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Thread: Justice and (our) humanity

      
   
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    Justice and (our) humanity

    I've always known that our justice system in the U.S. isn't perfect. For almost that long I've recognized that it is more on the imperfect side than the prefect. Since then I've seen it functioning much more close up, and decided that when they call it the "criminal justice system", the word "criminal" is telling us the nature of the justice dispensed, not to whom it is dispensed.

    But the depth of the reality of the situation, which makes us very vulnerable to becoming a full-fledged police state, was still alien to me. But here's a talk that opened my eyes even wider -- hopefully it will make everyone ask some deep questions:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/bryan_steve...injustice.html

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Kuli, you sent me this wonderful piece via email, and you're sharing it here as well. Good call! That guy IS definitely telling us the truth. Perhaps decreasing the priority of the War On Drugs, which Obama seems to have at least some willingness to do, will help to correct this incredible tendency of injustice and kangaroo courts.

    Few people ever mention, though, that U. S. prisons are the best crime schools that have ever existed in, perhaps, the history of the planet. People who get out of prison (having served for having a little bit too much pot on them - or perhaps unjustly got caught up in a fake "He said, she said" sexcrime scenario that didn't happen but didn't get saved by the horrible state-appointed attorney, etc.), they get out and know everything about how to commit crimes and probably get away with it.

    Yeah, I know the above sentence is grammatically incorrect, but I think actually clearer than being correct unless I were to rewrite it, and of course writing this disclaimer took every bit as much effort as it would have taken to rewrite the above sentence and make it grammatically correct...D'oh!!

    Thanks for posting this, it should be required watching.
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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by frankfrank View Post
    Kuli, you sent me this wonderful piece via email, and you're sharing it here as well. Good call! That guy IS definitely telling us the truth. Perhaps decreasing the priority of the War On Drugs, which Obama seems to have at least some willingness to do, will help to correct this incredible tendency of injustice and kangaroo courts.

    Few people ever mention, though, that U. S. prisons are the best crime schools that have ever existed in, perhaps, the history of the planet. People who get out of prison (having served for having a little bit too much pot on them - or perhaps unjustly got caught up in a fake "He said, she said" sexcrime scenario that didn't happen but didn't get saved by the horrible state-appointed attorney, etc.), they get out and know everything about how to commit crimes and probably get away with it.

    Yeah, I know the above sentence is grammatically incorrect, but I think actually clearer than being correct unless I were to rewrite it, and of course writing this disclaimer took every bit as much effort as it would have taken to rewrite the above sentence and make it grammatically correct...D'oh!!

    Thanks for posting this, it should be required watching.
    I'm surprised, actually, that there haven't been more comments. This is really more troubling than the mass shootings in one important way, namely that it keeps happening, over and over, constantly.

    I keep thinking, if we get one in ten wrong on death row, where great pains are taken to get it right, how are we doing down below -- one in five? one in four?

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    [Quoted Post: Removed by Moderator]
    I am a liberal but to a large part I must agree.

    I live in the country's most socialist state where marriage is an impediment to family income.

    To that mix add guns.
    Last edited by opinterph; December 24th, 2012 at 04:27 PM. Reason: removed verbiage quoted from another poster

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Benvolio, please make the case -- with cites and reason -- that the rate of unjust incarceration and uneven justice between rich and poor, black and white, has any connection at all to immigration. Otherwise, you are totally off-topic and also in violation of an admonition to you from the mods, namely to follow the rules about dragging the same topic into all threads.

    After all, this is on-topic.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  6. #6

    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Bryan blames crime upon poverty and the lack of opportunity, both of which are in large part a result of immigration. You invited us to think about and discuss Bryan's speech, which would appear to be the topic.

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    http://www.justusboys.com/forum/thre...=1#post8582899

    Removed? W T F? Reason s'il vous plait.
    Last edited by palbert; December 24th, 2012 at 05:11 PM.

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    Off-Topic

    Quote Originally Posted by palbert View Post
    http://www.justusboys.com/forum/thre...=1#post8582899

    Removed? W T F? Reason s'il vous plait.
    The deleted post introduces apparently unrelated concepts and fails to establish/explain the possible connection of such remarks to the thread topic. The deleted post appears to include one or more remarks that may reasonably constitute racial or ethnic baiting, particularly when taken in the context of the OPís previously documented pattern of posting activity and associated advisories from one or more forum moderators.

    The OP remains welcome to answer the challenge posted by the threadís creator and thereby reintroduce certain aspects of the deleted post; however, diligence and caution are advised.

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Thank you. All I wanted from Delphi was the reason.

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Kulindhar I recognize the war on drugs as a contributor to 20% of our current prison population however it is exacerbated by mandatory sentences and the incarceration of non violent criminals. I will have to look for the 20% cite that i read in another article. This all started in the eighties where Reagan and the new wave of conservatives decided that if you screw up you should be incarcerated. That will teach them. The tough on crime lobby led to a lot of this problem.

    People are easy to convince of these policies as well. The consideration playing on two levels. One if you are a law abiding citizen then you wont get into trouble and two if a crime has occurred to you or even in your neighborhood then it is easy to feel victimized.

    The problem as has already been mentioned is these non-violent offenders become indoctrinated into a life of crime, they have so many opportunities removed from them educational aid, voting and other such things that acts in concert to keep the person 'down' as it were. Even if that person desired to correct themselves it is prohibitive. So then you have an entire family that is affected and that creates even more a propensity for criminal activity. So it then becomes this never ending cycle of failure and incarceration.

    Still I maintain hope when a state like Texas realizes they cannot afford to house so many felons and so then begins rehab programs that are proven effective. The one in Texas uses a Judge instead of a parole officer... or rather in concert with a parole officer. SO weekly these folks who have violated the law have to meet with the judge and he gives each individual goals. Such as begin drug rehab or get a job, check into a halfway house and meet their requirements for demonstrating appropriate behavior of a citizen. The benefit of using a judge to do this is the immediate consequence. If the parole fails they are jailed for a few days to give immediate reaction to immediate failure. Then they are given another chance with the same goals. it works to eventually teach proper behavior.

    the problem with a parole system is the parole officers can arrest folks and then they sit and the only recourse a judge has it to have them serve their original sentence and then await a parole process again... too much long term and not enough NOW.

    In any event, i see this program design becoming mainstream. Especially with the success the Texas program is experiencing.

    Finally here is a nugget of thought that will punch a hole in your theory of criminal activity on the part of the courts. At least it will punch a hole in peoples perceptions. ALL crime is down and declining and has been since 1980. How can you argue there isn't a cause and effect?
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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    I'm REALLY glad to see this topic broached here...

    I had considered writing something similar about a week ago, because I read an article that BLATANTLY shows this IN REAL LIFE..

    It demonstrates one of the Justice Departments MAJOR flaws -- PERFECTLY...

    The first is the story of Stephanie George -- she dated a guy who dealt drugs on the side -- her boyfriend chose her attic as his hiding place for the stash...

    She was sentenced to a Mandatory Minimum of LIFE w/o parole -- AGAINST the Florida Judges own judgment...

    AND THEN...

    Just a WEEK ago -- HSBC was fined $1.9 Billion for its role in laundering at least $8 Billion of Mexico's drug money...

    Part of the plea deal was that there would be "NO CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS"...

    Here is the link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...ney-laundering

    And a link to the NYT story about Stephanie George: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/12/sc...cism.html?_r=0

    It is both HIDEOUS and NAUSEATING that we have allowed our country to get to this VISIBLE level of injustice based on economic disparity...

    I know that I personally get vocal against the police and justice system on a regular basis around here -- and THIS is why -- it is NOT because I personally am a law-breaker...

    We just have TOO MANY of our fellow citizens behind bars for LITTLE reasons -- and those who BLATANTLY break the law BIG, and have ENOUGH clout -- walk away...

    There is also the issue where accidents have become criminalized -- but that is another topic...

    GREAT THREAD Kuli!!!

    Last edited by swerve; December 24th, 2012 at 06:18 PM.
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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Racial justice in Alabama? You will have an easier time counting all the grains of sand at Praia do Cassino.

    You will also never have class equality in a courtroom unless you bar private attorneys. It's part of the capitalist identity, but then, what are the alternatives?

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    Bryan blames crime upon poverty and the lack of opportunity, both of which are in large part a result of immigration. You invited us to think about and discuss Bryan's speech, which would appear to be the topic.
    Got any figures on how much crime is committed by poor immigrants? That would be valuable input.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Yeah, the inequality is sadly unavoidable, though justices could be more impartial for sure.

    However, outside of profiling (which, sadly, is sometimes justified), I wouldn't blame the police for doing their job. I mean, I wouldn't lump them together with the justice system.
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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by JockBoy87 View Post
    Racial justice in Alabama? You will have an easier time counting all the grains of sand at Praia do Cassino.

    You will also never have class equality in a courtroom unless you bar private attorneys. It's part of the capitalist identity, but then, what are the alternatives?
    I'm not sure you have to go that far. I've seen some pretty darned good justice when there's a public defender's office guaranteed by law to be funded at 2/3 the rate of the prosecutor's office. People with lots of money can still get a fancy lawyer, but people who can'y can get one who is well-paid and has just as much time and resources as the DA to devote to your case.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  16. #16

    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Are you sure you want another thread about immigration? My only point was that by taking jobs, immigrants reduce opportunities for blacks and compete for social and educational resources, contributing to black poverty. Of course,many immigrants commit crimes and are a major part of the drug importation problem.

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    Are you sure you want another thread about immigration? My only point was that by taking jobs, immigrants reduce opportunities for blacks and compete for social and educational resources, contributing to black poverty. Of course,many immigrants commit crimes and are a major part of the drug importation problem.
    Yes. Please make another thread about immigration, and don't post in any thread that doesn't have to do with it.

    But on this note, African Americans comprise only a few percent of the population where illegal immigration is most prevalent. Where African Americans constitute a significant proportion of the population, illegal immigrants do not.
    Last edited by JockBoy87; December 24th, 2012 at 08:10 PM.

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    Are you sure you want another thread about immigration? My only point was that by taking jobs, immigrants reduce opportunities for blacks and compete for social and educational resources, contributing to black poverty. Of course,many immigrants commit crimes and are a major part of the drug importation problem.
    I asked for figures, with citations. If you have none, remain silent about that aspect.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

  19. #19

    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Of course there is a great deal of research on immigrant crime.http://cis.org/ImmigrantCrime 20 percent of incarcerated criminals are foreign born.

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    Ö 20 percent of incarcerated criminals are foreign born.
    That is garbage.

    From your link:

    Problems with Data from the 287(g) Program.

    The first and most important problem with trying to analyze 287(g) data is that we have complete information for only 10 counties, out of more 3,100 counties and hundreds of cities that also run jails.
    The Center For Immigration Studies Is Part Of John Tanton's Anti-Immigrant Network.

    Anti-Immigrant Group Circulates Blog From White Supremacist In Weekly Email



    Among men ages 18 to 40, the group most likely to commit crimes, native-born Americans were 10 times more likely than immigrants to be incarcerated for crimes in California prisons and jails.

    Crime, Corrections, and California: What Does Immigration Have to Do with It?

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    Of course there is a great deal of research on immigrant crime.http://cis.org/ImmigrantCrime 20 percent of incarcerated criminals are foreign born.
    That's not what it says.

    But if it did, are you maintaining that immigrants are unfairly targeted, which is the thrust of the thread?

    Come back with actual figures and tell us what they actually say, and show that immigrants are unfairly targeted, or this issue is no longer relevant to this thread.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Oh Benvolio....

    You know what you get for Christmas when you lie all year long??????


  23. #23

    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    That's not what it says.

    But if it did, are you maintaining that immigrants are unfairly targeted, which is the thrust of the thread?

    Come back with actual figures and tell us what they actually say, and show that immigrants are unfairly targeted, or this issue is no longer relevant to this thread.
    That was never my point. I was following up on Brian's emphasis on poverty and absence of opportunities being a major part of the crime problem and the failure of the criminal justice system. Your attempt to divert this to a discussion of alleged unfair targeting of immigrants is off topic. Go back and read your original post and listen to the link.

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    That was never my point. I was following up on Brian's emphasis on poverty and absence of opportunities being a major part of the crime problem and the failure of the criminal justice system. Your attempt to divert this to a discussion of alleged unfair targeting of immigrants is off topic. Go back and read your original post and listen to the link.
    He made no such point. The point he made was that poverty and absence of opportunities mean you don't get justice, you get treated as guilty before the cops even talk to you. Remember the statistics he shared about how much more likely someone poor or black is to get arrested, convicted, and punished as severely as possible?

    That's what he's talking about -- identity and perceptions. He's talking about exactly the perception you have of immigrants, your automatic assumption that they're bad, criminal, etc., an assumption that in practice means they get arrested for things white people with money don't, they get convicted more often whether guilty or not, etc.

    I've listened to his talk eight times now -- and I happen to have written my original post. You heard what you wanted to hear, but you didn't hear what you need to: that you're one of the people who is part of the problem.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    I have tried to follow this thread but am not sure what it's about anymore. If that's not derailing it is certainly being off course.

    That said:

    Basically the protection of legal rights and liberty is being dismantled, where they existed at all. Legal aid was always underfunded, if ever funded with more than lip-service. Death penalty appeals, if not pro se are pro bono. If because of high profile a jurisdiction must fund a criminal defense the cost could well render the jurisdiction bankrupt or nearly so. Until someone can find a way to fund criminal defense -- as required by SCOTUS -- we have an insoluble problem.

    While it may be easy for some to criticize the legal aid lawyer many of them are extremely dedicated. Circumstances dictate that they are overburdened, with too little time or resources to do each case justice. True, many of them may not be the brightest bulb in the hallway, but that is a matter of recruitment, and recruitment is a matter of money. (Plus, I've known many a lawyer I didn't consider very bright but they still won cases.)

    Coming from practicing law in a community with a high percentage of immigrants I can say trying to shift this onto immigrants is a "dog that won't hunt."

    I hope I have not strayed from the confines of the Topic.
    Last edited by palbert; December 25th, 2012 at 02:12 PM.

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by palbert View Post
    Basically the protection of legal rights and liberty is being dismantled, where they existed at all. Legal aid was always underfunded, if ever funded with more than lip-service. Death penalty appeals, if not pro se are pro bono. If because of high profile a jurisdiction must fund a criminal defense the cost could well render the jurisdiction bankrupt or nearly so. Until someone can find a way to fund criminal defense -- as required by SCOTUS -- we have an insoluble problem.

    While it may be easy for some to criticize the legal aid lawyer many of them are extremely dedicated. Circumstances dictate that they are overburdened, with too little time or resources to do each case justice. True, many of them may not be the brightest bulb in the hallway, but that is a matter of recruitment, and recruitment is a matter of money. (Plus, I've known many a lawyer I didn't consider very bright but they still won cases.)

    Coming from practicing law in a community with a high percentage of immigrants I can say trying to shift this onto immigrants is a "dog that won't hunt."

    I hope I have not strayed from the confines of the Topic.
    You may be the most on-topic yet.

    It's sad that submitting such a creative motion as to request that his client be tried like a wealthy white male sparked such argument as he describes. It tells me that there's a great resistance to actual equality before the law, despite what should have been settled with the Civil War.

    I agree about funding defense. Perhaps a 10% surtax on attorney incomes would make a start.

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Kulindahr View Post
    .... I agree about funding defense. Perhaps a 10% surtax on attorney incomes would make a start.
    I don't know how you would do that. I spent so many of my, and my clerks and associates, very rewarding hours doing pro bono environmental and cultural inatitution work, and I know many lawyers who do the same, that such may enter any taxing equation. Would that be taxable? (Interestingly, whenever I told a service provider that my work was pro bono they willingly waived charges.)

    In many ways we tax the health care professions and institutions by imposing care requirements on them, to say nothing of Medicare's (and others) compromised reimbursement rate. (I consider that a tax much like an unfunded mandate to the states.) No such burden falls on the equally importamt legal profession.

    I can hope that in future we will see national legal insurance with concomitant power to insure justice. There is something there or private insurance wouldn't be getting in that act. As it is now legal rights-- as opposed to actual rights -- are made by non-profits and pro bono work, generally by the larger firms. We need to find a way to translate that to the trial court level.

    (I have deliberately not discussed judges, reserving that to a later non-holiday post.)
    Last edited by palbert; December 25th, 2012 at 07:59 PM.

  28. #28

    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Let's not forget the the vast majority of accused people are guilty, and crimes are by their nature, against society. I find it hard to accept that the public, as victims of the crimes, are then expected to pay higher taxes to help the criminals get off. We already pay for public defenders and the law is slanted dramatically in favor of the accused. Enough is enough.

  29. #29
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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    .... Enough is enough.
    I agree.

  30. #30
    JockBoy87
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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    Let's not forget the the vast majority of accused people are guilty, and crimes are by their nature, against society. I find it hard to accept that the public, as victims of the crimes, are then expected to pay higher taxes to help the criminals get off. We already pay for public defenders and the law is slanted dramatically in favor of the accused. Enough is enough.
    I find it hard to believe you are in the tax bracket proposed to incur higher rates.

  31. #31

    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by JockBoy87 View Post
    I find it hard to believe you are in the tax bracket proposed to incur higher rates.
    You are partially right. I pay Federal and State income taxes, but the present proposals to raise rates on the higher bracket would not get me. But even with those raises we will continue to go broke. Make no mistake, the Democrats will always look for ways to confiscate more from anyone who is not poor.

    Not every lawyer wants to be the champion of the crack dealers, the robbers, the burglars and the muggers.
    If you can't do the time, don't commit the crime, and don't expect the tax-paying minority to hire an army of lawyers to get you off.

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    I lost faith in the American justice system when they put people behind bars in Guantanamo without a trial. If they are guilty they should be given a fair trial. I lost all respect and now live in London. By the way I am a white former Catholic Atheist.

  33. #33
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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    You are partially right. I pay Federal and State income taxes, but the present proposals to raise rates on the higher bracket would not get me. But even with those raises we will continue to go broke. Make no mistake, the Democrats will always look for ways to confiscate more from anyone who is not poor.

    Not every lawyer wants to be the champion of the crack dealers, the robbers, the burglars and the muggers.
    If you can't do the time, don't commit the crime, and don't expect the tax-paying minority to hire an army of lawyers to get you off.
    Serving the interests of the middle class was the cornerstone of Barack Obama's first term, and stated mission of Barack Obama's 2012 campaign.

    President Obama has cut taxes for every working American, saving the typical middle-class family $3,600 in taxes over his first term.

    http://www.barackobama.com/taxes/

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    So far as this discussion is concerned taxes are a red herring.

    Courts, including SCOTUS, have found that the Sixth Amendement requires effective counsel, from plea bargain through trial where loss of liberty is at stake. It is that mandate that is honored more in the breach than the observance. The courts have not said that taxes were a legitimate rein on that right. It doesn't matter whether or not I think the defendant is guilty of heinous crimes. Until SCOTUS rules otherwise that is the law.

    The authorities are too numerous to cite. Google "constitutional right to effective counsel."

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by palbert View Post
    So far as this discussion is concerned taxes are a red herring.

    Courts, including SCOTUS, have found that the Sixth Amendment requires effective counsel, from plea bargain through trial where loss of liberty is at stake.
    It is interesting to note that many death penalty appeals are not provided competent court appointed counsel. Does that explain why your earlier post indicated that most death penalty appeals are pro bono or pro se?


    http://www.schr.org/counsel

    http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal...st-appeal.html

    Quote Originally Posted by palbert View Post
    Basically the protection of legal rights and liberty is being dismantled, where they existed at all. Legal aid was always under funded, if ever funded with more than lip-service. Death penalty appeals, if not pro se are pro bono.

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    @ opinterph

    I reply here because of the nature of your question.

    Death peenalty appeals are arduous and technical. Frequently they come from "prison lawyers" or the defendant alone (pro se); I do not disprage such cases, several have prompted landmark decisions (particularly from the Warren Court). At the other end are pro bono cases handled by organizations like the Innocence Project or private law firms; I think of these cases as involving intriguing legal issues or egregious wrongs in the judicial process.

    The problem lies with the cases that fall between the two extremes above. Even if they do not involve the death penalty the right to counsel should obtain where loss of liberty is at stake. Unfortunately, I believe the Sixth Amendment applies only to the trial level. If this is in fact true it would explain why there are so few successful appeals "in the middle."

    To all this I submit the vagaries of appellate judges. I recall a Florida appellate case where the court said that the rules required only the filing of a brief, they did not require a good brief.

  37. #37

    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Actually, the 6th Amendment says that the accused shall have the right "to have the assistance of counsel for his defense." At the time and until the 60s, that meant he could hire a lawyer. It did not mean the right to have taxpayers pay for it. Supreme Court then amended the Constitution to say that they were entitled have counsel at taxpayers expense. OK, no one is really fighting that. Now the complaint is the Marxist complaint that some people unfairly have more money than others and can hire more and better lawyers than ordinary criminals. That is what really gripes the liberals.
    The problem is the perception that rich criminals get off and therefore poor people who commit crimes should also have an army of lawyers--at someone else's expense--to get them off.
    On death sentence appeals, counsel is provided at taxpayer expense for the first appeal. But many people oppose the death penalty. Therefore, regardless of guilt or innocence, groups or lawyers will voluntarily help to delay and delay and delay the sentence with endless motions for rehearings and new trial. It is mistakenly called pro bono publico, begging the question of whether endless and frivolous appeals are really for the benefit of the people. Manifestly, it is for the benefit of the public for the criminal laws to be enforced and criminals punished.

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    For the most part cases are won or lost at the trial court level; they arrive at the appellate level with a presumption of correctness. To deny truly competent counsel, with the funds to investigate (e.g., DNA) the case, is to deny constitutionally protected rights.

    I don't have to like this any more than others do. It is the law. And it is also a fact that many trials are defended by less than competent legal aid or appointed counsel going through the motions of providing a defense. (I know that I am not competent to handle a criminal defense.)

    Perhaps the Justice Department should step in and promulgate directives to ensure constitutional compliance.

  39. #39
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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by lambdaboy View Post
    I lost faith in the American justice system when they put people behind bars in Guantanamo without a trial. If they are guilty they should be given a fair trial. I lost all respect and now live in London. By the way I am a white former Catholic Atheist.
    That only applies to American citizens just like the Constitution. You would be surprised how few rights immigrants have in the US until they become citizens. This is one of the key issues I deviate from the Liberals on.

  40. #40
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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    I am not in a position to discuss constitutional protections afforded the various categories of immigrants. I will be content if we can afford constitutional rights to citizens. The immigrant debate looming in Congress may address this issue. We can address their problems at a later date.
    Last edited by palbert; December 26th, 2012 at 08:34 AM.

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    Actually, the 6th Amendment says that the accused shall have the right "to have the assistance of counsel for his defense." At the time and until the 60s, that meant he could hire a lawyer. It did not mean the right to have taxpayers pay for it. Supreme Court then amended the Constitution to say that they were entitled have counsel at taxpayers expense. OK, no one is really fighting that. Now the complaint is the Marxist complaint that some people unfairly have more money than others and can hire more and better lawyers than ordinary criminals. That is what really gripes the liberals.
    The problem is the perception that rich criminals get off and therefore poor people who commit crimes should also have an army of lawyers--at someone else's expense--to get them off.
    On death sentence appeals, counsel is provided at taxpayer expense for the first appeal. But many people oppose the death penalty. Therefore, regardless of guilt or innocence, groups or lawyers will voluntarily help to delay and delay and delay the sentence with endless motions for rehearings and new trial. It is mistakenly called pro bono publico, begging the question of whether endless and frivolous appeals are really for the benefit of the people. Manifestly, it is for the benefit of the public for the criminal laws to be enforced and criminals punished.
    Benvolio's point of view: If you are poor you must be guilty.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by JayHawk View Post
    Benvolio's point of view: If you are poor you must be guilty.
    There is some truth to that [see: corporate-run arbitration] but hardly the exception.

  43. #43
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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by lambdaboy View Post
    I lost faith in the American justice system when they put people behind bars in Guantanamo without a trial. If they are guilty they should be given a fair trial. I lost all respect and now live in London. By the way I am a white former Catholic Atheist.
    Unfortunately this has nothing to do with the justice system. It has become a method of delivering a political black eye. First by liberals blocking military tribunals when Bush was in office and now by right wingers trying to prevent Obama from keeping campaign promises so they are obstructing his ability to try these criminals in federal courts. If ever brought to trial every one of the GTMO detainees will be found guilty.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


  44. #44

    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    No, but as I said, the vast majority of accused are guilty.

    The people in Guantanamo should be considered prisoners of war. They are not accused of a crime as such and therefore cannot be given a trial. But we are entitled to hold them until the war is over. What else should be done with prisoners of war?

  45. #45
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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Ah but there is where you are thoroughly and completely incorrect. First, all of them stand accused of one crime or another. Two not a soul in Washington DC is arguing that they deserve to be detained forever because the war on terror will never be declared 'over'. Three it has become a political football but it doesn't affect the average American so they forget it almost as soon as the topic is broached. Four we do have a system in place for trying prisoners of war. However the left wing and now the right wing has blocked its use for political reasons.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
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  46. #46
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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    No, but as I said, the vast majority of accused are guilty. ....
    That statement underlies the problem. Incarcerating any one for no matter how long, or worse yet imposing the death penalty, should require good faith attempts to meet constitutional requirements. If not we fail in our duty as citizens. And that puts all of us at risk.

    With too great frequency we hear of prisoners released for failure of the evidence on secondary consideration of the evidence. Too often we hear of masses of cases dismissed because of negligence, malfeasance or outright tamoering with evidence at vaunted state labs.

    To say "the vast mjority of accused are guilty" allows that a significant number are not.

  47. #47

    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    If you haven't noticed, our Federal government is broke and local governments are struggling. Yes accused should be given the assistance of counsel, and they do have public defenders. We have no obligation to and cannot afford to give them much more. Every criminal is not entitled to an OJSimpson team to beat the rap.

    There are changes in procedure that should be made. In death cases, the Judges including appellate judges should be obligated to join in the finding of guilt before affirming. DNA tests where they would be controlling.
    No one can be convicted without proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but many juries lack the ability to apply that standard or other wise do not.
    Miranda should be repealed. There is no valid policy in discouraging the guilty from confessing the Constitution is right; accuseds should not be required to testify against themselves. But the USSC was wrong in expanding it. The law should encourage the guilty to confess, even if the don't know they don't have to, while prohibiting torture and force.

  48. #48
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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    @ Benvolio

    Your immediately preceding post is a microcosm of the general apologia for doing nothing. SCOTUS, and other courts, have not said that constitutional imperatives are subject to budgetary considerations.

    As for juries, I have found them very perceptive when presented with all relevant facts. And that is where your reasoning falters.

    Constitutionl imperatives are really not negotiable.
    Last edited by palbert; December 26th, 2012 at 12:34 PM.

  49. #49

    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    I ran out of time. It should read: There is no valid policy in discouraging the guilty from confessing. The Constitution is right;

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    Re: Justice and (our) humanity

    Quote Originally Posted by Benvolio View Post
    Let's not forget the the vast majority of accused people are guilty, and crimes are by their nature, against society. I find it hard to accept that the public, as victims of the crimes, are then expected to pay higher taxes to help the criminals get off. We already pay for public defenders and the law is slanted dramatically in favor of the accused. Enough is enough.
    No one with any in the real justice system could claim that. What you find out is that the system is hevily slanted toward sucking money out of people. They don't care if you're guilty or not, they want money.

    Besides which, most places decidedly do not "pay for public defenders".

    "Thirty-one* states allow all qualified citizens to carry concealed weapons. In those states, homosexuals should embark on organized efforts to become comfortable with guns, learn to use them safely and carry them. They should set up Pink Pistols task forces, sponsor shooting courses and help homosexuals get licensed to carry. And they should do it in a way that gets as much publicity as possible. "

    --Jonathan Rauch, Salon Magazine, March 13, 2000

    *the number is now forty

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