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Do I dare ask ????

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  • Do I dare ask ????

    Controversial hmmmm !!!! Yes

    Before I ask let me say this is not intended to offend !!!!

    I have read many a thread and responded to most , and it is because I have so many unanswered questions , that I must ask again.

    I myself have been in corrections for some 26 years in Australia which I know is different to other countries but after reading and more reading I am no closer to understanding, hence this question which I hope you will respond to in a professional manner.

    In the U.S.A. which I do not single out , I have read many a thread in relation to those not only sentenced to death for crimes they have committed upon others but other prisoners sentence to what I consider ridiculous sentences such as 100 years plus.

    Most of what I have read indicates that "Property Crime" has a greater degree of influence in relation to sentence , that is , if an offender was to go with intent to rob and a death resulted a death penalty is almost guaranteed.
    Should the same offender commit a murder other than that of "Intent to deprive" it results in a long sentence but not death.

    Secondly , I would like to ask , if the sentence is to reflect the crime and there is no argument there , what is the guiding influence for a prisoner to behave if one is sentenced to a over the top sentence , if one has no hope of ever being free what does one do.

    Do you know what I mean!!! from a correctional perspective, there has alway been hope for a prisoner to get eventual release , with sentences that are imposed with little or no hope of release, how can one expect a reaction other than violence and pure survival by a prisoner who has little option but to join the only family that he has left , that is of course being "The Gang"

    I have read of young offenders coming in for what in todays society are considered minor crime only to spend the rest of their lives institutionalized because of factors which are outside of their control , is this right or wrong.

    Is there any room for a change , which allows a prisoner a chance of freedom in return for "Personal change" I am not talking about "Peace at any price" just what I consider to be a logical argument.

    Like I said not designed to offend , just asking.
    Last edited by oldtimer; 06-02-2006, 01:20 AM.
    www.theguardiansforum.com

  • #2
    So for an example, how do people in Australia get sentenced for these crimes?

    I have many problems with the judges and sentencing structure in my state for sure. I feel that it is wrong that someone who manufactures meth recieves a much more lengthly sentence than someone who is a child molester.

    As for the death penalty, I feel it is very arbitrary and capricious. There seems to be no set standard.
    Last edited by Stacy; 06-02-2006, 01:54 AM.
    "it's nothing a rooftop and an AK-47 couldn't cure"

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    • #3
      Originally posted by oldtimer
      Most of what I have read indicates that "Property Crime" has a greater degree of influence in relation to sentence , that is , if an offender was to go with intent to rob and a death resulted a death penalty is almost guaranteed. Should the same offender commit a murder other than that of "Intent to deprive" it results in a long sentence but not death.
      There are certain violations that you might view as crimes against property, while we see them as crimes against people and worthy of a more severe punishment.

      For example in my state, a killing which occurs during the course of, or an attempt to perpetrate arson, carjacking, robbery, burglary, or train wrecking is eligible for the death penalty. It doesn't matter who dies, be it the crime victim or one of the perpetrators, or whether the killing was accidental. It's simply that all of these crimes involve a potential act of fear or violence directed against another person, and we find the loss of life during the commission of such acts to be so repugnant that it is worthy of the same penalty as a willful and premeditated killing.

      Our sentencing laws reflect the collective will of the people as expressed through their elected officials (the Legislature). Because society's attitudes and values are in a constant state of flux, you will see frequent changes in our sentencing laws. For example, over my career as a cop I have seen the penalties for personal use of illegal drugs dropped considerably (apparently we are now more tolerant of individual indiscretions). At the time time, I have seen the penalty for dealing drugs increase because we still chafe at people who wish to profit from society's collective indiscretions. At the same time, we haven't been real successful at rehabilitating violent criminals, so we lock them up for longer periods, not so much to punish them more, but to give ourselves a greater breathing period before we turn them loose to victimize us again.

      In reality, this is cyclical and will change back and forth with the mood of the people as time goes by.
      Last edited by L-1; 06-02-2006, 02:22 AM.
      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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      • #4
        An answer to question well answered and appreciated

        Oldtimer
        www.theguardiansforum.com

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        • #5
          I have many problems with the judges and sentencing structure in my state for sure. I feel that it is wrong that someone who manufactures meth receives a much more lengthly sentence than someone who is a child molester.
          Hi Stacy

          I would like to explore your comments further.


          Is your proposition so simplistic, as to argue that there be a consistent approach of sentencing across the board which would see a range of crimes incur the same penalty.

          Whilst I agree with you assertion in relation to Child Molesters , where does one stop in relation to the crimes that you would see fit within the same criteria, and then surely would we be sentencing hundreds of thousands of people to death should it be left upto the individual interpretations of what the law should or should not mean.

          I agree with the post from L.T. who asserts that the law changes with community opinion whether we agree or not , we can only apply the law as is set down in legislation.

          I thank you for your post.
          Last edited by oldtimer; 06-02-2006, 03:06 AM.
          www.theguardiansforum.com

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          • #6
            To tell you the truth the convicts ( life sentence ) give us a WHOLE lot less problems then the inmates ( short sentences ). The convicts feel they know they will be there their entire life so why make it difficult.

            Personally I feel child molesters should get a life sentence regardless. They will never get rid of that urge for young boys/girls.

            Comment


            • #7
              My position may be more extreme...
              There should be no life sentances, whatsoever. Here is my reasoning.
              Prison supposedly fills two purposes, punishment, and rehabilitation. We all know better than to believe any but a small handfull actually are "rehabilitated", but that IS the theory, or we would not be working in an industry titled "corrections".
              So, a sentance is awarded to a convicted felon, a period of confinment, which punishes the felon with removal from all normal activties, and supposedly a period to correct his/her behavior to prepare for a return to society. 97% of all convicts do get out, BTW.
              Now, if there is no hope of correcting this individual's behavior, no possability of rehabilitating him, then continued punishment can be veiwed as cruel and inhumane. If the crime is so heinous, the individual so dangerous then a life sentance without the possability of parole is a complete waste of time, (pun intended), and needs to be changed to death.
              Otherwise our entire purpose in this business is wasted. I had a converstation with an inmate yesterday who was ticked about having to pack up and move overnight. He said, "You can't punish me, I got 147 years flat, nothing you can do is gonna hurt me. I don't care about tickets, i don't care about The Hole, do whatever you want." He's right. Because of life imprisonment, many of our tools are useless, and where persuasion and diplomacy could carry the day, we go right to use of force. Not that I care how many inmates we hose a day, but the paperwork is a PITA, plus making sure every avenuye was used beforehand to help defuse the inevitable lawsuit.
              So, if sentances went to a maxium of 25 years, and then fast track capitol punishment, (DNA evidence required for DP), then I believe the theory of corrections might get back on track closer to reality.

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              • #8
                [QUOTE=oldtimer]Hi Stacy

                I would like to explore your comments further.


                Is your proposition so simplistic, as to argue that there be a consistent approach of sentencing across the board which would see a range of crimes incur the same penalty.

                QUOTE]

                In Oregon, the voters set in place a Mandatory Minimum Sentence structure, which is just like you are talking about. This has taken judgement out of the judges' hands. For example, Joe Schmoe jumps a random person on the street and beats them to a pulp...70 months. Jack Schmack gets in a fight in a bar, where the "victim" has goaded him into a fight, and it's a mutual fight...70 months. Not exactly fair.

                The corrections system has felt the shift in the type of inmates they are recieving. No good time to earn, nothing to gain... nothing to lose. These guys are serving their sentence day-for-day. They are younger, serving longer sentences, and have no incentive to behave. The old cons see it to.

                I agree with one of the earlier posts which stated that the old cons don't give us much trouble. They are institutionalized, and they know what it takes to make their lives easier...and that means staying out of trouble, for the most part.
                People who think they know everything are especially annoying to those of us who actually do.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DefendDade
                  To tell you the truth the convicts ( life sentence ) give us a WHOLE lot less problems then the inmates ( short sentences ). The convicts feel they know they will be there their entire life so why make it difficult.
                  I agree with that 100%.

                  I still think that your sentence depends on how much $$$$ you have or who you know. We had an inmate in for manslaughter (drunk driving, hit someone and killed them) - they got 15 years...............had a priest do the same thing and he got probation and community service.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DefendDade
                    To tell you the truth the convicts ( life sentence ) give us a WHOLE lot less problems then the inmates ( short sentences ). The convicts feel they know they will be there their entire life so why make it difficult.

                    Personally I feel child molesters should get a life sentence regardless. They will never get rid of that urge for young boys/girls.
                    I have to say I agree with everyone on this subject. Yes as our government changes so does everything else. One year we may be out there "Laying down the law" to drug dealers and such while at other times it seems to be that they practically (excuse the reference) get away with murder! At this time the state of Florida is cracking down on child molestors but that is only because of the recent abduction and murders that have happened to children by released child molestors. As for why our sentencing changes so much I can not give a true written in stone answer. I really wish they would crack down on some things like child molestors more then others. I can deal with a pot head living in the neighborhood alot more then a baby raper. At this time I have one living across the street and hate the fear of letting my children play outside or ride there bikes down the rode. I could deal with many others who are out of jail for simple things living across the street a whole lot better.
                    FLDOC No Guns Just Guts !!!!!!!

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