SCOTUS Rules Those In Prison Cannot Argue For Reduced Sentences

NBC's Pete Williams reports on the Supreme Court's unanimous decision that people already in prison cannot argue for reduced sentences with the bipartisan First Step Act.

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SCOTUS Rules Those In Prison Cannot Argue For Reduced Sentences


  1. So what you’re saying is thanks to bipartisan idiocy they wasted a bunch of time passing a law that doesn’t say what they wanted it to say. Got it. The model of efficiency.

    1. @Sarah Brown The First Step Act negated the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 which would have been retroactive. Another crappy piece of legislation from whose administration?

    2. @J M M Argee 100%, the law was written and passed by the Republican held congress in 2010, this should never have been signed into law being as it is corrupt and flawed as the people that wrote it.

    3. @Rooster 101 Wrong law, wrong year, but correct that it was enacted by the corrupt and flawed Republican held Congress.

    1. My understanding is that the wording of the law left the SCOTUS no other options. Their job is to render judgement on the law, not override it.

  2. If something is now unfair it’s fair for us to treat you unfairly because of the unfair past. Great logic.

  3. So how long it will be for those in the GOP found guilty of any obstruction or stealing from the party and can they ver reduced the term? Ridiculous

    1. The GOP criminals would have to change the law. Otherwise they get the same treatment.

    2. This affects Democrats more. Considering hoe much of the voting block is already there. I guess the Dems have ton leave them behind, too. lol.

  4. Of course we need to keep them in prison so the people who are running our prison system can get paid. American democracy working as intended

    1. @MilkCow what is your point? By the way you wrote this comment I’m seeing this as you saying we shouldn’t be helping Mexicans or Arabs just bc they’re Mexican and Arab? What is that logic? That’s disgusting.

    2. @MilkCow Because what you wrote is a Straw Man and a hyperbole. Whatever was fed to you by right-wing media. Keep absorbing that stuff, and reality will be firmly out of your reach.

      Just so you know, I don’t believe conservatives are out to destroy our country, or that majority are racists/bigots, and other such crap. Unlike you, I did not allow media to convince me into some clownish caricature of what the other party is.
      But I do believe GOP is using populism and regulations to garner votes that they can no longer garner by their platform. They are playing with fire. Many of their followers, like yourself, mean best, but are misinformed by media and pushed in a direction where they often vote against their own interests.

      About the only thing liberals and conservatives can agree on is that US national debt will go UP, no matter the party in power.

      But, on the Right, the level of misinformation is at an all time high. This is why QAnon has taken hold there, and there is no equivalent on the Left.

      So, keep absorbing, and see where that ends…

    1. My take away is that the law is flawed and needs to be amended with language that will satisfy the court regarding the ability to request a reduction of sentencing. It does surprise me this wasn’t caught when the legislation was passed.

  5. How about, Those in prison for acts of treason may not receive a Presidential Pardon. Or a Presidential Pardon before the fact.

    1. @oltedders: Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold, and George Atzerodt, all hanged on July 7, 1865 for treason and conspiracy for the Lincoln assassination AFTER the civil war had ended.

    2. @Reason
      Conspiracy in the assassination of Lincoln. It can be argued that treason was not a valid charge in this instance. Treason is the betrayal of one’s country.

  6. An example of stupidity. Paying to keep someone in prison when they should be back in society working and paying taxes.

    1. Part of being a prisoner means you’ve lost your rights so it makes sense the Supreme Court ruled like this. If Congress would like to write legislation that would have the correct wording then Supreme Court would gladly rule it constitutional.

    2. @Michael Shanahan
      Don’t be stupid! The death penalty is technically only for murderers, not possessors of small amounts of dope.

    3. @David Gonzalez
      If being a prisoner means the loss of one’s rights, how do you account for the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids “cruel and unusual punishments”? Since a punishment is inflicted upon someone who has been convicted of a crime, that means that this Amendment applies to such people, including those who are in prison. So, your argument that one loses his/her rights the moment he/she enters prison is somewhat dubious. Besides, where does it say in the Constitution (or even in the city or state statute books) that prisoners have no rights?

    4. @Michael Palmieri Inmates generally lose their right to privacy in prison. They are not protected from warrantless searches of their person or cell. While inmates do retain their Due Process rights and are free from the intentional deprivation of their property by prison officials, this does not include any form of contraband. Similarly, even if part of a work release program or other employment-like initiative, inmates are not generally subject to employment laws like minimum wage requirements. Inmates cannot vote, eat, or even use the restroom whenever they please. They cannot work for a regular wage. Exactly where in the constitution does it say prisoners get to keep their basic rights? I’ll wait.

  7. This ridiculous war on drugs needs to end. I lost a loved one to a drunk driver. So have many others. Family’s are destroyed because of alcohol, but for some nonsensical reason that is perfectly legal. Either make ALL drugs, including alcohol, against the law or legalize everything. Treat addiction like the medical problem it is and if someone commits a crime to get drugs or while under the influence of, then treat that crime. But this disparity and legalizing this but not that makes absolutely no sense.

    1. It is a comfort to see your good comment Isabella. I really miss Ruth Bader Ginsberg, I think she would have fought for a different outcome in the Supreme Court…

    2. I worked as a nurse/counselor in a hospital based treatment center in the 80’s.. When Reagan’s “just say no” campaign was announced and their so called” large donations to recovery programs” came out on the news to make him sound “concerned” the money never came to any program. It was a publicity stunt and many hospital based programs had to close because insurance companies refused to cover in- patient recovery which were the most successful programs of all. All politics but no real help.

    1. @Guy North
      Lest we forget the Big AG/Industrial Complex, Big Pharma/Industrial Complex, Medical/Industrial Complex

  8. Why aren’t discussing what’s really important here… the profits of the prison companies?

    1. @Michael Shanahan

      You’ve got a lot of confidence for someone with an initial as a profile picture…

      I am the girl in the picture.
      I live near Harlem.

    2. White girls in Harlem are not safe I am in White Plains do you have some sort of email or site that I can talk to you in private. I want proof that you are that pretty my love

  9. When in the last four years did anyone care about how the law was worded, oh that’s right we are talking about for the American citizens.

  10. Remember, punishment by the justice system in this country is meant only for the average American. The rich and powerful aren’t held to the same standard as the rest of us.

    1. @Reason not the same prisons regular folks go, lol those pending charges and investigation going on in the gop no arrests , regular citizens would be waiting in jail for less investigation

    2. @Reason Not nearly as often as they should. The rich and powerful make laws for other people to abide, laws the rich and powerful can pay their way out of.

  11. I thought we were moving in the right direction to on this issue. We need to change this. Drug addiction is not a criminal issue it is a mental health issue. If we treat mental health as if it matters in this country maybe less people would become addicted to drugs.

    1. @oltedders The First Step Act was not written to be retroactive. Anyone who was sentenced before the First Step Act was passed, is still under the sentencing of the 1994 crime law. This is how the law is written. The Supreme Court does not write the laws.

  12. There is something basically wrong with a society in which healthcare, education and justice, including the incarceration of people, are run for profit.

    1. There’s also something wrong when a comment stating that that this is a good thing gets 4x the ‘likes’ that this snippet of common sense recieves.

    2. @Francis James 🇨🇦🇨🇦 I agree with your comment. I have noticed however that my comments on You Tube, which I try to keep as civil and common sense as I can, get very little or often no comments at all. Often the comments that get the most likes don’t make sense or sometimes are just completely false. I sometimes speculate whether or not people who engage in civil discourse, especially related to politics, are systematically being blocked?

    3. @Maggie Canuck It may be that you are just not getting seen. I’m pretty sure that the default sort on comments is Top Comments, which means anyone coming to the video after you will only see your comment if they scroll all the way to the bottom. If you want more views, and more responses to your replies, then instead of making a stand-alone comment that drops to the bottom, try putting your comment in as a reply to someone else’s comment that already has a lot of likes and replies. People see a top comment, they tend to also look through the replies much more often. And anyone who is already showing in that thread who has their notifications turned on, will get a notification of your reply when you add it. It’s a compromise but it works. As an example, I once put in a joke into a stand-alone comment on a video and got NOTHING, but when I put the same joke in as a reply to someone else’s comment, it got some 419 likes and about 80 replies, all responding to my joke and not the original comment. I was being seen and replied to…

    4. something basically wrong with a society that has permanent welfare families and babies forever!

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