Former New York Police Commissioner Bernard
Kerik served three years in federal prison for tax fraud. Upon
release he gave an interview to the Today show as he
embarked on a new crusade informed by his experiences:
Fighting against mandatory minimums. Politico breaks down the
“These young men, they come into the prison system. First-time,
non-violent offense, a low-level drug offense: The system is
supposed to help them. Not destroy them,” Kerik said in an
interview on NBC’s “Today” show that aired on Friday.
Kerik criticized the federal mandatory minimum system for
putting people away for 10 years for 5 grams of cocaine, handing
NBC’s Matt Lauer a nickel.
“When I came into the system, I didn’t realize it’s a nickel.
Hold it. Do you feel the weight of it? Feel it?” Kerik said. “I had
no idea that for 5 grams of cocaine, which is what that nickel
weighs, you could be sentenced to 10 years in prison. … That’s
As a former police commissioner, Kerik said “no one in the
history of our country” has served prison time with his background,
and that you have to be behind bars to understand what it’s
like “to be a victim of the system.”
That’s a brilliant idea! We should put more law enforcement
officials and politicians behind bars for a couple of years.
The interview can be watched
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from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/01/prison-sentence-teaches-former-police-ch