Three strikes and you're out.

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by manifold, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. Gunny
    Offline

    Gunny Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Messages:
    44,689
    Thanks Received:
    6,754
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Location:
    The Republic of Texas
    Ratings:
    +6,782
    No, I don't. I was using the cases as examples, not discussing the specifics cases themselves. If I was, I most certainly would not have used a blog as a reference.

    I'm more than happy to rail against extremely harsh sentences, extremely lenient sentences, and extremely distorted plea bargaining. The common denominator being "extreme."

    If it were not for that common denominator, I wouldn't have a problem with judges having more latitude in sentencing.
     
  2. Larkinn
    Offline

    Larkinn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    5,598
    Thanks Received:
    174
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +175
    My point is that every time I've researched an extreme case like that, there are extenuating circumstances.

    Most plea bargaining is extreme imo. Its a ridiculous non-judicial process that scares people into pleading guilty. Its been one of the effects of mandatory minimums. They are so insanely high that people are terrified of being found guilty and so they just plead guilty because that is the only way they can get any leniency.

    Under MM sentences they have very little latitude. Every case is different with tons of different circumstances. When Congress passes a law that says that X amount of crack cocaine means 20 years they are thinking of a hardcore drug dealer. They don't think of the drug dealers girlfriend who gets roped into ferrying the drugs every once in a while and gets 20 years cause she is stupid, not because she is a hardcore criminal.
     
  3. Gunny
    Offline

    Gunny Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Messages:
    44,689
    Thanks Received:
    6,754
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Location:
    The Republic of Texas
    Ratings:
    +6,782
    I understand your point. The problem is when the judge uses that latitude to give the hardcore drug dealer the sentence his stupid girlfriend should get.

    There is no perfect answer because sentences can't be drawn up for every crime and every extenuating circumstance. Again, I go back to the judges. If it wasn't for their taking too much latitude, in either direction, mandatory minimum sentences wouldn't exist.

    Perhaps if justices were actually held accountable for their sentences -- meaning those that are way out of the norm --
     
  4. Larkinn
    Offline

    Larkinn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    5,598
    Thanks Received:
    174
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +175
    Despite the individual examples you can find (although many of them seem extreme because the story is only half there, reported by outlets in favor of MM and "tough on crime" bullshit), this is NOT the trend and is the extremely rare exception.

    Incredibly specious logic and one that I'm surprised a conservative would use. Congress acting on something is not evidence of an actual problem.

    They are, in an indirect sense. Judges don't like to get overturned. They get a stinging opinion which, in some cases, basically calls them an idiot. It sucks to have respected members of the judiciary call you an idiot when you are on the bench.

    Judges are extremely conservative. And I don't mean on the political spectrum I mean adverse to change. They do things slowly and carefully and rely heavily on precedent. This extreme reluctance to change comes from the ability of higher courts to reverse them and scold them publicly. You don't see it only looking at the extreme cases and from a one-sided pov, but it is definitely there.
     
  5. Bern80
    Offline

    Bern80 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,094
    Thanks Received:
    722
    Trophy Points:
    138
    Ratings:
    +728
    I believe judges have to approve plea bargains as well.
     
  6. Larkinn
    Offline

    Larkinn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    5,598
    Thanks Received:
    174
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +175
    Yes they do, but they largely trust the prosecutors discretion.
     
  7. Bern80
    Offline

    Bern80 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,094
    Thanks Received:
    722
    Trophy Points:
    138
    Ratings:
    +728
    Probably. Just wasn't my experience with my legal run in.
     
  8. manifold
    Offline

    manifold Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Messages:
    57,722
    Thanks Received:
    8,376
    Trophy Points:
    2,030
    Location:
    your dreams
    Ratings:
    +36,343
    Gunny,

    You seem to be advocating laws that target rare exceptions. To me that seems a bit unconservative and very unGunny-like.

    Just sayin. :cool:
     
  9. Skull Pilot
    Offline

    Skull Pilot Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Messages:
    43,698
    Thanks Received:
    5,884
    Trophy Points:
    1,830
    Ratings:
    +17,429
    one obvious answer is that judges should be elected officials not appointees for life (the one exception is supreme court justices as they are more in the philosophy business rather than every day public safety)

    i have no problem putting repeat violent offenders away for life

    do you?

    half of the problem in this country is that we are throwing some guy arrested for possesion of a little weed in prison as a felon and not letting him out early while the guy who beat his wife near to death or assaults someone gets out early only to eventually do it again.

    violent crimes are the ones we should be prosecuting harshly and sentencing should be equally harsh and unforgiving for such crimes.
     
  10. BrianH
    Offline

    BrianH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    3,520
    Thanks Received:
    238
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Texas
    Ratings:
    +240
    I'm sure we all agree with what Skull said. Your child-molestors get numerous chances. If it were up to me, they'd be in prison for life on the first go around. That's not something a few years in prison and parole will fix. I think the majority of judges have the right idea when it comes to sentencing. There are the few retarded exceptions that you hear about on the news.

    There was a trial in my county a couple of weeks ago. A kid in his 20s was being charged with stealing wallet. They wanted 50 years. 50 years for a wallet you say? Well there was a lot of other stuff that was not allowed to be used as evidence, because it didn't directly pertain to the crime that had been committed (and on trial). He apparently had numerous other infractions that all added up. The jury had no clue, they just took the judges word for it and trusted that he knew more about the individual than they did. The couldn't give him 50 years so they gave him an average. (I don't know what that was). But this is an example of letting the judge use his/her entire knowledge for sentencing.

    I would agree that there are those judges out there that make you vomit when you see them on the news. Giving a child molestor 1 year, or just probation. Those kind of people need to be "ousted" from their "thrones"
     

Share This Page