to praise John Martin What do you want?: to praise John Martin

By Rowlf on Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - 06:21 pm:

    NEW YORK -- A federal judge said Tuesday he is quitting what he called an unjust criminal justice system, fed up with Congress' quest to boost prison sentences and prevent judges from deciding how long someone is imprisoned.

    "Congress is mandating things simply because they want to show how tough they are on crime with no sense of whether this makes sense or is meaningful," U.S. District Judge John S. Martin said in an interview with The Associated Press.

    The result, he said, is a slew of lengthy prison sentences for low-level drug dealers "who society failed at every step."

    "Sentences should be just. We shouldn't be putting everybody in jail for the rest of their life," Martin said.

    While many judges have criticized sentencing guidelines, it is unusual for a judge to publicly cite the frustrations of the job in stepping down.

    Martin, 68, conceded he also wants to make more money after serving for 13 years in a judgeship that pays less than second-year associates make at many law firms. Federal judges earn $154,700 a year.

    But he said the prime motivation came April 30, when President Bush signed a bill forcing federal judges to strictly follow sentencing guidelines.

    Martin said he supports guidelines for the purpose of ensuring uniform sentencing nationwide, but added that Congress was going beyond that and forcing judges to impose harsh sentences on defendants who don't deserve them.

    "While I might have stayed on despite the inadequate pay, I no longer want to be part of our unjust criminal justice system," he wrote in an opinion piece published Tuesday in The New York Times.

    A one-time federal prosecutor, Martin said he plans to complete his caseload by summer's end and re-enter private practice. He said he is considering organizing former federal judges and top prosecutors to lobby Congress to make guidelines more sensible.

    Martin has earned a reputation as a judge capable of stern sentences: In sentencing one violent gang member to life, Martin ordered the man held in solitary confinement and said he would have imposed death if he could.

The Stalking Post: General goddam chit-chat Every 3 seconds: Sex . Can men and women just be friends? . Dreamland . Insomnia . Are you stoned? . What are you eating? I need advice: Can you help? . Reasons to be cheerful . Days and nights . Words . Are there any news? Wishful thinking: Have you ever... . I wish you were... . Why I oughta... Is it art?: This question seems to come up quite often around here. Weeds: Things that, if erased from our cultural memory forever, would be no great loss Surfwatch: Where did you go on the 'net today? What are you listening to?: Worst music you've ever heard . What song or tune is going through your head right now? . Obscure composers . Obscure Jazz, 1890-1950 . Whatever, whenever General Questions: Do you have any regrets? . Who are you? . Where are you? . What are you doing here? . What have you done? . Why did you do it? . What have you failed to do? . What are you wearing? . What do you want? . How do you do? . What do you want to do today? . Are you stupid? Specific Questions: What is the cruelest thing you ever did? . Have you ever been lonely? . Have you ever gone hungry? . Are you pissed off? . When is the last time you had sex? . What does it look like where you are? . What are you afraid of? . Do you love me? . What is your definition of Heaven? . What is your definition of Hell? Movies: Last movie you saw . Worst movie you ever saw . Best movie you ever saw Reading: Best book you've ever read . Worst book you've ever read . Last book you read Drunken ramblings: uiphgy8 hxbjf.bklf ghw789- bncgjkvhnqwb=8[ . Payphones: Payphone Project BBS . torturechamber . . receipts . contact