This blog is of, by and for the progressive members of our Jefferson County community. Our mission is to provide information about fellow progressives for all to view, to provide a forum for forward looking candidates and to offer other varied items of interest. Your opinion is important to this blog and if you wish to write us an item or send us a picture please email it to THIS BLOG IS NOT AN OFFICIAL BLOG OF THE JEFFERSON COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE

Thursday, March 5, 2009

You got this one wrong Dede

There is a lot to like about Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava. She takes her job seriously and does it as well as she can though she is hopelessly mired in the
ineffective Assembly minority. She is by nature a pleasant and positive person too. On a lot of issues Dede is clearly in tune with the progressive wings of both the Republican and Democratic Parties. Here comes the 'but.'

But she didn't get it right with her vote supporting and maintaining the
Rockefeller Drug Laws of the 1980s. Dede voted this week to continue to support the rigid sentencing prescribed then that allow judges little or no opportunity to
adjust jail time for convicted offenders. It was a lock em up and throw away the key mentality then. Since the 1980s NYS has demonstrated absolutely and completely that we can't incarcerate our way out of society's drug problems. It hasn't worked. And it won't.

Judges need a variety of sentencing options. For example, couselling and
supervision for non-violent small time offenders should be possible. Don't misunderstand me. There are some bad guys out there that truly need to be whacked, but let judges make that determination after the guilty are convicted. Let judges do what they are supposed to do in our system--judge. Let them have some discretionary opportunites to do what they think is the best thing. Sorry you didn't see that one our way Dede.

Our community's drug problems are just as much a health concern as they are a criminal justice concern. Dede needs to recognize that too.

The reformation of those super harsh 1980s laws passed the Assembly with Addie Russell's support. Now the bill moves to the NYS Senate. Nobody is sure what will happen there. But this blog hopes they get it just as right as the Assembly did.