The teen became violent in some of the robberies, prosecutors said: At an auto supply store, he fired two shots at a dog that chased him
Furthermore, it's pretty easy to avoid being a victim of harsh sentencing: don't rob people!
"According to the trial transcript, one of Davis's accomplices testified that he fired his weapon on two occasions - at the dog who chased him and 11 days later outside a Wendy's restaurant they had just robbed. He said Davis traded gunshots with a customer at the restaurant as he and three others sped away in their getaway car.
The accounts of Davis's firing his gun were otherwise uncorroborated.
The armed customer outside Wendy's, Dade County Public Schools maintenance worker Antonio Lamont Brooks, was unable to offer positive identification of the man with whom he exchanged gunfire. But he was uninjured and managed to squeeze off enough rounds from his 9mm handgun to leave one of Davis's accomplices with a bullet wound in his left buttock."
Retributive justice may have fallen out of favor amongst the liberal set, but it still animates most Americans' thinking on the subject of criminal justice. Anyone who wants to be a player in the criminal justice system needs to at least acknowledge that.
“All the public opinion polls say that everybody will reconsider sentencing for nonviolent offenders or drug offenders, but they’re not willing to do anything different for violent offenders,” Professor Petersilia. In fact, she added, polls show support for even harsher sentences for sex offenses and other violent crimes.
Burk Foster, a criminal justice professor at Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan and an expert on the Louisiana penitentiary system, said the expansion of life sentences started at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, the nation’s largest maximum penitentiary, in the early 1970s, when most people sentenced to life terms were paroled after they had been deemed fit to re-enter society.
“Angola was a prototype of a lifer’s prison,” said Professor Foster. “In 1973, Louisiana changed its life sentencing law so that lifers would no longer be parole eligible, and they applied that law more broadly over time to include murder, rape, kidnapping, distribution of narcotics and habitual offenders.”
Professor Foster said sentencing more prisoners to life sentences was an abandonment of the “corrective” function of prisons.
“Rehabilitation is not an issue at Angola,” he said. “They’re just practicing lifetime isolation and incapacitation.”
We're already hard-pressed to take care of the people who don't make those bad choices.
Another point of fundamental disagreement then.
Really, is locking someone away for years in ridiculously awful conditions where assault of all sorts is commonplace, especially sexual assault, any worse than just giving someone a few lashes and sending them home?
Two years ago, the judge started Ladies' Day — the country's first all-female drug court — with a three-year, $900,000 federal grant. The grant pays for outpatient and residential treatment for women in drug court.
If a woman finishes counseling, pays off court costs and stays clean and is working or going to school, she can get her felony record wiped clean.
Thirty percent of the men and women who come through Farnell's drug court complete treatment, pass urine screens and continue to hold down jobs. The county doesn't keep separate statistics about the Ladies' Day program.
For people who graduate from drug court, 13 percent are rearrested after three years. For people who drop out of drug court, 32 percent are rearrested.
There have been 292 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States.
• The first DNA exoneration took place in 1989. Exonerations have been won in 36 states; since 2000, there have been 225 exonerations.
• 17 of the 292 people exonerated through DNA served time on death row. Another 15 were charged with capital crimes but not sentenced to death.
• The average length of time served by exonerees is 13 years. The total number of years served is approximately 3,839.
• The average age of exonerees at the time of their wrongful convictions was 27.
Races of the 292 exonerees:
181 African Americans
2 Asian American
4 whose race is unknown
• The true suspects and/or perpetrators have been identified in 142 of the DNA exoneration cases.
• Since 1989, there have been tens of thousands of cases where prime suspects were identified and pursued—until DNA testing (prior to conviction) proved that they were wrongly accused.
• In more than 25 percent of cases in a National Institute of Justice study, suspects were excluded once DNA testing was conducted during the criminal investigation (the study, conducted in 1995, included 10,060 cases where testing was performed by FBI labs).
• 60 percent of the people exonerated through DNA testing have been financially compensated. 27 states, the federal government, and the District of Columbia have passed laws to compensate people who were wrongfully incarcerated. Awards under these statutes vary from state to state.
• An Innocence Project review of our closed cases from 2004 - 2010 revealed that 22 percent of cases were closed because of lost or destroyed evidence.
You're assuming that because we have a certain level of wealth we can spend and redistribute that wealth arbitrarily. I happen to think that doing that would make us not wealthy anymore. So the fact that we have all this money does not automatically mean we can do the things you want.
The problem, and there are many, is that punishment for the sake of deterrence needs to take into account extenuating circumstances and rehab efforts, and we have ample examples where it does not.
So you're just interested in minimizing the amount of bad stuff, but I and a lot of other people are also interested in punishing the bad stuff that does happen
That kind of reductionism, suggesting that that people can neither overcome nor be expected to overcome their baser instincts, makes me very, very sad, and very, very worried for the future of humanity.
"Take unemployment. When one man in a city of 100,000 is unemployed, that is a personal problem, and we look for the solution in the character of the man, his skills and his immediate opportunities. But when 15 million men are unemployed, when there is the cumulative chaos of structural employment, that is a public problem, and we may not hope to find the solution within the range of opportunities open to any one individual."
Allied to this moral certainty is a political analysis which one can hardly imagine being greeted with unalloyed enthusiasm in the courtrooms of the Deep South. He captures it in a slogan: “Capital punishment means those without the capital get the punishment.”
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