The following forwarded message was sent to me by Eric Sterling of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation/National Drug Strategy Network, more information on which is attached to the end of this posting. Please act on Eric Sterling's request ASAP, as the vote will be taking place tomorrow (Thursday).
Dave, URGENTLY encourage folks to call or fax their Member of Congress about HR 4092, the House Crime Bill which is being debated starting tonight.
People should urge their rep to vote for the Watt amendment (Rep. Melvin Watt, D-NC) a member of the Judiciary Committee. Th The Watt amendment would strike the death penalty for being a large scale manufacturer, seller or grower of drugs (60,000 mj plants, 600 grams of LSD). The death penalty for these offenses -- without any killing, without any guns, without any prior conviction, etc. -- was approved in Judiciary Committee on an 18 - 17 vote on an amendment offered by Rep. Bill McCollum (R-FL).
Folks should support Barney Frank's amendment to delete marijuana offenses from the death penalty if the Watt amendment fails.
If you don't know your representative's phone number, you can get it from the Congressional Switchboard, at (202) 224-3121. Those of you sending email faxes, please note that the tpc.int service does not yet cover very many congressional exchanges (that is, you probably can't send faxes to your congressman in Washington that way). While you're at it, if you haven't already done so, please ask your rep to vote for the "safety-valve" amendment to exempt first-time, non-violent drug offenders from the mandatory minimum sentences, supported by Henry Hyde Bill McCollum, and Charles Schumer, among others. This amendment is retroactive (at last report), and I know one very decent person (who was essentially framed by law enforcement officials) who will probably get out of prison three years earlier if it passes.
For information on the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation/National Drug Strategy Network and their publication NEWSBRIEFS, contact them at the following:
1899 L St., NW, Suite 500
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