Return to Common Sense
April 11, 2013
Section: Domestic – Crime
“Swift, sure, and blind justice has increased prison populations and consequently lowered crime rates.”
“There's a simple way to solve the crime problem: obey the law; punish those who do not.” Rush Limbaugh.
Philosophy (Background, Issues, Objectives):
There are four justifications for criminal sanctions (punishment):
· Deterrence - seeks to make crime more costly; deter from committing crime and criminals from recidivism.
· Incapacitation - removes the offender from society; reducing crime is most important.
· Rehabilitation - assumes crime is determined by social forces and not the decisions of criminals; criminals must be retrained, not punished.
· Retribution (Just deserts) - asserts that punishments should be commensurate with the moral gravity of offenses; level of punishment determined by seriousness of crime.
Restitution is associated with the civil courts.
- Restitution is based on restoring lost compensation.
Laws are selectively enforced.
- Speed limits are perfect example of selective enforcement.
- Punishment is inconsistent, geographically and economically.
- Higher class and politicians are frequently given a pass on first criminal offense.
- “Mental” (ex: hate) crimes increase punishment, but not effective (hard to prove mental motivation).
o “Thought police” seeks to criminalize thought and non politically correct thinking.
o Hate crimes establish unfair, two tiered justice system, favoring one type of victim over others.
Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) allows judges to order highly symptomatic and problematic individuals with serious mental illness to accept treatment as a condition of living in the community.
- Even more important, it allows judges to order the mental-health system to do what it won’t do voluntarily: accept the most seriously ill into their programs.
- AOT is only for those who have a past history of needless arrests, incarcerations, and hospitalizations.
- New York made a marked impact on street crime among those enrolled:
o Reduced homelessness by 74%
o Reduced suicide attempts by 55%
o Reduced substance abuse by 48%
o Reduced hospitalizations by 77%
o Reduced arrests by 83%
o Reduced physical harm to others by 47%
o Reduced destruction of property by 46%
o Reduced incarcerations by 87%
- Similar results occurred in California.
Capital punishment is criminal justice, not revenge.
· A society that honors the sanctity of life by putting to death those who are destroyers of life is not murderous but Godly.
· Number of executions has decreased since 1999.
· Gallup poll found 69% of Americans favor the death penalty.
· States that reinstituted death penalty after 1976 collectively saw a significantly bigger drop in murder rates by 1998.
o Studies found that each execution saved the lives of about 15 to 18 potential murder victims.
o 75% studies by economists find that executions reduce murder, accounting for 12% to 14% drop in murders.
Department of Justice statistics document crime is skewed by race.
· Between 1976 and 2005 blacks have been killing other people 6-9 times higher than comparable homicide rates for whites and Hispanics combined.
o From 1976 to 2005 blacks committed more than 52% of all murders in America.
· Blacks constituted 39.3% of all violent crime arrests, including 56.3% of all robberies.
· In New York violent crime is 13 times more likely to be perpetrated by a black than be a white.
· In studies that consider all relevant variables, such as the defendant’s prior criminal record, the severity of the crime in question, the offender’s demeanor with police, whether a weapon was used, and whether the crime in question was victim-precipitated, no differences have been found in sentencing patterns, either in relation to the victim’s race or the offender’s race.
o In 1983, the liberal-leaning National Academy of Sciences found “no evidence of a widespread systematic pattern of discrimination in sentencing.”
o In 1985, the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology concluded that a disproportionate number of blacks were in prison not because of a double standard of justice, but because of the disproportionate number of crimes they committed.
o In 1985, federal government statistician Patrick Langan conducted an exhaustive study of black and white incarceration rates and found that “even if racism [in sentencing] exists, it might help explain only a small part of the gap between the 11 percent black representation in the United States adult population and the now nearly 50 percent black representation among persons entering state prisons each year in the United States.”
o In a 1987 review essay of the three most comprehensive books examining the role of race in the American criminal-justice system, the journal Criminology concluded that there was little evidence of anti-black discrimination.
o A 1991 Rand Corporation study found that a defendant’s racial or ethnic group affiliation bore little or no relationship to conviction rates; far more important than race were such factors as the amount of evidence against the defendant, and whether or not a credible eyewitness testified.
o The 1991 Rand study also found almost no relation between a defendant’s race or ethnicity and his or her likelihood of receiving a severe sentence.
o A 1993 study by the National Academy of Sciences agreed that race had a negligible effect on sentencing.
o Also in 1993, a study of federal sentencing guidelines found no evidence of racially disparate punishments for perpetrators of similar offenses.
o The seriousness of the crime, the offender’s prior criminal record, and whether weapons were used accounted for all the observed interracial variations of prison sentences.
o In 1995, Patrick Langan analyzed data on 42,500 defendants in America’s 75 largest counties and found “no evidence that in the places where blacks in the United States have most of their contacts with the justice system, that system treats them more harshly than whites.”
o A 1996 analysis of 55,000 big-city felony cases found that black defendants were convicted at a lower rate than whites in 12 of the 14 federally designated felony categories.
o Liberal criminologist Michael Tonry wrote in his 1996 book Malign Neglect: “Racial differences in patterns of offending, not racial bias by police and other officials, are the principal reason that such greater proportions of blacks than whites are arrested, prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned.”
o In 1997, the following year, liberal criminologists Robert Sampson and Janet Lauritsen concurred that “large racial differences in criminal offending,” not racism, accounted for the fact that blacks were likelier than whites to be in prison and serving longer terms.
· This finding is consistent with the overwhelming consensus of other recent studies, most of which indicate that black defendants are slightly less likely to be convicted of criminal charges against them that white defendants.
Criminal system over protects the criminal.
- Profiling criminals is a valid police approach for rapid apprehension.
- Evidence rules impede law enforcement.
- Crime rate decreased corresponding to increased incarceration.
- The one tactic that has worked is swarming crime “hot spots” with cops, forcing criminals to mind their manners.
U.S. has highest adult imprisonment rate in the world.
- In 2009, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were 1,524,513 prisoners in state and federal prisons.
o When local jails are included, the total climbs to 2,284,913 prisoners.
o Nonviolent offenders make up more than 60% of the prison and jail population.
o Nonviolent drug offenders now account for about one-fourth of all inmates, up from less than 10% in 1980.
o Expanded incarceration accounts for about 25% of the drop in violent crime that began in the mid-1990s.
o State correctional spending has quadrupled in the last two decades and now totals $52 billion a year, consuming one out of 14 general fund dollars.
- Prisoners forfeit rights, such as voting, as condition of imprisonment.
- High percentage of black males (1 in every 6) & Hispanic males (1 in every 13); White males (1 in every 38).
o In 2010 one in 87 working-aged white men is in prison or jail
o In 2010 one in 36 Hispanic men is in prison or jail.
o In 2010 one in 12 African-American men is in prison or jail.
o More young (20-34) African-American men without a high school diploma or GED are currently behind bars (37 percent) than employed (26 percent).
- Women incarceration rates recently doubled to 1.8% (compared to overall male likelihood of 11.3%)
- Recidivism remains high (2/3 rearrested within 3 years) for most crimes.
- In 2008, 18.4% of all state prison inmates are drug offenders.
o Texas reduced recidivism using drug courts to emphasize treatment and probation over incarceration for first time offenders
- Prison reform focuses on prioritizing prison space for violent and dangerous offenders, while strengthening cost-effective alternatives that hold nonviolent offenders accountable.
o Texas lowered crime rate by 25%, while lowering incarceration rate.
o New York prison population has fallen to lowest rate since the 60’s, thanks in part to innovative policing strategies in New York City.
Prisons are being used to recruit Islamic terrorists.
- An estimated 2 million people are imprisoned in the U.S., 6% of them are Muslims.
- An estimated 9,000 prison inmates want Islamic services.
- Radical imams in New York have espoused violent views, and war on non-Muslims.
Legalizing the possession and sale of marijuana has been offered as a solution to the drug crime problem, but benefits have not achieved and problems have increased.
- Marijuana is a gateway drug, the starter drug of choice for most criminals, and can lead users to more dangerous drugs.
- Justification for legalization was increased revenue for states and decreased drug-related crime.
o Actual results were no increase in revenue, increased crime, and additional medical costs.
o In Los Angeles, police report that areas surrounding cannabis clubs have experienced a 200% increase in robberies, a 52.2% increase in burglaries, a 57.1% increase in aggravated assault, and a 130.8% increase in burglaries from automobiles.
- Scientific literature is clear that marijuana is addictive, its use significantly impairs bodily and mental functions and is associated with cancer, strokes, heart disease, birth defects, and a host of other serious medical conditions.
- Studies show that teens who frequently smoke marijuana are more likely to suffer a long-term drop in IQ.
Laws can and do legislate morality.
- Judeo Christian morality is basis for many laws.
- Victim justice is ultimate goal.
Enforce or erase all laws, awarding uniform sentences.
- Enforce swift and sure capital punishment for most heinous crimes.
- Revoke “hate crimes” provisions as unneeded, unenforceable thought control.
- Decriminalize socially and economically productive conduct.
- Lower legal drinking age to 18.
Return pendulum to favor victim rights over criminal rights.
- Endorse “criminal profiling” as valid law enforcement approach.
- Revoke driver’s license for repeat DWI offenders.
- Increase length of punishment for repeat offenders.
- Continue trend of keeping violent criminals incarcerated.
- Provide some form of restitution, as part of judgment, to the victim or victim’s family.
Privatize prisons to outsource incarceration services.
- Ensure crime is punished and justice is served.
- Set federal, state, and local incarceration standards and practices.
- Ensure corrections funding is performance based (ex: reducing recidivism, decrease in threat to public safety, etc.)
- Encourage prisoner paid participation in free market enterprise ventures.
Return state and local laws primacy on:
- Abortion application.
- Drug enforcement.
o States should establish drug courts for drug offenses, emphasizing treatment for offenders and incarceration as leverage to ensure compliance.
- Juvenile delinquency.
- Gang activity.
End DOJ law enforcement grants that subsidize routine local law enforcement activities.
- End ineffective Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants.
- End ineffective Youth PROMISE grants.
“Thou Shalt Not Kill – A Convicted Murderer?” by Steve Farrell dated August 27, 2001 published by News Max at http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2006/5/30/215138.shtml .
“The Racial Profiling Myth Debunked” by Heather MacDonald dated Spring 2002 published by City Journal on http://www.city-journal.org/html/12_2_the_racial_profiling.html .
“Under Color of Law” by Lowell Ponte dated August 20, 2003 published by Front Page Magazine at http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=9462 .
“Criminals Owe Debt to Victims, Not Society” by Wendy McElroy dated December 30, 2003 published by Independent Institute at http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1459 .
“A Conservative Case for Capital Punishment” by Steve Farrell dated March 18, 2005 published by News Max at http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2005/3/17/143817.shtml .
“Study: Prison Used to Recruit Terrorists” dated September 20, 2006 published by News Max at http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/9/20/212935.shtml .
“Another Argument for Capital Punishment” by Dennis Prager dated December 12, 2006 published by Front Page Magazine at http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=25957 .
“Drug War Victories” by Robert J. Caldwell dated January 29, 2007 published by Human Events Online at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=19177 .
“Big, Big Government” by John Stossel dated January 31, 2007 published by Human Events Online at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=19216 .
“Irrational Sentencing, Top to Bottom” by Stuart Taylor, Jr. dated February 12, 2007 published by National Journal at http://nationaljournal.com/scripts/printpage.cgi?/taylor.htm .
“Changing Crime Rates: Ineffective Law Enforcement Grants and the Prison Buildup” by David B. Muhlhausen dated February 12, 2007 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Crime/wm1355.cfm .
“Do We Have a Right to Hate?” by Selwyn Duke dated February 22, 2007 published by Intellectual Conservative at http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2007/do-we-have-a-right-to-hate/ .
“Federal Law Enforcement Grants and Crime Rates: No Connection Except for Waste and Abuse” by David B. Muhlhausen and Erica Little dated March 14, 2007 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Crime/bg2015.cfm .
“The Case Against 21” by John J. Miller dated April 19, 2007 published by National Review Online at http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YzU4NTcwMTQ4NTBmYzVlNWMzZjgwYTRjYjgyMzllMjg= .
“Studies: Death Penalty Deters Crime” dated June 10, 2007 published by News Max at http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2007/6/10/212452.shtml?s=ic .
“Narco-Insurrection” by Ralph Peters dated August 9, 2007 published by New York Post at http://www.nypost.com/php/pfriendly/print.php?url=http://www.nypost.com/seven/08092007/postopinion/opedcolumnists/narco_insurrection_opedcolumnists_ralph_peters.htm .
“The Ignored Amendment” by Ralph R. Reiland dated August 29, 2007 published by The American Spectator at http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=11941 .
“The Return of the Thought Police” by Wendy Kaminer dated October 28, 2007 published by Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal at http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110010792 “Death Penalty’s Deadly Vacation” by John R. Lott Jr. dated November 2, 2007 published by New York Post at http://www.nypost.com/seven/11022007/postopinion/opedcolumnists/death_penaltys_deadly_vacation_308016.htm .
“ACLU, Muslim Groups Resist Anti-terror Measures Again” by Robert Spencer dated November 12, 2007 published by Human Events Online at http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=23371 .
“The Perils of Non-Executions” by Aaron J. Veselenak dated November 17, 2007 published by Intellectual Conservative at http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2007/11/17/the-peril-of-non-executions/ .
“Facts Back Up Death Penalty’s Effectiveness” by John R. Lott Jr. dated December 19, 2007 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=282952624388536 .
“Why Would Anyone Support the Death Penalty - Part I” by Andrew Tallman dated January 25, 2008 published by Town Hall at http://www.townhall.com/columnists/AndrewTallman/2008/01/25/why_would_anyone_support_the_death_penalty_part_i .
“Why Would Anyone Support the Death Penalty – Part II” by Andrew Tallman dated January 29, 2008 published by Town Hall at http://www.townhall.com/columnists/AndrewTallman/2008/01/29/why_would_anyone_support_capital_punishment_part_ii .
“High Incarceration Rate of Blacks is Function of Crime, Not Racism” by Heather MacDonald dated April 28, 2008 published by Investor’s Business Daily at http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=294274911882475 .
“Brain Functioning Skewed by Race” by Takuan Seiyo dated June 11, 2008 published by Intellectual Conservative at http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2008/06/11/brain-functioning-skewed-by-race/ .
“MADD Logic” by Jacob Sullum dated August 27, 2008 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/JacobSullum/2008/08/27/madd_logic .
“Barack Obama: Tilting at Racial Windmills” by John Perazzo dated December 16, 2008 published by Front Page Magazine at http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=26ADACFB-5F2F-4C7D-9DEF-8989382DE4B7 .
“All Crimes Are Hate Crimes” by J. Matt Barber dated May 21, 2009 published by Front Page Magazine at http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=34945 .
“The Youth PROMISE Act: Outside the Scope and Expertise of the Federal Government” by David B. Mulhausen dated August 5, 2009 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Crime/tst080509a.cfm .
“Bigot Bonus” by Jacob Sullum dated October 14, 2009 published by Reason Magazine at http://reason.com/archives/2009/10/14/bigot-bonus .
“Theories of Punishment and Mandatory Minimum Sentences” by David Muhlhausen dated May 27, 2010 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Testimony/Theories-of-Punishment-and-Mandatory-Minimum-Sentences .
“Overcriminalization” dated August 17, 2010 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/08/Overcriminalization .
“Legalizing Marijuana: Why Citizen’s Should Just Say No” by Charles D. Stimson dated September 13, 2010 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/09/Legalizing-Marijuana-Why-Citizens-Should-Just-Say-No .
“Incarceration’s impact on society is shameful” by Bob Ray Sanders dated October 10, 2010 published by McClatchy Washington Bureau at http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/10/10/101638/commentary-incarcerations-impact.html#storylink=omni_popular .
“Conservative Principles and Prison” by Grover Norquist dated February 10, 2011 published by National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/259263/conservative-principles-and-prison-grover-norquist .
“Balancing Public Safety with Fiscal Responsibility” by Howard Nemerov dated March 18, 2011 published by Pajamas Media at http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/balancing-public-safety-with-fiscal-responsibility/ .
“Prison Math” by Veronique de Rugy dated July 2011 published by Reason Magazine at http://reason.com/archives/2011/06/08/prison-math .
“Decrying Imaginary Racism” by John Perazzo dated April 19, 2012 published by Front Page Magazine at http://frontpagemag.com/2012/04/19/decrying-imaginary-racism/ .
“How Pot Advocates are Manipulating the Truth” by Charles Stimson dated December 1, 2012 published by The Heritage Foundation at http://www.heritage.org/research/commentary/2012/12/how-pot-advocates-are-manipulating-the-truth .
“The Right Way to Combat Gun Violence” by Steve Chapman dated February 24, 2013 published by Real Clear Politics at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/02/24/the_right_way_to_combat_gun_violence_117138.html .
“Conservatives are leading on prison reform” by Marc Levin dated February 24, 2013 published by Real Clear Politics at http://dailycaller.com/2013/02/24/conservatives-are-leading-on-prison-reform/ .
“Treating the Mentally Ill” by D.J. Jaffe dated April 11, 2013 published by National Review Online at http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/345247/treating-mentally-ill-d-j-jaffe .