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waldo

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I would be against mandatory minimums of I had any trust in the common sense of judges. Any policy with a mandatory sentence or punishment will ALWAYS have incidents where that sentence is simply wildly out of wack with justice. Unfortunately, since judges are not much interested in justice, even as a concept, mandatory minimums were introduced. By and large they're good the way they are as a stopgap measure. The real way to reform the system is to get judges in place who have more than half a brain cell functioning at any one time.

You trust judges, that weigh both sides of every case, less than politicians, that hear none of the details of the case?

You think that politicians are more interested in justice than judges?

Seriously?

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I'm very much in favor of work camps and work farms, where prisoners can, for example, spend all day picking apples or the like. I'm also in favor of corporal punishment to maintain discipline among them. The state ought to be able to turn a profit with free labour.

I'm quite sure that the costs of managing the program, transportation, supervision, security, etc... would make such programs unfeasible. There are work, education and training programs in prisons, perhaps these should be expanded.

WRT corporal punishment, do you mean this?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prison-beatings-caught-on-video-at-ontario-and-quebec-jails-1.2426904

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I'm very much in favor of work camps and work farms, where prisoners can, for example, spend all day picking apples or the like. I'm also in favor of corporal punishment to maintain discipline among them. The state ought to be able to turn a profit with free labour.

Ah, the Soviet Gulag approach to justice.....

Neat trick if you can do it, but you can't. And you are ignoring the punitive requirements entirely. It's not good enough to teach a criminal that what he did is wrong without suitable punishment, especially for violent offenders.

Well nobody said it was going to be easy, but it is the hard things that are worth doing.

As for "punitive requirements"... do we really mean "punitive" or do we mean "revenge"... ?

A kid steals a car and robs a bank. The criteria SHOULD be, safety, and cost. What is the minimum that I need to spend, in order to keep this kid from doing it again. And some kids maybe SHOULD stay in jail forever, because they can never be rehabilitated... and some kids may need no more than a stern "don't ever do that again". That is why the concept of "minimum sentences" is so ludicrous.

All kinds of studies will tell you that length of sentence has little bearing on deterrent.... what DOES create deterrent is probablility of getting caught, regardless of possible punishment. To that end, crime rates have been going down dramatically... not because of any "punitive" deterrents, but probably because of the increased surveillance.... use of sophisticated security systems, CCTV, video capabilities everywhere, etc., etc.

Well, it does keep you safer since they're in there and not out here. We need to make prisons more profitable by getting more work out of them. But no one has suggested throwing 'all' prisoners in jail forever. There are a numberof them, though, violent and repeat offenders who we ought to simply leave there set to work for us.

For some offenders, absolutely. But for others, it will be just as safe for you whether they are in or not. There was a report on something like 114 murderers released on parole in the 20-year period to 2009. 95 of them have behaved themselves. That's 95 that taxpayers don't need to house and feed.

Of course, serious, dangerous, and repeat offenders should be incarcerated. But treating every case as identical with mandated minimums is ludicrous.

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Well nobody said it was going to be easy, but it is the hard things that are worth doing.

As for "punitive requirements"... do we really mean "punitive" or do we mean "revenge"... ?

A good question.

And while, like most humans, I understand the desire for revenge, it is at bottom probably impractical, and probably little more than a weakness of character.

What matters is practical effects of a justice system. Decreasing crime. That's the goal.

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You trust judges, that weigh both sides of every case, less than politicians, that hear none of the details of the case?

You think that politicians are more interested in justice than judges?

Seriously?

No, I think politicians care about whether people approve of their actions, while judges couldn't care less.

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I'm quite sure that the costs of managing the program, transportation, supervision, security, etc... would make such programs unfeasible. There are work, education and training programs in prisons, perhaps these should be expanded.

You know, I was reading an article a while back about how the southern US states used to arrested black men on the flimsiest of grounds. The point was to fill the prisons with them so they could then be rented out to businesses as free labour.

I'm sure we could so something similar with low level criminals. Just add anlke braclets which shock them unconscious if they get too far from where they're supposed to be and presto we have a clothing industry again. :-P

I'm sure private industry could find many uses for free labour.

No, was thinking more along the Singapore lines.

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Ah, the Soviet Gulag approach to justice.....

The problem with the gulag was not necessarily how they treated people but who they used them on.

As for "punitive requirements"... do we really mean "punitive" or do we mean "revenge"... ?

You can call it anything you want, but when you hurt someone you have to be punished else the individuals you hurt are going to start taking their own vengeance. Society has to support a justice system, and if it perceives a lack of justice they'll stop supporting it.

A kid steals a car and robs a bank. The criteria SHOULD be, safety, and cost. What is the minimum that I need to spend, in order to keep this kid from doing it again.

Suppose the kid in question is forty two and has already robbed nineteen banks in his lifetime, and been convicted of various crimes dozens of times. Do you think he's going to take your smiling advice to heart and reform himself?

The truth is a 'kid' doesn't start out robbing a bank. The kid starts out stealing from stores and burglarizing houses. And such kids are rarely thrown into prison. The system already gives them every opportunity to reform, unless their first offense involves serious violence.

All kinds of studies will tell you that length of sentence has little bearing on deterrent.... what DOES create deterrent is probablility of getting caught, regardless of possible punishment. To that end, crime rates have been going down dramatically... not because of any "punitive" deterrents, but probably because of the increased surveillance.... use of sophisticated security systems, CCTV, video capabilities everywhere, etc., etc.

Actually, if you check the stats you'll find the solution rate is fairly unimpressive. If crime is going down, and the stats are divided, it's because of a lack of young men, who are the principal source of crime. And your studies should also have told you that getting caught, while important, is no more so than the necessity of immediate punishment. Given our "justice" system where getting any severe punishment is a roll of the dice, that's iffy at best.

For some offenders, absolutely. But for others, it will be just as safe for you whether they are in or not. There was a report on something like 114 murderers released on parole in the 20-year period to 2009. 95 of them have behaved themselves. That's 95 that taxpayers don't need to house and feed.

I'm sure that was a great comfort to the families of the people they murdered.

Edited by Argus
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The generalizations that pour out whenever "minimum sentences" are discussed is laughable. The concept is serious time for serious crimes. Repeat violent offenders, child molestation, drug traficking, guns. A good example is the recent court judgement on gun possession minimum sentences. None of the accused who launched the appeal had their sentences reduced - the judges simply ruled that in hypothetical cases - like the one where the idiot was filming himself - the minimum may be too harsh. The judges did not pass judgement on the concept of minimum sentences. So now the government will have to amend the legislation to make sure that idiots don't get caught in the web.

There is no doubt that the criteria for minimum suntences might have to be tweaked over the years through the appeal process but the concept is sound:

1) Sentences must reflect the general revulsion of society to certain crimes

2) The Justice system must be SEEN to be reflecting that revulsion - within reason.

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No, I think politicians care about whether people approve of their actions, while judges couldn't care less.

Exactly.

If you have faith in public opinion's concept of justice, why even bother with judges? We can have a reality TV show where the public votes in the verdict and then the sentence. I'll bet that the advertising revenue would greatly surpass anything that your forced labour work camps could generate.

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The generalizations that pour out whenever "minimum sentences" are discussed is laughable. The concept is serious time for serious crimes. Repeat violent offenders, child molestation, drug traficking, guns. A good example is the recent court judgement on gun possession minimum sentences. None of the accused who launched the appeal had their sentences reduced - the judges simply ruled that in hypothetical cases - like the one where the idiot was filming himself - the minimum may be too harsh. The judges did not pass judgement on the concept of minimum sentences. So now the government will have to amend the legislation to make sure that idiots don't get caught in the web.

There is no doubt that the criteria for minimum suntences might have to be tweaked over the years through the appeal process but the concept is sound:

1) Sentences must reflect the general revulsion of society to certain crimes

2) The Justice system must be SEEN to be reflecting that revulsion - within reason.

You know who is laughing at us? It's Americans that are repealing mandatory minimums because they do not work (no reduction in crime), unnecessarily ruin families and lives and waste money! Even Republicans from Texas!

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/texas-conservatives-reject-harper-s-crime-plan-1.1021017

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Sure, as taxpayers house them, feed them, and pay for their medical care.

So it'd be, literally, tax-subsidized slavery for private industry. Who could object to that?

:(

If you can't make money from free labour you shouldn't be in business. Only the Canadian prison system has found a way to not make money from this, so send the non-violent prisoners to private industry and make them work there. Maybe someone will make a nice shirt factory where they can labour for ten hours a day and then return to their basement cells.

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You know who is laughing at us? It's Americans that are repealing mandatory minimums because they do not work (no reduction in crime), unnecessarily ruin families and lives and waste money! Even Republicans from Texas!

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/texas-conservatives-reject-harper-s-crime-plan-1.1021017

CBC and the opposition are always using Texas as an example of "tough on crime" initiatives. Texas has SIX TIMES the incarceration rate of Canada! It's not because of minimum sentences. It's because of crime and the fact that they throw everyone in jail. They are a perfect example of a state that should dial it way back and start to emulate many of Canada's anti-recidivism policies. They've admitted that they went too far down THEIR road. Many Canadians are saying that we have gone too far down OUR road. So on the crime scale. Texas is at 6 and Canada is at 1. We're trying to move it up to 1.25. Stop all the hand-wringing and fear mongering.

Edited by Keepitsimple
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If you can't make money from free labour you shouldn't be in business. Only the Canadian prison system has found a way to not make money from this, so send the non-violent prisoners to private industry and make them work there. Maybe someone will make a nice shirt factory where they can labour for ten hours a day and then return to their basement cells.

If you're trying to curry agreement from anybody that tax-subsidized slave labour for private industry is a good idea...your voice is going to be a lone one.

Thankfully.

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CBC and the opposition are always using Texas as an example of "tough on crime" initiatives. Texas has SIX TIMES the incarceration rate of Canada! It's not because of minimum sentences. It's because of crime and the fact that they throw everyone in jail. They are a perfect example of a state that should dial it way back and start to emulate many of Canada's anti-recidivism policies. They've admitted that they went too far down THEIR road. Many Canadians are saying that we have gone too far down OUR road. So on the crime scale. Texas is at 6 and Canada is at 1. We're trying to move it up to 1.25. Stop all the hand-wringing and fear mongering.

Mandatory minimums have not worked in Texas and many other states. Can you point to anywhere in the world where mandatory minimums have worked?

I am not fear mongering. I simply hate laws that end up wasting taxpayer money. And the only thing I hate more are laws that cost money and worsen society.

Edited by carepov
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Trudeau's ladies night thing was sexist and crass and stupid. Did he do his strip tease for them? Did they thrust twenties into his G-string?

Feminist Legend Gloria Steinem said there was nothing wrong with Trudeau's ladies night. If it hasn't offended a legendary feminist.... why are you?

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If you're trying to curry agreement from anybody that tax-subsidized slave labour for private industry is a good idea...your voice is going to be a lone one.

Thankfully.

I don't think I'd find much disagreement that if people force us to incarcerate them because of their refusal to live under the law then they are under an obligation to help repay the cost of that incarceration to the best of their abilities, and that includes with hard work while serving their sentence. Take a poll on that and see what answers you get...

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Mandatory minimums have not worked in Texas and many other states. Can you point to anywhere in the world where mandatory minimums have worked?

I am not fear mongering. I simply hate laws that end up wasting taxpayer money. And the only thing I hate more are laws that cost money and worsen society.

We're talking about mandatory minimums on a very restricted group of crimes, including firearms offenses and offenses against children.

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Feminist Legend Gloria Steinem said there was nothing wrong with Trudeau's ladies night. If it hasn't offended a legendary feminist.... why are you?

Legendary feminists seem to have no problem throwing in their lot with Islamists who think they're all whores who should be beaten and put in black sacks either, any more than gay groups mind throwing in their lot with the same folks who want them all executed. There's something about left wing ideologies that allow people whatever strange bedfellows they think they want against those evil conservative types.

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I don't think I'd find much disagreement that if people force us to incarcerate them because of their refusal to live under the law then they are under an obligation to help repay the cost of that incarceration to the best of their abilities, and that includes with hard work while serving their sentence. Take a poll on that and see what answers you get...

You're slightly changing your tune back and forth as it suits you.

I'm talking about gifting private industry with "free" [sic] labour....at the taxpayers expense.

Subsidized slavery for the sake of private profit. Literally.

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Fine. Where in the world have such mandatory minimums worked?

I'm not aware of all the laws and their punishments in all the world. Are you? I'm obviously against the simpleton's version, ie, California's three strikes rule, but that doesn't mean I don't think people who like to use guns or molest children should be given slaps on the wrist indefinitely either.

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You're slightly changing your tune back and forth as it suits you.

I'm talking about gifting private industry with "free" [sic] labour....at the taxpayers expense.

Subsidized slavery for the sake of private profit. Literally.

And then private industry looks after their room and board, or we locate factories inside the prison, and let private industry run it, with the prisoners as free labour. You can call it what you will but to my mind if people make us imprison them why shouldn't they be required to work in order to defray the cost of their imprisonment? Would you call community service sentences slave labour? I suppose it is in a way, but so what?

I should add that I'm against imprisonment, generally speaking, warehousing, for non-violent crimes. But I am in favour of them making restitution and of whatever level of punishment is required to diminish the likelihood of repeat offenses. However, a substantial portion of the prison population are repeaters. A surprisingly small number of individuals is constantly in and out of prison at huge cost to the taxpayers in the form of damage they commit, court and policing costs, and then imprisonment.

Edited by Argus
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Legendary feminists seem to have no problem throwing in their lot with Islamists who think they're all whores who should be beaten and put in black sacks either, any more than gay groups mind throwing in their lot with the same folks who want them all executed. There's something about left wing ideologies that allow people whatever strange bedfellows they think they want against those evil conservative types.

nice! As before, still waiting for you to mansplain why the 'ladies night for the ladies man' was so offensive... to you! An event sponsored by women, organized by women and put on by women. C'mon, mansplain it, hey!

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And then private industry looks after their room and board, or we locate factories inside the prison, and let private industry run it, with the prisoners as free labour. You can call it what you will

I call it weak-kneed sycophancy to business interests, under the guise of "justice" which doesn't frankly even come into the equation.

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