Published: Sunday, Dec. 2 2012 12:00 a.m. MST
Lets cut the budget by reasonably lowering our prison count. Other countries
get by with less prisoners, perhaps we can too.
States could save millions by eliminating the death penalty, but that
doesn't mean they will.
One of the prime driving forces opposing things like those described in this
article is a shady, secretive outfit called the American Legislative Exchange
Council, or ALEC.ALEC tries to use immense money from big
corporations to influence legislation at state and local levels. Most of its
members are Republicans serving in state legislatures throughout the country.
Most of Utah's state representatives and senators are members.Among the destructive things ALEC pushes are continued low taxes on
corporations and their elite. Less funding for rehabilitation of people like
those described here and for even stiffer minimum mandatory sentences for wide
range of crimes. Those minimum sentences are needed to support another of their
major agendas -- privatization of prisons.Yes, prisons for
profit.If you have not already heard of ALEC and its destructive
agendas, please make an effort to learn. Just Google ALEC. You'll be
amazed -- and appalled at what you find.
I like the tenor of this editorial. My only comment would be to
suggest that sentencing and penalties are a reflection of majority emotionality.
An article like this is helpful and compassionate, but I fear that people act
unjustly over mere allegations of emotionally-charged crimes, express their
antipathy to the alleged crime ( "Someone must pay") being little
concerned about justice, and ready to convict an innocent suspect.Stiff penalties which serve to protect people against dangerous amd habitual
criminals, when proven guilty, but wince when I see "Cops" shows that
demonstrate that most arrests are for possession of (not trafficking in) illegal
drugs and the severe and uneven handling of (often mild) family disputes.I would like to see some basic understanding of common human problems
and the will to help and not always to punish the taxpayer in order to support
the private agendas of vociferous pressure groups.I think also that
juries are sometimes either poor in assessing guilt and innocence, emotional
rather than objective, have seen jury selection that was improper and highly
questionable. I believe that juries should consist of people of some
experience, unimpeachable character, that know the man/woman in the dock.
I read about a fully employed Aerospace Engineer, who was denied healthcare
coverage because he had a pre-existing condition (cancer).Despair to
save his life, he robbed a bank for a whole $1 Just so he could go
to prison and get medical treatment.[Bank robbery he figured is a
federal crime, with mandatory prison time - so, by only asking for 1 dollar
during the robbery, he explained to the Judge he was harm or threat to
society.]Is America - the greatest nation on Earth - really this
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