- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A law professor from Cornell University says officials should release long-term prisoners as a way of reforming the criminal justice system.

Joe Margulies recently discussed America’s 2.2 million prison population with Business Insider, along with ways to mitigate the costs that come with housing everyone. He told the website that individuals with decades behind bars should be released.

“The kind of person they were when they went into prison often just doesn’t exist anymore,” the lawyer said. “Keeping them in prison offers no chance for redemption, and no one is a monster.”

The website noted that Mr. Margulies’ preferred public policy “would certainly include those guilty of such crimes as sexual assault and murder.”

The lawyer, who also authored “Guantanamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power” in 2006, said long-term prisoners have the smallest recidivism rate.

In addition to his duties at Cornell, Mr. Margulies currently represents Abu Zubaydah, who was interrogated at CIA black sites in 2002. Mr. Zubaydah was waterboarded along with  al Qaeda mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and suspected terrorist Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. 

“I am a student of American political culture,” the lawyer says on the school’s website. “I study the way Americans construct and deploy magic words like ‘liberty,’ ‘equality,’ and especially, ‘the rule of law’ to defend different social arrangements. Other times, I am a criminal defense and civil rights attorney. For many years, I have defended people caught up in the excesses of the national security state and the criminal justice system.”

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