Let Freedom Ring!

By · Saturday, November 1st, 2008

New York Times reporter Solomon Moore published an article titled Records of Obama and McCain as Lawmakers Reflect Differences on Crime. Moore wrote about a speech McCain gave to the National Sheriffs Association earlier this year. During that speech, McCain called for tougher punishments and disagreed with Obama’s refreshing observation that America’s prison population is too high.

While McCain, apparently, clings to the ridiculous assertion that incarcerating more than 2.4 million people somehow keeps our country safer, Obama is in favoring of utilizing prison resources more strategically. Too much prison time does not serve the interests of an enlightened society, and Obama has the courage to confront this problem. Along with Justice Anthony Kennedy, Obama agrees that America needs to rethink its prison policy.

Moore reported that as a state Senator Obama helped sponsor legislation intended to reduce prison sentences that unfairly discriminated against ethnic minorities. As an American of Cuban heritage, who has been incarcerated for a non-violent drug offense since 1987, I was elated to read Obama’s position. According to Moore’s article, Obama has said he would instruct the justice department to change mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenses.

I have been an advocate for prison reform that would encourage offenders to earn freedom through merit since my term began in 1987. Throughout the more than 21 years I have served in prison thus far, I have worked to build a record that would convince taxpayers and legislators that our prison system needs reform. My own journey is thoroughly and indisputably documented on www.MichaelSantos.net, tangible proof of my personal commitment to reentry into society as a law-abiding, contributing citizen.

High recidivism rates show that prisons, as they operate today, waste billions of taxpayer dollars and perpetuate failure. Senator Jim Webb (D-Virginia) held a symposium at George Mason University in October 2008 that called for sensible sentencing and prison reform. Under an Obama administration, and with a liberal Congress, changes may come soon. Prison reform, like federal parole and opportunities to earn freedom may come into law within the first 100 days of the new Presidency. That is one reason I urge all voters to elect democrats. We need a more sensible approach to America’s prison system.

Let freedom ring!

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2 Responses to “Let Freedom Ring!”

  1. Colin Harris says:

    Thank you very much for calling our attention to this article with its promising implications. Your commitment and work over these last two decades have earned you the credibility to speak with more insight than most anyone else on these issues. Let’s hope that a listening ear will be in a position to do something about that soon.
    Take care,

  2. Flower Man says:

    Hey Michael,
    Mighty fine to see your work as much as I do now, and want to congratulate you particularly for your recent Forbes piece. I look forward to the day you get a whiff of freedom. It smells pretty good! Carole has been great in keeping us informed. It won’t be long now; perhaps when the winds are right, we can pop in to Taft and say hello. Susan and I are passing nearby next week, but we’re still not quite perfect to visit you. If this is a reasonable means of staying in touch, we’ll continue to utilize it until something better comes along. Everyone out here says “hi,” so please, you continue to hang tough and keep busy, and we’ll see you soon. You are in our thoughts.