Debra J. Saunders

That's a stark, if unintended, admission that some prosecutors think crossing them is a worse crime than being a drug kingpin.

Aaron, now 38, has a spotless disciplinary record, yet he will live in prison until he dies -- unless President Bush commutes his sentence.

In July, the president commuted the 30-month prison sentence of former vice presidential aide Scooter Libby because it was "excessive." Hello -- Clarence Aaron's sentence is excessive, squared.

After 14 years in prison, Aaron wrote in an update to his presidential commutation petition that he regrets "the weakness that led me to get involved in a drug deal." And, "From the day I entered the prison door, I made a promise to myself that I would meet the trials of life head on, and I have become a stronger person behind these walls."

His prison work record is exemplary. He has a "clear conduct" record. He has continued his education. In 2005, two wardens recommended that Aaron be transferred to a lower-security facility.

Newspapers frequently report stories about repeat violent offenders who game the system, get out of prison and hurt more innocent people. Let me be clear: Violent repeat offenders should serve hard time and enjoy no breaks.

But life without parole for a nonviolent first-time offense is an outrage. And it doesn't make America safer -- not when the kingpins get out of prison sooner, because, to paraphrase Foster, they don't act arrogant.

Debra J. Saunders

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