Commentary: Life after prison in Delaware has unfair consequences

With each criminal conviction, the state of Delaware matter-of-factly tells the defendants how long they will spend behind bars. Hidden from view, in the “fine-print,” is a long list of additional penalties attached to these convictions. Only upon leaving prison and while attempting to rebuild their lives, do offenders experience, first-hand, how these non-prison “collateral […]

COMMENTARY: Are states winning the marijuana tug-of-war?

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It might appear that sooner or later states legalizing the use of marijuana, contrary to federal law, will be crushed in federal courts. After all, federal laws, according to Article IV of the U.S. Constitution, are the supreme laws of the land and preempt state laws. But wait. States, not the U.S. Congress, are showing […]

COMMENTARY: How Delaware preys on your private property

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Public funding of law enforcement agencies and the courts is meant to promote a fair and publicly accountable justice system. Yet, 11 law enforcement agencies in Delaware are undermining public trust as they rake in big bucks from the seizure and forfeiture of private property. Officially known as “civil asset forfeiture,” federal law allows local […]

COMMENTARY: Why protests matter

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The protests following President Donald Trump’s inauguration and recent protests calling for the president to release his tax returns have this in common: his the-rules-don’t-apply-to-me behavior is a presidential style rejected by both our tyranny-fearing founding fathers and the majority of voters in last November’s election. To guard against an autocrat in the White House, […]

COMMENTARY: How to end system of ‘legalized robbery’ in Delaware

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If a dangerous street hoodlum demands, and then flees with, your wallet, the police will call that robbery. But, if a police officer seizes your cash, car or other property on the mere suspicion that it is somehow connected to criminal activity — and without ever convicting you of, or even charging you with, a […]

COMMENTARY: Private property is at risk in Delaware

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James Madison declared way back in 1792 that in America, “Government is instituted to protect property of every sort … [and] … to secure to every man whatever is his own.” That was then. Today, according to a new Institute for Justice (IJ) report titled “Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture, 2nd […]

COMMENTARY: Is the epidemic of ‘prison-mania’ really over?

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At first glance, it looks like America’s incarceration epidemic is winding down. In California, for example, inmates are being released from over-crowded state prisons and non-violent drug offenders are receiving the equivalent of a speeding ticket. Police chiefs in Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston and other cities, claiming long sentences do not effectively deter crime, are calling […]

America’s jails need fixing, too

After decades of America’s incarceration mania, U.S. Supreme Court Justices Anthony Kennedy and Stephen Breyer recently told a congressional committee in Washington that America’s criminal-justice system is broken and that long, mandatory minimum sentences in correctional institutions that don’t correct is a terrible idea. Maybe, at long last, common-sense federal and state prison reforms will […]