This LTE was published in January 2002.
Editors, Opelika-Auburn News:
It has been a pleasure to see that Libertarians are organizing a growing, well-organized independent party in Alabama. The Republocrats are so scared, they’ve pushed through some of the harshest ballot-access laws in the nation in order to shut out anyone outside of their Good Ol’ Boys’ club. But you can’t fool all of the people all of the time, and the Libertarians are taking them to task this campaign year.
It was even more pleasing to see (AU professor running for governor, OA News, 1/8/2002) that the Libertarian Party is pushing for some common-sense solutions that the Montgomery establishment refuses to touch. For example, Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate John Sophocleus agrees that
Alabama should address its prison overcrowding problem by repealing laws on
victimless crimes and removing inmates serving sentences for those crimes, which … include drug use.
Last year Alabama’s prisons were so overcrowded that the Department of Corrections faced a court order forcing the them to find places for the 2,000 state inmates illegally jammed into overcrowded county jails. Instead of using our tax dollars to build more prisons, Alabama’s government should rethink its overzealous involvement in the so-called
War on Drugs. Thanks to Alabama’s drug Prohibition, state prisons hold over 4,000 people convicted of nonviolent drug
crimes. Mandatory minimum sentencing laws require that, depending on the type of drug involved, these inmates will stay in prison for anywhere from three to nineteen years.
If nonviolent drug offenders were released from prison, and the insane drug laws which put them there were repealed, Alabama wouldn’t have a prison population crisis. It’s about time Libertarians and other candidates outside of the two-party system got the chance to challenge the old goats on Goat Hill and work for these kind of solutions for the citizens of Alabama.