level, nonviolent drug 
offenders, destroying so many lives and filling our prisons ("When 
will Obama reform presidential pardons?" Insight, May 27)?

Thank you, Ms. Saunders, for reminding us that Clarence Aaron is 
still sitting in prison after two decades, at the mercy of 
incompetent or coldhearted (not sure which) U.S. Pardon Attorney 
Ronald Rodgers, who neglected to pass along to the president vital 
recommendations by Aaron's sentencing judge and U.S. attorney 
supporting the commutation of his three life sentences - and years 
later still has not made it right.

Please, Obama the community organizer, lead us forward toward a more 
just society, exercise your authority and pardon Clarence Aaron, and 
end this disastrous drug war. Aaron is just one of many who deserve 
your compassion to end the injustice that disproportionate, unfair, 
racist-in-application mandatory minimum sentences bring to families 
and our communities.

Mikki Norris, El Sobrante
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