Law School Discussion

Off-Topic Area => Politics and Law-Related News => Topic started by: SCgrad on May 30, 2006, 04:41:26 AM

Title: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: SCgrad on May 30, 2006, 04:41:26 AM
http://www.ketv.com/news/9286886/detail.html


WTF? 

Judge says man is too small for prison.

anyone care to back her up?
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: redemption on May 30, 2006, 05:09:39 AM
Wasn't there a thread on this?

Too small means likely to suffer extrajudicial killing/maiming etc. The State should provide safe prison environment, and, failing that, the proper thing to do is to seek a solution outside of prison.

I think that was the conclusion from the discussions there
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: SCgrad on May 30, 2006, 06:05:08 AM
i missed that.  but that is what i thought, too.  the basic responsibility of the govt. is to protect its citizens.  that isn't happening here.  i guess it would be too late if he is killed in prison to say he wasn't properly protected, but this seems wrong.  what happens if he violates his probation?  send him then?  well, he won't be any safer in that situation, so i guess this guy can just do whatever the hell he wants.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: redemption on May 30, 2006, 06:07:08 AM
I think that they have tags on him etc.

It's probably a judgement call, and pretty gutsy of the judge to have made that call. It'll probably be on her mind a lot and for quite a while, wondering about it.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: SCgrad on May 30, 2006, 06:16:10 AM
well, i guess it might affect change in the prison system.  if your prisons aren't good enough, the solution is not to let people get away with crime.  the solution is to create better prisons and/or prison systems.  i would gladly pay higher taxes for that.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: redemption on May 30, 2006, 06:21:09 AM
Sounds fair to me.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: redemption on May 30, 2006, 05:21:54 PM
Seperate facility sounds fine to me.

and good morning to you, too.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: Julie Fern on June 01, 2006, 04:03:48 PM
maybe this guy could just be sent to high-security day care.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: redemption on June 01, 2006, 04:05:59 PM
Whoa. Good to see you around.  :)
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: Julie Fern on June 01, 2006, 04:17:40 PM
thanks.  julie been enjoying spring.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: Miss P on June 01, 2006, 05:03:49 PM
Too small means likely to suffer extrajudicial killing/maiming etc. The State should provide safe prison environment, and, failing that, the proper thing to do is to seek a solution outside of prison.

i concede the point, but given that sex offenders are more likely to be murdered in prison in general, maybe we should just have a separate facility for them altogether.

I'm not sure sex offenders are that much less likely to be the ones killing other sex offenders in prison, though.  Maybe, seems plausible enough -- I just haven't seen any research on it.

We really should be working to make prisons safer in general.  And to advocate for alternatives to incarceration in non-violent crimes.  It's appalling that an environment that is supposed to represent the pinnacle of control is usually so depraved.  I really can't understand why we tolerate this. 

And hi Julie!  I've missed you!
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: Miss P on June 01, 2006, 05:41:06 PM
I really can't understand why we tolerate this. 

because the people who are in prison are usually those considered marginal to society.

i mean, you knew that, but i felt like playing captain obvious for a bit.

i will now return the role to red.

I have already told you, sir, there is room for only one captain in my life.  Or he doesn't like it when I talk to other captains.  Something.

Anyway, yes, I know.  But I still can't imagine feeling so little compassion toward other human beings, especially ones who are mentally ill or retarded or who have committed non-violent crimes.  I have to believe that some people also aren't aware of how bad things are. 
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: Miss P on June 01, 2006, 05:45:38 PM
You just bummed me out.  I wish you would have responded to the part about Spaulding instead.  Oh, well.  I guess it does give me an excuse for constantly bringing up prison abuse (and prison conditions issues more generally) around here.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: Miss P on June 01, 2006, 08:54:56 PM
If it is as bad as people say it is in prison for sex offenders, it may actually be preferable for a sex offender likely to be too weak to survive prison to kill his victim to get the more humane state-administered death penalty.  Wouldn't want to create this incentive, but I really don't know how valid the initial assumption is.

Alec., I feel as if I can always count on you to make me think. 

A couple of initial thoughts on this:

1. I think sex offenders do face a grave risk of injury or death in prison, and one particular to sex offenders.  That said, it is certainly nowhere near the level of certainty that someone on death row faces (a level of certainty that it is also fairly low).  Thus, I think that it is about living in fear of your life and having a marginal risk of death more than it is about having a very high risk of actually being killed.

2. I don't think most people plan on getting caught, so these rational calculations (assuming they are rational for the purpose of this short point, but not otherwise) never work.

3. I imagine most people -- and I would guess even sex offenders -- would have a very hard time killing someone else based on this kind of abstract reasoning.

4. People on death row, while usually separated from the general population, live for years in prison and face violence there as well.  Depending on the state, it could be 20 years before your death warrant issues.

5. I believe, of course, that we should not be executing people, either by judicial or extrajudicial means.  I'm sure a lot of people around here would disagree, but I couldn't respond to this post without at least registering my feelings about it.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: SCgrad on June 02, 2006, 01:05:17 AM
i have a question.  if I am a 6'8" killing machine capable of quickly ending someone's life with my bare hands, would I be found to be too dangerous for prison by this judge?  not saying that I am, but it seems to follow the same logic, doesn't it? 


Edit: Let's also say that it is well known that I hate child molesters
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: Julie Fern on June 02, 2006, 05:14:07 AM
want talk about it?
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: Miss P on June 02, 2006, 06:57:11 AM
i have a question.  if I am a 6'8" killing machine capable of quickly ending someone's life with my bare hands, would I be found to be too dangerous for prison by this judge?  not saying that I am, but it seems to follow the same logic, doesn't it? 


Edit: Let's also say that it is well known that I hate child molesters

SC, you know how I feel about hands, right?  Well!

I bet you'd be put in an isolation unit.  I haven't read enough about this case to know that there were any isolation units available.  But if there were, I think you could explain (not justify) the disparate treatment based on perceptions of the killing machine's future dangerousness and the sex offender's weakness.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: aerynn on June 02, 2006, 11:36:03 AM
There is a constitutional basis for protection against "cruel and unusual punishment" (like getting sodimized against your will). Sending someone to jail could constitute cruel and unusual punishment, ergo, find an alternate method to prevent him from harming others and exacting punishment.

There is no basis for setting someone free because they might create a cruel and unusual environment for others.  That is the reason we lock them up.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: Miss P on June 02, 2006, 12:12:45 PM
There is a constitutional basis for protection against "cruel and unusual punishment" (like getting sodimized against your will). Sending someone to jail could constitute cruel and unusual punishment, ergo, find an alternate method to prevent him from harming others and exacting punishment.

There is no basis for setting someone free because they might create a cruel and unusual environment for others.  That is the reason we lock them up.

Yes, aerynn, you're totally right.  But aside from the killing machine's 8th Am. rights, might the pragmatic jurist also consider the rights of the other inmates to be free of cruel and unusual punishment?  I think both of these questions (how to sentence an especially dangerous defendant and how to sentence an especially vulnerable one) point to concern about prison conditions.  We need to find a way to manage prison violence better.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: aerynn on June 02, 2006, 12:26:49 PM
I totally agree, Miss P. 

Not being a lawyer, or even a law student yet, I really don't know how it all works, but for a judge to make a ruling that is less likely for it to get overturned on appeal, having a logic such as "I have X, Y, and Z evidence that the suggested sentence would violate the Defendant's constitutional rights.  Therefore, I am sentencing him to W punishment" would hold up pretty well.  Whereas the logic that sentencing the Juggernaught to prison violates the rights of other prisoners doesn't have the same sort of neatness to it. 

It seems like it is easier for a judge or warden to highlight Juggernaught's dangerousness and afford him extra containment, rather than the Flea's vulnerability and afford him extra containment to protect him from the rest of the population.  Giving Flea solitary confinement not because of what he has done or would do, but for his own protection seems like grounds for his defense attorney to argue that the punishment wasn't fair or equal to the punishment of other molestors committing the same crime.  Therefore, Flea should be released, if the State can't keep him safe without overpunishing him.

I might be totally off base though.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: Miss P on June 02, 2006, 12:35:51 PM
I might be totally off base though.

No, I think everything you said is very sharp and makes perfect sense!
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: aerynn on June 02, 2006, 12:44:24 PM
I might be totally off base though.

No, I think everything you said is very sharp and makes perfect sense!

Thanks!  I genuinely appreciate it. :)
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: SCgrad on June 02, 2006, 09:04:46 PM
There is a constitutional basis for protection against "cruel and unusual punishment" (like getting sodimized against your will). Sending someone to jail could constitute cruel and unusual punishment, ergo, find an alternate method to prevent him from harming others and exacting punishment.

There is no basis for setting someone free because they might create a cruel and unusual environment for others.  That is the reason we lock them up.

Yes, aerynn, you're totally right.  But aside from the killing machine's 8th Am. rights, might the pragmatic jurist also consider the rights of the other inmates to be free of cruel and unusual punishment?  I think both of these questions (how to sentence an especially dangerous defendant and how to sentence an especially vulnerable one) point to concern about prison conditions.  We need to find a way to manage prison violence better.

yeah, this is the point i'm getting at.  would this judge have let Jeffrey Dahmar go with no prison time?  his fate should have seemed rather obvious. 

in the case i described.  to avoid cruel and unusual punishment, maybe the judge could order all sex offenders in the prison I am in to be set free.  i wonder how that would go over?
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: aerynn on June 03, 2006, 08:23:13 PM
You can lock up a Jeff Dahmer into a solitary confinement for eating other prisoners and the extra punishment is justified by his extra bad behavior.

You can't confine someone to solitary punishment (seen as excessive for a molester in the eyes of our current sentencing guidelines) because they are not extra bad but being sodimized by other prisoners.  It is unconstitutional.

Just to sum that idea up more clearly.  I think it was muddy in my first post.  But I think this is what prevents the judge from setting Jeff Dahmer loose.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: Julie Fern on June 04, 2006, 04:57:34 AM
at very least, should take away dahmer's fork.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: SCgrad on June 05, 2006, 03:39:59 AM
You can lock up a Jeff Dahmer into a solitary confinement for eating other prisoners and the extra punishment is justified by his extra bad behavior.

You can't confine someone to solitary punishment (seen as excessive for a molester in the eyes of our current sentencing guidelines) because they are not extra bad but being sodimized by other prisoners.  It is unconstitutional.

Just to sum that idea up more clearly.  I think it was muddy in my first post.  But I think this is what prevents the judge from setting Jeff Dahmer loose.

1. Dahmer did that?

2.  how is that unconstitutional (in the case discussed in this thread, not Dahmer)?  That guy who was convicted in the 9/11 case got solitary confinement (presumably because he would be targeted.  I doubt he would be a threat).  I guess they should let him go too?

what would happen if you put this guy in a special prison with nothing but other child molesters?
would this guy be safe in any prison system where he was with a general pop?  should they make midget prisons, with tiny cells and tiny beds and tiny bars and maybe some tiny gaurds?
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: aerynn on June 06, 2006, 08:11:12 AM
You can lock up a Jeff Dahmer into a solitary confinement for eating other prisoners and the extra punishment is justified by his extra bad behavior.

You can't confine someone to solitary punishment (seen as excessive for a molester in the eyes of our current sentencing guidelines) because they are not extra bad but being sodimized by other prisoners.  It is unconstitutional.

Just to sum that idea up more clearly.  I think it was muddy in my first post.  But I think this is what prevents the judge from setting Jeff Dahmer loose.

1. Dahmer did that?

2.  how is that unconstitutional (in the case discussed in this thread, not Dahmer)?  That guy who was convicted in the 9/11 case got solitary confinement (presumably because he would be targeted.  I doubt he would be a threat).  I guess they should let him go too?

what would happen if you put this guy in a special prison with nothing but other child molesters?
would this guy be safe in any prison system where he was with a general pop?  should they make midget prisons, with tiny cells and tiny beds and tiny bars and maybe some tiny gaurds?

I don't think Jeff Dahmer ate other prisoners.  I was just saying that if he was bad in prison, he could get extra punishment for creating a cruel and unusual environment for others.  What are you saying?  I think I missed your point.

The 9/11 guy was under suspicion of what? Treason?  He could be put to death for his crimes.  Solitary confinement is appropriate for that level of criminal.  Compare to our tiny molester, who I am going to call "Flea."  Flea molested a 12 year old girl.  Let's say the max punishment for that crime in his jurisdiction is 15 years in prison, in the general population.  You can't up the punishment to 15 years solitary confinement just because you can't keep him safe.  It is unconsititutional, since for that crime the punishment is excessively cruel and therefore unusual for that crime.  Likewise allowing him to be sodimized for 15 years.  While emotionally it may feel like just punishment, that is not what the law reads. 

As for building a child molester prison, I'd have to ask how many child molesters there are at any given time in prison.  Is that state or federal prison?  If state, you would need a child molester prison for each state . . . it just seems a tad expensive.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: veg on June 06, 2006, 08:27:46 AM
I'm shorter than that guy. I hope I get that judge if I ever get convicted of a crime. js.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: SCgrad on June 07, 2006, 05:36:45 AM
You can lock up a Jeff Dahmer into a solitary confinement for eating other prisoners and the extra punishment is justified by his extra bad behavior.

You can't confine someone to solitary punishment (seen as excessive for a molester in the eyes of our current sentencing guidelines) because they are not extra bad but being sodimized by other prisoners.  It is unconstitutional.

Just to sum that idea up more clearly.  I think it was muddy in my first post.  But I think this is what prevents the judge from setting Jeff Dahmer loose.

1. Dahmer did that?

2.  how is that unconstitutional (in the case discussed in this thread, not Dahmer)?  That guy who was convicted in the 9/11 case got solitary confinement (presumably because he would be targeted.  I doubt he would be a threat).  I guess they should let him go too?

what would happen if you put this guy in a special prison with nothing but other child molesters?
would this guy be safe in any prison system where he was with a general pop?  should they make midget prisons, with tiny cells and tiny beds and tiny bars and maybe some tiny gaurds?

I don't think Jeff Dahmer ate other prisoners.  I was just saying that if he was bad in prison, he could get extra punishment for creating a cruel and unusual environment for others.  What are you saying?  I think I missed your point.

The 9/11 guy was under suspicion of what? Treason?  He could be put to death for his crimes.  Solitary confinement is appropriate for that level of criminal.  Compare to our tiny molester, who I am going to call "Flea."  Flea molested a 12 year old girl.  Let's say the max punishment for that crime in his jurisdiction is 15 years in prison, in the general population.  You can't up the punishment to 15 years solitary confinement just because you can't keep him safe.  It is unconsititutional, since for that crime the punishment is excessively cruel and therefore unusual for that crime.  Likewise allowing him to be sodimized for 15 years.  While emotionally it may feel like just punishment, that is not what the law reads. 

As for building a child molester prison, I'd have to ask how many child molesters there are at any given time in prison.  Is that state or federal prison?  If state, you would need a child molester prison for each state . . . it just seems a tad expensive.

1.  Dahmer actually killed people, so I guess you are saying it was okay for him to be killed in prison?  He was obviously going to be targeted.  They put him in anyway and let him get murdered.  This doesn't really matter anyway.

2.  So the constitution bars cruel punishment depending on the crime?  Something is either cruel or it isn't (look at the CA "3 strikes" laws, which can put someone away for 25 years for shoplifting.  Why isn't that "cruel punishment?).  You can argue unusual, but so many people are put in solitary confinement, I think it hardly could be classified as such.  you also seem to think child molestation is not as serious a crime as I do.  is this true? 

Really, the solitary confinement would be for his own protection.  I cannot imagine a scenario where this guy could be with any general population and be okay.  Many people are put in solitary confinement for their own protection.  It's not like it is much worse than regular prison.  You don't get to hang out with a bunch of scumbags.  That's rough.  If I'm ever put in prison, I hope it's solitary confinement.

3.  Expensive?  Tell that to the girl whose life is forever altered because she was raped.  That is the states number one responsibility, to protect its citizens.  maybe you don't think some people are worth protecting?
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: aerynn on June 07, 2006, 06:19:56 AM

1.  Dahmer actually killed people, so I guess you are saying it was okay for him to be killed in prison?  He was obviously going to be targeted.  They put him in anyway and let him get murdered.  This doesn't really matter anyway.
I don't get what your point is here, so yeah, let's just let it go.

Quote
2.  So the constitution bars cruel punishment depending on the crime?  Something is either cruel or it isn't (look at the CA "3 strikes" laws, which can put someone away for 25 years for shoplifting.  Why isn't that "cruel punishment?).  You can argue unusual, but so many people are put in solitary confinement, I think it hardly could be classified as such.  you also seem to think child molestation is not as serious a crime as I do.  is this true? 

Really, the solitary confinement would be for his own protection.  I cannot imagine a scenario where this guy could be with any general population and be okay.  Many people are put in solitary confinement for their own protection.  It's not like it is much worse than regular prison.  You don't get to hang out with a bunch of scumbags.  That's rough.  If I'm ever put in prison, I hope it's solitary confinement.

Cruel AND unusual punishment is defined by the crime.  Some punishments may be cruel in any context, such as torture.  Some punishments are cruel and unusual given the crime.  In some states, murder is a capital crime where a convicted murderer may be put to death.  It would be cruel and unusual to put a theif to death for shoplifting a $5 tube of lipstick, however, even in those states where the death penalty is reguarly used to punish murderers.  The punishment must fit the crime and our inability to operate the prison effectively does not relieve that obligation.

You may think solitary confinement sounds great.  However, in our system it is considered a higher level of punishment.  Psychological studies bear that it is more difficult to serve time in isolation than it is in a social setting, until you throw in that the "social setting" includes rape and murder.  Since the rape and murder are not supposed to be happening, you can't make a legal argument that solitary confinement is a lessor punishment than being in the general population. 

Since I don't know anything about the nature of this particular instance of molestation or what the laws are in that particular state regarding molestation, I can't form any sort of opinion about whether the punishments should be made tougher and the maximum penalties should be changed.

Quote

3.  Expensive?  Tell that to the girl whose life is forever altered because she was raped.  That is the states number one responsibility, to protect its citizens.  maybe you don't think some people are worth protecting?

Are we discussing what should happen in magical fairy dreamland where I get to spend whatever I want and do whatever I want?  If so, then your point may be worth discussing in that context.  I was framing my comments in the context of the real world US of A.  So saying "Maybe you don't think some people are worth protecting" is just silly.  Why not build each child a candy castle with a fleet of carefully screened adults to cater to their every whim and protect them from every evil?  Maybe you hate children and don't want them to be happy?  (See how that style of discussion has no point?)

Since lifetime imprisonment isn't an option for molestation I would prefer to see first time offenders, particularly those who don't have criminal records and a low risk for repeating their crime, treated for mental illness rather than subjected to further abuses and trauma, which seems like it would increase the offender's propensity to act out in an inappropriate way.  I think child molestors are probably created not born that way and it seems worth wile to find a way to fix it when possible.  They should also be monitored for life.  If an alcoholic is an alcoholic forever (recovered for 20 years, you are still an alcoholic in recovery), it seems likely that molesters are molesters forever, they are just "on the wagon."

Second time offenders can be thrown in a gator pit so we can stop wasting our time on them.

How's that for pretend scenarios?
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: SCgrad on June 07, 2006, 06:37:50 AM

1.  Dahmer actually killed people, so I guess you are saying it was okay for him to be killed in prison?  He was obviously going to be targeted.  They put him in anyway and let him get murdered.  This doesn't really matter anyway.
I don't get what your point is here, so yeah, let's just let it go.

Quote
2.  So the constitution bars cruel punishment depending on the crime?  Something is either cruel or it isn't (look at the CA "3 strikes" laws, which can put someone away for 25 years for shoplifting.  Why isn't that "cruel punishment?).  You can argue unusual, but so many people are put in solitary confinement, I think it hardly could be classified as such.  you also seem to think child molestation is not as serious a crime as I do.  is this true? 

Really, the solitary confinement would be for his own protection.  I cannot imagine a scenario where this guy could be with any general population and be okay.  Many people are put in solitary confinement for their own protection.  It's not like it is much worse than regular prison.  You don't get to hang out with a bunch of scumbags.  That's rough.  If I'm ever put in prison, I hope it's solitary confinement.

Cruel AND unusual punishment is defined by the crime.  Some punishments may be cruel in any context, such as torture.  Some punishments are cruel and unusual given the crime.  In some states, murder is a capital crime where a convicted murderer may be put to death.  It would be cruel and unusual to put a theif to death for shoplifting a $5 tube of lipstick, however, even in those states where the death penalty is reguarly used to punish murderers.  The punishment must fit the crime and our inability to operate the prison effectively does not relieve that obligation.

You may think solitary confinement sounds great.  However, in our system it is considered a higher level of punishment.  Psychological studies bear that it is more difficult to serve time in isolation than it is in a social setting, until you throw in that the "social setting" includes rape and murder.  Since the rape and murder are not supposed to be happening, you can't make a legal argument that solitary confinement is a lessor punishment than being in the general population. 

Since I don't know anything about the nature of this particular instance of molestation or what the laws are in that particular state regarding molestation, I can't form any sort of opinion about whether the punishments should be made tougher and the maximum penalties should be changed.

Quote

3.  Expensive?  Tell that to the girl whose life is forever altered because she was raped.  That is the states number one responsibility, to protect its citizens.  maybe you don't think some people are worth protecting?

Are we discussing what should happen in magical fairy dreamland where I get to spend whatever I want and do whatever I want?  If so, then your point may be worth discussing in that context.  I was framing my comments in the context of the real world US of A.  So saying "Maybe you don't think some people are worth protecting" is just silly.  Why not build each child a candy castle with a fleet of carefully screened adults to cater to their every whim and protect them from every evil?  Maybe you hate children and don't want them to be happy?  (See how that style of discussion has no point?)

Since lifetime imprisonment isn't an option for molestation I would prefer to see first time offenders, particularly those who don't have criminal records and a low risk for repeating their crime, treated for mental illness rather than subjected to further abuses and trauma, which seems like it would increase the offender's propensity to act out in an inappropriate way.  I think child molestors are probably created not born that way and it seems worth wile to find a way to fix it when possible.  They should also be monitored for life.  If an alcoholic is an alcoholic forever (recovered for 20 years, you are still an alcoholic in recovery), it seems likely that molesters are molesters forever, they are just "on the wagon."

Second time offenders can be thrown in a gator pit so we can stop wasting our time on them.

How's that for pretend scenarios?

You didn't answer the "3 strikes" question which seems to be right up the alley of what you are talking about.  the death penalty for a shoplifter would be unusual, not cruel (or any more cruel than the death penalty is for anyone, but that is a different argument)

A prison in every state for child molestors would probably cost no more than an extra 10 million dollars a year per state.  A candy castle for every child with the gaurdians you suppose would probably cost about 1 million dollars a kid per year or more.  that is 500 million dollars (a couple days in Iraq) vs. more money than exists in the world.  Yeah, I'm being unrealistic  ::)   Ilike how you made a ridiculous counterexample to my points.  Did you not have anything intelligent to say?

Your opinions about what to do with child molestors are actually not bad, which is somewhat surprising to me.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: aerynn on June 07, 2006, 06:49:29 AM
I don't understand what your point is with the 3 strikes argument.  They decided in California that for the crime of repeat shoplifting, they are imposing a sentence of 25 years in prison.  They aren't suggesting that anyone who shoplifts repeatedly and who is under 5 feet tall get 25 years solitary confinement, for the additional crime of being short.

As for the prison idea, why don't we build more prisons in general?  1. States don't have the money 2. No one wants a prison near them.

Now sell the idea of a prison specifically for child molesters, to protect child molester rights.  Meanwhile, serial rapists are getting released after 15 years due to overcrowding.    You really think this is a practical solution and you are accusing ME of not having anything intelligent to say?
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: SCgrad on June 07, 2006, 07:25:15 AM
I don't understand what your point is with the 3 strikes argument.  They decided in California that for the crime of repeat shoplifting, they are imposing a sentence of 25 years in prison.  They aren't suggesting that anyone who shoplifts repeatedly and who is under 5 feet tall get 25 years solitary confinement, for the additional crime of being short.

As for the prison idea, why don't we build more prisons in general?  1. States don't have the money 2. No one wants a prison near them.

Now sell the idea of a prison specifically for child molesters, to protect child molester rights.  Meanwhile, serial rapists are getting released after 15 years due to overcrowding.    You really think this is a practical solution and you are accusing ME of not having anything intelligent to say?

you are basically saying a punishment is cruel and unusual if it doesn't fit the crime.  either that or that a punishment has to be applied universally for a specific crime.  if solitary confinement is cruel for a child molester, then 25 years is cruel for a shop lifter.  again, the solitary confinement is to protect him.  he can choose to be in general pop if he likes.  people who kill others due to some extreme mental illness are not guilty of ANY crime, but we still lock them up because they are a danger to society.  This guy is a danger to society AND is guilty.  the additional "punishment" of solitary confinement doesn't seem to be nearly as cruel as the prospect of more raped children, at least not to me.  Does the fact that you don't know who the next victim is yet make that person any less important?

You are using other injustices in the penal system as reasoning for this particular injustice.  that is the dumbest thing i've heard in a while.  I'm talking about what should happen.  Why are you against this idea?  You would rather have sex offenders go free than pay slightly higher taxes?  please spare me lessons in the stupidity of govt. and tell me what you actually think.  don't hide behind "because that's the way it is."  it makes you sound like a conservative.

Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: aerynn on June 07, 2006, 07:57:10 AM
I don't understand what your point is with the 3 strikes argument.  They decided in California that for the crime of repeat shoplifting, they are imposing a sentence of 25 years in prison.  They aren't suggesting that anyone who shoplifts repeatedly and who is under 5 feet tall get 25 years solitary confinement, for the additional crime of being short.

As for the prison idea, why don't we build more prisons in general?  1. States don't have the money 2. No one wants a prison near them.

Now sell the idea of a prison specifically for child molesters, to protect child molester rights.  Meanwhile, serial rapists are getting released after 15 years due to overcrowding.    You really think this is a practical solution and you are accusing ME of not having anything intelligent to say?

you are basically saying a punishment is cruel and unusual if it doesn't fit the crime.  either that or that a punishment has to be applied universally for a specific crime.  if solitary confinement is cruel for a child molester, then 25 years is cruel for a shop lifter.  again, the solitary confinement is to protect him.  he can choose to be in general pop if he likes.  people who kill others due to some extreme mental illness are not guilty of ANY crime, but we still lock them up because they are a danger to society.  This guy is a danger to society AND is guilty.  the additional "punishment" of solitary confinement doesn't seem to be nearly as cruel as the prospect of more raped children, at least not to me.  Does the fact that you don't know who the next victim is yet make that person any less important?

You are using other injustices in the penal system as reasoning for this particular injustice.  that is the dumbest thing i've heard in a while.  I'm talking about what should happen.  Why are you against this idea?  You would rather have sex offenders go free than pay slightly higher taxes?  please spare me lessons in the stupidity of govt. and tell me what you actually think.  don't hide behind "because that's the way it is."  it makes you sound like a conservative.



I am saying the punishment must be in line with the punishments given to other offenders of the same crime.  In some cases, there are sentencing guidelines mandating a min and/or a max sentence for a crime.  If there is a guideline saying that shoplifters get 25 years for their 3rd offense, then fine.  That punishment is not unusual for a 3rd time offender.  You may have a fair argument that it is excessive, but I think that is beyond the scope of this discussion.

My point is this: there is some maximum standard of punishment for child molestation in the state in which this story occured.  That standard does not include solitary confinement, which is considered a worse punishment than imprisonment in the general population.  To punish a criminal to a higher degree because he is short is unjust.

You seem to be saying that he is a criminal and whatever punishment devised is fair, even if he is being punished more than he would be if he were 6 feet tall.  Is that correct?  Short people should be punished more than tall people?  Weak people should be punished more than strong people?  How is that justice?

Keep in mind that he is not a violent criminal.  He is a child molester, which is sick and terrible and wrong.  But he is not a child rapist.

I don't know what this guy did, so I really can't go further.  But let's try to paint it in the most favorable light possible, for our runt child molestor:

The girl is 12, but looks 16.  She is out with a group of friends, mostly boys, mostly older.  The offender is a guy they know, who will buy them beer.  They are all hanging out, drinking together.  Maybe she is flirting with him a bit, since it will make him more likely to give them alcohol in the future.  The offender gets sloppy and starts telling the girl she's real purdy.  He leans in and gets grabby with her.  She is creaped out, tells him to back off and he does.  Later, when her mom finds out about it and is furious that her daughter was drinking, the mother reports him.  Now sober, he is ashamed of what he's done and wanting to take responsibility for his actions. He pleads guilty and the prosecuter agrees to drop the charges for buying the booze if the defense attorney doesn't bring up the drinking of the victim since it is prejudicial to the case.  The girl is upset and creaped out and less likely to go drinking with old men, but not deeply damaged.  The offender is very bad, needs to be punished, really needs counselling, should be monitored for life and probably prevented from drinking in the future since he can't handle his booze but doesn't deserve 15 years getting sodimized by a huge career rapist/murderer.  He doesn't deserve to die for what he did. There is a good chance that given the right program and aggressive monitoring, he can become a productive member of society.

Another scenario: the girl is 12, but looks her age.  She is out with her school's honor society, doing volunteer work in the community.  As she is waiting for her mom to pick her up from the Habitat for Humanity site.  The offender is a stalker who's been following the victim around, waiting for a moment of vulnerbility.  He jumps her, drags her into an alley and starts to tear off her clothes.  A passerby stops him from doing anything further, but the girl needs extensive couselling and her entire worldview is shattered.  She no longer participates in activities, no longer has any confidence in herself.  She starts to wear oversized clothes in dark, unattractive colors.  She develops a number of serious disorders, such as anorexia and self-mutalation.  She can't escape the feeling that it is somehow her fault.  In this case, the offender should be put in prison forever and whatever happens to him there, rape, beating, etc. are part of the punishment.  There is no way to replace what he took.

That is what makes it hard to discuss this.  What damage did the offender cause?  What were the circumstances of the crime?

Since the judge felt the offender was worthy of rehabilitation, I am leaning toward something on the former scenario than the latter.

A discussion of what to do to fix the criminal justice system is beyond the scope of this discussion, but I think building special prisons for non-violent child molestors is not it.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: aerynn on June 07, 2006, 08:00:03 AM
Also, if we are talking about the way things should be, rape and murder should not be tolerated among the prison population.  What do we need to spend to fix the prisons?  That is money well-spent and a better argument.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: veg on June 07, 2006, 08:04:25 AM
Aerynn, did you just say that extrajudicial beatings should be considered part of the punishment, or did I misunderstand?
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: aerynn on June 07, 2006, 08:07:04 AM
Aerynn, did you just say that extrajudicial beatings should be considered part of the punishment, or did I misunderstand?

I think they should be acknowledged that they will be part of the punishment or prevented from happening, with the latter being the ideal that we as a society should strive for.

SC was asking that I not consider what is happening in reality, but that I should make some comment as to what *should* happen, in my ideal justice system. 
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: Miss P on June 07, 2006, 08:45:08 AM
I am just catching up to this after an internet outage at work.  I agree with everything Aerynn has said, and I am surprised by SC's dismissal.  This is an interesting discussion; there's no reason to call anyone stupid.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: dun on June 07, 2006, 08:51:03 AM
Do you people know anyone that has been to jail? Do you know how rough it is, what its like?  I could not handle it and I'm a pretty solid tough guy. 
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: Miss P on June 07, 2006, 08:53:50 AM
Do you people know anyone that has been to jail? Do you know how rough it is, what its like?  I could not handle it and I'm a pretty solid tough guy. 

Yes.  Some pretty tough people I know (say, some who have killed other people) have been seriously injured and traumatized in prison.  It's not easy.  And solitary is even worse.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: dun on June 07, 2006, 08:54:58 AM
Do you people know anyone that has been to jail? Do you know how rough it is, what its like?  I could not handle it and I'm a pretty solid tough guy. 

Yes.  Some pretty tough people I know (say, some who have killed other people) have been seriously injured and traumatized in prison.  It's not easy.  And solitary is even worse.

Yeah the people I know are really tough, and they came out animals.  The prison system needs serious reform.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: Julie Fern on June 07, 2006, 02:34:17 PM
but he be surrounded by many of his friends....
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: SCgrad on June 07, 2006, 09:16:51 PM
I don't understand what your point is with the 3 strikes argument.  They decided in California that for the crime of repeat shoplifting, they are imposing a sentence of 25 years in prison.  They aren't suggesting that anyone who shoplifts repeatedly and who is under 5 feet tall get 25 years solitary confinement, for the additional crime of being short.

As for the prison idea, why don't we build more prisons in general?  1. States don't have the money 2. No one wants a prison near them.

Now sell the idea of a prison specifically for child molesters, to protect child molester rights.  Meanwhile, serial rapists are getting released after 15 years due to overcrowding.    You really think this is a practical solution and you are accusing ME of not having anything intelligent to say?

you are basically saying a punishment is cruel and unusual if it doesn't fit the crime.  either that or that a punishment has to be applied universally for a specific crime.  if solitary confinement is cruel for a child molester, then 25 years is cruel for a shop lifter.  again, the solitary confinement is to protect him.  he can choose to be in general pop if he likes.  people who kill others due to some extreme mental illness are not guilty of ANY crime, but we still lock them up because they are a danger to society.  This guy is a danger to society AND is guilty.  the additional "punishment" of solitary confinement doesn't seem to be nearly as cruel as the prospect of more raped children, at least not to me.  Does the fact that you don't know who the next victim is yet make that person any less important?

You are using other injustices in the penal system as reasoning for this particular injustice.  that is the dumbest thing i've heard in a while.  I'm talking about what should happen.  Why are you against this idea?  You would rather have sex offenders go free than pay slightly higher taxes?  please spare me lessons in the stupidity of govt. and tell me what you actually think.  don't hide behind "because that's the way it is."  it makes you sound like a conservative.



I am saying the punishment must be in line with the punishments given to other offenders of the same crime.  In some cases, there are sentencing guidelines mandating a min and/or a max sentence for a crime.  If there is a guideline saying that shoplifters get 25 years for their 3rd offense, then fine.  That punishment is not unusual for a 3rd time offender.  You may have a fair argument that it is excessive, but I think that is beyond the scope of this discussion.

My point is this: there is some maximum standard of punishment for child molestation in the state in which this story occured.  That standard does not include solitary confinement, which is considered a worse punishment than imprisonment in the general population.  To punish a criminal to a higher degree because he is short is unjust.

You seem to be saying that he is a criminal and whatever punishment devised is fair, even if he is being punished more than he would be if he were 6 feet tall.  Is that correct?  Short people should be punished more than tall people?  Weak people should be punished more than strong people?  How is that justice?

Keep in mind that he is not a violent criminal.  He is a child molester, which is sick and terrible and wrong.  But he is not a child rapist.

I don't know what this guy did, so I really can't go further.  But let's try to paint it in the most favorable light possible, for our runt child molestor:

The girl is 12, but looks 16.  She is out with a group of friends, mostly boys, mostly older.  The offender is a guy they know, who will buy them beer.  They are all hanging out, drinking together.  Maybe she is flirting with him a bit, since it will make him more likely to give them alcohol in the future.  The offender gets sloppy and starts telling the girl she's real purdy.  He leans in and gets grabby with her.  She is creaped out, tells him to back off and he does.  Later, when her mom finds out about it and is furious that her daughter was drinking, the mother reports him.  Now sober, he is ashamed of what he's done and wanting to take responsibility for his actions. He pleads guilty and the prosecuter agrees to drop the charges for buying the booze if the defense attorney doesn't bring up the drinking of the victim since it is prejudicial to the case.  The girl is upset and creaped out and less likely to go drinking with old men, but not deeply damaged.  The offender is very bad, needs to be punished, really needs counselling, should be monitored for life and probably prevented from drinking in the future since he can't handle his booze but doesn't deserve 15 years getting sodimized by a huge career rapist/murderer.  He doesn't deserve to die for what he did. There is a good chance that given the right program and aggressive monitoring, he can become a productive member of society.

Another scenario: the girl is 12, but looks her age.  She is out with her school's honor society, doing volunteer work in the community.  As she is waiting for her mom to pick her up from the Habitat for Humanity site.  The offender is a stalker who's been following the victim around, waiting for a moment of vulnerbility.  He jumps her, drags her into an alley and starts to tear off her clothes.  A passerby stops him from doing anything further, but the girl needs extensive couselling and her entire worldview is shattered.  She no longer participates in activities, no longer has any confidence in herself.  She starts to wear oversized clothes in dark, unattractive colors.  She develops a number of serious disorders, such as anorexia and self-mutalation.  She can't escape the feeling that it is somehow her fault.  In this case, the offender should be put in prison forever and whatever happens to him there, rape, beating, etc. are part of the punishment.  There is no way to replace what he took.

That is what makes it hard to discuss this.  What damage did the offender cause?  What were the circumstances of the crime?

Since the judge felt the offender was worthy of rehabilitation, I am leaning toward something on the former scenario than the latter.

A discussion of what to do to fix the criminal justice system is beyond the scope of this discussion, but I think building special prisons for non-violent child molestors is not it.

Since this guy is not getting the punishment that fits the crime, I think the ability of the penal system IS the issue at hand.  How could it not be? 

I also like the huge hypocracy you put forth in the second scenario.  He now deserves the beatings, rapings, etc.?  I thought extra punishment past the law was wrong.  Please make up your mind before presenting your argument.

And Miss P, I am not dismissing the danger he faces in prison and the fact he should not be sodimized for his crime.  I agree with that.  I just believe the "if we can't do anything to keep it from happening, we must let him go" combined with the "doing something to change this is just too expensive" is lunacy.  For God's sake, we are spending millions of dollars now so that peoples' pets can be saved during natural disasters.  When our govt. puts the safety of Fido above that of my son or daughter (or prisoners for that matter), I am going to be rightfully upset.

note- this argument has nothing to do with what the best solution is for "rehabilitating" child molesters.  I don't know enough about that to opine.  What I do know is that a punishment should fit a crime, and in addition to not being too severely punished, one should not be too lightly punished.  That's just common sense.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: SCgrad on June 08, 2006, 12:28:05 AM


You seem to be saying that he is a criminal and whatever punishment devised is fair, even if he is being punished more than he would be if he were 6 feet tall.  Is that correct?  Short people should be punished more than tall people?  Weak people should be punished more than strong people?  How is that justice?


The state would not be punishing him differently.  As has been mentioned in this thread.  Prison is a dangerous place no matter who you are.  Would this guy be more likely to be hurt?  Of course.  Would he necessarily be hurt? No.  Is anyone in prison free from the danger posed by other prisoners? Yes, those in solitary confinement.  But no others. 

More things to think about. 

The judge gave him probation, which as you know means, if he does anything wrong, he gets the full 10 years.  So if he messes up now and does the same thing, the judge will be giving him his 10 years of "beatings and sodimizings" that are "cruel and unusual"

The Constitution makes absolutely no statement about "cruel and unusual punishment for the crime

If solitary confinement is worse, why not give him half the time in solitary confinement than what he would have recieved in general population?  It has been said that prison is really bad regardless, there must be a conversion.  Maybe 2 or 3 years in general is just as "damaging" as 1 in solitary confinement.  That would be a better argument.





A discussion of what to do to fix the criminal justice system is beyond the scope of this discussion, but I think building special prisons for non-violent child molestors is not it.


I disagree, I think that is exactly what this is about.  There is an obvious flaw in the justice system, the only positve that could come out of this is for that flaw to be fixed.  You are quick to dismiss a special prison (could just be a sectioned off part of an existing prison) but have no solutions of your own.  Again, this sounds very conservative to me, and I don't mean that in a good way.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: Miss P on June 08, 2006, 06:55:39 AM
The Constitution makes absolutely no statement about "cruel and unusual punishment for the crime

I don't want to enter any further into this argument, which has gotten too personal and convoluted, but I do want to make a quick point about the statement above.  I think it's misleading. 

The Supreme Court has always interpreted the Eighth Amendment prohibition of "cruel and unusual punishment" as relative to the crime in keeping with the idea that punishments must fit crimes.

What makes a punishment cruel is not merely its inherent inhumanity or barbarity but its disproporionality to the offense.  All punishments are in some senses cruel; the question is whether a particular punishment is a just response to the offense. (I believe Aerynn already said this earlier in the thread.)

What makes a punishment unusual is its arbitrary or capricious application.

For instance, the imposition of the death penalty has been found to violate the Eighth Am. in the cases of the mentally retarded, people who committed their offenses prior to the age of eighteen, and rapists. The Supreme Court does not hold these judgments about the classes of people eligible for punishment to have any bearing on the inherent cruelty or unusualness of the death penalty.  During the short period in the 1970s when the death penalty was, for all purposes, illegal in the US (when Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972), was still law), the Court's rationale was not that death itself was so cruel or unusual as to violate the Eighth Amendment but that its arbitrary applicatoin (on the basis of race) made it so.

Justice White, writing for the majority in Coker v. Georgia, 433 U.S. 584, 591-2 (1977) (finding that capital punishment violated the Eighth Am. when applied in non-homicidal rape cases), explained the general thrust of the Eighth Am. jurisprudence as follows:

In sustaining the imposition of the death penalty in Gregg, however, the Court firmly embraced the holdings and dicta from prior cases, Furman v. Georgia, supra; Robinson v. California, 370 U.S. 660 (1962); Trop v. Dulles, 356 U.S. 86 (1958); and Weems v. United States, 217 U.S. 349 (1910), to the effect that the Eighth Amendment bars not only those punishments that are "barbaric" but also those that are "excessive" in relation to the crime committed. Under Gregg, a punishment is "excessive" and unconstitutional if it (1) makes no measurable contribution to acceptable goals of punishment and hence is nothing more than the purposeless and needless imposition of pain and suffering; or (2) is grossly out of proportion to the severity of the crime. A punishment might fail the test on either ground. Furthermore, these Eighth Amendment judgments should not be, or appear to be, merely the subjective views of individual Justices; judgment should be informed by objective factors to the maximum possible extent. To this end, attention must be given to the public attitudes concerning a particular sentence - history and precedent, legislative attitudes, and the response of juries reflected in their sentencing decisions are to be consulted.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: SCgrad on June 08, 2006, 07:04:07 AM


In sustaining the imposition of the death penalty in Gregg, however, the Court firmly embraced the holdings and dicta from prior cases, Furman v. Georgia, supra; Robinson v. California, 370 U.S. 660 (1962); Trop v. Dulles, 356 U.S. 86 (1958); and Weems v. United States, 217 U.S. 349 (1910), to the effect that the Eighth Amendment bars not only those punishments that are "barbaric" but also those that are "excessive" in relation to the crime committed. Under Gregg, a punishment is "excessive" and unconstitutional if it (1) makes no measurable contribution to acceptable goals of punishment and hence is nothing more than the purposeless and needless imposition of pain and suffering; or (2) is grossly out of proportion to the severity of the crime. A punishment might fail the test on either ground. Furthermore, these Eighth Amendment judgments should not be, or appear to be, merely the subjective views of individual Justices; judgment should be informed by objective factors to the maximum possible extent. To this end, attention must be given to the public attitudes concerning a particular sentence - history and precedent, legislative attitudes, and the response of juries reflected in their sentencing decisions are to be consulted.


well, this doesn't hit number one.  perhaps it hits number two.  i think i proposed a solution to that.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: aerynn on June 08, 2006, 08:09:26 AM
Since this guy is not getting the punishment that fits the crime, I think the ability of the penal system IS the issue at hand.  How could it not be? 

I also like the huge hypocracy you put forth in the second scenario.  He now deserves the beatings, rapings, etc.?  I thought extra punishment past the law was wrong.  Please make up your mind before presenting your argument.

And Miss P, I am not dismissing the danger he faces in prison and the fact he should not be sodimized for his crime.  I agree with that.  I just believe the "if we can't do anything to keep it from happening, we must let him go" combined with the "doing something to change this is just too expensive" is lunacy.  For God's sake, we are spending millions of dollars now so that peoples' pets can be saved during natural disasters.  When our govt. puts the safety of Fido above that of my son or daughter (or prisoners for that matter), I am going to be rightfully upset.

note- this argument has nothing to do with what the best solution is for "rehabilitating" child molesters.  I don't know enough about that to opine.  What I do know is that a punishment should fit a crime, and in addition to not being too severely punished, one should not be too lightly punished.  That's just common sense.

Do you accept the premise that different punishments are appropriate for different crimes?
Do you accept the premise that even for crimes of the same name, e.g. child molestation, there is a difference between instances of that crime both in the dangerousness of the criminal to the community, the effect of the crime on the victim, the likelihood that it would be repeated, the ability of the offender to be rehabilitated,etc?

If we can't agree on those two premises, there is no point in continuing to discuss this.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: SCgrad on June 08, 2006, 09:06:40 PM
Since this guy is not getting the punishment that fits the crime, I think the ability of the penal system IS the issue at hand.  How could it not be? 

I also like the huge hypocracy you put forth in the second scenario.  He now deserves the beatings, rapings, etc.?  I thought extra punishment past the law was wrong.  Please make up your mind before presenting your argument.

And Miss P, I am not dismissing the danger he faces in prison and the fact he should not be sodimized for his crime.  I agree with that.  I just believe the "if we can't do anything to keep it from happening, we must let him go" combined with the "doing something to change this is just too expensive" is lunacy.  For God's sake, we are spending millions of dollars now so that peoples' pets can be saved during natural disasters.  When our govt. puts the safety of Fido above that of my son or daughter (or prisoners for that matter), I am going to be rightfully upset.

note- this argument has nothing to do with what the best solution is for "rehabilitating" child molesters.  I don't know enough about that to opine.  What I do know is that a punishment should fit a crime, and in addition to not being too severely punished, one should not be too lightly punished.  That's just common sense.

Do you accept the premise that different punishments are appropriate for different crimes?
Do you accept the premise that even for crimes of the same name, e.g. child molestation, there is a difference between instances of that crime both in the dangerousness of the criminal to the community, the effect of the crime on the victim, the likelihood that it would be repeated, the ability of the offender to be rehabilitated,etc?

If we can't agree on those two premises, there is no point in continuing to discuss this.

yes, agree with those.

now tell me why the failures of the prison system is outside the scope of this when the judge that you are applauding actually stated in her ruling that she wished she could send this guy to prison, but wouldn't because he would be targeted.  You said her ruling shows she thinks he is more towards the first scenario, but since she stated he should be in prison, I think that should be the focal point of the discussion.  first, how someone who cannot be punished or rehabilitated or whatever by conventional means should be dealt with and secondly, if they cannot, what should be done.  You are saying he can't be punished by any current method, but have no alternative to my proposed seperate facilities.  Sometimes you have to do the hard thing and actually answer a question and solve a problem.  There is often no easy solution, but doing nothing and just accepting injustice is not right.

Also, if you were to consider this guy the normal and taller people the exception, you would be punishing taller people more for the same crime simply because they are tall.  I know you will say that doesn't matter because the punishment is within the scope of what is considered uncruel and usual, but it still causes an injustice and inbalance in the legal system.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: aerynn on June 09, 2006, 05:54:29 AM
1. I am not applauding the judge.  I understand the decision, though.

2. If you are going to have separate facilities, there should be one for non-violent crime, one for violent crime, and then those white collar prisons like the one Martha Stewart went to.  This would mitigate the "training ground" effect of prisons, where someone goes in for shoplifting and they come out a murderer with no regard for their life or the the lives of others.  The idea would be to keep criminals with others on the same level, rather than with those who will escalate the criminal behavior.

3. Rehab for drug crimes and many sex crimes.  And anything else that seems like it is a dumb kid or a poor person acting out of desperation.  Rehab for drunk drivers that have not caused personal injury to anyone, just property damange.  Stop criminalizing mental illness.  Treatment with the goal of creating someone who can function in society, instead of a storage facility where problems escalate. 

In this case, while the judge acknowledged that she would like to send the guy to prison, she also felt he was a low risk for repeating his crime AND she sent him for treatment, not just released into the world.  I think sending him to a hospital for the mentally ill is a much smarter setting for someone who is mentally handicapped and acting inappropriately.  Not a place where he will become a victim himself and then be released back into society, more damanged and dangerous than he went in.

Ultimately, I find your call for a special child molester prison to be naive because of the state of the criminal justice system.  You would end up having shoplifter prison and rapist prison and murderer prison and armed robber prison and many, many, many petty drug crime prisons. 

Why build a special prison when we need mental healthcare facilities and some way for people who need treatment to get it?  Even those with insurance can only get about 30 days of mental health treatment.  Take the prison money you are willing to spend and do something constructive instead of destructive with it. 

You are quick to call me "conservative" but one of the worst traits of the current incarnation of the conservative groupthink is the need for revenge and punishment when rehabilitation and treatment would ultimately be more productive to society.  Let go of your need to exact a pound of flesh and save future victims by stopping the creation of violent criminals.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: SCgrad on June 09, 2006, 06:18:33 AM


Ultimately, I find your call for a special child molester prison to be naive because of the state of the criminal justice system.  You would end up having shoplifter prison and rapist prison and murderer prison and armed robber prison and many, many, many petty drug crime prisons. 

Why build a special prison when we need mental healthcare facilities and some way for people who need treatment to get it?  Even those with insurance can only get about 30 days of mental health treatment.  Take the prison money you are willing to spend and do something constructive instead of destructive with it. 

You are quick to call me "conservative" but one of the worst traits of the current incarnation of the conservative groupthink is the need for revenge and punishment when rehabilitation and treatment would ultimately be more productive to society.  Let go of your need to exact a pound of flesh and save future victims by stopping the creation of violent criminals.

The first paragraph might be right.  My actual proposal (or rather the one I think would be better) was a section of the prison.  Again, if prisons were just run well, that wouldn't be necessary.  Even a murderer (or other violent criminal) doesn't deserve to be murdered in prison.

I agree with the second paragraph

Your third paragraph is baseless.  I never said anything to that effect. 

And why should drunk drivers be penalized differently based on the damage they cause?   Isn't THAT the "pound of flesh" you are talking about (I personally believe drinking and driving is not taken seriously enough in the US)? 
Your arguments still seem to have a lot of inconsistencies, although this one was much better.  You actually said something.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: aerynn on June 09, 2006, 06:29:56 AM
I've just spent a LOT more time studying civil tort law than criminal.  In the civil system, the damanged caused by the tort is of paramount importance.  It seems like this would be a good concept to move into criminal law as well.

Drunk driving is taken very seriously in the US.  I completely disagree with you on that point.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: SCgrad on June 09, 2006, 06:49:49 AM
I've just spent a LOT more time studying civil tort law than criminal.  In the civil system, the damanged caused by the tort is of paramount importance.  It seems like this would be a good concept to move into criminal law as well.

Drunk driving is taken very seriously in the US.  I completely disagree with you on that point.

But that goes against your concept of rehabilitation.  You are looking at what they did rather than how to make them a productive member of society.  Again, I have to ask where your argument is coming from?  What is the fundamental difference between a raging drunk who gets pulled over by the police or drives his car into a ditch and one that kills a vanload of children?  They both got drunk.  Neither one meant to hurt anyone.  Both were careless.  One benefits from circumstance and probably gets a night in jail while the other rots for 1o years if he's lucky.  Why did this happen?  One got lucky.  Why are the seperate punishments applied?  "Pound of flesh."

And drunk driving is NOT taken seriously in America.  I'll leave it at that.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: Miss P on June 09, 2006, 07:05:54 AM
I've just spent a LOT more time studying civil tort law than criminal.  In the civil system, the damanged caused by the tort is of paramount importance.  It seems like this would be a good concept to move into criminal law as well.

Drunk driving is taken very seriously in the US.  I completely disagree with you on that point.

But that goes against your concept of rehabilitation.  You are looking at what they did rather than how to make them a productive member of society.  Again, I have to ask where your argument is coming from?  What is the fundamental difference between a raging drunk who gets pulled over by the police or drives his car into a ditch and one that kills a vanload of children?  They both got drunk.  Neither one meant to hurt anyone.  Both were careless.  One benefits from circumstance and probably gets a night in jail while the other rots for 1o years if he's lucky.  Why did this happen?  One got lucky.  Why are the seperate punishments applied?  "Pound of flesh."

And drunk driving is NOT taken seriously in America.  I'll leave it at that.


Again, just dipping my toes in this discussion:

I think one could argue that acknowledgement and remediation of the harm one has caused is an element both of rehabilitation and of justice.  It's not always possible.  It might be interesting to look at some stuff about restorative justice.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: aerynn on June 09, 2006, 11:53:24 AM
I've just spent a LOT more time studying civil tort law than criminal.  In the civil system, the damanged caused by the tort is of paramount importance.  It seems like this would be a good concept to move into criminal law as well.

Drunk driving is taken very seriously in the US.  I completely disagree with you on that point.

But that goes against your concept of rehabilitation.  You are looking at what they did rather than how to make them a productive member of society.  Again, I have to ask where your argument is coming from?  What is the fundamental difference between a raging drunk who gets pulled over by the police or drives his car into a ditch and one that kills a vanload of children?  They both got drunk.  Neither one meant to hurt anyone.  Both were careless.  One benefits from circumstance and probably gets a night in jail while the other rots for 1o years if he's lucky.  Why did this happen?  One got lucky.  Why are the seperate punishments applied?  "Pound of flesh."

And drunk driving is NOT taken seriously in America.  I'll leave it at that.


Because drunk driving isn't inherently immoral.  What makes drunk driving wrong and something that should be punished is because of the danger it poses to others on the road and it is particularly avoidable.

However, the way drunk driving is enforced is particular poor and the laws are flawed as well, in my opinion.  A set blood alcohol level isn't enough to determine anything about anyone's impairment.  Habitual drinkers, for example, are far less impaired at a particular BAC than someone who never drinks.  The standard should be degree of impairment, not BAC.

What is a good measure of the degree of impairment?  The hard and fast data about what happened behind the wheel.  Did the person run into a tree?  Did they kill someone?  Or were they pulled over by a police officer for going the speed limit and then given a breathalyzer that showed alcohol in their system? 

I've been pulled over twice just for driving after 10 pm and obeying the speed limit.  Each time the office cited my observance of the law as justification for the stop . . .I looked like someone trying to not get pulled over.  Fortunately, I am just a careful driver and not a drinker.  My ability to pass the Bar in 3 years could have been impeded by having one drink with dinner then driving carefully and safely home, regardless of my degree of impairment.  This is pretty unjust, in my opinion.

Cell phone usage has been shown to severely impaire drivers as well.  Yet talking on a cell phone while driving is not even against the law in many states.  Why the standard against alcohol?  MADD and our Puritanical views on booze.

Do more research on the topic, deliberately looking for arguments against the way drunk driving is treated in this country.

Also, I think you are looking really narrowly at crime.  You want to handle child molestation to the strongest degree possible, but something in the system has to give.  If you make child molestation your focus, then rapists go free.  If you make drunk driving your focus, heroine dealers go free.  If you make drugs your focus, wife beaters go free.  The justice system, sadly, has a limit.  I have decided for myself that I would rather we try to get the unrehabilitatable violent criminals in jail for the longest time possible and find other solutions for as many of the other crimes as possible.  You may have a different set of priorities, but I find it frustrating to try and discuss it with someone who doesn't acknowledge that our system has limits.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: aerynn on June 09, 2006, 11:55:58 AM
I've just spent a LOT more time studying civil tort law than criminal.  In the civil system, the damanged caused by the tort is of paramount importance.  It seems like this would be a good concept to move into criminal law as well.

Drunk driving is taken very seriously in the US.  I completely disagree with you on that point.

But that goes against your concept of rehabilitation.  You are looking at what they did rather than how to make them a productive member of society.  Again, I have to ask where your argument is coming from?  What is the fundamental difference between a raging drunk who gets pulled over by the police or drives his car into a ditch and one that kills a vanload of children?  They both got drunk.  Neither one meant to hurt anyone.  Both were careless.  One benefits from circumstance and probably gets a night in jail while the other rots for 1o years if he's lucky.  Why did this happen?  One got lucky.  Why are the seperate punishments applied?  "Pound of flesh."

And drunk driving is NOT taken seriously in America.  I'll leave it at that.


Again, just dipping my toes in this discussion:

I think one could argue that acknowledgement and remediation of the harm one has caused is an element both of rehabilitation and of justice.  It's not always possible.  It might be interesting to look at some stuff about restorative justice.

This is spot on, I think.  I would love to see more about restorative justice as well. 
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: aerynn on June 09, 2006, 12:01:13 PM
http://www.restorativejustice.org/intro/tutorial/outcomes/restitution (http://www.restorativejustice.org/intro/tutorial/outcomes/restitution)

Fewer prisonors, more effort to restore victims, more effort to rehabilitate offenders, less recidivisim . . . but it is difficult and not as easy as locking them up and letting them serve time.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: Miss P on June 09, 2006, 02:35:37 PM
http://www.restorativejustice.org/intro/tutorial/outcomes/restitution (http://www.restorativejustice.org/intro/tutorial/outcomes/restitution)

Fewer prisonors, more effort to restore victims, more effort to rehabilitate offenders, less recidivisim . . . but it is difficult and not as easy as locking them up and letting them serve time.

I know!  It sounds like such a good idea, though.  A lot of Indian (Native American) Law is restorative in approach, and I think it might be cool to work in a tribal court some day.
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: SCgrad on June 09, 2006, 06:26:16 PM
I've just spent a LOT more time studying civil tort law than criminal.  In the civil system, the damanged caused by the tort is of paramount importance.  It seems like this would be a good concept to move into criminal law as well.

Drunk driving is taken very seriously in the US.  I completely disagree with you on that point.

But that goes against your concept of rehabilitation.  You are looking at what they did rather than how to make them a productive member of society.  Again, I have to ask where your argument is coming from?  What is the fundamental difference between a raging drunk who gets pulled over by the police or drives his car into a ditch and one that kills a vanload of children?  They both got drunk.  Neither one meant to hurt anyone.  Both were careless.  One benefits from circumstance and probably gets a night in jail while the other rots for 1o years if he's lucky.  Why did this happen?  One got lucky.  Why are the seperate punishments applied?  "Pound of flesh."

And drunk driving is NOT taken seriously in America.  I'll leave it at that.


Because drunk driving isn't inherently immoral.  What makes drunk driving wrong and something that should be punished is because of the danger it poses to others on the road and it is particularly avoidable.

However, the way drunk driving is enforced is particular poor and the laws are flawed as well, in my opinion.  A set blood alcohol level isn't enough to determine anything about anyone's impairment.  Habitual drinkers, for example, are far less impaired at a particular BAC than someone who never drinks.  The standard should be degree of impairment, not BAC.

What is a good measure of the degree of impairment?  The hard and fast data about what happened behind the wheel.  Did the person run into a tree?  Did they kill someone?  Or were they pulled over by a police officer for going the speed limit and then given a breathalyzer that showed alcohol in their system? 

I've been pulled over twice just for driving after 10 pm and obeying the speed limit.  Each time the office cited my observance of the law as justification for the stop . . .I looked like someone trying to not get pulled over.  Fortunately, I am just a careful driver and not a drinker.  My ability to pass the Bar in 3 years could have been impeded by having one drink with dinner then driving carefully and safely home, regardless of my degree of impairment.  This is pretty unjust, in my opinion.

Cell phone usage has been shown to severely impaire drivers as well.  Yet talking on a cell phone while driving is not even against the law in many states.  Why the standard against alcohol?  MADD and our Puritanical views on booze.

Do more research on the topic, deliberately looking for arguments against the way drunk driving is treated in this country.

Also, I think you are looking really narrowly at crime.  You want to handle child molestation to the strongest degree possible, but something in the system has to give.  If you make child molestation your focus, then rapists go free.  If you make drunk driving your focus, heroine dealers go free.  If you make drugs your focus, wife beaters go free.  The justice system, sadly, has a limit.  I have decided for myself that I would rather we try to get the unrehabilitatable violent criminals in jail for the longest time possible and find other solutions for as many of the other crimes as possible.  You may have a different set of priorities, but I find it frustrating to try and discuss it with someone who doesn't acknowledge that our system has limits.

1.  Putting other peoples' lives in danger isn't immoral?  Well, I guess your morals and mine are different.

2.  So "the way drunk driving is enforces is particularly poor," but "drunk driving is taken very seriously in this country."   This would be funny if it weren't so ridiculous.

3.  That's terrible and is unjust, I agree.

4.  It should be.  It is generally just as distracting as the impairments of alcohol.

5.  Two wrongs don't make a right.  There should be a tougher standard for drinking and driving.  DD is something that is illegal in virtually every country, are they all "Puritanical"?

6.  I want to do what?  Quit making *&^% up.  I never said that.  Do I want child molesters to go free when judges would rather lock them up? No.  But I never said anything to this effect, therefore this and all the examples after it are just rhetoric. 

7.  Are system has limits.  I find it frustrating to argue with someone who continually puts words in my mouth.


As for drunk driving, I don't understand the bulk of your arguments.  I was the one who said it was effed up in America, and now you are telling me to do more research on it?  Are you drunk?  If you think it is taken so seriously, perhaps you need to do more research.

I actually like the system in place in Japan.  Drinking and driving at all is a crime.  Sure, this is inconvenient, but it is a known fact that any amount of alcohol in your system is an impairment.  This crime is punished similarly to how we punish those who are "drunk".  Now if you are actually "drunk", they throw your ass in jail for a long time.  I don't see why something that is so dangerous and actually kills so many people is not treated more seriously.  You may say that our prisons would be filled with DUIers, but I would guess a huge number of people would think twice if 60 days in jail was the consequence. 

As for the BAC test vs. a road sobriety test, I think you are reverting back to the land of Oz.  There are so many reasons to use this I can't believe you couldn't think of one.  What works better in court?  BAC.  What eliminates (or more so) the prejudices of police? BAC.  And if are in touch with the real world, surely you know that well over 90% of DDers are habitual drinkers.  Alcoholism has a direct effect on one's likelihood of doing this. 

I suggest you take your own advice and do a little research on this subject yourself. 
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: aerynn on June 09, 2006, 09:38:23 PM

1.  Putting other peoples' lives in danger isn't immoral?  Well, I guess your morals and mine are different.

See where I said that it is the damage being done by DD that makes it immoral?  If no one was ever hurt by DD, it wouldn't be immoral.  DD is only immoral because is can cause property damage and injury/death.  Criminalizing driving while having alcohol in your system has a lot of benefits, since people who are impared are in no position to evaluate their performance.  BUT from a legal standpoint, only those DD who cause damage, death and/or injury are a problem.  Why not only punish those people?  DD is one of the few areas of the law where you can charge someone with criminal behavior and put them in jail because something bad COULD have happened. I'd like to learn more about how the law handles negligence before going further with this idea, but does anyone have any idea of how the law would deal with a negligent condition that did not cause damage/injury?

Quote
2.  So "the way drunk driving is enforces is particularly poor," but "drunk driving is taken very seriously in this country."   This would be funny if it weren't so ridiculous.

I think the method of DD enforcement is poor NOT because it isn't taken seriously enough.  I think it is poor because the police can and do pull people over and charge them with DD based on a breathalyzer test, even if there is no observed impairment to driving ability.

Quote
3.  That's terrible and is unjust, I agree.

4.  It should be.  It is generally just as distracting as the impairments of alcohol.

What punishments should be implimented for those driving while talking on the cell phone without using a hands-free system?  Should they be as strict as it is for those who drive drunk?  Do you sentence based on the damaged caused by the negligent behavior, regardless if the negligence is caused by alcohol or a cell phone?  Criminalize them both and throw them all in jail?  What is your solution to this inequity?

Quote
5.  Two wrongs don't make a right.  There should be a tougher standard for drinking and driving.  DD is something that is illegal in virtually every country, are they all "Puritanical"?

Tougher than what?  Than it is now?  What is the standard where you are, so we have a frame of reference for which laws you are suggesting need to be made tougher?

Quote
6.  I want to do what?  Quit making sh*t up.  I never said that.  Do I want child molesters to go free when judges would rather lock them up? No.  But I never said anything to this effect, therefore this and all the examples after it are just rhetoric.

7.  Are system has limits.  I find it frustrating to argue with someone who continually puts words in my mouth.

Whenever I try to point out that there are limits, you come back with personal attacks suggesting that I don't care about stopping crime, or that if only I were more willing to pay taxes we could fix the system (such as by having special prisons or sections of prisons for specific crimes such as child molesting).

Quote
As for drunk driving, I don't understand the bulk of your arguments.  I was the one who said it was effed up in America, and now you are telling me to do more research on it?  Are you drunk?  If you think it is taken so seriously, perhaps you need to do more research.

You said it was "effed up" because it is not taken seriously enough.  I am suggesting that while it is "effed up" it is not "effed up" because it is not taken seriously enough.  You haven't supplied any data for your position that it isn't taken very seriously or even articulated why you believe that to be true. 

Quote
As for the BAC test vs. a road sobriety test, I think you are reverting back to the land of Oz.  There are so many reasons to use this I can't believe you couldn't think of one.  What works better in court?  BAC.  What eliminates (or more so) the prejudices of police? BAC.  And if are in touch with the real world, surely you know that well over 90% of DDers are habitual drinkers.  Alcoholism has a direct effect on one's likelihood of doing this. 

BAC does work great for getting convictions.  If the goal is to increase the rate of conviction for DD, then yes, BAC is super.  But for a fair and just application of the law, I am not so sure.  The way the BAC is applied, the flaws in the methodology, the fact that it appears to be an objective, scientific measure yet doesn't reflect AT ALL the degree to which the offender was posing a risk to the community are all major flaws. 

I'm not sure where you are going with the alcoholism thing.  If anything, the fact that habitual drinkers are not deterred by strong enforcement of DD laws should suggest that finding options like public service campaigns informing people of the dangers of DD, reducing alcoholicsm, shifting the focus on DD convictions from prison time and crippling criminal punishments that can only exaserbate the problems leading to the drinking and the drunk driving to treatments and rehab.

Look, I am not a drinker myself.  I hate drunk driving because of the damage it causes.  I also hate people who drive recklessly because they are trying to impress their girlfriend, because they are drag racing for sport, because they are talking on the cell phone, because they are too ignorant to buckle their child into a safety seat in the back, etc. etc.  I think focusing on pulling over people who drive slowly and carefully so you can get a DD conviction is not as productive as punishing people who are actually causing traffic accidents, regardless of the root cause.  I think the criminal justice system as it exists today is particularly poor in the way it deals with the problems stemming from drug and alcohol abuse and untreated mental illness.  I think crimes stemming from those 3 causes can be very effectively dealt with via rehabilitative programs, creative approaches to treatment, causing the offender to have a direct connection to the damage they caused and participation in a process to make it right in some way . . .even if it is through community service projects.  After those efforts fail, then traditional "lock 'em up and throw away the key" approaches may be more appropriate.  (Which is why I don't have such a problem with the guy in the article being put in prison for violating probation.  He had a chance to rehab and treatment.  If that fails, then a traditional approach is appropriate, because he has wasted his second chance.)

When somone says that a paricular drug, alcohol or mental illness related crime isn't being taken seriously enough, it send up red flags.  Should there be stricter criminal punishments?  Or can "taking it seriously" be addressed by ending the crimal enforcement and starting constructive, rather than destructive, programs to address these problems?
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: Little D on June 09, 2006, 09:49:01 PM

1.  Putting other peoples' lives in danger isn't immoral?  Well, I guess your morals and mine are different.

See where I said that it is the damage being done by DD that makes it immoral?  If no one was ever hurt by DD, it wouldn't be immoral.  DD is only immoral because is can cause property damage and injury/death.  Criminalizing driving while having alcohol in your system has a lot of benefits, since people who are impared are in no position to evaluate their performance.  BUT from a legal standpoint, only those DD who cause damage, death and/or injury are a problem.  Why not only punish those people?  DD is one of the few areas of the law where you can charge someone with criminal behavior and put them in jail because something bad COULD have happened. I'd like to learn more about how the law handles negligence before going further with this idea, but does anyone have any idea of how the law would deal with a negligent condition that did not cause damage/injury?

Quote
2.  So "the way drunk driving is enforces is particularly poor," but "drunk driving is taken very seriously in this country."   This would be funny if it weren't so ridiculous.

I think the method of DD enforcement is poor NOT because it isn't taken seriously enough.  I think it is poor because the police can and do pull people over and charge them with DD based on a breathalyzer test, even if there is no observed impairment to driving ability.

Quote
3.  That's terrible and is unjust, I agree.

4.  It should be.  It is generally just as distracting as the impairments of alcohol.

What punishments should be implimented for those driving while talking on the cell phone without using a hands-free system?  Should they be as strict as it is for those who drive drunk?  Do you sentence based on the damaged caused by the negligent behavior, regardless if the negligence is caused by alcohol or a cell phone?  Criminalize them both and throw them all in jail?  What is your solution to this inequity?

Quote
5.  Two wrongs don't make a right.  There should be a tougher standard for drinking and driving.  DD is something that is illegal in virtually every country, are they all "Puritanical"?

Tougher than what?  Than it is now?  What is the standard where you are, so we have a frame of reference for which laws you are suggesting need to be made tougher?

Quote
6.  I want to do what?  Quit making sh*t up.  I never said that.  Do I want child molesters to go free when judges would rather lock them up? No.  But I never said anything to this effect, therefore this and all the examples after it are just rhetoric.

7.  Are system has limits.  I find it frustrating to argue with someone who continually puts words in my mouth.

Whenever I try to point out that there are limits, you come back with personal attacks suggesting that I don't care about stopping crime, or that if only I were more willing to pay taxes we could fix the system (such as by having special prisons or sections of prisons for specific crimes such as child molesting).

Quote
As for drunk driving, I don't understand the bulk of your arguments.  I was the one who said it was effed up in America, and now you are telling me to do more research on it?  Are you drunk?  If you think it is taken so seriously, perhaps you need to do more research.

You said it was "effed up" because it is not taken seriously enough.  I am suggesting that while it is "effed up" it is not "effed up" because it is not taken seriously enough.  You haven't supplied any data for your position that it isn't taken very seriously or even articulated why you believe that to be true. 

Quote
As for the BAC test vs. a road sobriety test, I think you are reverting back to the land of Oz.  There are so many reasons to use this I can't believe you couldn't think of one.  What works better in court?  BAC.  What eliminates (or more so) the prejudices of police? BAC.  And if are in touch with the real world, surely you know that well over 90% of DDers are habitual drinkers.  Alcoholism has a direct effect on one's likelihood of doing this. 

BAC does work great for getting convictions.  If the goal is to increase the rate of conviction for DD, then yes, BAC is super.  But for a fair and just application of the law, I am not so sure.  The way the BAC is applied, the flaws in the methodology, the fact that it appears to be an objective, scientific measure yet doesn't reflect AT ALL the degree to which the offender was posing a risk to the community are all major flaws. 

I'm not sure where you are going with the alcoholism thing.  If anything, the fact that habitual drinkers are not deterred by strong enforcement of DD laws should suggest that finding options like public service campaigns informing people of the dangers of DD, reducing alcoholicsm, shifting the focus on DD convictions from prison time and crippling criminal punishments that can only exaserbate the problems leading to the drinking and the drunk driving to treatments and rehab.

Look, I am not a drinker myself.  I hate drunk driving because of the damage it causes.  I also hate people who drive recklessly because they are trying to impress their girlfriend, because they are drag racing for sport, because they are talking on the cell phone, because they are too ignorant to buckle their child into a safety seat in the back, etc. etc.  I think focusing on pulling over people who drive slowly and carefully so you can get a DD conviction is not as productive as punishing people who are actually causing traffic accidents, regardless of the root cause.  I think the criminal justice system as it exists today is particularly poor in the way it deals with the problems stemming from drug and alcohol abuse and untreated mental illness.  I think crimes stemming from those 3 causes can be very effectively dealt with via rehabilitative programs, creative approaches to treatment, causing the offender to have a direct connection to the damage they caused and participation in a process to make it right in some way . . .even if it is through community service projects.  After those efforts fail, then traditional "lock 'em up and throw away the key" approaches may be more appropriate.  (Which is why I don't have such a problem with the guy in the article being put in prison for violating probation.  He had a chance to rehab and treatment.  If that fails, then a traditional approach is appropriate, because he has wasted his second chance.)

When somone says that a paricular drug, alcohol or mental illness related crime isn't being taken seriously enough, it send up red flags.  Should there be stricter criminal punishments?  Or can "taking it seriously" be addressed by ending the crimal enforcement and starting constructive, rather than destructive, programs to address these problems?

wow...just wow...you're kinda wrong though...we punish people all the time for what could have happened, assault (attempted battery), attempted murder, reckless endangerment of a child (the child may or may not have been injured)
Title: Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
Post by: SCgrad on June 09, 2006, 10:07:36 PM
1.   I see what you are saying about the immoral thing.  But you are so wrong about the legal aspect.  Speeding, Attempted Murder, ect.  This must be our fundamental disagreement. I think it is best to punish actions, and you think it is best to punish results.  We probably wonít agree on this, so Iíll leave it at that.

2.   We disagree, but I understand   

4.   Perhaps yes

5.   tougher than they are now in the majority of states at least.

6.   you make it seem ridiculous.  As I said before, we are spending millions to save peoplesí animals in natural disasters.  FYI, we canít fix the prison system without spending more money.  Do you want to fix it or not?  Of course there are limitations.  That is just a weak ass claim you made to cry and ruin the credibility of what I said.  Better luck next time.

7.   I explain the DD thing.  RIF

8.   The DD laws are not strong enough, that is my point.

9.   I trust physical evidence much more than the word of a cop.  Furthermore, BACs tests are only given after the cop suspects someone of being intoxicated.  Were you given a test when you were pulled over?  I doubt it.  It would be a violation of your rights and if you were, I suggest suing the hell out of whatever state you are in.  The fact that you are against this method shows me that you donít really know much about it.  It doesnít reflect at all how impaired someone is?  That is blatantly false.

the public service campaign is a good idea.  on your last point.  I find it almost amusing that you seem to infer so many negative ideas from what I write.  I write that we donít take DD seriously enough, and you just assume that I mean we need more bars, more guards, and more prisons.  If you stopped and actually looked at what I am writing for what it is, you might understand what I am saying.   What should we do about DD?  First, hold everyone in the car responsible.  If you are in the car that does a drive-by, you are held responsible.  The same should be true for DUIs.  I bet that would dramatically reduce the number.  Second, Jail time.  It is amazing what the prospect of even spending a little time in jail can do to a person.  Third.  Effective programs for rehabilitation.  I have known people who have gotten DUIs.  The programs are a joke.