November 30, 2009
What are we suppose to do when the system fails?

This morning Laura Ingraham ran a story about Michigan abortionist Abraham Hodari, who continues to practice despite countless instances of forced abortions and even, what one might generously label, the negligent homicides of four young girls.

And then there's Maurice Clemmons and his cold-blooded murder of four Lakewood Police Officers yesterday.

What do these two tragic cases have in common? They represent a failure of the system. I don't have some grand illusion that life is suppose to be fair. There are some sick folks out there and sometimes really bad things happen to really good people. It may be tragic but it's life. The grand illusion that I do carry around is that, while life may not be fair, government should be. And by that I mean government needs to uphold and enforce laws that help to prevent tragedies like those I just mentioned.

The crimes committed by Hodari and Clemmons should never have happened. Hodari should have, at the very least, been stripped of his medical credentials long ago for forcibly aborting pregnancies. In my opinion he should be spending several years as a guest of the Michigan State Penal System. Clemmons should not have been released on a scant $150,000 bail after being charged with child rape. He, too, should, at the very least, be awaiting his rape trial in a Pierce County Jail.

But neither of them are and what are we left with? Who knows how many more young girls may be forced to go through forced abortions before Hodari is stopped? In the case of Clemmons I suspect justice will eventually be served and he'll be placed behind bars without the possibility of parole but I doubt this will be the last time that innocent people must die at the hands of a felon walking free. So I ask you, what are we suppose to do?

Some may say, "Well, we still need to rely on the system. Sure it may have some kinks but it's still the best on Earth." Others may advocate reform at the ballot box. I'd certainly hope that whatever idiot judge that granted Clemmons bail be retired as soon as possible, but is any of this really enough?

I'll add one more name to the list: Khalid Sheik Muhammad. What is this guy doing receiving a criminal trial? He's already admitted to planning 9/11. Why is he not already six feet under? All the criminal trial is going to do is serve as an opportunity to plead not guilty on the grounds that either a) only 2800 people died on 9/11, not the 3000 that the government is charging him with or more likely b) everyone that died on 9/11 deserved it because they were infidels. Either way he'll use the time to rail against the evils of the very country that is allowing him the opportunity to do so.

This can't continue indefinitely. We can't keep relying on "the system". I'm not advocating blind vigilantism. As much as I can empathize with someone who takes the law into his own hands and blows away the guy that raped his daughter, it's not right. I don't agree with the guy that murdered abortion doctor George Tiller either. Abortion is still, unfortunately, legal and, to the best of my knowledge Dr. Tiller, while a despicable human being, wasn't so despicable as to forcibly abort any of his patients' pregnancies. But when "justice has been served" and the verdict is not guilty on account of the guy didn't get read his Miranda Rights or, as in the case of Dr. Hodari, he laughs at his accusers because he believes he's above the law (and apparently rightfully so if you go by the State of Michigan's actions) what must be done? At what point do we concede that the government is not doing its job and feel well within our rights to take matters into our own hands. In many states, Washington included, we have the "Castle Law", which allows homeowners to shoot dead anyone that enters their house and they feel is a threat to their safety. A brave soul took matters into his own hands and shot someone who was on a killing rampage at the Tacoma Mall a while back and he wasn't arrested. And there are several other instances where we, as private citizens, are completely within our rights to take lethal force against someone who is threatening us or someone around us. So, if someone who is a known killer, either because there is undisputed evidence clearly indicating that they are beyond any doubt, or because they've admitted to it themselves, and the government lets them go because of a technicality, do we just sit around and wait until they are in the process of committing another murder (or, in the case of Dr. Hodari, manslaughter is probably the more appropriate charge but, either way, he's still killed someone), or, given the opportunity, do we prevent further murder by any means possible? Again, I'm not advocating blind, vigilante justice but surely there is a point at which private citizens can not rely on government and must do something. I'm not saying we're there yet but the discussion needs to occur if people like Hodari and Clemmons are walking free and enemies of war are being afforded the same rights as common criminals.

Posted by MarkGriswold at November 30, 2009 08:17 PM | Email This
Comments
1. The main problem is political correctness, the conforming construct of the left.

We've all been cowed down to sitting ducks. And with early parole and overcrowded prisons due to government mismanagement, it's pretty obvious that the predators will simply go out and hunt amongst the ducks.

Even when we catch a criminal red handed, we are loath to speak out, and so castrated by politically correct ideology, that we treat criminals with far too much respect and far too little justice.

My proposal, which I have stated here many times, is for more citizens to arm themselves. And I don't necessarily mean with guns. Some will not be comfortable with guns or the training and permitting process. No problem, they can carry pepper spray or a taser. But if everyone took their own self defense and protection in to their own hands, we'd have far less sitting ducks and far more worried criminals never knowing if the guy or gal next to them might be carrying.

I respect the police, but they are never there when we truly need them. They can't be, they are overwhelmed, and with bankrupt city and state governments, the forces are not going to get more manpower. I've begged officers and called the PD to do something about dangerous speeding on my street, to no avail. If we can't expect the police to set up speed traps where our kids play, how can we ever expect them to be in that dark parking lot when we are getting mugged.

It's time for more personal responsibility. Fiscally, electorally, and defensively. Everyone looks the other way as we spend ourselves and our government in to debt, elect ineffective politicians, and sit on our hands, afraid to offend anyone, and woefully lacking in the skills to defend ourselves.

Posted by: Jeff B. on November 30, 2009 10:30 PM
2. It has been said many times before...The System is Corrupt! The system is loaded with dishonest lawyers including judges. Applying Justice via our Court System is, in many instances, a Giant Game-play and the Public be Damned. The lawyers for the defendants go into collusion with the lawyers of the plaintiff to see how they can stretch the game out for a bigger payout for themselves. In Traffic Court, the lawyers will be given special treatment by the judges if they are representing a client. They generally always give special leniency to any defendant represented by a lawyer compared to those who represent themselves. When, it comes to Criminal Cases, the same game-play to various degrees is played. Lawyers love activity...It means money in their pockets. If they can extend a case for months and reap the financial benefits at the Taxpayers expense they will do it. They get less business if the punishment is too severe. Severe punishment makes for less crime. Also, there is little repeat business for the lawyers if the Criminals are put away for a long time. It's more about Money and Less about Justice.

Bottom Line: When a Criminal is killed on the streets, it is a tragedy for members of the Justice System/Lawyers, for there is no money without the need to go to trial/adjudicate.

Posted by: Daniel on November 30, 2009 11:20 PM
3. You present no evidence that "the system" -- whatever that is -- is broken. Even worse, you are directly inciting your readers to murder.

- It appears that Maurice Clemmons should not have been free, and I am as outraged as anyone that he was. Hopefully we can learn why this happened and improve the system. However, human beings sometimes do dumb things like release dangerous people; no "system" can always prevent stupidity. And we have to trade off funding for our corrections system against other things like education and lower taxes. Finally nature, or God if you prefer, has given humanity mental illness that occasionally causes people to do horrendous things that challenge said underfunded, human-staffed system. Sometimes the system fails, but that doesn't mean it's broken.

- I never heard of Hodari but I am inclined to trust the courts over Operation Rescue (the source you cite), especially since the only search results on his name are extremists.

- Re Khalid Sheik Muhammad, in our country we put criminals on trial rather than letting someone decide to shoot them because they've admitted to something. That's what we'll do with Clemmons. That's what we did with Gary Ridgway. Why not do it with KSM? The "defense" that you're afraid he'll mount is no defense at all; a good judge will force him to stick to relevant issues, and who really cares if he raves like a lunatic and then is found guilty and executed? That's the system working, not broken.

Posted by: Bruce on December 1, 2009 01:02 AM
4. that is what our P.C. justice system has given us.four dead Police Officers,a 12 yr old that has lost her innocence because this animal was let go.i am so glad he was shot and killed because he would have gotten off on a insanity plea.that might be wrong to say but real justice was served in the streets of seattle.God Bless the families you are in our prays.

Posted by: jtm371 on December 1, 2009 05:12 AM
5. Yea Bruce! You win the prize. I knew someone like you was going to call me out for trying to incite SP readers to violence. I even put it in the first draft of my post but then deleted thinking I might be going to far and instead giving my readers the benefit of the doubt. But I needn't worry because you did me right, Bruce. As long as there are liberals like you running around my points made above will always be true.

Posted by: MarkGriswold on December 1, 2009 05:46 AM
6. If candy-assed Republican Mike Huckabee hadn't believed the BS "born again" story from Maurice Clemons and pardoned him this would have never happened in the first place.

Posted by: Robert on December 1, 2009 06:00 AM
7. AMEN Robert i agree 100% but you can't let the two clowns that let him out on parole.if i'm up on charges that could result in life in prison and i get out on 150K bail something is rotten in Denmark.

Posted by: jtm371 on December 1, 2009 06:17 AM
8. Your entire post smacks of some twisted, deluded conservative with revenge fantasies, Mark. Getting a one-sided, biased account from Operation Rescue in a case where there were no convictions doesn't amount to a bucket of warm spit in my book. The case of Maurice Clemmons is a great example of where the system failed... but not precisely where you would expect, since he got off of a very long prison term because of some conservative that thought that he was born-again. And with KSM, executing him without putting him on trial would turn the US into a country that kills for revenge, and not out of the rule of law or the needs of a civilized society.

I'm sorry that a family member of yours was killed, but this doesn't change anything. The role of the state is not to fulfill your revenge fantasies. It's to keep law and order in an impartial, balanced way. If there are problems with the system, then sure... reform them. But by essentially preaching vigilantism, you're saying that we should become nothing more than a cheap Third World dictatorship where people reshape the rules how they like, and go out and shoot people on the streets if the spirit moves them.

So yeah, if you're going to sit there and throw around the "liberal" label like an idiot, I'm more than happy to throw around the "dumbassed fascist" label. Fits better.

Posted by: demo kid on December 1, 2009 07:24 AM
9. I'm not advocating blind vigilantism.

Of course not -- that would make you a right-wing whackadoodle. Real conservatives believe in the rule of law, frustrating though that can be at times, it's better than leaving justice to enraged and uninformed lunatics.

I don't agree with the guy that murdered abortion doctor George Tiller either.

And yet, you'd be ready to murder Abraham Hodari on sight, based solely on inflammatory rhetoric from anti-abortion groups. Sounds exactly like George Tiller. Did it ever occur to you that you might not be hearing the whole story? Nope, Laura Ingraham says he's a bad guy and that's all you need to lock and load.

You're a seriously confused person.

Posted by: scottd on December 1, 2009 07:31 AM
10. When I said "sounds exactly like George Tiller", I meant "sounds exactly like Scott Roeder", the right-wing nut who murdered Tiller.

Posted by: scottd on December 1, 2009 07:38 AM
11. Sad that when conservatives talk about justice, and their responsibilities as citizens to help preserve justice, they are accused by the extreme left as having "revenge fantasies."

But when the left breaks the law for their own fantasies about justice, such as in the WTO riots, they are praised for standing up for ... something. Not quite sure what, though.

Posted by: pudge on December 1, 2009 07:42 AM
12. @11: Get off your high horse, pudge. Anyone celebrating the idea of killing outside the law shows that they have no idea what this country is really about.

Posted by: demo kid on December 1, 2009 07:54 AM
13. Sad that conservatives can't see the difference between nuts advocating vigilante murder and hooligans breaking some store windows.

For the record, I'm against destroying private property to make a political point. Where do you stand on "taking out" Abraham Hodari?

Posted by: scottd on December 1, 2009 07:55 AM
14. I actually take issue with the idea that government is supposed to create laws to prevent crime.

I believe that government is intended to enforce laws. That means that if murder is illegal, we have a police system to apprehend the killer, and a justice system to give him a fair trial, and a penal system that can incarcerate him (or put him to death, if appropriate).

The idea - to me - that government exists to prevent tragedy is no different than liberal ideas that insist that government should regulate industry to prevent economic problems like we recently experienced.

Life is not fair, and yes, bad things will happen to good people. Seeking justice on people before evil has been done preempts their free will and ability to make the choice to do right. It's good to save innocents, but it is our responsibility to protect ourselves, not the government's responsibility to ensure your safety, my daughter's safety, or my own safety.

Just some thoughts. I share your desire to see them brought to justice. But don't turn to government to prevent everything. That road leads to unending government - and you still won't prevent the bad parts of life from existing.

Posted by: Andrew Brown on December 1, 2009 08:22 AM
15. If a corrupt Liberal Justice System is no longer protecting Society as it should then, the Citizens are forced to defend themselves. If the Citizens were allowed to arm or not arm themselves freely as they see fit, you could be sure that less crime would be committed and Society would be a much safer place.

Posted by: Daniel on December 1, 2009 08:31 AM
16. Fair point, Andrew. Unfortunately the only thing that does stop some people from committing a crime is their fear of the enforcement of society, i.e. government, and that alone, I believe, is the only role government should play in our lives: protecting our rights to life, liberty and property from those, either outside these borders or within them, that seek to impinge on those rights.
But yes, we unfortunately can't always rely on government to provide that protection. As Jeff B said at #1, we need to be prepared to provide our own protection as well as that of others in society who may not be able to protect themselves since our current government seems to think that money that could otherwise be going toward a greater defense force here and abroad should instead be spent on the National Endowment for the Arts and socialized medicine.

Posted by: MarkGriswold on December 1, 2009 08:32 AM
17. Daniel @ 17: A "justice system" that "protects" society is by definition a liberal system. You are calling for a liberal system.

Also, citizens ARE allowed to arm themselves freely as they see fit (perhaps not quite as freely as the bill of rights implies, but nonetheless nothing stops you from carrying openly in this state, or concealed, if you get the permit), and defend themselves. At least here in Washington.

So... Since these rights already exist, how does that fit with your idea that it would be safer if they existed?

Posted by: Andrew Brown on December 1, 2009 08:39 AM
18. This is not the first instance of a system breakdown to cost a police life. The topic was in SP just about 3 years ago, with the case of car thief Neal Kelley, who killed an SPD officer by crashing into her. Just as with Clemmons, it was later found that he should have been locked up at the time. Seattle Times account here.

IMO this has got to be the result of diversion of police away from traditional 'crime' instead to revenue-producing activities. A few years ago I was a crime victim in Seattle. I was surprised to discover that SPD was not really interested. I had to badger them relentlessly to get action, which I finally did get, and eventually the perp was convicted.

Posted by: travis t on December 1, 2009 08:43 AM
19. The primary difficulty today is that a large segment of our ruling classes have either forgotten what Justice is, or they have forgotten that the purpose of Law is Justice.

The purpose of law is to establish justice. While law is likely to have flaws and fail to achieve perfect justice, still justice is the end goal. When a law becomes perverted to the extent that it regularly and systematically results in injustice then that law has lost all claim to moral authority, and indeed must be resisted.

I would even go so far as to say that unjust laws are a higher priority to resist then individual acts of injustice, because when the law is unjust it systematically perpetuates the injustice across many people, and often institutes new secondary injustices in an attempt to defend it's primary injustice.

The greater difficulty is that a large number of our intellectual class has forgotten what justice is. They speak of "social justice" or "economic justice" all of which are adjectives added to allow the perversion of justice to their own goals of shaping the perfect society. What we need is just plain old justice, without any adjectives.

What is Justice? Simply put, to punish the guilty and protect the innocent. All else are details. To put it even more bluntly, justice is to punish evil, and uphold the righteous.

Justice is predicated on the individual actions of persons. You reap what you sow. Justice is not the aggregate issues of equality or distribution of wealth. It governs the individual interacting with other individuals.

Obviously these individual interactions aggregate to these other issues, but the aggregate measurements cannot be used to justly judge an individual. Holding an individual responsible for actions other than his own is not just.

Far too many intellectuals have forgotten this. Primarily because they have detached themselves from other people, and think of themselves as outside observers (and judges) of the human condition. They forget the lesson of the Incarnation. God Himself came down and lived as a human being- one the reasons for this was so that He could judge us justly, for He knows what it is like to be a human.

Furthermore, the teachings of Christ are focused strongly on the individual interactions we have towards others. This is because God recognizes that the way to build a perfect society is to first perfect the individuals who will then perfect their society. Such a program is of necessity primarily dependent on persuasion, and resorts to external force in only the extreme and clear cases: Do not kill, Do not steal, ect.

Modern liberals have forgotten this. Mainly because they are too impatient. Perfecting individuals takes longer then a lifetime, and is often prone to set backs. Perfecting society first through force and coercion is seen as faster and more obtainable. This assumption is based on a conceit, as the liberal intellectual assumes that he will always hold the power of coercion (and of course that he will not misuse it), never considering that the power to coerce not only corrupts, but it attracts those people who would misuse it.

Because of this our laws have been perverted. They seek to establish equitable aggregate results. Regardless of the injustice this imposes on individuals. Naturally individuals under such a regime become resentful and angry. Sadly the result of callus disregard for individual justice teaches those individuals to be unjust towards others, as it seems to be the only means of protecting their own interests.

If the wicked are not punished, and good are, why should men be good?

So in the end these unjust laws with the purported purpose of achieving [adjective] justice actually result in ever increasing injustice and wickedness among the people subjected to them.

Posted by: Cicero on December 1, 2009 08:46 AM
20. Well said Cicero @22. Thank you!

Posted by: Daniel on December 1, 2009 09:10 AM
21. Well the loons are starting to glorify the dead perp.
http://blackmalefelon.wordpress.com/2009/12/01/adorned-with-virgins-jewelry-crowned-seattle-bow-martyr-against-white-terrorist-police-maurice-clemmons/

Demo Kid I swear you get dumber with each post.

Posted by: mike336 on December 1, 2009 09:44 AM
22. LOL...
Hey demo fool, you've been called out.

Posted by: Medic/Vet on December 1, 2009 09:50 AM
23. @28: By who? Some pissant? Please. I have better things to do than to beat up someone that can't seem to deliver his own points and thinks that some fake macho attitude can make up for that.

Posted by: demo kid on December 1, 2009 09:54 AM
24. Demo Kid Considering one of the dead officers guns was found on his cooling body pretty much convicts him along with the bullet in his belly that ballistics will show came from one of the fallen officers. I can understand your support for abortion as it maintains the campaign of subtle racism by the Democrats as the majority of those seeking abortions are black. Gotta keep that minority a minority right Demo Kid?

Posted by: mike336 on December 1, 2009 09:55 AM
25. I don't necessarily agree with demo kid here, but the lack of rational arguments against him in this thread is seriously appalling...

Posted by: Andrew Brown on December 1, 2009 10:00 AM
26. @31: If the officer wasn't acting in self-defense, or to keep a felony from being committed, it's illegal. Do I cry over a coward like that being killed? Hardly.

However, are news reports enough to sentence someone to die? Should people take the law into their own hands?

If you believe that, you might as well just resurrect lynch mobs and do away with the middleman.

Posted by: demo kid on December 1, 2009 10:03 AM
27. Andrew Brown @19...Our Justice System IS corrupted with Liberalism to the point that Society is not as protected as it should be. Examples: Giving harden Criminals furloughs putting Society to needless Risks. You've heard of Mike Dukakis, a Democrat Governor, giving Willie Horton, a convicted killer serving a life sentence for murder, without the possibility of parole, a weekend furlough...Haven't you? A weekend furlough to prey on Society by committing armed robbery and rape? Sure, you have. Liberals not only object to the Death Penalty but, will also, give the murderers furloughs. Such a Deal!

As far as the right to bare arms/to carry there should be NO requirement for a permit if you carry a concealed weapon. How Ridiculous! It limits the Citizens Right to the free and convenient manner in which they may wish to arm themselves. Do you think the Criminals give a spit as to whether they need a permit to carry a concealed weapon? Why put the Citizen at a disadvantage to the Criminal? Do you think the Criminals would be so pervasive if they knew the surrounding Citizenry were armed? Do you think that Maurice Clemmons would be so sure of himself that he would walk into that coffee shop and blow away the four police officers with such impunity if the laws against carrying was nonexistent, being that there would be a Strong possibility that he would have to deal with more than just, the four police officers? No, Liberalism effecting the Right of Citizens to protect themselves and in doing so without fear of wrongful prosecution plus, the extreme leniency toward Criminals has weaken Society's Safety and has given the Criminals more power to act upon Society. Again...Such a Deal!

Posted by: Daniel on December 1, 2009 10:04 AM
28. Demo @30 : Way to justify your cowardice.

Posted by: mike336 on December 1, 2009 10:05 AM
29. demo kid:

I wasn't on one.


Anyone celebrating the idea of killing outside the law shows that they have no idea what this country is really about.

But the WTO protestors who broke the law, they do?

Posted by: pudge on December 1, 2009 10:06 AM
30. Daniel @35:

There is nothing stopping citizens from having been armed where Maurice Clemmons went under current law. There are some restrictions that I agree shouldn't be present, but plenty of people live with it and the simple fact is, laws didn't prevent anyone from being armed in that coffee shop - there simply was no one exercising their right to carry that day. Aside from the officers, which didn't help them in their case, tragically :(

Posted by: Andrew Brown on December 1, 2009 10:11 AM
31. @36: "Cowardice"? What are you, twelve?

@37: But the WTO protestors who broke the law, they do?

No... but I don't see any arguments made for that here, have you?

Posted by: demo kid on December 1, 2009 10:15 AM
32. I haven't read all the comments, but one point to be made here is that the ONLY reason why we give the government the right to kill bad guys is because it is too dangerously chaotic to allow citizens to do it themselves.

It's not that there's anything inherently wrong with me killing Clemmons, even in cold blood. There's really not. If I am convinced he is a murderer, and I believe he deserves to die, there's nothing inherently wrong with me killing him as I see fit.

However, it is impractical to do so. If I do that, then what is to stop someone else from carrying out similar judgment on someone else, who might NOT deserve it? And, of course, many people might think -- either because they are stupid, or because they are simply against the death penalty -- that Clemmons doesn't deserve death.

This is too chaotic for a large society. So we let the government pass judgment. The government has NO inherent authority to do so; it only exercises the authority by proxy, authority that belongs to the people, both collectively AND individually.

Of course, this is part of a social contract. So if the government fails (to a significant degree) to do its job, the people still retain their natural right to enforce justice on their own.

I am not saying the people should do so by executing murderers. Quite the opposite: it would be a terrible thing. I am saying, rather, that each time the government fails to do justice, it gets society closer to this chaotic scenario. What I am saying is that government justice is not simply a matter of making sure bad guys are punished and good guys are protected: more importantly, it's about providing a framework for society to have its problems settled, and if the government fails to have a reasonable and workable and just framework, it risks society rejecting that framework, which leads to the chaos that society exists, largely, to avoid.

Posted by: pudge on December 1, 2009 10:19 AM
33. Great summation of my post, pudge. I guess that's part of my problem. I'm too wordy for people like demokid so they don't grasp what I'm trying to say. I just need to dumb things down for the liberals.

Posted by: MarkGriswold on December 1, 2009 10:28 AM
34. While vigilantism is against the law, and also deprives the guilty of due process (which they are entitled to, even when guilty) there is a long historical record of rates of vigilantism going up drastically when the process is being manipulated by the powerful.

Regardless of political views, I think it is fair to say that the current power brokers, Democrat, Republican, Legislative and Executive have been manipulating the system for while now, at an ever increasing rate and frequency. This is a dangerous time to be in any government role, because the populace is more and more feeling hopeless and faithless in the process and the system.

"when the system is unfair, and unjust, it becomes the duty of the just to reform the system, even breaking it if necessary"

Would we judge harshly today, the partakers of the Boston Tea Party, or the planners of the assasination attempts on Hitler?

I believe it is also fair to say, at this point, that a segment of the black population has become emboldened by a sense of entitlement, due to the racist and insulting attitudes and actions of the current white house. This segment now feels entitled to lash out and "kill Whitey!" because they sense the system will allow it. Note the behaviors of Serena Williams, That dork on the MTV awards show, and the rising rate of incidents like the one in Lakewood.

Ignoring the trend does not make it go away. If you are white, and not abjectly poor, the reinging powers consider it all to be your fault, and endorse any actions to rob you of your wealth and freedom, either in legal or illegal ways. Remember the slogan "By any means necessary"?

Posted by: Simon Templar on December 1, 2009 10:29 AM
35. demo kid: No... but I don't see any arguments made for that here, have you?

In this post? No. On this site, on other local sites, in the local media? Yep. KCTS is currently running a commercial lauding the riots, for example. I see it from the left all the time.

Posted by: pudge on December 1, 2009 10:36 AM
36. Andrew Brown @38...Yes there is a major requirement that is stopping citizens from arming themselves freely. As I've said before, a permit is required to carry a concealed weapon. That alone, puts up a needless requirement for a Citizen to go through the process of scrutiny, formal instruction, test, proof thereof, registration and fees. A bunch of Government make work processes that is an affront to privacy, time consuming and costly. If this Unconstitutional barrier did not exist, there would be far, far more armed Citizens in Society and Society would be much safer and Criminals would be less active and in greater peril.

Posted by: Daniel on December 1, 2009 10:40 AM
37. pudge, you are wrong about the progressive perception of the WTO events and you are wrong to compare a protest that lost control to murdering people "because our justice system is broken."

Funny that every progressive here seems to disagree with what you're telling them they believe. Typical straw man argument from you.

Instead of attacking progressive, why don't you weigh in on Mark's thesis? Who are you prepared to executive justice upon?

Posted by: John Jensen on December 1, 2009 10:54 AM
38. It's not that there's anything inherently wrong with me killing Clemmons, even in cold blood. There's really not. If I am convinced he is a murderer, and I believe he deserves to die, there's nothing inherently wrong with me killing him as I see fit.
.
.
.
I am not saying the people should do so by executing murderers. Quite the opposite: it would be a terrible thing.

Just not inherently wrong! Add pudge to the list of seriously confused whackadoodles.

But some people threw bricks through windows ten years ago. Let's talk about that instead.

Posted by: scottd on December 1, 2009 11:03 AM
39. You John Jensen. I am prepared to execute justice upon you. For when the forces of government evil come, they will come for you first, because your unthought out liberal sensitivites have made you the perfect target. And it will be I, hired by them to do so, who will come in the middle of the night for you and your family.

Sounds wacko, correct? Yet history proves over and over that paranoid, naive progressives who change a society from law and order to touchy feely principle-less are the ones who suffer first when the very system they advocated against, but which pritected them is replaced by whatever fills the vaccuum it leaves behind.

Posted by: Simon Templar on December 1, 2009 11:07 AM
40. The original poster uses a sleight of hand to equate an abortion doctor (who let us grant may be incompetent if you were to believe a right wing show host) and then to equate some 9/11 guys and this weekend's seattle shootings.

By that stretch we should hold cheney and rumsfeld responsible for 5000 american lives.

Why? By similar logic as the original poster.

1. Rumsfeld, in his earlier role prior to W regime , gave dual use weapons (yes chemical) to iraq and I am sure he did not know what they were going to do with that. Yah right!
2. Cheney, in his prior to W role, created mujhadeen (al qaeda precursor) in afghanistan and then abandoned them and so is he now indirectly responsible for 9/11
3. Cheney lied about iraq and sent 5000 guys to die
4. rumsfeld was as incompetent as the abortion doctor as W's defense guy in delpoying troops and indirectly helped kill americans
5. cheney spoke ill today of president while at war which would amount to treason if it had been a left wing ex-Vp doing to sitting P while at war
6. cheney and rumsfeld, like most false republican partiots and chicken hawks, were hiding under the table during vietnam war...that is why they are so eager to send others to war because they never did

Same kind of analogy as you apply. BTW i voted for Bush/cheney.

Posted by: Flamer on December 1, 2009 11:07 AM
41. You John Jensen. I am prepared to execute justice upon you. For when the forces of government evil come, they will come for you first, because your unthought out liberal sensitivites have made you the perfect target. And it will be I, hired by them to do so, who will come in the middle of the night for you and your family.

Sounds wacko, correct? Yet history proves over and over that paranoid, naive progressives who change a society from law and order to touchy feely principle-less are the ones who suffer first when the very system they advocated against, but which pritected them is replaced by whatever fills the vaccuum it leaves behind.

Posted by: Simon Templar on December 1, 2009 11:08 AM
42. Maurice Clemmons is a cold-blooded murderer and the world doesn't miss him, but I am reluctant to look at his pardon by Huckabee and his bail as some sort of deep flaw in the system. We have a justice system that while is clearly imperfect does its best to maintain fairness...In terms of Clemmons, I think you're trying to make order out of chaos.

Actually, it's you, John that is trying to create order out of chaos. Clemmons was 37 years old and has spent the better part of 25 of those years committing multiple violent assaults (in and out of jail), committed multiple felonies when he wasn't incarcerated and was finally up on his 3rd strike of assaulting an officer and child rape (12 yrs old). Now, where I come from, it doesn't take a behavioral specialist to see this pig is a danger to society and should be removed from it before he instills further carnage. Bail never should have been set, period. A third striker has nothing to lose and this POS knew he could go out on a high note by striking back at those he perceived as creating his life situation. He was simply a depraved human being, as are those who would defend his actions like I hear from time to time on forums and radio caller's. There were multiple flaws in the system to let human debris like Clemmons roam free after these last acts of a punk thug of 37 that never grew up. The judge should be disbarred that set bail for endangering the lives of the communities that would eventually be the inevitable next victim of Maurice Clemmon's.

Personally, I'm all for expanding capital punishment to include severe crimes that currently don't rise to that level. Instead, we just keep harboring,warehousing and babysitting, at our expense, cancerous tumors on our society. It's high time we drain the swamp.

Posted by: Rick D. on December 1, 2009 11:36 AM
43. I would support expanding capital punishment to include other crimes as long as it included capital punishment for everyone who overuses logical fallacies in their arguments, conservative and liberal alike.

:)

Posted by: Andrew Brown on December 1, 2009 12:09 PM
44. Simon Templar: The world is not falling apart. Stop being so dramatic. We are able to handle the trial of a mass murderer and the loss of four police officers without demanding a suspension of civil liberties and justice.

Rick D, Bail never should have been set, period.

Look, you're going to go on some populist rant and I'm going to look like a "CRIMINAL LOVER" but this is not how the real world works.

Personally, I'm all for expanding capital punishment to include severe crimes that currently don't rise to that level. Instead, we just keep harboring,warehousing and babysitting, at our expense, cancerous tumors on our society. It's high time we drain the swamp.

The death penalty is more expensive than life in prison. Are you saying that Clemmons should have been put to death before this? At what point in his previous criminal life would you have killed him?

Posted by: John Jensen on December 1, 2009 12:58 PM
45. Jensen: pudge, you are wrong about the progressive perception of the WTO events

False.


and you are wrong to compare a protest that lost control to murdering people

False.


Funny that every progressive here seems to disagree with what you're telling them they believe.

I never told anyone what they believe. Stop lying. (I know you can't, but TRY.)


The death penalty is more expensive than life in prison.

That argument is essentially a straw man.

It is more expensive mostly because people who are against the death penalty have made it so; we could easily devise a system to provide just as much protection for the rights of the accused without having it last so long and require/allow for so many appeals.

Surely Rick D. and others on his side advocate streamlining the system, which would lead to executions costing less than life in prison.


scottd: Just not inherently wrong!

How could it be? Explain it to us.

Do you disagree that all government powers come from the consent of the governed? The power to execute -- like all power the government has -- comes from the individual people who give the government that power. This is not controversial; in fact, to claim otherwise -- to say that the government itself has inherent, rather than derived, powers -- is the controversial view, as it explicitly denies that the principles this country was founded on.

The government has the power to execute only because the people inherently have that power, and grant it to the government to use on their behalf.

I am simply expressing the very uncontroversial view that there are some powers that we individually have, that we, through collective consent, have granted to government to use on our behalf, and that we should not use those powers outside of that system, unless it becomes absolutely necessary (and executing someone for past crimes is certainly not "necessary" by any stretch of the imagination, though it is perhaps desirable).

Sorry for using big words and confusing you.

Posted by: pudge on December 1, 2009 01:17 PM
46. Look, you're going to go on some populist rant and I'm going to look like a "CRIMINAL LOVER" but this is not how the real world works.

No rant, just reality. 3rd strikers with a 25 year history of violent assaults, psychotic episodes, battery against police officers and child rape in your eyes deserves bail? You're right,John, you are a 'criminal lover'.

The death penalty is more expensive than life in prison.

The only ones that buy into that argument are liberals that more often side with the criminals than their victims. While up front it looks as if it costs more, over a 30-40 year Life Without Parole case the cost of incarceration is much more expensive than the death penalty. You're using the cost of appeals for DP cases, but fail to recognize the appeals process exists also for LWOP convictions. Logically, this makes no sense, but silly liberals continually run with it as if it were fact. Overtime, the cost of the DP lowers as the price of warehousing the LWOP population raises exponentially by the year.

Are you saying that Clemmons should have been put to death before this?

I don't recall saying that. Perhaps you should reference what you're babbling about here, John. I said he should never have been given bail for his third strike on such a double felony charge of Child rape and assault and battery on a police officer. Unfortunately, some liberal judge decided otherwise because he, like yourself and Gov. Huckabee, are naive. You actually believe an individual with a quarter century of escalating severity of crimes committed is actually capable of rehabilitation.

Posted by: Rick D. on December 1, 2009 01:25 PM
47. Rick D.: You're using the cost of appeals for DP cases, but fail to recognize the appeals process exists also for LWOP convictions.

The appeals process is greater for DP cases, sometimes by requirement, sometimes by option of the convicted. And the cost of incarceration of DP prisoners is often greater, too, as they get more special attention.

But these are not necessary requirements for the death penalty. They can be changed. The system can be fixed.

(FWIW, I am neither for nor against the death penalty, but I am an advocate for the people, as voters or through their elected officials, being able to choose the death penalty as a legitimate punishment.)

Posted by: pudge on December 1, 2009 01:32 PM
48. Not confused at all, pudge. I just don't see any point in debating someone who doesn't see anything inherently wrong with personally killing someone in cold blood as long as you believe he deserves to die.

I might as well argue with my cat.

Dress it up with all the twisted syllogisms you want, but you can't conceal the fundamental sociopathy of your plain statement.

Posted by: scottd on December 1, 2009 01:38 PM
49. Huckabee was flat out wrong. There was not a failure of the justice system in his state. The justice system gave Clemmons the sentence he deserved. It was a Huckabee failure in commuting it. Read about Wayne Dumond as well. Another egregious example.

I also wondered why someone who was facing a life term for rape and assault was out on bail here as well. In the aftermath of this now that the murderer has faced justice, they should give that more scrutiny.

Posted by: Palouse on December 1, 2009 01:45 PM
50. Rick D, there isn't a "third strike" unless it is proven in the court of law. To suppose that the judge should convict him of his crimes in setting bail misunderstands the purpose of bail and the constitutionality of such a question.

Posted by: John Jensen on December 1, 2009 01:48 PM
51. scottd: I just don't see any point in debating someone who doesn't see anything inherently wrong with personally killing someone in cold blood as long as you believe he deserves to die.

So you either believe the government has no such authority, or you believe that the government has inherent powers, which is denying the principles on which this country is founded. Which is it?


Dress it up with all the twisted syllogisms you want, but you can't conceal the fundamental sociopathy of your plain statement.

Thomas Jefferson was a sociopath? Odd that you would think so.

Posted by: pudge on December 1, 2009 01:53 PM
52. @55: I said he should never have been given bail for his third strike on such a double felony charge of Child rape and assault and battery on a police officer.

Is this case inconsistent with sentencing guidelines? Aside from an unrelated crime that happened after the fact, what was the compelling need to increase bail beyond that which was mandated?

@56: But these are not necessary requirements for the death penalty. They can be changed. The system can be fixed.

"Fixing" the system by making it easier for the state to kill people? Any reasonable libertarian would blanch at that thought.

Posted by: demo kid on December 1, 2009 01:53 PM
53. Pudge, why is it so difficult for you to be honest? Rick D said we could save money by killing criminals, not by streamlining the death penalty. Are you as incapable of reading as you are incapable of reasoning, pudge?

Rick D is wrong that killing people would save money. It doesn't save money. It costs more money. He did not say we could streamline the process. He did not name fixes to save costs. He said that killing people would save money, and in the world we live in today that is simply not true.

So, first, his claim about cost savings is wrong. (To imply otherwise is lying.)

Second, it is immoral and I believe unconstitutional to kill someone for a preponderance of crimes over a lifetime. If we have a death penalty, it should be applied to one criminal act and it should not be used as a value judgment on the rest of someone's life. Anything else will not be constitutional.

Posted by: John Jensen on December 1, 2009 01:55 PM
54. demo kid: "Fixing" the system by making it easier for the state to kill people? Any reasonable libertarian would blanch at that thought.

Nonsense. And obviously so. Unless, of course, you are against the death penalty entirely. But if the use of death penalty is a reasonable exercise of the state's power, then obviously there can be a point at which it is too difficult to exercise that power. I think we have passed that point.

I think it should be hard for government to increase taxes. But I don't think 100% agreement of our legislators should be required, and if it were, I would favor reducing that threshold. Doesn't mean I am in favor of taxes, and I don't fear losing my libertarian membership card over it.


Jensen: Pudge, why is it so difficult for you to be honest?

It's second nature, actually. Very easy. I do it all the time, and haven't failed in quite awhile.


Rick D said we could save money by killing criminals, not by streamlining the death penalty.

Yes. We can save money by killing criminals, if we have a better system for doing so.


Rick D is wrong that killing people would save money.

No, he's not.


So, first, his claim about cost savings is wrong.

Nope. It's true. We can save a lot of money by killing criminals, if we improve the existing system slightly.


Second, it is immoral and I believe unconstitutional to kill someone for a preponderance of crimes over a lifetime.

The former is your opinion, the latter is false. Not unconstitutional at all.

Posted by: pudge on December 1, 2009 02:06 PM
55. pudge@60: you're babbling and making stuff up. We weren't talking about the government. We were talking about you killing people as you see fit because you believe they deserve to die.

Why are you wasting your time with me? Ask Mark to save you a seat in his batmobile so you can both go out and dispense your own justice. The sight of you in tights should be enough to immobilize any bad guy and give you time to dispatch him.

Posted by: scottd on December 1, 2009 02:19 PM
56. pudge, the Eight Amendment reads: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. It is "cruel and unusual" to punish someone with death for a series of crimes they have already served time for. Rick D seems to have little regard for this amendment, of course.

Stop lying about Rick D's arguments. He said something that is not true in the world we live in. He did not advocate changing the costs of the death penalty, he merely advocated for killing more people. You are lying when you say he argued otherwise.

Posted by: John Jensen on December 1, 2009 02:26 PM
57. Rick D said we could save money by killing criminals, not by streamlining the death penalty.

Wrong. I said I would favor expanding the number of crimes that would fall under the death penalty. Obviously this would include a revamping of a failed "rehabilitation" system that is no longer viable and yes, would need to be streamlined, mainly with regards to appeals and the number extended to DP eligible incarcarees.

Reason for this can be seen in a report done by the USDOJ bureau of justice statistics:

Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994
Reports on the rearrest, reconviction, and reincarceration of former inmates who were tracked for 3 years after their release from prisons in 15 States in 1994. The former inmates represent two-thirds of all prisoners released in the United States that year. The report includes prisoner demographic characteristics (gender, race, Hispanic origin, and age), criminal record, types of offenses for which they were imprisoned, the effects of length of stay in prison on likelihood of rearrest, and comparisons with a study of prisoners released in 1983.

Highlights include the following: Released prisoners with the highest rearrest rates were robbers (70.2%), burglars (74.0%), larcenists (74.6%), motor vehicle thieves (78.8%), those in prison for possessing or selling stolen property (77.4%), and those in prison for possessing, using, or selling illegal weapons (70.2%).
Within 3 years, 2.5% of released rapists were arrested for another rape, and 1.2% of those who had served time for homicide were arrested for homicide.
The 272,111 offenders discharged in 1994 had accumulated 4.1 million arrest charges before their most recent imprisonment and another 744,000 charges within 3 years of release.

So essentially, the average recidivism rate is shows we are using a 'rehabilitation' model that isn't working. Building more warehouses in order to keep an expanding prison population is simply foolish. The system is broken and it needs fixing within the current confines of its existing infrastructure. In other words, as Pudge said, yes, I believe the system needs to be streamlined in order to protect society. Decreasing expensive, exhaustive appeals would cut down on the costs of execution and by expanding the practice would actually bring the current system within some societal boundaries we can live with.

I always find it interesting that the pro-abortion (to include those born and left to die) are the first ones to hold a candle light vigil outside the prison of a serial killer or his ilk. It's a baffling disconnect to understand for me.

Posted by: Rick D. on December 1, 2009 02:39 PM
58. @63: But if the use of death penalty is a reasonable exercise of the state's power, then obviously there can be a point at which it is too difficult to exercise that power. I think we have passed that point.

State and federal governments still execute prisoners, even when there have been significant concerns about the process. Seems like it's not "too difficult" to use that power in my mind. Besides, I have yet to hear a credible argument why warehousing someone in solitary confinement and leaving them to rot is a "better" fate than killing them.

Posted by: demo kid on December 1, 2009 02:51 PM
59. It is "cruel and unusual" to punish someone with death for a series of crimes they have already served time for. Rick D seems to have little regard for this amendment, of course.

It is not 'cruel and unusual' to take into account ones body of work as it relates to crimes committed upon society. Otherwise, you could argue (and you probably would) that the three strikes law should not exist because it encompasses the other 2 strikes that the inmate has served time for and giving them LWOP. Apparently you have a disregard for an already upheld legal practice, not to mention a repugnant contempt for the citizens who pushed to approve the '3 strikes your out' laws nationwide.

Posted by: Rick D. on December 1, 2009 02:51 PM
60. Rick D, Building more warehouses in order to keep an expanding prison population is simply foolish. The system is broken and it needs fixing within the current confines of its existing infrastructure.

I completely agree. I do not think putting more people to death addresses this problem at all. In the least. The harsh sentencing standards and "law-and-order" mentality are responsible for sending people to prison who simply shouldn't be there. I'm not sure what the exact solution is, but it ain't more jails and harsher penalties.

Within 3 years, 2.5% of released rapists were arrested for another rape, and 1.2% of those who had served time for homicide were arrested for homicide.

Obviously we'd like to get these numbers down as much as possible, but these seems like relatively low recidivism rates.

In fact, the non-violent theft crimes seem to have much, much higher recidivism rates. Why do we store non-violent criminals with violent ones? Do we give non-violent offenders the proper tools to not have to "resort" to theft once they're on the outside? We have to answer these questions without accusing the asking party of being soft on crime. We shouldn't reward a convicted criminal, but once we let him loose we should try our hardest to get him into a job, a school, or something else so he doesn't end up back in jail.

I always find it interesting that the pro-abortion (to include those born and left to die) are the first ones to hold a candle light vigil outside the prison of a serial killer or his ilk. It's a baffling disconnect to understand for me.

This is a strawman.

And aren't you ignoring the other side of the equation, Rick? The fact you call yourself "pro-life" and want to see more of your fellow citizens murdered by your government? Give me a break. Abortion has nothing to do with the death penalty. I think it is morally wrong for the government to murder its citizens, personally. (I would make exceptions for terrorism and treason.) I would also think it is morally wrong if the government forcefully aborted fetuses.

Posted by: John Jensen on December 1, 2009 02:52 PM
61. @67.

Just because it's cheaper. It might seem counter-intuitive but it's cheaper to keep someone alive for the warehouse space and food then it is to navigate the costly legal death row appeals process.

I agree on one thing. If we are going to wake up and start locking up the violent criminals for longer, then we can make some room by getting rid of the petty drug crime offenders. It's not ideal, as laws are laws, but how in the world does a judge let a guy like Clemmons out. There should be plenty of space made available for the bad guys.

Oh wait, I know, because of the same kind of naive, recidivism-statistic-quoting thinking that gives KSM a trial, and Tookie Williams a sympathetic Hollywood movie and a mob of supporters, even as he sat on death row, guilty as sin after slaughtering four people.

Posted by: Jeff B. on December 1, 2009 04:02 PM
62. Jeff B, If we are going to wake up and start locking up the violent criminals for longer

Really? Is that the solution? I don't think so.

Posted by: John Jensen on December 1, 2009 04:15 PM
63. @ John Jensen:

I completely agree [building more prisons is foolish]. I do not think putting more people to death addresses this problem at all. In the least.

Well, your solution is then what? Letting out the crack dealers and car thieves to make room for the lifers? Not sure how that increases societal safety as a whole.

The harsh sentencing standards and "law-and-order" mentality are responsible for sending people to prison who simply shouldn't be there.

So what crimes would you not incarcerate for? Again, you're not giving specifics, just incoherent peripherals here. The law and order types are societal norms, which is from where our laws derive from. You'd prefer we lessen some offenses and ignore legal procedures because in your eyes, they shouldn't be illegal. Those, much like I am proposing, can be achieved through public sentiment towards those that make and in turn enforce the law, and I wouldn't oppose the will of the people as that is how a democratic republic should be.

Obviously we'd like to get these numbers down as much as possible, but these seems like relatively low recidivism rates.

Unless it happened to be your mother, sister, daughter, son, etc. Then that figure is pretty significant, and not "relatively low". Also, you must figure some have actually learned how to ply their trade better and have gotten away with other crimes without arrest and/or conviction Also, it only addresses the 3 years and not the remaining 12 years from when the study started.

In fact, the non-violent theft crimes seem to have much, much higher recidivism rates. Why do we store non-violent criminals with violent ones?

Usually they're separated, but due to, yes, overcrowding because 'rehabiliation' isn't working, they sometimes need to be confined together.

Do we give non-violent offenders the proper tools to not have to "resort" to theft once they're on the outside?

Yes, it's called free will and we all have one. I really don't care about your daddy being an alcoholic, poor parenting, etc. That's all just empty psycho-babble that enables these people to continue their behavior. It isn't up to society to provide the 'tool' to get you through your life, it begins with your family unit and either metastisizes (as is often with career criminals) or someone in the family tree decides it's time to actually take another fork in the road.

We shouldn't reward a convicted criminal, but once we let him loose we should try our hardest to get him into a job, a school, or something else so he doesn't end up back in jail.

Do you even hear what you're saying? You're saying "if you commit a crime, we're going to give you access to resources that those that haven't committed a crime don't have". Is that retarded logic or what? Why should those that prey on society get a free ride education or preferred job status? Your'e an enabler, John. Also, if you haven't noticed, many prisons already have these resources and the 75%recidivism rate shows these programs don't work for many of the non-violent offenders whom had these at their disposal.

And aren't you ignoring the other side of the equation, Rick? The fact you call yourself "pro-life" and want to see more of your fellow citizens murdered by your government?

You're not making a moral equivelency between a child rapist, serial rapist or serial murderer to an innocent human life that has done nothing to deserve their murder are you? Besides, you're asking/supporting that the health care bill include abortion and that these murders be should be funded by and carried out by your government. Once again, the disconnect with logic is amazing, john.

Give me a break. Abortion has nothing to do with the death penalty.

Sure it does. One is given death simply for being innocent, while the other is guilty of crimes against humanity and has their life revoked through their actions by the state.

I think it is morally wrong for the government to murder its citizens, personally. I would also think it is morally wrong if the government forcefully aborted fetuses.

Give me a break indeed. Do you, or do you not support abortion in the propose boondoggle health care bill? Do you want me to have to pay for someone elses 'elective' surgery/murder of their viable child because they don't want it? I should have to be funding this personal decision? Hell no, I shouldn't. Your moral compass is all screwed up, John. You need to find a new azimuth and get back on course.

Posted by: Rick D. on December 1, 2009 05:21 PM
64. Rick D, Well, your solution is then what? Letting out the crack dealers and car thieves to make room for the lifers? Not sure how that increases societal safety as a whole.

Uhh, Rick, you're the one who first said building more prisons won't work. I don't have a great solution -- it's not my field -- but your own numbers show that locking people in prison doesn't seem to help.

Do you even hear what you're saying? You're saying "if you commit a crime, we're going to give you access to resources that those that haven't committed a crime don't have". Is that retarded logic or what? Why should those that prey on society get a free ride education or preferred job status? Your'e an enabler, John. Also, if you haven't noticed, many prisons already have these resources and the 75%recidivism rate shows these programs don't work for many of the non-violent offenders whom had these at their disposal.

This is exactly why we will not have an adult conversation about how to fix reincarnation. Sorry you feel I'm "an enabler," Rick. Apparently you think things are just peachy except sentences could stand to get double. Let's completely ignore that the average sentence already has over the last half century.

We already put people in jail for a long time. Then they go right back to the same business. You now argue that this status quo is wrong -- who's the enabler, again?

Besides, you're asking/supporting that the health care bill include abortion and that these murders be should be funded by and carried out by your government.

Neither of the health bills in consideration allow public funds to be used to pay for abortion procedures.

Given that there's a deep divide on the issue, I don't think the government should be making moral decisions for women. You feel that it isn't just a moral decision, it's a question of murdering children and government should prevent it from occurring. We are not going to solve the abortion debate this evening.

I don't intend to solve that debate, but I'm calling you an idiot for claiming you're "pro-life" while advocating that your government murder more people.

Applying the death penalty to more criminals is stupid and doesn't solve the problem. The type of people who would be murdered by the government under your proposal already spend their entire lives in jail. The death penalty is not a good deterrent and we shouldn't only use justice as a tool of harsh punishment.

Your mentality seems to be that we should very harshly punish, deeply marginalize, and even go as far to kill more criminals. The ones who aren't in prison for the rest of their lives, though, do come out at some point. And resented, marginalized, and now well-trained criminals are riskier to society than those who have been well-integrated. A noble goal should be less people in prison.

Posted by: John Jensen on December 1, 2009 05:51 PM
65. @72 Roger Rabbit...Although, I don't agree with shooting a murderer on sight and being the judge and jury, I certainly would shoot him if he put forth any threatening action or did not follow my commands. However, if there was a need to shoot the murderer, the legal system would be going against Strong Public Opinion by bringing any charges against me. The public would look upon, I the Citizen, as a hero and any objection from the Justice System would be viewed as Tyrannical and Trespassing upon the Rights of the Citizen to personal defense as well as serving the public good. Your position that only the police should be involved is a fallacy. The police are not always there when needed. If it were not for Citizens' involvement in deterring Criminals, Society would be much more burden by Criminal activity.

Your position of being negative toward Bounty Hunters is Wrong. Bounty Hunters serve Society by catching Criminals that the police seem unable to catch. In fact, if the police departments were privatized, Society would be far more effectively served.

Your statement that you are a lawyer and retired judge, based on your stated position, is highly suspect.

Posted by: Daniel on December 1, 2009 06:06 PM
66. For the upcoming term of our (corrupt) legislature, we should be lobbying for a change to the bail laws. Those charged with Rape and Murder-1 should not be eligible for bail, PERIOD. They are too much danger to the community.

Posted by: Lon Campbell on December 1, 2009 06:13 PM
67. The system will remain broken as long as those in power play for political points and power and screw the other side instead of be selfless and solve problems, crossing party lines using common sense - something that is too uncommon now.

There is plenty of talent being wasted when there could be systems repaired. Without a collective epiphany, I don't see this as a reality.

Posted by: KDS on December 1, 2009 06:15 PM
68. @79...That's what I thought. You're a Lying Liberal that is full of Crap!

Posted by: Daniel on December 1, 2009 06:37 PM
69. This is exactly why we will not have an adult conversation about how to fix reincarnation. Sorry you feel I'm "an enabler," Rick. Apparently you think things are just peachy except sentences could stand to [be doubled]...We already put people in jail for a long time. Then they go right back to the same business.

By Webster's dictionary definition, you fill every description of this definition, John:

en´┐Żabler
Pronunciation: \i-ˈnā-blər, -bəl-ər\
Function: noun
one that enables another to achieve an end; especially : one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (as substance abuse) by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior
They may as well have your picture next to the definition.

Neither of the health bills in consideration allow public funds to be used to pay for abortion procedures.

That's because the democrat's haven't 'massaged' the bill and added it as yet. You and I both know it's in the offing, which is why you use the present tense for bills that are going to be drastically different from their original version in an attempt to mask something you know will be in the language upon passage.

"I don't think the government should be making moral decisions for women." (supporting the killing of innocent viable life)

But then you say this:

I think it is morally wrong for the government to murder its citizens, personally.(decrying the state killing those who've preyed on other humans and proven to be guilty of such crimes)

You have some serious congnitive dissonance going on, John. Honestly.You make a moral equivelency between mass murderers in society while cheerleading the killing of innocent viable life because you don't want the government to interfere with the Mother's 'moral' choice?

I don't intend to solve that debate, but I'm calling you an idiot for claiming you're "pro-life" while advocating that your government murder more people.

I'll let you answer that yourself with a previous post of yours in this thread when I called you an "enabler"- "This is exactly why we will not have an adult conversation about how to fix reincarnation.". If I wasn't an idiot, I'd point out that this isn't about reincarnation, but incarceration. But hey, it's just semantics, right?

Posted by: Rick D. on December 1, 2009 06:56 PM
70. Abortion is still, unfortunately, legal...

And that's the real point here, isn't it? Forty years of efforts to re-criminalize abortion have utterly failed. Our voting majority has long since moved on, our judiciary interprets it as a matter of individual liberty, and our medical associations refuse to agree with either defining life as beginning at conception, or with banning late-term procedures. It's all been a colossal failure, a complete waste of time and effort, and the only benefactors have been that huge crowd of adulterous liars who call themselves "pro-life" politicians, getting public paychecks from swindling you out of your votes. Since you can't get your own way, no matter how hard you try, you want to start shooting your fellow citizens, with neither charges nor trial, and you even want to call it justice.

I sincerely hope nobody acts on the urgings in the original post, and I strongly advocate against the use of force (except in immediate, personal self-defense), but we've got police, courts, and jails for anyone who buys Mark's "reasoning".

Posted by: tensor on December 1, 2009 07:17 PM
71. Roger Rabbit, thanks for your concern but I make it a habit not to take advice from cartoon animals. Now go crawl back into the ACLU hole you came out of.

Tensor, maybe you should actually try reading my post before commenting on it. I specifically denounced the murder of Dr. Tiller. Or maybe it's that you think forced abortions are okay? Doesn't seem very "pro-choice" to me. I guess you just hate women and black people.

Posted by: MarkGriswold on December 1, 2009 07:47 PM
72. Forty years of efforts to re-criminalize abortion have utterly failed. Our voting majority has long since moved on, our judiciary interprets it as a matter of individual liberty, and our medical associations refuse to agree with either defining life as beginning at conception, or with banning late-term procedures. It's all been a colossal failure, a complete waste of time and effort...

Not if you're upright, taking nourishment and following the polls since 1995. Of course, I can understand why you haven't heard that more people in a gallup poll asked "with respect to the abortion issue, would you consider yourself pro-life or pro-choice" because the media have chosen to ignore this poll as it upsets their delicate egos and rigid ideology when faced with the reality that it doesn't comport with their expectations(51% said pro-life while only 42% self identified as pro-choice). Like anything, change is slow, but if the trends continue, and the people evolve intellectually, abortion will be recognized for what it is. All that is left to define is the line of departure of what actually constitutes an 'abortion', which given the same gallup numbers, is a battle the "abortion should be legal under any circumstances" camp are losing handily.

Posted by: Rick D. on December 1, 2009 08:01 PM
73. Goldy must have left the pen door open.

Posted by: Jeff B. on December 1, 2009 10:09 PM
74. Jensen: It is "cruel and unusual" to punish someone with death for a series of crimes they have already served time for.

No, it's not.


Stop lying about Rick D's arguments.

I never did. You're a liar.

Posted by: pudge on December 1, 2009 10:56 PM
75. scottd: you're babbling and making stuff up

That you think so shows you didn't understand what I wrote. Shrug.


We weren't talking about the government.

You're wrong. I was talking about the government, very explicitly. I quite clearly -- to people who can read, which obviously excludes you -- contrasted the inherent right of individuals to kill, to the derived right of government to do so, in the very comment @40 you have a problem with.


We were talking about you killing people as you see fit because you believe they deserve to die.

False, of course. I said I have the inherent RIGHT to do it, not that I would engage in it, or even consider doing so. I never implied otherwise. You're a liar. And you think Thomas Jefferson is a sociopath, to boot.

Posted by: pudge on December 1, 2009 11:04 PM
76. Rick D, you seem very interested in abortion to the exclusion of nearly any other issue.

No, I just like throwing your cognitive dissonance into over-drive as you use twisted logic to defend the taking of human life whose only violation was being born, while decrying the state extracting a human cancer who's committed multiple heinous crimes upon other human beings within our society. Not a moral equivelence in my book, but hey, you're entitled to your opinion no matter how void of logic it happens to be.

I do not want the government to make moral decisions for me.

Then you're in the wrong country because they make them for you everyday through societal norms called laws. Sure, you have free will, but you don't run that red light or go 150MPH down I-5, do you?

You favor a government that murders more of its own citizens. Is this the small government you fawn over?

So do you. Only I want the worst of the worst in society to be held accountable, while you condone the killing of the most innocent human forms there are. You still haven't answered my question above, but I don't expect you to, because you know it blows away your argument.

However, there is no doubt for either of us that a felon is human life. You would like to see more felons murdered by the government.

I want the felons who've committed heinous crimes upon other humans be accountable, yes. Part of being accountable is paying restitution.

You tell us of no benefit to this. But we're supposed to buy it? Yeah, right.

While you advocate the status quo of housing more of the ever increasing incarcerated, prison overcrowding and/or releasing of felons upon society that are deemed non-violent (but no less predatory upon society at large), I'm for working within the current system without building more warehouses for humans. I want a tweaking of the legal system to allow more crimes to be death penalty eligible. This can be done and lower costs simply by lessening the vast number of endless appeals that draw out 30 years and fill the pockets of the attorney's arguing the cases. With the advent of DNA, we have come a long way in science in order to determine the likliehood this person is indeed guilty of this crime. If there is any doubt as to guilt, I'd be content with LWOP and further appeals. If guily of Kidnapping and raping of a 5 year old child? I want that person extracted from society because most offenders have gotten away with this crime many times before being caught. You, on the other hand, would coddle this person and make sure his life was spared and allowed to live a long a fruitful life in prison for the next 40 years.

We just have a different idea of what morality is, John. I would say yours is very skewed, while you believe that mine is. Unfortunately for you, most Americans are in my camp according to polls. So unless you believe 7 in 10 of your fellow Americans are wrong, you're on the wrong side of history on this issue as you are on the abortion issue.

Posted by: Rick D. on December 2, 2009 05:44 AM
77. pudge@90: You're such a transparent liar. Here's a reminder of what you said that I commented on @47:

40: It's not that there's anything inherently wrong with me killing Clemmons, even in cold blood. There's really not. If I am convinced he is a murderer, and I believe he deserves to die, there's nothing inherently wrong with me killing him as I see fit.

Now let's look at your lies.

@90: You're wrong. I was talking about the government, very explicitly.

I don't see any mention of government in your words I quoted @47. Do you? I see the word "I" or "me" five times. You were clearly talking about actions you could take as an individual. Very explicitly.

Later, you also talked about why we as a society look to the government to kill for us. But that doesn't change the fact that you said there was nothing inherently wrong with you killing someone. And that's what I've commented on.

[me]: We were talking about you killing people as you see fit because you believe they deserve to die.

[pucdge]: False, of course. I said I have the inherent RIGHT to do it, not that I would engage in it, or even consider doing so.

And I never said you would do it. I said that you said there was nothing inherently wrong with you killing people. That's what we were talking about. We weren't talking about the government killing people. You interjected that later and I have chosen no to follow you. My comments are solely directed at your individual sociopathy.

And you think Thomas Jefferson is a sociopath, to boot.

Another lie, of course. I think you are a sociopath. And a liar, too.

Now, no doubt you'll explain to us that you were talking about something else or your words have different meanings. I have no interest in that -- I've talked to enough five year-olds to know the futility of arguing with someone who insists up is down. Your words speak for themselves.

Posted by: scottd on December 2, 2009 07:12 AM
78. Hi John,

Obviously we'd like to get these numbers down as much as possible, but these seems like relatively low recidivism rates.

You have to look at recidivism rates in relation to the general population, to determine if you have a problem with excessive recidivism.

In 1994, the population was about 265 million people.

In 1995, there were 97,464 forcible rapes. Note that 1995 had LOWER rates than 1994. But we'll still use that.

Now, assuming 272,111 released felons in 1994, and a 2.5% recidivism rate for rape, we find that the released felons committed 6,803 rapes in 1995. Meaning the general population had 90,661 rapes that were not from released felons.

The rape rate for the general population was about 0.034%; the released felon rate was 2.5%. Meaning that the average felon was 7,308% MORE LIKELY than the general person in the US to commit rape.

Is that a low recidivism rate, John? SEVEN THOUSAND PERCENT MORE LIKELY to rape. I'd say that's nowhere near close to a low recidivism rate.

See, you only looked at the data and didn't think through the implications of that data, which is that released felons are massively more likely to commit rape as compared to the average person on the street.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 2, 2009 07:18 AM
79. John wrote:

Uhh, Rick, you're the one who first said building more prisons won't work. I don't have a great solution -- it's not my field -- but your own numbers show that locking people in prison doesn't seem to help.

Actually, locking them up works great. It's when we release them that we have a problem. Approximately 1% of all convictions are for rape. If we had not released those 2,721 rapists in 1994, we would have spared 6,801 women the trauma of rape (note that the stats show the average re-offending rapist commits more than 2 rapes before he's caught again).

So John, why do you want to subject literally thousands of women to the horror of rape? Is it because the rate seems "low" to you, so hey, it's only another 6,801 rapes a year, that doesn't seem like too many...

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 2, 2009 07:47 AM
80. scottd: You're such a transparent liar.

Shrug. Prove it.


I don't see any mention of government in your words I quoted @47.

Yes, you didn't quote my words about government @40, in your comment @47. So what? Your quoting is irrelevant: what is relevant is whether I put it in the context of government initially @40. I did. I was talking entirely about our relationship, as individuals, to government, @40. That you didn't quote my words to that effect doesn't make those words cease to exist, no matter how hard you want them to not exist.

Here is what I wrote, that you didn't quote, immediately following the words you quoted: However, it is impractical to do so. If I do that, then what is to stop someone else from carrying out similar judgment on someone else, who might NOT deserve it? ... This is too chaotic for a large society. So we let the government pass judgment. The government has NO inherent authority to do so; it only exercises the authority by proxy, authority that belongs to the people, both collectively AND individually.

So, you're lying that I wasn't discussing government, and you're lying that I was lying when I said I was.


I never said you would do it.

You said "we were talking about you killing people." Except I never said anything about me killing people. You're lying, and you cannot quote me talking about me killing people. You only saw me saying I had the inherent right to do so, not about me actually doing it, even in theory.


We weren't talking about the government killing people. You interjected that later ...

Something I write in context @40 was "interjected later" than your comment @47?

How exactly do you figure?


Another lie, of course. I think you are a sociopath.

Except that everything I say is based solely and entirely on Thomas Jefferson's words. So, if those words make me a sociopath, sorry, they make Thomas Jefferson a sociopath too.


Your words speak for themselves.

Indeed they do. So why do you deny their existence?

Posted by: pudge on December 2, 2009 08:36 AM
81. All good points, Dan. The numbers don't lie. But some can't be bothered with actual facts if they get in the way of their pre-determined conclusions.

Posted by: Rick D. on December 2, 2009 08:38 AM
82. pudge: You're ridiculous.

Here's what you wrote:

It's not that there's anything inherently wrong with me killing Clemmons, even in cold blood. There's really not. If I am convinced he is a murderer, and I believe he deserves to die, there's nothing inherently wrong with me killing him as I see fit.

Folks can read your full comment @40 and subsequent dancing and decide for themselves what you "really" meant. I have nothing further to add.

Posted by: scottd on December 2, 2009 08:45 AM
83. Rick, While you advocate the status quo of housing more of the ever increasing incarcerated, prison overcrowding and/or releasing of felons upon society that are deemed non-violent (but no less predatory upon society at large), I'm for working within the current system without building more warehouses for humans.

Your solution for overcrowded prisons is for the government to murder more prisoners? I thought you had something more thoughtful, like no longer sending petty criminals to prison or no longer prosecuting marijuana crimes. Instead you want the state to murder more of its own citizens. You are delusional, Rick D. The most heinous crimes may deserve death, but there are very few heinous criminals. Much too few to affect the overcrowding of prisons. You need to stop watching Law and Order -- not every criminal is a rapist/murder. The vast majority of those in the justice system are there because of theft or drug charges.

With the advent of DNA, we have come a long way in science in order to determine the likliehood this person is indeed guilty of this crime.

So should DNA be a requirement for death penalty cases? I guess not, since that would get in the way of you wanting the government to murder more criminals.

If guily of Kidnapping and raping of a 5 year old child? I want that person extracted from society because most offenders have gotten away with this crime many times before being caught.

The government should not murder people because others don't get punished. I think there is a great reason for not executing these terrible individuals: if the punishment for kidnapping and child rape is death, then there is no reason for the rapist not to murder the child in cold blood. The calculation: less evidence by killing witness and choosing where their body lies.

You, on the other hand, would coddle this person and make sure his life was spared and allowed to live a long a fruitful life in prison for the next 40 years.

I hardly think that life in prison is coddling.

Dan, I said "relatively low" compared to the rates of non-violent thefts who had a rate more like 70%. Those are the exact type of crime that could be addressed through economic means rather than harsher prison sentences. In fact, harsher prison sentences have the exact opposite effect of making individuals more likely to turn to crime once they are released.

Mark, your sources are questionable. With a preponderance of evidence, why hasn't a single person sued? Why hasn't a single criminal case been created? No one in the world supports forced abortions -- NO ONE. It's hard not to think that your vigilante mindset is influenced by thought that "the system" is politically victimizing you. I think that is exactly what leads to things like Tiller's murder -- who you yourself think was wrong. I think you need to analyze the quality of the sources you're basing your thoughts on.

Posted by: John Jensen on December 2, 2009 10:08 AM
84. The problem with pudge's stupid statement has a lot to do with his own hubris: It's not that there's anything inherently wrong with me killing Clemmons, even in cold blood. There's really not. If I am convinced he is a murderer, and I believe he deserves to die, there's nothing inherently wrong with me killing him as I see fit.

He is right that we have given our powers of justice to the government, but he errs when he takes his own beliefs and convictions to mean the equivalent of due process and a trial by peers. There is something inherently wrong with pudge's scenario, which is exactly why we have a justice system in this nation that forbids pudge from deciding whom to murder or spare.

Posted by: John Jensen on December 2, 2009 10:14 AM
85. You are delusional, Rick D. The most heinous crimes may deserve death, but there are very few heinous criminals.

And you're naive. You don't even want the worst of the worst to be extracted from society and can't provide the numbers to prove your case.

The vast majority of those in the justice system are there because of theft or drug charges.

Wrong,, yet again. You're simply putting forth emotional arguments that have no merit at this point, John. At least do a little bit of research before embarrassing yourself in here.

Now, since you've already proven to be wrong on the first two points, I'm not going to bother entertaining any further unsourced gibberish from you at this point. Bring something to the table, man.

Posted by: Rick D. on December 2, 2009 10:31 AM
86. John@102: You're following pudge down his rabbit hole, which is exactly what he wants.

All I've said is that pudge doesn't think there is anything inherently wrong with him killing someone just because pudge believes he deserves to die. And he clearly said that.

pudge wants to obfuscate his obviously sociopathic statement by talking about other stuff such as the role of government, etc. Or, he'll make up stuff, falsely attribute it to me or you, and then attempt to engage us in arguing about it. Don't fall for it. His simple statement, quoted several times, is clear and tells you everything you need to know about him.

pudge is a guy who likes to argue but he rarely does so honestly. And he's a sociopathic liar.

Posted by: scottd on December 2, 2009 10:36 AM
87. Slavery Party Failed Abortion wrote:

Great! Then deal with recidivism more effectively. Plenty of potential options there.

Great - how about lifetime in prison without the possibility of parole if you're convicted of a violent felony? That deals with recidivism quite effectively...

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 2, 2009 10:47 AM
88. Rick, And you're naive.

You think we can solve prison overcrowding by murdering more prisoners. You're wrong.

Wrong,, yet again.

Those are state prisons and ignore all jails and federal prisons. Like I said: The vast majority of those in the justice system are there because of theft or drug charges.

We're putting more people in jail or prison than ever and it's not fixing the problem. Your solution: Have the government murder more prisoners. But of the 2.3 million people incarcerated, how many would you like the government murder? You don't say. To even dent the problem, it seems like 10,000 prisoners will have to be murdered by the government. Maybe more.

Posted by: John Jensen on December 2, 2009 10:49 AM
89. Centrifuge John wrote:

Dan, I said "relatively low" compared to the rates of non-violent thefts who had a rate more like 70%. Those are the exact type of crime that could be addressed through economic means rather than harsher prison sentences. In fact, harsher prison sentences have the exact opposite effect of making individuals more likely to turn to crime once they are released.

If you run the same numbers for those other, "non-violent" crimes you'll find that released felons commit crimes at rates thousands of a percent higher than the general public.

Basically, the BEST case was for rapists, and it was a 7000% higher rate than the general public; these other crimes are even worse. Which just points more to the fact of permanent incarceration. Released felons are provably and demonstrably MUCH, MUCH more likely to commit felonies again.

Your point is, once again, undermined by your own attempt at shoring it up...

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 2, 2009 10:51 AM
90. So your analysis, Dan, is that both violent and non-violent offenders are more likely to commit crimes than those who have no criminal history? That's not very insightful.

Your solution seems to be to lock up all violent offenders in jail for a lifetime -- unconstitutional, of course, but you care little about the Constitution. You provided no solution for non-violent offenders. Longer sentences, I guess. Because that's working so well now.

Throwing more people in prison with longer terms does not work, has not worked, and will not work.

Posted by: John Jensen on December 2, 2009 10:57 AM
91. @105: Great - how about lifetime in prison without the possibility of parole if you're convicted of a violent felony? That deals with recidivism quite effectively...

Pfft. There's a difference between "treating the problem" and "excessive and draconian punishments". From your inane calculation exercise, you're essentially willing to rip away the rights of 98.5% of a group because of what 2.5% of them are going to do.

Pathetic. Even more evidence that conservatives are hardly the party of "law and order".

Posted by: demo kid on December 2, 2009 11:13 AM
92. We're putting more people in jail or prison than ever and it's not fixing the problem.

Correct. The rehabilitation model has failed by your own admission. I'm glad we finally have found common ground. Now, it's time to find a real solution and I've suggested one by tweaking the system and maintaining the current infrastructure. Your solution is...keep the status quo and hope the numbers change for the better...like I said, Naive.

Making more heinous crimes punishable by death is a two pronged solution. The reason the death penatly as it currently is employed is not a deterrant, is that very few inmates are exectuted each year that are on death row. Expedite those cases and you send a 'chilling' effect not only to those inside the prison who'll be back within a 5-10 year period otherwise (at least 70% of them anyway), but it will also decrease the number of those entering into the criminal justice system for the first time.

The carrot approach you take, John, hasn't worked. It's time we took a stick to the problem and send a message. It's no different than disciplining a child. They'll test the boundaries of your patience and find out how far they can go until you react. Those who want to befriend their child have an out of control brat for the next 14-16 years- Congrats!. Those who give their child a warning and the consequences of continuing this behavior finally get the boundary and aren't likley to push this once that has been carried out once or twice on their behind. Get it? We'll solve prison overcrowding, Courtroom red tape and backlogging, Lessen the increasing crime rates as well as lessening the cost on society all by tweaking the system already in place.

John's approach reminds me of Burgess Meredith's saying in the "grump old men" series when he puts some bacon in the shopping cart and his son says "dad, I wish you wouldn't eat that stuff", to which Burgess Meredith replied, "Well, You can wish in one hand and crap in the other, see which one gets filled first". Youtube video here

Posted by: Rick D. on December 2, 2009 11:21 AM
93. Centrifuge John wrote:

Your solution seems to be to lock up all violent offenders in jail for a lifetime --

It would work, there is no recidivism if there aren't released felons. Meaning, on average, 6800 fewer rapes each year.

unconstitutional, of course,

Why? Three-strikes laws have been found constitutional, and you can be sentenced for life for a few crimes, why not expand the list that qualifies for life sentences?

but you care little about the Constitution.

Liar. I actually believe and follow it. Now if you could tell me how this is unconstitutional I'm all ears (oh, and bonus points if you can tell me how it's constitutional to nationalize industries or to force people to buy health insurance).

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 2, 2009 11:46 AM
94. Slavery Party Failed Abortion wrote:

Pfft. There's a difference between "treating the problem" and "excessive and draconian punishments".

Explain the constitutional use of three strikes laws, then.

From your inane calculation exercise, you're essentially willing to rip away the rights of 98.5% of a group because of what 2.5% of them are going to do.

Anyone who subtracts 2.5% from 100% and comes up with 98.5% should not use the word "calculate" (or any of its derivatives) in any sentence.

What is your solution to the 7000% re-offense rate of released rapists compared to the general population? How would you deal with someone who is 70 times MORE LIKELY to commit rape again?

Any answers there, SPFA?

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on December 2, 2009 11:49 AM
95. Rick D, The carrot approach you take, John, hasn't worked. It's time we took a stick to the problem and send a message

Imprisoning someone for life is not a carrot.

We have 2.5 million people incarcerated in America. Your solution to this high number is for the government to murder more prisoners. Even if we executed 10,000 people annually, that'd be less than 1% of the incarcerated population. How many prisoners should we kill?

Your entire solution for prison overcrowding to is to have more felons murdered by the government. You are focusing on one solution that isn't a solution. It's a stupid idea on it's face, by the numbers, and by nearly every other metric. You favor a government that is too intrusive and too vindictive. I'm glad your radical views will never take hold. If we executed 10,000 people annually, we'd be truly a sad nation. We're too proud for that and that number is too heinous.

Dan, Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

You are not arguing for three strikes, you are arguing for one strike. Your solution is to double, triple, or quadruple government-run prisons. How much more taxes are we going to spend to house offenders -- most of whom are no threat to re-offend -- while cutting health care and education spending?

Posted by: John Jensen on December 2, 2009 12:18 PM
96. Your entire solution for prison overcrowding to is to have more felons murdered by the government.

Eradicating the cancerous tumors upon the body society? Why not? Meanwhile you actively support the state sanctioned murders of innocent viable human beings in the upcoming health care bill. Somehow, I could sleep at night knowing society was better off with those who prey upon others within it. Not sure how you can do the same knowing abortions, if this healthcare bill is passed with a government option, are being carried out in your name as well. You said you were against the government taking lives, but apparently, you're willing to make exceptions in this case.

Even if we executed 10,000 people annually, that'd be less than 1% of the incarcerated population. How many prisoners should we kill?

Enough that qualify in order to have a 'chilling' affect on not only the amount of crimes committed, but especially the seriously violent offenses. Like I said, I wouldn't lose any sleep over putting the kidnapper and rapist of a 5 year old child, would you?

You are focusing on one solution that isn't a solution. It's a stupid idea on it's face, by the numbers, and by nearly every other metric.

...and your solution is to carry on with our current uptick in scale and scope. Brilliant!, John. How could I not have noticed we could achieve subtraction by addition.

You favor a government that is too intrusive and too vindictive. I'm glad your radical views will never take hold.

Apparently you're referring to the government option, that if passed, will include the genocide 100's of thousands of late term human beings.

...we'd be truly a sad nation. We're too proud for that and that number is too heinous.

I agree, John. 100's of thousand of late term abortions each year undertaken with out governments tacit consent would be sad for our nation, and heinous for that matter.

Posted by: Rick D. on December 2, 2009 01:31 PM
97. One of the most frustrating things about liberal opposition to harsh punishment of criminals, is that the liberals are almost always from the population least impacted by crime. The poor tend to suffer most from high crime rates. Particularly poor urban minorities. The very group whose interests that liberals claim to protect.

Additionally, liberals are constantly urging greater urbanization, and decry suburban sprawl, and come up with all sorts of penalties to discourage it.

But they refuse to do the one thing that would promote urbanization more then anything else. Crush crime. Make criminals terrified of the law. Both officers of law, and law abiding citizens.

Instead they insist that the crime rate- really isn't that bad (not that they are willing to live in it) and that we should just accept that our money is better spent on expanding governmental control of our lives- such as health care "reform" instead of protecting us from criminals.

Posted by: Cicero on December 2, 2009 02:01 PM
98. Rick D, Enough that qualify in order to have a 'chilling' affect on not only the amount of crimes committed, but especially the seriously violent offenses.

How many criminals do you want the government to murder? Give me a number, Rick. Again, if we executed 10,000 people annually, that'd be less than 1% of the incarcerated population. Is 1% enough?

Abortion has nothing to do with your plan to murder felons. Give me some specifics, Rick. How many people should the government murder to scare would-be criminals into compliance? And do you think any innocent people will be executed in your broad, sweeping mass-murder of felons? I'm sure some people have been wrongly convicted, right? Well, you have to break a few eggs...

Cicero, the goal is to reduce crime not just to harshly punish people. In fact, the primary motivation for harsh punishments is to reduce crime, but it is only fair to ask if that's working. Further, would even harsher punishments have an effect? Incarceration rates have increased dramatically since drug sentences were mandated on judges. Has drug use fallen?

Finally, having the government murder many more criminals is not just "harsh" but a ridiculous expansion of government power.

Posted by: John Jensen on December 2, 2009 02:43 PM
99. The poor tend to suffer most from high crime rates.

The poor also suffer the most from harsh sentencing guidelines.

Posted by: John Jensen on December 2, 2009 02:45 PM