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News Archive 2000

On December 28, 2000 CJPF President Eric E. Sterling published an op-ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune regarding Presidential clemency for low-level Federal drug offenders. A similar op-ed was published in the Chicago Tribune on December 20, 2000. Text of that op-ed is available here.

On December 22, 2000, President Clinton granted clemency to Dorothy Gaines and Kemba Smith, two women serving long sentences in Federal prison for low-level, nonviolent drug offenses. The case of Dorothy Gaines was featured in a campaign by the Coalition for Jubilee Clemency (CJC), which sent a letter to President Clinton with the endorsements of more than 700 faith leaders from all faiths across the country calling on the President to grant clemency to low-level, nonviolent Federal drug offenders. A list of the more than 700 faith leaders who signed the statement is available: here

On October 14, 2000, Eric E. Sterling spoke at the Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review symposium, "U.S. Drug Laws The New Jim Crow?" in Philadelphia, PA. For information, go to www.temple.edu/tpcrlr. His comments, "Drug Laws and Thought Crime," were published in volume 10 issue# 2 of the Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review, pg. 327-336, Spring 2001. 
 

On October 4, 2000 CJPF President Eric E. Sterling spoke at Georgetown University Law Center at a day-long symposium sponsored by PBS Frontline and National Public Radio on the War on Drugs. Symposium panels included video and/or audio segments from the PBS FRONTLINE Special Series, "Drug Wars," broadcast nationwide on Monday, October 9, and Tuesday, October 10, 2000, and from the NPR five-part special on the war on drugs reported by Deborah Amos, which aired October 9-13, 2000. 

CJPF President Eric E. Sterling was quoted in "Hard Time," an article in the September 2000 issue of Essence Magazine, page 146. The article featured the case of Dorothy Gaines, a Federal prisoner sentenced to 235 months for her role in a crack cocaine conspiracy. Dorothy has steadfastly insisted on her innocence. Dorothy's case was featured in "Snitch," a PBS Frontline documentary about the use of informants in federal drug cases. The program and related information is available at the Frontline website. Her case was also featured on the October 22, 1999, episode (#143) of This American Life, hosted by Ira Glass and produced by Public Radio International (PRI). The episode is titled "Sentencing" and Dorothy Gaines is featured in Act One.

To become active in the fight for sentencing justice, join Families Against Mandatory Minimums and The November Coalition.

On July 11, 2000, CJPF issued a press release praising President Clinton's decision to grant clemency to five Federal drug offenders. To obtain presidential clemency, an application must be filed with the Pardon Attorney at the Department of Justice. The application for presidential clemency is available by clicking here (in Adobe PDF format, easily printed on most computer printers).

One of the women released, Amy Pofahl, was featured in a Court TV special report, "Prisoners of Love," on February 14, 2000. CJPF president Eric Sterling was interviewed on that program, pointing out the injustices in Pofahl's case. Copies can be obtained via the Court TV website.

On July 7, 2000, CJPF released the first issue of On Balance, its new quarterly newsletter. The Summer 2000 issue features CJPF president Eric Sterling'stestimony to Congress on the 2000 National Drug Control Strategy, Sterling's op-ed in the Baltimore Sun regarding the sentencing of Col. James C. Hiett, and more.

On July 3, 2000, The Christian Science Monitor published an op-ed by CJPF president Eric Sterling, titled "Uncle Sam's 'cookie' is watching you." The op-ed discusses how the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy's practice of placing secret surveillance codes, known as "cookies," into the computers of Americans is dangerous and counter-productive.

On June 22, 2000, CJPF released an updated version of "Colombia Anti -Drug Aid Package Briefing Paper," a short report detailing the current state of anti- drug efforts in Colombia and issues regarding the proposed anti-drug aid package to Colombia, recently approved by the U.S. Senate. Also on June 22, CJPF President Eric E. Sterling was interviewed on National Public Radio (NPR) regarding the Colombia aid package.

On May 9, 2000, the Baltimore Sun published " . . . 'And justice for all,'" an op-ed by CJPF president Eric E. Sterling, examining the double standard in the prosecution and sentencing of Col. James Hiett compared with the long prison sentences given to similar, but less-prominent drug offenders. On April 30, 2000, the Chicago Sun-Timespublished a similar op-ed, titled "Sentencing is perverse in war on drugs."

The May 2000 issue of Marie Claire magazine featured the case of Dorothy Gaines, a Federal prisoner sentenced to 235 months (19.5 years) for her role in a crack cocaine conspiracy. Dorothy has steadfastly insisted on her innocence. Dorothy's case was featured in "Snitch," a PBS Frontline documentary about the use of informants in federal drug cases. More information about the program is available at the Frontline website. Her case was also featured on the October 22, 1999, episode (#143) of This American Life, hosted by Ira Glass and produced by Public Radio International (PRI). The episode is titled "Sentencing" and Dorothy Gaines is featured in Act One.

On April 4, 2000, in the United Kingdom, the Police Foundation released a landmark report examining drug laws in the UK. The report, titled "Drugs and the Law: Report of the Independent Inquiry Into The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971," calls for substantial reform of UK drug policy. A PDF file of the report's overview is available here. A press release from CJPF regarding the report is available here.

On March 23, 2000 CJPF President Eric E. Sterling submitted testimony to Congress, challenging "Drug Czar" Gen. Barry McCaffrey's contention that the U.S. is winning the drug war, and urging a more sensible and humane approach to drug abuse. A press release regarding the 2000 National Drug Control Strategy is availablehere. The National Review's website also published the testimony.

On March 17, 2000, CJPF President Eric E. Sterling discussed the effectiveness of current drug policy at a two-day multidisciplinary conference, titled "Is Our Drug Policy Effective? Are There Alternatives?," presented by the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, The New York Academy of Medicine, and The New York Academy of Sciences.

On March 1, 2000, CJPF President Eric E. Sterling spoke at the Cornell University Law School, in Ithaca, New York. The presentation was titled "What Our Failed Anti-Drug Policy Means For America's Future."

On February 14, 2000, CJPF President Eric E. Sterling was featured on "Prisoners of Love," a Court TV Crime Stories report on the dramatic increase in the number of women serving long, mandatory minimum sentences in Federal prisons for drug offenses involving the men they loved. Copies can be obtained via the Court TV website.