Tuesday, July 29, 2008

An Open Letter to Anti-Death Penalty, Prison Reform and Anti-Drug War Organizations/Advocates on behalf of Mike Munger

Two weeks ago I had the good fortune to interview Dr. Michael Munger, the Libertarian Candidate for Governor in North Carolina. My initial question to him involved the top three initial priorities for a Munger administration.

I'd like to share the first two of them with you [the other one concerned attracting jobs]:

First priority: I issue an executive order placing an immediate moratorium on capital punishment in the state. Then I commute the sentences of everyone on death row to life in prison without parole.

Third priority: I would create a study commission to check over the cases of all citizens incarcerated in NC's prisons for purely nonviolent crimes. (Embezzlement is violent, by the way, even though it is theft by stealth.) These crimes would include: possession of small amounts of any drug, prostitution, etc. And then I would take the resulting list of nonviolent offenders, after it had been checked to make sure that NO crimes of violence had been committed by anyone on the list, and commute their sentences to time served. The money saved by reducing the number of folks in the steel hotels of our state would be spent on treatment and addiction programs, and adjustment programs to try to reduce recidivism.


You (or your organization) has a demonstrated track record of favoring either (a) the elimination of the death penalty; (b) prison reform; or (c) the scaling back/eradication of the Federal war on drug-users.

My guess is that you are unaware of Dr. Munger's positions and his unique qualifications to bring these issues to the forefront in North Carolina. He is not the usual third-party candidate who can be dismissed by the major parties or the mainstream media. He is the Chair of the Political Science Department (with a joint appointment in Economics) at Duke University, a former official with the Federal Trade Commission, and the well-respected author of numerous books on economic regulation. Dr Munger led the ballot access initiative in North Carolina that secured over 108,000 signatures for the Libertarian Party, and has been invited to the October 15, 2008 gubernatorial debate with the Democratic and Republican candidates. He is currently polling between 2-6%, with the difference between Bev Perdue (D) and Pat McCrory (R) being only about 2-3%.

Polls in North Carolina show that at least 38% of the voters feel that life imprisonment would be a more just and humane sentence than death.

Your organization contacting Dr. Munger's campaign, publicizing his positions on the death penalty/prison reform/drug war, and even endorsing Dr Munger's candidacy would not only improve his chances, but would provide a vehicle for your message to reach North Carolina voters in time to have an impact on this year's governor's race.

I urge you to visit Dr Munger's campaign website, and to consider providing him with publicity and an endorsement to help him take your common fight before the public in North Carolina and across America.

Sincerely,

Steve Newton, Publisher
Delaware Libertarian

This letter has been sent (at least) to the following:

http://victimsoflaw.net/

http://realcostofprisons.org/

http://www.demaction.org/

http://www.cdpl.org/

http://deathwatch.wordpress.com/

http://www.pfadp.org/

http://www.ncmoratorium.org/site/default.asp

http://blogs.salon.com/0002762/

I urge all readers of this post who support Mike Munger, and feel that the death penalty, prison reform, and the drug war are important political issues, to contact these or other organizations on his behalf.

Feel free to quote this letter in whole or in part.

Please note: I have no formal association with the Munger campaign, and have not been asked to do this. Nor has Dr Munger approved this post. (Hell, he'll be just as surprised as anybody.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"These crimes would include: possession of small amounts of any drug, prostitution, etc."

This statement makes me a bit skeptical. Is he implying that possession of large amounts of a drug (or the consensual sale of that drug) is a violent crime? Would he leave people convicted of these "crimes" in their cages?