And the discussion somewhat turned to the possibility of libertarians being a good choice to work on this, followed rapidly by a discussion of how awful libertarians are.
I will note that what I actually asked about what rhetorical strategies have a historical record of working. If no one has an opinion, fine.
Anyway, I've started reading Bury the Chains, a history of British abolitionism. It looks to be a good bit stranger than fiction.
Before abolitionism, three fourths of the human race was in servitude-- this includes Russian serfs in the count. It took about a century to abolish slavery-- and even though the results were incomplete, it's still a tremendous accomplishment.
Abolitionism started with a dozen people.
There is no noticeable faction in the US is strongly invested in improving the justice system. There's been some progress in exonerating innocent people, but not much in improving procedures so as not to convict them.
There are aspects of Republican, Democratic, progressive, independent, and libertarian thought which are highly compatible with working towards a sane justice system. I'm inclined to think that Obama would go along with a popular movement, but I don't think he's going to stick his neck our for that issue.