Monday, November 30, 2009

Kill a Cop, Get a Free Lawyer, Food, Clothing....

I was saddened yesterday when I heard four police officers were murdered in Washington state. . .

Last May, my wife and I were in the Seattle area visiting my daughter and grandkids and happened to take a ferry over to an island off the coast of Washington, just north of Seattle. We walked around a little town and stopped into a coffee shop to buy some local coffee for a friend back home. It was there I ran into four Washington State Troopers and struck up a conversation. My experience has been that all cops are the same, no matter where you encounter them. They are not supermen, just hard working people who think they can make a difference. I would be willing to bet the officers who were gunned down were cut from the same bolt of cloth. When I heard of the shooting, I immediately flashed back to those officers I met in the coffee shop.

It appears that I accurately predicted the assailant would be a "mental patient" who was "off his meds". I was able to predict that because it has happened so many times. This is not news. It is a scenario that has played out many times, sometimes involving cops, and sometimes just ordinary citizens. The fact that these people have been unleashed on the public is disturbing to the cops and the public, but not to the politicians. I once wrote a paper, in college, about how the governor should not be allowed to usurp the judicial system with pardons and/or clemency, because it flies in the face of a system that has been painstakingly crafted, over several hundred years, if not longer. In Tennessee, we even had a governor who sold pardons, at least until he went to prison. I think he just wanted to drive my point home, and he did. Now, enter Mike Huckabee. He is scurrying around now trying to place the blame on the parole board.

When do we get due process? When do we stop spending bazillions on thugs who can not or will not do right? Personally, I would be in favor of dropping these miscreants off on a remote island in the middle of the ocean. No cost, no chance of future problems, no problem.

Now, it appears we are being told the state of Tennessee is going to unleash 4,000 inmates back into the community. They say they will be non-violent, and coming to the end of their sentences. I say, if that's true, publish their names, their rap sheets and their release dates. I doubt they will do that, and I also doubt they are telling the truth. If the state wants to release some inmates, they should look at releasing the very oldest inmates. Data shows most criminals start to cease criminal activity, or at least don't get arrested as much, after they turn 40. So, that's not hard to figure. I'd rather have a 60 year old guy who killed his wife's boyfriend than a 25 year old who will come back and terrorize the hood.

Here's some more fuel for the fire. The state's own data shows that 50% of the people who are given probation and parole are likely to repeat within 4 years. The number for people who serve their full sentence is half that. I know they never let data get in the way of a decision, but you'd think this time they would make an exception.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

We will reap a bitter harvest from this release.

When the CA shilled for Mike Dunavant's proposed and much ballyhooed "crooks with guns" law I asked where we would put them in a reply on their forum. They deleted my post within twenty minutes. I'm not a fan of 'crooks with guns', but I am a pragmatic realist who knows we only have so much prison space.

When the State collected millions in excess taxes only four years ago did they spend any of it on new bed space in our prisons? Or did they go on a spending spree in their own districts?

The counties are the ones who are eating much of the expense that results from this. Inmates who have been sentenced and put on the list to transfer to state custody sit in county lockups for as much as a month or more. The county does't get a dime from the state for housing a prisoner that should be doing state time. Health care, food, clothing, you name it, all that comes out of county coffers.

Time to build more prisons.

John Harvey said...

Our system needs to be overhauled, no doubt. What should happen is a law should be enacted that dishes out progressively stiffer penalties for each subsequent conviction. Having people who have been arrested and convicted more than 100 times is ludicrous. I believe we should decide on a threshold number, and once a person crosses that (10 convictions?) they should become property of the state. The rest of their days should be spent working on the roads, bridges, farms, etc. But, they didn't ask my opinion, did they?

jessica said...
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