Bill would give latitude in sentencing drug offenders
Approval by the U.S. Senate of what is being called a criminal justice reform bill could have ramifications for West Virginia. Need we say more than that the measure, expected to be passed by the House of Representatives and signed into law by President Donald Trump, focuses on those convicted of drug offenses?
If enacted, the bill would give judges more latitude in sentencing drug offenders. Some have been sent away for too long, critics of the current rules argue.
Perhaps so. But West Virginia is in the grip of a substance abuse crisis fueled largely by out-of-state drug suppliers.
If the reform bill is implemented, federal judges in our state should grant no breaks — none whatsoever — to the pushers who are killing us by the thousands. The judges will be required to operate within whatever guidelines are contained in federal law, of course.
But when men and women who are so fixed on profit that they are willing to sell deadly substances come before the judges, they ought to be sent to prison for the very maximum permitted.
It is true some of our jails and prisons are overcrowded. But if we do not have enough room for true menaces to society, perhaps we should build more prisons.