There’s an interesting situation arising in the United States as of Jan 1, 2014. In Colorado there are people selling and smoking marijuana legally; while figuratively looking out the windows at them are prisoners who were convicted of selling or using marijuana.
Colorado is just the first state to legalize marijuana sales with Washington state to follow later this year. I strongly suspect more states will quickly join and eventually the vast majority of states will allow the legal production, distribution, and use of marijuana. Meanwhile, our prisons will still be filled with people sentenced for doing what is now legal.
The law is clear on this subject. These prisoners committed their crimes while it was still illegal. What they did at the time was illegal, they were sentenced fairly, and imprisoned under the system that existed at that time. There will be no automatic commuting of their sentences.
However, in my mind at least, it is an ethically reprehensible position for states to take. If a person was sentenced to prison for an act that is no longer considered a crime I think that a pardon should be extended.
It’s an interesting question and I’d like to hear what my readers think.
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Spear of the Hunt
Next Release: The Broken Throne