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Prison reform advocates: ‘The war on drugs is the 800-pound gorilla that must be killed’

By George Chidi
Sunday, August 25, 2013 17:17 EDT
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Billy murphy on MSNBC
 
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Sentencing reform in the criminal justice system emerged as a major theme from the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington this week, an issue highlighted by Attorney General Eric Holder’s proposals to review and alter the sentencing process for drug convictions.

Panelists discussed the proposals and the conditions leading to the call for reform Sunday on MSNBC in reference to speeches made at the National Action to Realize the Dream March this week. “The war on drugs is the 800-pound gorilla that must be killed,” said Billy Murphy, a former Baltimore circuit judge turned criminal defense attorney. “The private prison industry is sucking the life out of the black community. … it is the enemy of progress for black people.”

Describing Holder’s proposal as “the single most significant proposal for reform that any attorney general has ever put forth with regard to sentencing,” Wade Henderson of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights noted that “It’s proof positive that elections do matter, they have consequences.”

Watch the video below.

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