Published: Thursday, Aug. 15 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
To lock non-violent people up in an extremely violent facility seems to only
breed the problems we seek to avoid. Judges need to be able to pass judgement
that best fits the particular situation, to end the cycle of what ever crime,
rather then blindly put people into an environment where seldom is there a
positive outcome. Let Judges use Judgement seems very appropriate.
A one size fits all criminal justice systems serves no one well.
What would work? What sentence is "just" when a drug dealer has sold
drugs that destroy lives? How can that drug dealer repay his victims? How can
he repay his debt to society? Keeping him locked up like an animal won't
help him or society. Why not give open-ended sentences to those
convicted of dealing drugs. Why not give them a three to five year sentence on
condition that they have counciling that changes their behavior. If the
councilors find that the convict has not been "rehabilitated", then
change the sentence to life. When those drug dealers are released, they should
be put on life-time probation, meaning that if they ever sell drugs again, they
go back to prison for life.
Locally...Weldon Angelos, the son of a Greek immigrant, was accused of
selling marijuana to a police informant on several occasions worth a total of
$350; the witness stated that Angelos had a firearm strapped to his body, but no
photographs or evidence existed other than his testimony, and Angelos never used
or brandished his gun.The judge in the case, Paul Cassell (of the
U.S. Court for the District of Utah) sentenced Angelos to 55 years, but said he
had no choice but to do so and urged President Bush to commute the sentence,
calling it "unjust, cruel, and irrational", noting the sentence is much
more than the minimum for hijacking, kidnapping, or rape.Let the
We need to remember that the origin of mandatory sentences for federal drug
felonies originated because Congress felt that the Judges were being too lenient
in administering sentences. If we (the citizens) along with Congress feel that
the law is overly stringent, then the law should be repealed or modified by
Congress – not just ignored.
That pendulum is always a swingin' and never resting quite in the middle
where it would be best. Mandatory sentences to me are sort like those dumb zero
tolerance policies schools have. They were an (over)reaction to some problems
that arose, in this case judges that were too lenient or some offender of one
crime getting a light sentence and committing a horrific crime or a person that
never seems to "learn" his lesson. But in the end I'd rather trust
judges than congress in regards to these type of things...
If you support mandatory jail you support doubling taxes to pay off the mess.
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