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The Problem with America's Criminal Justice System

Wiseone

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Two great articles from the Economist describing the reason why the United States, despite being "the most free" country on Earth, as described by many of its citizens, locks up more people than other country both in total numbers and as a ratio of population. It talks about issues with electing judges, who want to be "tough of crime," three strike laws, because sports analogies should be used to define law, and a whole other host of problems. The biggest one in my opinion being the election of prosecutors and Judges in many areas. These articles and stories tell me its time for a serious re-evaluation of our criminal justice system.


Crime and punishment in America: Rough justice | The Economist

Rough justice in America: Too many laws, too many prisoners | The Economist
 

samsmart

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Two great articles from the Economist describing the reason why the United States, despite being "the most free" country on Earth, as described by many of its citizens, locks up more people than other country both in total numbers and as a ratio of population. It talks about issues with electing judges, who want to be "tough of crime," three strike laws, because sports analogies should be used to define law, and a whole other host of problems. The biggest one in my opinion being the election of prosecutors and Judges in many areas. These articles and stories tell me its time for a serious re-evaluation of our criminal justice system.


Crime and punishment in America: Rough justice | The Economist

Rough justice in America: Too many laws, too many prisoners | The Economist
I think the focus of many of the problem with the legal system in the United States is that we have only elected officials writing laws and those politicians have put up strong barriers to popular initiatives. While I can understand why we wouldn't want to make popular initiatives too easy, I think that the people should at least have the power to use popular initiatives to recall laws written by legislators that become unpopular. While the people probably shouldn't have the power to write laws, they definitely should have the power to repeal laws.
 

Hoplite

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Our justice system was founded on the old Puritan ways of punishment; lock you up with a bible and a bedpan and eventually your god will make you see the light and you will be a model citizen again! Hence the word "penitentiary". In the real world, we know it doesnt work like that.
 

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If the liberal attitude of government knows what's best went away, out criminal justice system problem probably wouldn't be that bad. Also, I am all for the old Puritan ways of punishment for anyone who violates another individuals liberties.
 

Hoplite

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If the liberal attitude of government knows what's best went away, out criminal justice system problem probably wouldn't be that bad. Also, I am all for the old Puritan ways of punishment for anyone who violates another individuals liberties.
Except we can see that the Puritan system doesnt work.
 

PeteEU

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Two great articles from the Economist describing the reason why the United States, despite being "the most free" country on Earth, as described by many of its citizens, locks up more people than other country both in total numbers and as a ratio of population. It talks about issues with electing judges, who want to be "tough of crime," three strike laws, because sports analogies should be used to define law, and a whole other host of problems. The biggest one in my opinion being the election of prosecutors and Judges in many areas. These articles and stories tell me its time for a serious re-evaluation of our criminal justice system.


Crime and punishment in America: Rough justice | The Economist

Rough justice in America: Too many laws, too many prisoners | The Economist
Interesting articles, and quite true in many areas. The problem is that the law is suppose to be blind and so on.. but it aint because those enforcing the law have to justify everything they do at the next election. So the simple way is to lock up everyone because it is easier to forgive locking up an innocent, than letting a guilty to go free and recommit crimes... sad but true.
 

Goof Noodle

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Except we can see that the Puritan system doesnt work.
It works fine for those with self-control and a respect for others. Why should anyone be forced, at gun point, to pay taxes that will provide services for someone who brutally raped and killed their child.
 

Helvidius

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Perhaps our laws need to be reevaluated. How many Americans are incarcerated because of the War of Drugs?
 

Hoplite

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It works fine for those with self-control and a respect for others.
Yes because that describes criminals to a tee.

Why should anyone be forced, at gun point, to pay taxes that will provide services for someone who brutally raped and killed their child.
I never said anything regarding this.
 

Jetboogieman

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Then maybe you should think things threw before you speak.
through*



On a serious note. It is kind of ironic that America has the highest prison population in the world. The three strikes rule seems very unfair.

The problem with putting so many people in prison, especially with the war on drugs, is that small timers who may have caused no harm, end up with hard core crazies.

I believe especially in the American system the term "Prison is a university for criminals" rings very very true.
 

Goof Noodle

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On a serious note. It is kind of ironic that America has the highest prison population in the world. The three strikes rule seems very unfair.

Didn't Clinton cum up with dat while Newt was balancing the Bujet?

The problem with putting so many people in prison, especially with the war on drugs, is that small timers who may have caused no harm, end up with hard core crazies.
If they our their for violating some body's liberties, who cares were they go. If they our their for only selling some pot, then yea, that is retarded.

I believe especially in the American system the term "Prison is a university for criminals" rings very very true.
Their is some truth 2 dat
 

Goof Noodle

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How is thinking about what I said going to prevent others putting words in my mouth, as you did.
I didn't put words in your mouth. It's a real life scenario that happens everyday. Crimes against others liberties happen everyday and you support taxing the victims to pay for criminals luxuries.
 

Hoplite

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I didn't put words in your mouth. It's a real life scenario that happens everyday. Crimes against others liberties happen everyday and you support taxing the victims to pay for criminals luxuries.
It's not something I mentioned, you brought it up by insinuating that I had said it.
 

Goof Noodle

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It's not something I mentioned, you brought it up by insinuating that I had said it.
Sorry, I forgot liberals need to an impossible hypothetical situation to prove a point. Money that pays for the services criminals use will come from a leprechaun's pot of gold. It will be first responsible comprehensive leprechaun reform that Amerika has ever seen. Praise government for the leprechaun. The tax payer is finally gets a break.
 

Hoplite

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Sorry, I forgot liberals need to an impossible hypothetical situation to prove a point. Money that pays for the services criminals use will come from a leprechaun's pot of gold. It will be first responsible comprehensive leprechaun reform that Amerika has ever seen. Praise government for the leprechaun. The tax payer is finally gets a break.
Ok, when the meds wear off, come back and we can talk
 

Harry Guerrilla

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Our justice system was founded on the old Puritan ways of punishment; lock you up with a bible and a bedpan and eventually your god will make you see the light and you will be a model citizen again! Hence the word "penitentiary". In the real world, we know it doesnt work like that.
Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy- H. L. Mencken

Truth. :lol:
 

Caine

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Except we can see that the Puritan system doesnt work.
Nothing works.
Thats the problem. People are expecting miracles. Crime will never disappear.

So, lets see, because it doesn't work. Lets just let people do whatever they want to whoever they want and not punish them right?
 

Lord Tammerlain

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Nothing works.
Thats the problem. People are expecting miracles. Crime will never disappear.

So, lets see, because it doesn't work. Lets just let people do whatever they want to whoever they want and not punish them right?
Of course crime will never dissappear

Of course in the US much of the prison population is from made up crimes, from selling things the government does not want people to sell or use. Not from stealing, not from violating anyones rights
 

Wiseone

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Nothing works.
Thats the problem. People are expecting miracles. Crime will never disappear.

So, lets see, because it doesn't work. Lets just let people do whatever they want to whoever they want and not punish them right?
The idea isn't to eliminate crime altogether, the idea is how to manage the entire criminal justice system. How to reduce crime and ensure that punishments and laws are effective, neccesary and efficent.
 

Caine

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So let me get this straight.

All Ive seen from people in a bunch of bitching and moaning about folks doing time for drug charges in here.

Does anyone have a legitimate complaint about the criminal justice system that ISNT based upon drug offenders?
 

Wiseone

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So let me get this straight.

All Ive seen from people in a bunch of bitching and moaning about folks doing time for drug charges in here.

Does anyone have a legitimate complaint about the criminal justice system that ISNT based upon drug offenders?
Yes, as noted in the article there are systems in place which often encourage people to plead guilty to avoid long jail times because they believe its a safer route to serve a shorter time than to risk serving a longer sentence. That needs to be improved, people should have more confidence in the system to render the correct verdict. There are also problems regarding the language in many laws which make it difficult to determine their real meaning. Minimum sentence laws also take the power to render a judgment away from the Judges and places it in hands of the legislature, which also removes the ability to look at each case on a case by case basis.
Also many sentences are too long and keep individuals guilty of what, are in many people's opinions, minor crimes in jail for much longer than they should be. Three strikes laws also will put someone away for decades for stealing minor items. Prisons are also expensive, California spends roughly 50,000 a year per prisoner, thats tax payer money. Prisons also in many cases do little to ensure that prisoners are capable of normal, law-abiding lives after their release.

I could go on but you should read the articles in the OP.
 
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