Kim Kardashian enters the White House grounds to meet with the Trump administration. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- I think we all should tip our hats--if only we wore hats anymore--to Kim Kardashian, for directing our attention to a major public policy issue.
Don’t adjust your dial, I do mean that Kim Kardashian, the self-marketing genius the Associated Press prefers to call a “socialite.”
Kim was at the White House yesterday lobbying the president and his staff to grant clemency to a 63-year-old woman who’s been serving a life sentence in a federal prison for 21 years for big-time but non-violent cocaine dealing.
Just because the Kardashians’ TV show is mostly a sort of Community Auditions for the brainless is no reason to ignore the important question Kim is raising: do the costs of locking non-violent drug offenders away for long stretches outweigh the benefits?
Most of the research--and cases like the one Kim is pushing, where the convict seems highly unlikely to re-offend--seem to argue that they do not.
As the website Vox puts it, “there are nonviolent offenses, absurdly long sentences, racial disparities, and evidence that the punitive approach doesn’t do much, if anything, to keep the public safe.”
But the Trump administration claims drug dealers ought to be treated as extremely violent criminals for the death and misery their products cause. There’s a case to be made for that.
While we’re at it, where are the long sentences for the pharmaceutical manufacturers like the one that marketed OxyContin as safe for years after they knew it was poison?
It’s a tough call that will wind up being made more at the state and local level than in Washington.
But if it takes Kim Kardashian to make us think and talk about it, then…that’s what it takes.'
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