Balloon guy, on Wednesday, January 26th, 2011, 10:21 AM, said:
I would like to see a poll on how many people support the current levels of parole violation punishments or if we should have harsher sentencing guidelines.
Most people don't know what the "sentencing guidelines" are for "parole violation" - so, asking this question in an open and abstract way will almost invariably result in a "YES! MORE!" answer- which is precisely why there are people serving decades in prisons for simple possession of drugs, etc, etc. There's almost always some political capital to be had when crowing for the "MORE AND HARSHER SENTENCING!" method- and we've been servicing that sentiment for 30 years now. As a result, our criminal justice system is such a gigantic failure that it's usually #1 or #2 on the list of "Things the US Does Wrong" as published anywhere outside the US. So, lets break it down:Someone is on parole and commits murder: Don't know what the guidelines are, but life in prison or death are suitable optionsSomeone is on parole and commits robbery: Don't know what the sentencing guidelines are, but this person should probably get hit with a stiff sentenceSomeone is on parole and commits a rape: Adios for a long, long time....Someone is on parole and gets busted with a nickle bag of pot: Who caresSomeone is on parole, gets pulled over for failure to fully stop at a sign, the cop runs their name and sees they're on parole, then immediately starts acting abusive towards them- they tell the cop to **** off, then the cop proceeds to beat the shit out of him and once cuffed, charges them with the usual made-up bullshit- resisting arrest, battery on a law enforcement officer, etc, etc, etc- how about that guy? What do we sentence him to? Because he's a lot more common than the parolee-murder or the parolee-rapist. He just doesn't make the news. Someone is on parole and cannot get a job, no matter how hard they try. After day 37 of hitting the bricks and being turned down everywhere they apply, they're now homeless. On day 72 of repeating the same process with no result, he's starting to get hungry but the shelter is closed that day.... He boosts a 40 of Mickeys and a few hot dogs from 7-11 and gets caught. How about him? What are the 'guideline ranges' for him?Speaking from first hand experience, pound for pound, yes, most people involved in the criminal justice system are scumbags who you wouldn't want as neighbors, so it's easy to just not care how we treat them- what snares we set up to line up with their lower-brow behavior types, to ensure they stay locked up or otherwise 'involved' in the system... But it's still totally wrong.