Finally! One of the West Wing's Biggest Cliffhangers Answered

Years after the West Wing left us hanging, we finally have an answer to one of the show's biggest unanswered questions: Does President Josiah Bartlet support sentencing reform?

Okay, maybe I'm overstating it a bit. The aptly titled episode "Mandatory Minimums" was far from the most memorable part of the first season of the West Wing, but it really did leave us wondering whether President Bartlet would push to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences. Today we finally have an answer.

Brave New Films, in partnership with the ACLU and Families Against Mandatory Minimums, has released a new video about the importance of passing the Smarter Sentencing Act starring Martin Sheen. In the video, the former President Bartlet says:

Congress is considering sentencing reform that would change how our system uses mandatory minimums. A basic principle of justice is that the punishment should fit the crime. Mandatory minimums undermine that principle by forcing judges to ignore individual circumstances.

President Bartlet may be a fictional character, but the actor who portrayed him understands this key concept: we need to change our country's sentencing laws that destroy lives and waste taxpayer dollars. We need to make our criminal justice system smarter, fairer, and more humane.

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But apparently only ONE person in that whole family understands the concept that they're NOT above the law and that they're not a "gd rock star from Mars" who are being mistreated b/c they're "so damn special." And sporting that 'Oh don't you feel just so sorry for me' attitude.
I lived in Los Angeles and met two of them - but thankfully not the one who plays this character.
I never saw two brothers who were so different in my life. You'd think that they're family tree was planted on a hill that led into the Pacific Ocean. Families usually have at least one or two things in common but absolutely nothing was the same between the two brothers. It was like the old Goofus and Gallant cartoons in the Highlights magazine. It was like one was the evil twin of the other. Everything one did the other was exactly opposite. As if he were working overtime to prove he's absolutely 180 degrees in the opposite direction of the other.
I was there when the one person's wife called into 911 and said she was being abused by him. I was working for Los Angeles County EMS. The call was not for our area but we heard it come in on our scanner.
I only respect one person in that family; I don't know their sister so I have no opinion of her, but of the ones I know I only respect one of them.
So it's kind of a mute point to use this person in the hope it'll convince me of anything, much less "sentences fitting the crime."
Until you people become the victim of a crime, I don't believe you truly know how much a crime affects a person who becomes a direct victim of it. But of course I'm referring to violent crime. It's the only one I CAN refer to because it's the only personal experience I have with the justice system.


Mandatory Minimums are mostly about drug offenses, not violent crime. Imagine if someone had gotten in a care accident, and the other driver did not have insurance. She's in a lot of pain so her doctors give her opiate pain-killers and she becomes addicted because the pain is so bad. Eventually she runs out of refills, and in absolute desperation out of the pain of withdrawal she buys and uses heroin. If she is caught, no Judge can ever take that story into consideration, all he is able to do is follow the law the requires any and all Felony amounts of heroin possession crimes to be punished by at least 5 years in prison.


So because Martin Sheen is Charlie Sheen's father you're not going to take him seriously when he mentions how broken our criminal justice system is? Would the facts be different for you if perhaps George Clooney had made a public service announcement for the issue instead? Would that have helped you take the issue more seriously?


We need to lock violent criminals away on their FIRST OFFENCE and throw away the key. Why should these monsters by allowed to rape, rob, or murder other people after they have been convicted of doing it once?

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