Welcome, President Obama!

Congratulations and welcome, Mr. President. I have hope. You have given it to me – you have inspired me to do my part to make this a better country! CHANGE IS HERE!
So that all you fans of the bLAWgger know, President Obama has already addressed some issues that are near and dear to criminal defense attorneys everywhere. Here are some of the things he’s worried about, on page 65 (go to the web page for the full text – these are the ones relevant to criminal law): Blueprint for Change.

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Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: Obama and Biden will strengthen federal hate crimes legislation and reinvigorate enforcement at the Department of Justice’s Criminal Section.
*****bLAWgger comment: Who can argue with that? Clarence Darrow, I suppose, in his closing argument in the Sacco and Vendetti trial (a.k.a. the “all murders are bad” argument). But until we embrace fully the idea that all men – and women – are created EQUAL, we need these laws.
End Racial Profiling: Obama and Biden will ban racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies and provide federal incentives to state and local police departments to prohibit the practice.

*****bLAWgger comment: I am a criminal defnse attorney. . . . I KNOW that this happens. Don’t kid yourself. This is a great policy: chase CRIME, not PEOPLE WHO DON’T LOOK LIKE YOU. It seems so surreal that we have to develop policies to prevent the coppers from doing this!!!

Reduce Crime Recidivism by Providing Ex-Offender Support: Obama and Biden will provide job training, substance abuse and mental health counseling to ex-offenders, so that they are successfully re-integrated into society. They will also create a prison-to-work incentive program to improve ex-offender employment and job retention rates.

*****bLAWgger comment: Try getting a job if you have been arrested. Try getting a job if you have been arrested, and convicted. Of a felony. Try getting a job if you have been convicted of a felony and you are BLACK. Try getting a job if you have, God forbid, been to prison. Everyone makes mistakes, and yes, people can change. So this is a GREAT policy to help people get back on their feet. Face it: most folks who go to prison are not in the least interested in doing something that will get them back there. So, they need help – who knows, maybe they’ll be PRODUCTIVE MEMBERS OF SOCIETY!!!

Expand Use of Drug Courts: Obama and Biden will give first-time, non-violent offenders a chance to serve their sentence, where appropriate, in the type of drug rehabilitation programs that have proven to work better than a prison term in changing bad behavior.

*****bLAWgger comment: Who can argue with that? Drugs are here to stay, and no president from Reagan to W have been able to stop the flow. I practice in Federal courts – I know they’re not even touching the parade of drugs into America. So, the solution: TREAT THE USERS SO THEY BECOME EX-USERS. It seems so elementary, eh? * * * * *

As I write this, I am watching the Inaugural Balls (yes, Skippy, I said balls). POTUS is dancing with his wife, and Beyonce is serenading them. I sincerely pray that God will protect him. And I sincerely hope that each of you will embrace his vision for America, and believe in the hope that he has brought to all of us. United we stand, divided we fall. Remember that. Get behind President Obama. Support him like you have never supported anything before. We need a hero. . . and one has arrived.
Although I look better running out of the surf than he does! Those pix are coming, so get ready, Mr. President!

God Bless America, and God Bless President Obama!