Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-23-2009, 09:47 PM   #21
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
And we humans write three strikes laws that can't tell the difference between rape and stealing a few rolls of toilet paper.

Given that we incarcerate more people than just about anywhere in the world, and our incarceration rate keeps going up, I think that we have a problem. http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc...newfigures.pdf
__________________

__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 08-23-2009, 10:13 PM   #22
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha View Post
And we humans write three strikes laws that can't tell the difference between rape and stealing a few rolls of toilet paper.

Given that we incarcerate more people than just about anywhere in the world, and our incarceration rate keeps going up, I think that we have a problem. http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc...newfigures.pdf
Here's my favorite quote from the publication at the link:

Quote:
Despite falling crime rates since 1991, the rate of incarceration in prison has increased by more than 50% since that time.
Talk about ignoring cause and effect. Is it at least possible that the increased incarceration rate has been the cause of the falling crime rate?

Does anyone think the crime rate would be lower if more criminals were on the street?

Regarding incarceration rates in other countries: I'm not sure how it applies to the US. I think many of us have visited some of the crime-ridden countries with those low incarceration rates--that's not where the US needs to be. OTOH, some low-crime countries have low incarceration rates--it would be great if the US were in this position, but there are a lot of other societal factors at work here.
Saudi Arabia has low crime rates and low incarceration rates--but I wouldn't want their criminal justice system.
__________________

__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2009, 10:19 PM   #23
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Yes, I agree that the article tells us nothing about cause and effect. My concern is the very high numbers of people jailed and put in prison in the US. Seems like solutions other than three strikes might be a better idea. Plus the effect of the drug war and drug problems on the whole issue of incarceration is problematic. And even more troubling is the way disproportionate number of black males in prison as compared with other groups.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2009, 01:53 AM   #24
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,384
There will always be those who favor strict laws and harsh punishments, and those who favor a less controlled society and a less punative approach to sentencing. Just as there are those who favor strict child rearing, and those who are more leniant.

It's baked into the structure of individual personalities. To me it is obvious that whatever we are doing now in criminal justice isn't any more effective than our attempts to make the rest of the world behave as we would like them too. And if they don't, here comes a drone to kill Mr. and Mrs. Misbehaving Foreigner and their childtren. Now maybe they will agree that we are a great and wise nation!

And here at home, The War On Drugs is really working well!

When a country is going broke and demonizing a huge segment of it's people with its current program, if it does not look for other ways it's leaders and citizens are deluded.

Of course we knew that didn't we?

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2009, 08:09 AM   #25
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Leonidas's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Where the stars at night are big and bright
Posts: 2,847
Politicians pass laws like mandatory sentencing for habitual offenders (3-strike), hate crime laws, etc., usually in reaction to public outrage over some horrendous crime. California's law was passed at least partly as a result of the Polly Klaas murder. They do it not out of any great sense of justice, but because a vocal constituent group demands it and they are bowing to the pressure.

Some of the resulting laws are good, make sense and work. Others are poorly written and not well thought out. In either case, what Tom Wolfe called "the Chow" occasionally gets chewed up and we find some glaring examples of what was not supposed to happen.

What is not written about are the criminals who should be in prison, forever.

And at least some of what is written about is completely skewed toward a certain viewpoint. My favorite example of an anti-habitual offender law case is that of Kevin Weber, who is famously known as the man who got 26 years to life for "stealing four cookies." In most stories that is all you know about poor Kevin. The web is full of stories of the great injustice done in his case and varied ways to point out how stupid and inhumane a society has to be to do such a thing for a petty offense. "He was just a poor homeless guy looking for something to eat!"

What is not well publicized in the case of Kevin Weber is the complete story. He had two prior burglary convictions, the first resulting from multiple burglaries, and the second involved burglarizing a cop's apartment and pulling a gun on the resident.

And the cookie theft? Well, Kevin broke through the roof of a restaurant and attempted to open the safe, when that failed and he tripped the alarm system, he left and was caught with four cookies that he happened to have grabbed off the counter while he was inside the store.

When his case came up before the court of appeals the court unanimously voted against Kevin and the opinion said he was a prime example of the kind of habitual criminal that the law was intended to deal with.

What is the truth about Curtis Wilkerson? Who knows. We have an often quoted story from the Economist, which was picked up by the NYT which is even more often quoted, but no further details other than "imprisoned for life for stealing socks!" Sounds a lot like "imprisoned for life for stealing cookies!"

I don't think we've got the whole story here.
__________________
There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is having lots to do and not doing it. - Andrew Jackson
Leonidas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2009, 09:52 AM   #26
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
When a country is going broke and demonizing a huge segment of it's people with its current program, if it does not look for other ways it's leaders and citizens are deluded.
Isn't it a bit early to throw in the towel and change leaders? Yes, he's accelerated the "going broke" thing and demonizing those who oppose his agenda in town hall meetings, but President Obama has been in office only eight months. Give the guy a chance to learn the ropes!
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2009, 11:33 AM   #27
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 346
One of the stats that does not get a lot of attention in the media is that far and away the per capita United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world and over 93% of them are male.

What I don't like is there seems to be a very weak coloration in many cases to how much harm is done vs. how much time is served.

For instance KILLING someone does not always get much of a sentence.

If you look at some of these NFL players Like Vick he gets 18 months years for killing dogs and Plexico Buress gets 2 years for shooting himself in the leg. And I forget the other NFL guys name but he gets 25 days for driving drunk and killing a guy!

Lets recap

Shoot yourself in the leg = 2 years
Kill Dogs = 18 months
Kill a man = 25 days!

And of course false accusers. Someone could claim that I raped them (like Big Ben is going through) and totally wreck my life and reputation for good and attempt to extort $500,000 from me. And this is all perfectly legal....even if proven to be total lies and put someone through hell and ruin their life....all perfectly legal.

And the above would be fortunate compared to guys that have been falsely accused and sent to prison. And when it's found out to be all lies almost always no one is held accountable at all. Even though a guy lost years of his life to being in prison when someone knowing lied and put him there.

But if you file a false insurance claim on a car you go to prison.


Jim
__________________
summer2007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2009, 05:42 PM   #28
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
free4now's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,225
Mmm... my neighbor's cookies are looking awfully tasty.
__________________
free4now is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2009, 05:43 PM   #29
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
free4now's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,225
[This account deleted because the user has been incarcerated indefinitely]
__________________
free4now is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2009, 05:44 PM   #30
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,093
Hey, we told him what would happen if he didn't stop - twice!
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2009, 08:41 PM   #31
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Hey, we told him what would happen if he didn't stop - twice!
When I look at my "New Posts" screen and see that you're the latest poster in a thread with the potential to become flame-throwing contentious, I find myself automatically checking the accompanying icon to see if the thread's been locked...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2009, 08:46 PM   #32
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,764
Now ill never know how tasty his neighbors cookies were.
__________________
Notmuchlonger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2009, 09:20 PM   #33
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 160
Quote:
When a country is going broke and demonizing a huge segment of it's people with its current program
These are not necessarily tied together. A country going broke that spends money on EVERYTHING, including wars, banker bailouts, bridges to nowhere, congressional pork projects, new cars for clunkers and even a clunker program for appliances, does not mean that it has too many prisons. We could as easily argue that we have too many headstart programs or libraries. Going broke just means we're spending too much money. Maybe we should prioritize and spend MORE on criminal justice, including prisons.

As for the demonizing, maybe you can make an argument that some drug possession crimes should be decriminalized - which would save needing to prosecute and incarcerate folks who break those laws. Perhaps you want to make an argument for specific other laws you would like changed. But I think we actually have the opposite problem. I suggest we do not catch enough criminals or hold them for long enough. There are criminals free with dozens of previous convictions, who live a lifestyle of crime and will inevitably commit more crimes. There are many of examples of criminals who commit horrible violent crimes, who have been released from prison and go free to commit horrible violent crimes against some new innocent victims. I wish we could lock them up so they no longer victimize society.

As it stands, we have lots of human interaction in the criminal justice system, through many of those people have too much to do and too little time for each case. While each case gets human discretion and judgement from prosecutors, lawyers and judges, the system doesn't always produce the result you personally might like. It's as good as we're able to do so far, but laws like "three strikes" were enacted to help guide the system to results more in line with what was popularly wanted. Providing some guidance such as career criminals should be segregated from society, permanently if possible, seems like a reasonable instruction. Three strikes laws are one attempt to do that. Repealing "three strikes" and letting everyone with three or more felonies free, runs directly counter to all the above, as well as voter and legislative intent.

Sorry it upsets you to know some people with three or more convictions for crimes you personally don't think are "bad enough" are locked up for life. The alternative which is to allow more criminals more opportunities to commit more crimes is not acceptable. If we need more prisons to keep these people away from society, then so be it. Let's build what we need and tax accordingly.
__________________

__________________
quietman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Long-Term Care - Part of Health Care Reform Bill chinaco Health and Early Retirement 3 07-19-2009 03:53 PM
Military Health Care FinallyRetired Health and Early Retirement 37 03-20-2008 12:19 AM
health insurance and effect on increased health care costs Martha Other topics 9 08-08-2006 02:54 PM
Health Care Lovecraft Young Dreamers 3 02-20-2004 09:28 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:57 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.