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The Current Judicial System To Lenient?


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#1 cowsgonemadd3

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 09:53 PM

Do you think the way we judge and sentence fellons is to lenient?

Some murderers can go free in 15 years with a plea sentence. Some spend life in jail.

Over 2 million are in jail now in america.
http://www.motherjones.com/news/special_reports/prisons/

If you look around I read that for one woman to stay in jail(not sure of the difference per state or for men)
is 3500 bucks.

THis was on a site I have no idea what state it was in.

At that rate and at just 20 million inmates it would cost 70 billion a year to house these inmates. And its growing daily.

This does not even count the court costs and legal things we the tax payers provide to them before they are convicted.

A life sentence is adding to the problem of not enough tax money and higher taxes.

Think of what the government could do if it only cost half that much.

If we were to start giving a death sentence to these murderers then think of the money we could save each year. What is the point in holding them for LIFE which if young (say age 20) could be 50 or 60 years in jail.

At 50 years that would be 175,000 per inmate!

Do you think the death sentence would be a good thing or a bad thing and why to use more often for killers?

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#2 yano

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 03:05 PM

If you look around I read that for one woman to stay in jail(not sure of the difference per state or for men)
is 3500 bucks.

This was on a site I have no idea what state it was in.

Probably per year...

Personally I think we should get rid of the death penalty and just house them in jail. They will suffer more in jail than if they are to get the easy way out of just dieing. Would you rather die, or be stuck in a room with 30 men with different intentions?

However the debate over the death penalty would be another topic... :thumbsup:

#3 boopme

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 08:46 PM

I would have to say they are too lenient and too inconsistent. The man that raped a Vermont child gets
several weeks. Murderers live on death row for another 10+ years. I feel the problem is too many laws and not enough enforcement. But yes the costs of incarceration is growing. But if you don't strictly jail them,then there really is no punishment. If you don't execute those convicted at such they do not fear the law. I know there are extremes and exceptions to all. But the basis must be punishment or crimes will rise as they do now under the lenient system. And with execution there is no repeat offenders.


From 2004 Facility (non Death Sentence)
Federal -- Community -- Under Parole Supervision
Daily ... 63.51 ... 52.29 ... 9.61
Monthly ... 1931.97 ... 1590.66 ... 292.21
Annually ... 23,183.69 ... 19,097.94 ... 3506.53

From a 1997 document so figures are probably 20% higher now,

Death Sentence Facility:
Life No Parole
34,200/yr x 50 yrs @ 2% annual cost increase Plus 75K for trial/appeals = 3.01 million
Death Sentence
60,000/yr x 6 yrs @ 2% annual cost increase Plus 1.5 million for trial/appeals = 1.88 million

Think of what the government could do if it only cost half that much.

That's a scary thought :thumbsup:

Edited by boopme, 09 October 2006 - 08:49 PM.

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#4 MaraM

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 09:11 PM

The only thing I 'know' for sure is that before prisoners are released on Probation - particularly those serving sentences for violent crimes and child molestation --- if the Parole Board would not be willing to have the prisoner live in his/her home nor in the house next to theirs, don't let them out. So, so often we read about someone being released from prison early - only to offend again, often with a crime worse that the one they were originally sentenced to prison for. Geesh!

I know prisons are crowded - and it know it costs tax payers billions each year - and while I'm all for paying for prisoners to finish their high school education while in prison, but darned if I can see why we also get the privilege of paying for university educations when so many truly law-abiding citizens are struggling like crazy to come up with the funds for university.

And perhaps I'm being too harsh, but I also can't see why the additional costs involved in providing prisoners with "conjugal visits" is part of the tax payers burden either. Cripes, while I'm pretty sure prison isn't much fun, neither should it be.

We have a man, Robert William Pickton who owned a pig farm - and is awaiting 22 murder charges in Vancouver's missing women case. There is no doubt whatsoever that he is guilty - yet we have no death penalty that will give him the kind of ending he truly deserves. Yes, I honestly do think that our justice system serves 'the law', rather than doling out justice sometimes.
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#5 cowsgonemadd3

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 09:22 PM

"Think of what the government could do if it only cost half that much."

I mean with the extra money. Maybe fill in some pot holes ha ha...

#6 boopme

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 10:03 PM

I know ,CMG3, I was more making a joke of what it sounded like.
The legal system is way to lenient. If crime pays it won't be reduced. Not only are violent criminals walking but just look at some of the White Collar travesties. In the last ten years, the Securities and Exchange Commission -- which, despite being the government's top corporate watchdog, doesn't have the authority to toss even the worst Wall Street cheaters in jail -- turned 609 of its most offensive offenders over to the Justice Department for potential criminal prosecution. Of those, only 187 ended up facing criminal charges. And of those, only 87 went to jail. Eighty-seven. In 10 years. And most white-collar criminals land in one of those ritzy country club prisons, where inmates play tennis and make collect calls to their brokers all day.
From this group that actually do 'Time' they still kept the $$$$$. When you steal millions or hundreds of thousands of dollars of peoples retirement money and are fined approximately 10% of the haul. Then you suffer two years or less incarceration at Club Bad Boy ( or girl in Martha Stewarts case),it's just wrong. When you get out you are free. Free to spend all those peoples money on whatever. Some of those people are broke.
I don't even want to start on political marvels such as this guy $90,000 found in congressman's freezer. He was running a fraud and bribery scam based in Nigeria (sound familiar).

In a news conference last week, Jefferson said he was innocent and that he would remain in office while he fights any charges

. Nothing happens. He's fighting about as hard as OJ is looking for the real killers. He remains in office ,paid by us, His defense is paid by us while in office.
These are examples of non punishment for crimes. In fact if you look up President Clinton's Pardons http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pardonchartlst.htm you see a laundry list of criminals getting away and this is from the top. Setting the example?
If we would insist on strong penalty,we may just make the bad guys reconsider their risk.

Edited by boopme, 10 October 2006 - 10:04 PM.

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#7 MaraM

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 04:27 PM

Geesh, I read the below headline this morning and was all excited - thought our government was really going to stop being so lenient - but actually laughed out loud when I read the words "seek dangerous offender status for people convicted of a third sexual or violent offence".

I must be missing something here as surely one sexual or violent offence is too many, twice makes me wonder why that wouldn't 'ring bells' in the justice system that this person should never walk the streets free again - and waiting for a thrid, makes me wonder why someone doesn't sue them (government) after being attacked by this same crappy human the government thought even twice wasn't good enough to be put away forever. Huge geesh!


"Thursday, Oct 12, 2006
Government proposes bill to make it easier to seek dangerous offender status
TORONTO (CP) - Ottawa wants to put criminals on a "tighter leash" and make it easier to seek dangerous offender status for people convicted of a third sexual or violent offence.

The proposed legislation, announced Thursday by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Toronto, would put stricter conditions on repeat offenders.

"We will work to ensure that those who are truly dangerous will be put in jail for an indefinite period of time," he said.

Criminals designated as dangerous offenders would be handed an indeterminate jail sentence with no parole eligibility for seven years.

The onus would be put on offenders instead of the Crown to prove they shouldn't be declared a dangerous offender.

"We will stop giving criminals the benefit of the doubt," Harper said.

The legislation would also increase the maximum duration of peace bonds to 24 months from 12.

Peace bonds lay out conditions of behaviour for released criminals.

"By putting criminals on a tighter leash after release, we hope to better facilitate their reintegration into the community," Harper said.

© The Canadian Press, 2006"
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#8 boopme

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 08:03 PM

Mara I can see that twist. Oh good than Oh sh...
Yes one is too many violent sexual offenses. There is a real problem developing (actually it's developed)in sexual assaults. More so with children. Judges are turning them loose with nothing. These animals are geting rights to privacy. They need privacy my butt. And again no one is speaking of the victim or their rights.
Right now in the news, you've seen the story on the Florida congressman and his sexual forays. To distract from the crime a bunch of smoke screens go up. Immediately the conversation gets turned to I'm gay, I was molested in my youth or some other distraction. In this case he was a closet alcoholic. Again no big deal about the children he's after. Why are these excuses OK? Because it happened to me as a kid, so I can't help myself. The alcohol made me do it. Please?? watch out girls (and boys.. sheesh)if the boss has a few martinis at lunch,is he now allowed to come back and fondle a few employees.
The fool law will do nothing with his intent . He said what he wanted to do but since he didn't get to do it this time, there's no punishment. In fact in NJ when the Gov. Jim McGreevy was about to be hung on a few issues he went on TV and proclaimed he was a gay American. All else was forgotten by the distraction. We just can't let people keep getting away with it.

btw This line caught my attention: still not sure how long or don't want to commit to any strong sentence...

"We will work to ensure that those who are truly dangerous will be put in jail for an indefinite period of time," he said.


indefinite
1. not definite; without fixed or specified limit; unlimited: an indefinite number.
2. not clearly defined or determined; not precise or exact: an indefinite boundary; an indefinite date in the future.
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#9 MaraM

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 11:32 PM

I'm with you on this completely, Boopme - the whole things makes me wonder where our 'civilized world' is headed - and to be honest, it boths frightens and saddens me.

There was a time, not all that long ago, when excuses simply weren't accepted and one either took responsiblity for their actions or society shunned them. Now we seem to be bombarded with 'it's not really their fault' - and at the risk of being 'thumped' here, I'm beginning to think society is being 'psychoanalyzed' to death.

I don't care if they had too much too drink, I don't care if they were molested as a child, I don't care. I would care until they heap this crap onto others, especially the innocent children, and then go "oh woe is me, I was mistreated as a child!".

And I can't help but feel our society is truly responsible for this - politicians wanting to "better facilitate their reintegration into the community" (into who's community, their own as their neighbour perhaps?) - and people who seem to think that we can rehabilitate these 'poor souls that were mistreated as kids", etc'. Crumb bum! Millions of people were mistreated in ways most of us can't begin to imagine, but only a very few are such sub-humans they not only do horrible things to others once, but twice and often again and again - while we as citizens are expected to feel sorry for them. Egad!

Sorry about this wee 'rant' but while I wouldn't deliberately step on innocent bugs, there are humans who walk this earth that deserve no kindness - rather they need to learn and learn well, that adage, "you control your emotions, they don't control you". That's what makes us 'civilized' and gives us rights to walk free in our society. And failure to do that makes you not a person to be sympathized with, rather it makes you someone who should never, ever be allowed to perpetrate further crimes or walk free.

Re: the sub-human in Florida you wrote about - I bet his comment ("distraction") about being a "Gay American" makes the millions of wonderful - non sub-human - Gay Americans want to pound this man into the ground.

How is it that our societies don't have the 'umph' to instantly and for all times boot them out and shun them forever, as well as 'tossing the book' at them legally. Heavy sigh.
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#10 Wildabeast

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 01:50 AM

I think they are letting criminals off to easy. Especialy(?) killers. If you kill and get caught, what's going to happen to you? Years in jail for appeals, maybe die of old age before you get executed? Spend the rest of your life in prison, learn a lot of new stuff? I once met a guy just out of prison for armed robbery, while in prison he learned how to kill quietly, and make a bomb. I'm glad he's out!
Anyway, I think if you kill you should be killed. And not by being put to sleep with drugs. What's scary about that? Make it so people will think, do I want to die like that? Such as hanging, electorcution. People say that is inhumane, so is beating someone to death, or stabbing, shooting, strangling. If they do that, why do they deserve to be treated humanely?

Just my opinion, I've been called names for it.... :thumbsup:
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#11 MaraM

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 03:25 AM

Wildabeast, being "called names" for believing violent, often repeat offenders, are 'getting off easy' only makes sense in this odd world we live in, I guess.

So many people feel that an ugly death for someone who hacked up children is "too cruel" - but I honestly wonder if they would feel the same way - and still call you 'names' for your beliefs - if it was their child that was hacked up?

Loosing someone you love to a violent death must be unbelievably horrible - even more so knowing that their attacker is turned loose early because 'the prisons are full' - and often kills again and again before our Courts can finally meet out 'justice', rather than simply 'follow the letter of the law'. Law and justice seems to be getting farther and farther apart?
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#12 locally pwned

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 06:35 AM

First off: interesting thread, CGM!

I have to agree that criminals seem to get off too easily. I guess what's frustrating is that it is so rare for a criminal to serve his/her entire original sentence.

I definitely agree with boopme that "white collar" criminals get off way too easily.

But on the other hand, I think we have to be very careful when we start to move toward more aggressive punishment. Not that it isn't called for these days...but it is a slippery slope!

As I read through this thread, one of Gandhi’s quotes kept ringing in my ears: “An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” I have thought about that often. There are crimes that can be paid for, and crimes that can't. I suppose I would define "payment" in this case by reparation. A oft-used example of justice via brutality is the ol' "steal a loaf of bread? Loose a hand" model. In this case I would suggest that the crime by no means justifies that punishment. A loaf of bread can be baked again; a hand cannot be replaced. To me it wouldn't make any more sense if the crime and punishment were swapped; cut off someone's hand, and you'll be forced to bake him a loaf of bread to make up for it. :thumbsup:

When it comes to rape, violence, and especially murder...I think most would agree that there really is no possible reparation. The loss of a loved one cannot be fixed. Nothing in the universe can repair that damage. Mara pointed out a mass-murderer. That angers all of us, and we want the murderer to have the worst possible punishment. Normally the strongest punishment is thought to be death. But I can't help thinking, how will one execution pay for 22 lives...especially since lives are something that can't ever be "paid for" in the first place?

It seems to me that after a murder is committed, all we can do is decide how we will deal with our pain, anger, and grief. Should we make the perpetrator suffer as much as possible? Should we lock him up for the rest of his life? Should we end his life for taking another?

I have to ask: in the end, what good comes from making an ugly, violent world even more violent?

I guess my only conclusion is that the best thing a society can do is to remove the criminal's personal rights for the rest of his or her natural life. It seems to me that if a society chooses to enact violence on that individual, it sacrifices a bit of its civility in exchange for revenge.

Is revenge too strong a word? I really don't think so. Again, the death of an individual is not something that can ever be changed or "fixed." So what is the motivation for more violence, other than the hope of some measure of satisfaction in the death of he or she who took your loved one from you?

Now, this is all my own point of view compiled from my own personal life experiences. I have not lost a family member to a violent crime. I won’t claim that I know how that feels; however, I have indeed suffered loss. I suppose my view is at least in part shaped by the idea that the world is full of suffering; while some measure of it is unavoidable, a large portion of it we inflict on each other. Making ourselves and our society as ugly as the perpetrators of violent crimes just doesn’t seem to me to be the right path toward making the world "less painful."

Mara, while justice and law are tied together, justice is rather subjective*...isn't the point of law to make clear what justice actually requires in times when clarity is difficult to maintain? Isn't law what prevents justice from simply becoming revenge in the first place? Just a thought…

Now, switching gears a bit:

While I believe (of course) that any legal adult is responsible for his/her actions, I can't help but wonder if crime in general is not so much a problem in and of itself, as a symptom of an unhealthy society? For example, why else are crime rates higher in economically impoverished areas, no matter what country?




***Warning! 'Liberal bias' ahead! Read at your own risk!*** :flowers:




*Mara, justice is indeed subjective. For example, I don't think the American people, nay, the world, will have ‘justice’ until Bush n' Co. are all wearing orange jumpers. But again, that's just me...

Edited by locally pwned, 13 October 2006 - 06:57 AM.

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#13 MaraM

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 03:34 PM

I know on an intellectual basis, that 'an eye for an eye makes the world blind' is right, locally pwned. But on a level far more primitive that that, for me at least, I can't help but think we've gone 'wrong' somewhere in our society.

Again, intellectually I agree with your words, "I guess my only conclusion is that the best thing a society can do is to remove the criminal's personal rights for the rest of his or her natural life".

But justice has always meant the 'scales of justice' to me, I guess. When I think of the torment this sub-human has caused not just the 22 women he chopped into pieces and buried on his pig farm, I think of the hundreds of family members who lived through hell wondering where their loved ones were and the additional hell of now having to imagine to horror they went through.

That's bad enough, but to know this person shows no remorse, is impossible to rehabilitate - and if ever turned loose, will murder again. But I can't help but think (although it won't bring their loved ones back and yes, putting this sub-human down' would be 'revenge') it sounds like a better choice than having the families live with the fact that even if kept in prison for the rest of his life, it will be in comfort - with good food, breathing fresh air and all the wonderful things that their loved ones will never enjoy again.

This man did not kill in a moment of anger, or in self-preservation. He is a predator. (Please note, I don't refer to him as an 'animal' as I quite like and respect animals and it's a rare one, such as a wolverine, that kills 'just for the fun of it').

But now that I've ranted on about this particular sub-human, I'll go ahead and contradict myself - hoot! Yup, for surely I do not believe in the death sentence for most criminal/murder cases. But for some reason, perhaps totally unreasonable, within myself I 'see' a vast difference between 'levels' of crimes commited.

'Life sentences' should be just that - and a 'sentenced to 10 years in prison' should perhaps mean that, rather than being parolled in 2 because our prison system is filled. But for predators, in my mind at least, they are a catagory all their own.

On a personal note, I laughed out loud when I read your words, "Warning! 'Liberal bias' ahead! Read at your own risk!*** and your comment! I'm reserving judgement - hoot!
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#14 Orange Blossom

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 05:05 PM

The 'comfortable' prison is more of the exception than the norm. My father has visited many people in jail and in prison, and yes there is a difference between the two.

One of the first things that happens to someone who winds up in prison is that person gets raped. This doesn't happen all the time, but it happens a lot of the time. Before you talk about how wonderful a prison or a jail is, spend some time in one and visit some of the inmates.

Many prisoners do not receive an education while in prison or in jail. Some do. Malcolm X was one, and he took it on himself to get it. He didn't have teachers in prison. I would like to point out that there is a correlation between crimes and degree of education. I am not saying that lack of education is the cause, just that there is a correlation. I suspect that many of these people get recruited by the educated wealthy ring-leader that no-one finds or cares to find. There are many people, several convicted for non-violent crimes, in jail and prison that cannot read. How can they become productive citizens and get honest jobs without literacy in today's society?

People's involvement in crime escalates. First someone may become a member of a group that begins doing minor illegal things perhaps smashing mail-boxes, then theft, then armed robbery etc. Frequently those with funds get off, but those who do not have money don't. Many of those who were in the early stages of crime and were imprisoned and then released have learned advanced criminal methods while in jail and have become hardened. Would Dillenger have becomed an armed bank robber had he been treated differently when he was first arrested as a teen-ager? What about alternative punishments?

There is also a strong correlation between being bullied and becoming a violent offender. Read the pdf file found at this site as an example: http://www.doe.state.in.us/isssa/pdf/bully...nvestinkids.pdf

Bullying is not always physical. Bullying can be emotional or mental. Many of those bullied become bullies themselves. They want to pay the bully back, only often the bully becomes everyone that the victim perceives is the same as the bullier. Let's prevent violent crime by preventing and stopping bullying.

Many, not all, but many murders are committed in an act of passion. Harsher punishments will not stop murders committed in the heat of emotion. And, believe this or not, there was a young man in Indiana who killed his best friend because he didn't want to live. To rephrase, he murdered so he would himself be killed - by the government in this case.

To my way of thinking, jails and prisons should be used only for violent offenders. All others should make reparations to society in other ways. This alone would greatly reduce the money spent on jails and prisons.

For what it's worth: Half the people presently in jail haven't been convicted of anything yet.

There are many false convictions every year. Remember why the governor of Illinois called for a moratorium on capital punishment? Half of those on death row were found innocent by DNA analysis. I find it interesting that shortly thereafter the DNA evidence for many convicted people conveniently disappeared. A quick conviction is not necessarily a correct conviction.

One last note: One should never be forced to make the choice between stealing and survival. There is something terribly wrong in our society that forces these choices on people. Unfortunately, the of stealing a loaf of bread can eventually lead a person to committing murder against the will and desire of the person.

Orange Blossom :thumbsup:
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#15 locally pwned

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Posted 14 October 2006 - 05:19 PM

A quick conviction is not necessarily a correct conviction.


Another argument against the death penalty..
"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking." - Albert Einstein

"The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands." - Douglas Adams




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