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Maintenance of “The Law” February 19, 2009

Posted by Sanity in law, Politics.
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Lady Justice’s arm is tired (The one holding the scales of justice and a sword wearing a blindfold).  The scales of justice no longer have a single pivot point and one side is so weighted down with laws that trump each other and precedent that probably could allow anything to be proved.

There are many laws that cause more problems that they solve: unenforceable laws, outdated laws and hate-crimes laws.

I will address each area in my list, but “Why” do I think these are so dangerous?  People are losing confidence because more and more crimes are becoming commonplace because “What can anyone do about it?”  During the 2008 primaries, a couple candidates flaunted a “flat tax” to simplify the whole system.  I propose the same thing for laws.  For instance, traffic laws can vary massively from state to state to county to Small Town U.S.A.  There should be “national” traffic laws with State right to “add to” but, unless the are local conditions that justify that law, the law should be evaluated nationally.  I should be able to drive circles around the country and not be stopped for laws I couldn’t possible be aware of.  Simplicity!

Now, first, unenforceable laws.  Tragedies happen or desires occur to try to solve a “problem” and bad laws are written, but individual police officers have no ability to enforce the law or they see that everyone is guilty of the law.  I would classify some of these laws as simply “poorly thought or poorly worded”.  I’ll try to supply some examples soon.  Next is outdated laws.  San Antonio has/had a law against carrying wire cutters which was a tactic against cattle rustling.  Anyone see a headline of the reemergence of this crime lately?

Finally, and deserving its own paragraph are hate crime laws.  No, I’m not condoning hate crimes.  Hate is hate, murder is murder, and crime is crime.  There are different levels of punishment for each crime depending on criminal history, severity of the crime, etc.  If ## years will not rehabilitate a criminal, ## + 5 years will no do any better.  If the maximum is not enough, then change that amount based on the circumstances.  I am against hate crime legislation as a poor attempt to persuade immature cretins to be mature about who they pick on.  Hence it is “not as bad” to harass, beat up or kill a straight white kid that is not part of a “protected group”.  If a behavior is to not be tolerated, it should be FOR EVERYONE.  I am very certain my childhood bullies, and high school bullies, and adult life bullies, would find any reason they could to harass me.  Outlaw one reason, they would find another.

So, the point is, more and more laws are made to solve problems while lawyers have more “precedent” and laws to use to their advantage.  It should be a portion of every lawmaker’s responsibility to revisit old laws, assess their effectiveness and current/future relevance, and cleanup the list to avoid conflicting and confusing laws or laws that have not improved or prevented anything.  Junior Senators and Representatives should spend even more time doing this before introducing more of their own laws without the experience or knowledge of what has already been attempted.

Futile Penal Systems and the Deaf Penalty February 19, 2009

Posted by Sanity in death penalty, law.
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I’ve had the flu, but the primary source of my sickness is not medical.  I’ve avoided posting because of the political-flu. Political-flew?  That’s probably more accurate, because sanity has “flew the coop” in D.C.  They are marching to a drum played with salad forks or something and I don’t have to stomach to write about it right now.  BUT while driving to work the other day, I heard an angel on the radio.  His name is Jeff Bolton.  I don’t normally listen to the radio much, but I did that morning and tuned in to the middle of him talking about New Hampshire and 9 other states working on passing legislation to fight to regain State’s Rights to mitigate the damage the Feds continue to do.  But, this article isn’t about that (for now).

On the second day of Bolton, an angel said to me lala la lala la lalalalala la laaaaa 🙂  Today Bolton was talking about the death penalty.  His “gladiator” solution is not something that would be proposed by Sheriff Joe (Or maybe it is, but one day I will read all I can and pay honor to him).

For some time I have been curious about “rehabilitation” that works and doesn’t.  At times I was conflicted about the death penalty.  Not anymore.  It is not a deed I could do myself unless someone had harmed someone I love, so maybe letting death row inmates kill each other has merit.  Maybe the best therapy would be to allow the “survivor” to fight enough battles they “lose the taste for blood”.  If they truly appear not able to deal the death blow, then maybe they aren’t guilty.

Mr Bolton refers to the absurdness of how many years inmates are on death row.  There DOES need to be absolute proof before someone is put to death.  Having a ‘history’ or ‘looking guilty’ isn’t enough.  If they are guilty of something, but not the murder they are charged with, then someone else gets away with murder.  But the advocates talk about ALL death row inmates as if there is doubt in every case.  Come on!  We aren’t talking about people who were framed.  When there are credible witnesses, video footage, and an unrepentant confession… get it over with.  Don’t waste our money proving the same thing over and over.  No bargaining for untrustworthy information about other crimes.  End it quickly so resources are free to help the “cases with doubt” in them still.

There is lack of proof ANY hard criminal is ever rehabilitated.  I would welcome hearing what has worked if that has ever happened. (Would shock therapy be “torture”?) So if a reliable deterant was provided, like say ‘death’ with no scapegoats or years of waiting to slip through the cracks, maybe the culture that teaches criminals more bad behavior could be turned around.

The other part of the problem is the judicial side, i.e. proper sentencing without plea bargaining.  I will attempt to find data to back it up, but I believe plea bargaining is a huge part of the problem and does NOT save as much court time as most would claim.  If you limit the amount of time lawyers can waste with exhausting every extreme possibility in search of a technicality… Anyway, my next point deserves its own post.