UPDATE: HUBE NOTES AT COLOSSUS OF RHODEY THAT AP DIDN’T FEEL BLAGO’S POLITICAL AFFILIATION WORTHY OF NOTE.
This happens with regularity. Democrats don’t get noted as such but Republicans are pointed out very early on in the articles.
Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (Democrat) was found guilty on 17 counts and not guilty on one count, with two no-decisions. From my previous reading, Blago was facing a cumulative 300+ years in prison. There is no doubt all the sentences will be concurrent and there will be no consecutive sentencing. I disagree with that philosophy.
I believe each conviction should carry its own penalty and not be dissolved into the penalty for a different conviction. If a person is convicted of two separate crimes with 10-year sentencing, the person should have a 20-year sentence. At the very least, each successive conviction should add years to the sentence, if time is involved in the first place. But I also don’t believe prison time should be the major punishment for most crimes.
This is where I segue from Blago to general official reaction to criminal activity.
If a person steals a stereo with a replacement value of $500, doing another $2,000 damage in the process, that is a total cost to the victim of $2,500. The penalty for that should be $10,000 from the criminal’s pocket to the victim’s pocket (four times the value of the theft and damages) plus all costs accrued in the investigation and prosecution of the criminal. In addition, all the residual effects of being a felon should remain. That would include no longer being able to vote and no longer being able to buy, sell, or possess firearms. I would include no longer being eligible to hold any political office of any sort and no longer being eligible for any government pension. Add “community service” if you must, but prison time should not be involved, except for holding a person in jail until the trial is over, if necessary.
What happens if the size of the fine would completely wipe out the criminal and his wife and children? The criminal should’ve thought of that before committing the crime. It’s nobody’s fault but his (and his wife’s for staying with him, if she knew about it). Take it all from the criminal and let him shoulder the responsibility for his actions. The wife and kids can start over without him.
This sort of justice system would quickly empty out most of the prisons and likely reduce the overall crime rate, especially if applied to the very first crime and every subsequent crime. The prisons could then be used to house violent criminals, with every murderer waiting (for a short duration) on Death Row.
I don’t believe in Life Sentences. If someone committed a heinous enough crime to be sentenced to Life, that person committed a heinous enough crime to have that life artificially shortened. There are some people who believe people like that should suffer a very long time and Death would kill the suffering. To those people, I say Hell is real. And Hell is far more torturous than anything any human has ever dreamed possible, so the vast majority of murderers will already be facing a very long time of suffering.
For those who claim the Death Penalty does not work as a deterrent, answer me this: How many people have been sentenced to death, served out their sentence, and murdered again? Aside from that, I have seen statistical evidence showing a drop in violent crime immediately following an execution, to rise back to its previous levels a few weeks later. While correlation does not prove causation, correlation and causation are often tied together, and the correlation between executions and drops in violent crime does exist.
For those who claim Life is just as good as Death because the criminal will never get out again, I have a response. There is never any crime committed behind prison walls? Never a violent crime committed behind prison walls? Of course there is violent crime, including rape and murder, behind prison walls. And Life will allow more of those crimes to be committed than will Death. Violent criminals have been known to escape prison from time to time. They’re less likely to do so if they’re dead. Leftist governors have been known to commute Life to “time served.” Those violent criminals have been known to return to their life of violent crime. That’s less likely to happen if the criminal is dead.
For those who say it’s more expensive to have someone on Death Row than serving Life, and use that as an excuse to not have Death Row, your thinking is very much askew. Deal with the ridiculous Leftist-pushed costs involved instead of letting the Leftists make the right thing become so expensive that you’re willing to do the wrong thing.
Criminal Justice should not be about rehabilitation. It should be about justice. Punish the criminal, make it hurt, make the criminal think twice before committing another crime. Make the victim as whole as possible. And do it in such a way as to cost society as little as possible. Putting a thief behind bars more often than not costs society more in terms of tax dollars used than the underlying crime itself did.
By the way, I got my idea for sentencing thieves and murderers straight from the world’s best-selling book.