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"Pigs" Have A Hard Job

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State AG charged the officers with 2nd Degree Depraved-Heart murder.  The big surprise, she did it after only 10 days of investigation which means she either has a huge smoking gun or she will soon be dropping that charge.  To get that charge to stick you basically have cause injury to someone, then wait for them to die, then drag their body into a park and bury it, and then brag about what you did afterward in a manner that would lead people to believe you could care less it happened (why the call it depraved heart).  Simply failing to render aid in a timely manner won't cut that.  

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State AG charged the officers with 2nd Degree Depraved-Heart murder.  The big surprise, she did it after only 10 days of investigation which means she either has a huge smoking gun or she will soon be dropping that charge.  To get that charge to stick you basically have cause injury to someone, then wait for them to die, then drag their body into a park and bury it, and then brag about what you did afterward in a manner that would lead people to believe you could care less it happened (why the call it depraved heart).  Simply failing to render aid in a timely manner won't cut that.  

 

It seems to have gotten very quiet on this front of late. Are we all waiting to see what shakes out of the prosecutions? 

 

Some belated points:

Well, that is a simplification, and it requires some understanding of the current problem with US prisons.  

 

Currently there are around 200,000 Federal prisoners serving a mean sentence of 37 months.  51% are in prison for trafficking.

Currently there are around 1.3 million state prisoners serving a sentence mean of 17 months.  16% are in prison for trafficking.

The total people behind bars is around 2 million.  500,000 are in local confinement and serving sentences less than 12 months.

About 4 million people have some sort of non-prison deferment currently.  25% of them have solely drug related crimes.

About a million people have some for of early prison release, 40% of whom have served time for drug offenses.

Most parolees are probationers as well, so those numbers overlap.

 

So you could cut your prison population by 20-25% solely by decriminalising trafficking?

 

Simplification:

2 million behind bars on any given day.  25% for drugs only.

4 million being supervised.  30% for drugs only.

 

Drugs are a factor in 75% of all non-drug / non-victimless crimes committed.  Most of these crimes are property theft or strong arm robbery.

 

The average cocaine habit in Seattle Washington costs $18,000 per year.  The average perc habit costs $27,000.

The average addicted person will commit somewhere between 18 and 27 crimes a year to maintain their habit.

How many of these crimes are trafficking, possession or similar?

 

The average person who is jailed for drug trafficking will have been convicted of 9 criminal acts before serving a day in prison.

Each kilogram of cocaine imported in the United States is responsible for around 2 murders.

I don't buy this last stat, given the minimum of 20,000 kg or so of cocaine that come into the US every year. I mean, unless every murder in the Americas can be linked directly to cocaine somehow.

 

Now the answer to your question

One of the considerations that must be taken into account with trafficking is that the offense tends to be repeated, often.  The vast majority of murderers will only murder once in their lives.  The vast majority of traffickers will not only repeat their crime, but will repeat it A LOT.  You can look up in some state websites the charge sheets for federal inmates, and the average inmate in jail for trafficking has committed and been caught for the crime 14 times.

 

People rarely are jailed for marijuana in any state in the US.  Virginia is a Class 1 misdemeanor - jail time is possible but generally only happens on the sixth or greater offense, and then the convicted person spends only two days per week in jail.  First time offenders who get jail usually did something else.  South Carolina trafficking rules are some of the harshest - under 100 pounds usually gets some form of rehab program for the first two offenses, Usually they convict, give you the sentence, then suspend sentence.  The worst marijuana case I saw was a fifth offense with stacked suspended sentences resulting in a 25 year standard sentence (read 25 years as 5-1/2 if no gun was involved - medium security and good behavior opens parole up after 5 years).  

 

Again, it seems like just, you know, not bothering to prosecute or lock people up for having or transporting drugs in the US would cut the total prison population by an enormous amount. Given that this would also make it much cheaper to get high (reducing second-order things like robbery), I can't really see a downside. I mean, it's not like the current approach seems to be doing much to stop people from becoming addicts in the first place.

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I might be, given that apparently locking up violent crims for violence is really hard.

 

You know, on my end of the world we actually tried the jury system for a while before giving up in disgust. Are there any serious proposals to do the same in the U.S.?

 

Edit: Oh god, I just had a terrible realisation: the whole Oscar case, where a first-time offender was locked up for 5 years with parole for culpable homicide, was seen as a sign that our justice system was too easily swayed by wealthy defendants able to afford top-notch legal council. Are you guys seriously saying that this would be seen as an unusually strict sentence on your end?

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I might be, given that apparently locking up violent crims for violence is really hard.

 

You know, on my end of the world we actually tried the jury system for a while before giving up in disgust. Are there any serious proposals to do the same in the U.S.?

 

Edit: Oh god, I just had a terrible realisation: the whole Oscar case, where a first-time offender was locked up for 5 years with parole for culpable homicide, was seen as a sign that our justice system was too easily swayed by wealthy defendants able to afford top-notch legal council. Are you guys seriously saying that this would be seen as an unusually strict sentence on your end?

Culpable homicide = what here?

In Canada we have about 4 areas of 'murder' charges: Criminal Negligence Causing Death, Manslaughter, 2nd Degree Murder, 1st Degree Murder.

 

CNCD= Doing something stupid and causing someones death.

Manslaughter= You wanted to harm them and ended up causing death.

2nd Degree Murder = Intent to cause death in the heat of the moment.

1st Degree Murder = Premeditated Murder.

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5 years for a first offender on manslaughter charges would not be totally unheard of. More likely here in Canada would be a 7-10 year sentence.  But a 2-3 year sentence with mitigating circumstances would also be possible.

Manslaughter charges here have a pretty broad range of consequences with variance based on circumstances.

 

Edit: Also, length of sentence has very little relation to actual amount of time served.  With 2nd Degree Murder+ and sexual assault cases being one of the few areas where 20-life actually means you'll probably server 5+ years.

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I think the issue is that the judge somehow bought into the idea that;

  1. a superstar athlete could feel vulnerable to the point that he would shoot at sounds coming from his own bathroom without bothering to check if his girlfriend was still in the bed with him, and
  2. that he could fire multiple shots through the bathroom door and somehow not kop that the person on the other side would die.

Over here it is seen as something of a case of two great legal teams on either side, and a judge in the middle who was perhaps a bit too swayed by a carefully orchestrated sob-story/crying campaign conducted by the defendant.

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So you could cut your prison population by 20-25% solely by decriminalising trafficking?

 

Depends on what you mean by trafficking.  No one in their right mind is considering decimalizing cocaine.  All of the talk is marijuana and simple possession of other substances.  25% might be high, but it might not.  It would certainly reduce prison populations for people serving under 60 days.

 

 

How many of these crimes are trafficking, possession or similar?

 

Possession and trafficking come out to 75/25 split for convictions.  However these numbers are soft.  Nearly every person we catch with a kilogram of cocaine claims it is for personal use, while a lot of people get caught selling dimes to friends in their frat house because they are congenitally stupid.  Plus a lot of captures are mules.  Plus possession is rarely prosecuted to its fullest while trafficking related to organized crime is prosecuted to its fullest and then some.  So a problem everyone has is finding out what the numbers mean.  

 

One of my students OD and died a few years back and I decided to get his family answers (at their request) that no police agency would.  The kid had purchased drugs from a man in Yakima, who received them from a connection in the local Hispanic gang.  They got the drugs by capturing the children of immigrants in Mexico and torturing them until the men agreed to mule for them, then holding them in camps.  From there I had no way to trace it further but those gangs actually have close connections with South American governments who support trafficking through Central America - that is published and not personal knowledge.  The amount of culpability in the system is variable, some of the people in the main supply have no culpability, but if caught will spend two decades in jail.  

 

Again, it seems like just, you know, not bothering to prosecute or lock people up for having or transporting drugs in the US would cut the total prison population by an enormous amount. Given that this would also make it much cheaper to get high (reducing second-order things like robbery), I can't really see a downside. I mean, it's not like the current approach seems to be doing much to stop people from becoming addicts in the first place.

 

You are right and wrong I think.  We can selectively decriminalize possession of a wide range of narcotics.  I even put forward an idea to the Washington Legislature that addicted people could apply for and receive a card permitted them to purchase and use narcotics, but which would also prevent their ownership of guns, automobiles, living with children under 15, entering a school or park, or holding license for some jobs.  We do something similar with people who are insane, and for nonviolent sex offenders who are under court mandated treatment.

 

The main objections to all of this come from the basic foundation of the United States legal system.  The first is that people who use narcotics cause a lot of damage in society.  That damage must be paid for either by the person who does the damage (who is a drug user and has no money), by the person who allowed the user to use (suits against the government for the acts of drug users are becoming more common based on failure to prosecute) or by insurance companies.  So any legalization scheme has to figure out how to pay the bill for the drugs.  Marijuana is easy - the bill is small and the users mostly non-violent.  

 

Other drugs are harder because while you say they would become cheap with legalization they might not.  An unlimited supply of some drugs (cocaine and opiates) only increases the addiction rate.  The resting addiction rate for communities that stop enforcement for these drugs is around that of the resting addiction rate for alcohol!  

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I might be, given that apparently locking up violent crims for violence is really hard.

 

You know, on my end of the world we actually tried the jury system for a while before giving up in disgust. Are there any serious proposals to do the same in the U.S.?

 

Edit: Oh god, I just had a terrible realisation: the whole Oscar case, where a first-time offender was locked up for 5 years with parole for culpable homicide, was seen as a sign that our justice system was too easily swayed by wealthy defendants able to afford top-notch legal council. Are you guys seriously saying that this would be seen as an unusually strict sentence on your end?

 

No.  In the US conviction is MUCH harder than in French or British systems that dominate the rest of the world.  And although now rare, the properly functioning Sha'ria system is also an easy system to gain conviction in.  Throw in the Chinese system which is easy to convict and easy to sentence and sentences is Draconian, and those four systems are most of the world.

 

----------------------

In the British system the court is non-adversarial since everyone is technically a subject rather than a citizen (a difference that means little in day to day life, but is an underpinning of the system).  Truth is a group event.  The solicitor gathers evidence and builds a case, working for both the crown and the accused.  While technically US lawyers are officers of the court, solicitors are truly working for the court.  You can have a lawyer, and people with a lot of money get one, but they work with the solicitor.  

 

Barristers are the ones who work the court.  They get handed the case.  There are two barristers and then the judge(s).  Unlike the US the barristers may be defending, or they may be seeking a conviction.  The judge decides that before the trial and you can end up with anyone here.  Your lawyers and solicitors keep their butts on one side of the bar and keep their mouths shut, but are constantly being updated by the barristers who run the whole show with the judge.  

 

Conviction is easy - much easier in the US, but the up side for the accused is that the barristers and judge are all buddies and they put their heads together and rarely throw life plus sentences around.  It is said innocent people do better in the US, guilty people do better in the UK.  Not strictly true but if you are guilty and all the signs point to conviction, your sentence will be much shorter in the UK.

 

Juries, when used, have no voir dire and they offer opinions on fact - making them less important to the system than US juries.

----------------------------------------

 

The French system

 

You have lawyers here, but only one court has juries, and the juries are empaneled.  There is a line where a jury must be sat, and when it does the French system works like the US system.  I think the term is serious felony in France, so if you face ten years in prison you won't get a jury.  Lack of a Jury again lessons the sentence but makes conviction easier.

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5 years for a first offender on manslaughter charges would not be totally unheard of. More likely here in Canada would be a 7-10 year sentence.  But a 2-3 year sentence with mitigating circumstances would also be possible.

Manslaughter charges here have a pretty broad range of consequences with variance based on circumstances.

 

Edit: Also, length of sentence has very little relation to actual amount of time served.  With 2nd Degree Murder+ and sexual assault cases being one of the few areas where 20-life actually means you'll probably server 5+ years.

 

 

Canada and the US are often compared as they are close, but have three different systems of justice (a joke because it is said Canada has two).

 

Karla Homolka is the most written on of the subjects.  A triple murder / rape in the first degree in two cases, and criminal negligence in the commission of a felony is case 3, would be the end for the person in the US.  Susan Smith who killed 2 children barely escaped lethal injection, and then only because Judy Clarke did a good job of showing mental disease.  Karla Homolka spent very little time in prison despite the case being a slam dunk and the crime the worst on the books.   

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Part of the problem with marijuana is that we have a lot of highly functional individuals who are able to use it and it doesn't really effect their ability to hold a job or be a grown up human being. Some of my friends smoke pot, hold down higher paying jobs than I'll ever hope to have and are able to manage to get by. Now there are certain unfortunate side effects that I've noticed in their behavior while high (namely they never fucking stop talking about how great pot is and how it's the answer to all of society's ills) but hey, it takes all sorts to make a world. And as I've mentioned, I have no real problem with marijuana possession by grown ups, per say, just so long as they aren't smoking it in public and that they're not doing it in a way that causes them to need society's safety net.

 

But to me there seems to be a bit of projection by individuals who themselves are able to partake of marijuana's benefits and assuming everyone can hold their liquor, so to speak, just like there are highly functioning alcoholics who are able to get along in life in a fairly proficient manner while being constantly drunk.

 

The issue isn't smoking pot. The issue is the criminal activity surrounding the use of pot. Criminals like to smoke pot. Criminals will do all manner of activities in order to get the money necessary to buy or steal pot. And criminals don't want to work a 9 to 5 in order to buy pot, they're going to take the easiest road to do so.

 

Since the legalization of marijuana in Washington state, we have seen a very noticeable uptick in property crimes since the passage of I-502 in November of 2012 and very noticeable changes in neighborhoods where the sort who would smash a car window to steal stuff in order to get high congregate. I'm a local so when I visit Pioneer Square or the International District or Capital Hill and see people who look like extras from the Walking Dead eyeing you up to see what they can get off of you, you know things have changed in your old hometown.

 

So while hipsters and software engineers and rich, old hippies are digging the chance to get high with no consequences, there has been an influx of the criminal element who also are coming to Washington state to steal shit from hipsters, software engineers and old hippies in order to get high with no consequences. 

 

In the old days the standard practice would be a pair of police officers respond to a scene where a criminal complaint takes place. Maybe a pimp has beat up his ho. Maybe someone did a smash and grab. Or whatever. While proving criminal intent of a known badguy and gangmember who has beat up his girlfriend and kids is difficult, the fact that he was in possession of drugs or paraphernalia wasn't when he was frisked by the cops isn't.

 

And since police and prosecutors offices don't have the time and money to arrest, indict, prosecute and convict individuals who commit property crime, someone has to come up with a way in order to do so the hard way.

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In the old days the standard practice would be a pair of police officers respond to a scene where a criminal complaint takes place. Maybe a pimp has beat up his ho. Maybe someone did a smash and grab. Or whatever. While proving criminal intent of a known badguy and gangmember who has beat up his girlfriend and kids is difficult, the fact that he was in possession of drugs or paraphernalia wasn't when he was frisked by the cops isn't.

 

 

This is called a pretext prosecution and is based upon selective arrests and a scientific measurement of human behavior known as psychographics.  Done right it is a god send for getting bad guys put away.  Done wrong and it is a racist trap that does little to stop crime.

 

However, just arresting people is not the only answer.  Here is my own story.  Not exciting Miami Vice stuff, undercover is not what you think - it is mostly buying drugs or letting chicken heads come on to you.  You do get a good understanding of the world though.

 

Drive someday into Bluff Estates, a blighted black community in Columbia, South Carolina.  When you drive in there will be three or four school age children not in school near the entrance.  They are the drug lookouts.  Their mothers get 20 bucks a day or so in drugs to rent their kids out to yell about police.  If you are in civilian clothes, and fit a profile, they won't yell, but maybe the old lady two doors down makes a call.

 

You are now on borrowed time.  If they make you as a cop you are safe, except people will stand out and yell at you, and they will have their kids run in front of your car hoping you will hit one.  If not then you are probably buying. 

 

As a drug user you take your life into your hands each day you buy.  You either buy from a friend with low risk but with a jacked up price, or you go to Bluff estates where the stuff is cheap but where you might draw the wrong attention and make someone decide you are better off dead.  

 

The first thing you realize about the neighborhood is - no older men.  You have very old men, and boys, but nothing in between.  

 

To understand why this is so weird you have to drive through an impoverished neighborhood where drugs are not a major issue, and they exist. These communities form around 30-40 year old men who are often veterans and usually hard working and blue collar, who provide cultural glue to the younger men.  Younger men are often unemployed, but take day work.  Criminal activity is part of the southern black experience, but black communities draw pretty serious lines between property crime and outright violence.  Beat your wife and ten guys from the neighborhood will come by and talk with you often lead by the pastor of the church. No one, even in the honest communities, talks to the police, but everything in the community is public knowledge.  Older black women are placed on a high pedestal, and motherhood is the route to respectability.  This is not a white suburban community but it works - and if the issue of educational access and job access would be solved, then these communities easily become middle class.

 

Bluff Estates though has no young men.  In the past decade forty are dead.  Four hundred are in prison, half never to return.  There is no statistics for fathers raising children because none are - most children meet their "baby daddies" when they are themselves first incarcerated.  Unlike the poor black community I described above, this one has most women having babies before they are 15 because literally, their men will be dead or in prison soon afterwards.  And addiction runs 50%.  

 

So I drive to the back of Bluff Estates, to a house where twenty men stand.  Only they are not men.  There are 10 old men - 50 plus, and 20 boys, and maybe two men around 20.  The kids are jumped in at 15 after having worked as lookouts.  Several of the kids will be carriers - they will have the guns - the young men never touch drugs or guns.  You look the kids over closely because the week before you had a kid accidentally shoot himself in the leg with a gun and bleed out.  The month before a kid was proving how fearless he was - on video he racked the slide of a Tec-9 he was told to hold, ejected the magazine to make sure it was empty, and then put the gun under his chin and laughing pulled the trigger.  People called it a "malfunction" of the gun and tried to make a case to sue the company that made the gun, but I argue it did exactly what it was told to do.  The gun was purchased by the girlfriend of a drug dealer - most of the weapons are stolen or are straw purchases but the DA is under pressure from the NRA not to prosecute straw purchase deaths, so it won't be a prosecution.  At the local NRA meeting I argue for a change of policy, but everyone is worried that it may happen to them so no prosecution for the gun buyer.

 

There is three cars in front of the drug  house in front of me, about normal - the drug sales is like McDonalds and Bluff Estates has only two entrances, so people tend to queue up.  I am buying an eight today which is five old twenty dollar bills.  If they are new from the bank you may get your ass beat - so be careful about that.  I run my twenties through a washing machine after signing them out because that mistake will get you dead.  You are not suppose to buy with a gun on you, but I have a MAS49 in my trunk and a GP 35 under the seat.  That way if I have to defend myself the department can deny they sent me in, because officially I am not cleared for the work, but the crew at Bluff estates knows all the full-timers so a lot of undercover is done with constables and deputies with part-time tickets.

 

An old guy comes up and I hand him $100.  He puts up five fingers, which means five twenties - everyone does it different but you learn how your dealer works.  If he puts up anything else I will get mad because I am a junky after all and if I let him cheat me to easily I will be in trouble.  He does not because if they think he held out on them they will kick his ass.

 

I drive down the street and a kid runs out with two tweens in a zip lock for me.  It is usually yellowish rock.  I smell it - it needs to smell acid.  If it smells base then I will flip my shit because they are treating me like some college kid and I am dressed like a chubby redneck in a wife beater which I have stained with motor oil.  White guys buying direct are either country or college, and I do not look college.  

 

One of those five twenties will go into the pocket of one of the young guys, and we will have PC to get him, usually in a traffic stop.  He will almost always have a small amount of drugs on him, and a gun.  He is the kingpin of Bluff Estates but we end up only getting him on a weapons and a drug charge.  However we get him, ignore the old guys and the kids.

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Again, it seems like just, you know, not bothering to prosecute or lock people up for having or transporting drugs in the US would cut the total prison population by an enormous amount. Given that this would also make it much cheaper to get high (reducing second-order things like robbery), I can't really see a downside. I mean, it's not like the current approach seems to be doing much to stop people from becoming addicts in the first place.

 

You are right and wrong I think.  We can selectively decriminalize possession of a wide range of narcotics.  I even put forward an idea to the Washington Legislature that addicted people could apply for and receive a card permitted them to purchase and use narcotics, but which would also prevent their ownership of guns, automobiles, living with children under 15, entering a school or park, or holding license for some jobs.  We do something similar with people who are insane, and for nonviolent sex offenders who are under court mandated treatment.

 

This seems better than locking them up to become hardened criminals, but still poses issues where they (for instance) need a car to do most work. We don't deal with alcoholics like this at all; just to use a model where a dangerous, addictive narcotic is allowed in society.

 

The main objections to all of this come from the basic foundation of the United States legal system.  The first is that people who use narcotics cause a lot of damage in society.  That damage must be paid for either by the person who does the damage (who is a drug user and has no money), by the person who allowed the user to use (suits against the government for the acts of drug users are becoming more common based on failure to prosecute) or by insurance companies.  So any legalization scheme has to figure out how to pay the bill for the drugs.  Marijuana is easy - the bill is small and the users mostly non-violent.  

 

Other drugs are harder because while you say they would become cheap with legalization they might not.  An unlimited supply of some drugs (cocaine and opiates) only increases the addiction rate.  The resting addiction rate for communities that stop enforcement for these drugs is around that of the resting addiction rate for alcohol!  

 

Again, comparing drugs to alcohol only serves to illustrate that we have weird ideas about drugs. Drink is hella addictive (witness the 30% of society which is dependent upon it in some form or another), impairs cognition upon use and does a massive amount of physiological damage, yet we all seem to be fine with simply mitigating it's effects at the present. Opiates, while more addictive, actually have less long-term health issues than booze.

 

 

The issue isn't smoking pot. The issue is the criminal activity surrounding the use of pot. Criminals like to smoke pot. Criminals will do all manner of activities in order to get the money necessary to buy or steal pot. And criminals don't want to work a 9 to 5 in order to buy pot, they're going to take the easiest road to do so.

 

I'm just going to point to my analogy above.

 

Since the legalization of marijuana in Washington state, we have seen a very noticeable uptick in property crimes since the passage of I-502 in November of 2012 and very noticeable changes in neighborhoods where the sort who would smash a car window to steal stuff in order to get high congregate. I'm a local so when I visit Pioneer Square or the International District or Capital Hill and see people who look like extras from the Walking Dead eyeing you up to see what they can get off of you, you know things have changed in your old hometown.

 

So while hipsters and software engineers and rich, old hippies are digging the chance to get high with no consequences, there has been an influx of the criminal element who also are coming to Washington state to steal shit from hipsters, software engineers and old hippies in order to get high with no consequences. 

 

In the old days the standard practice would be a pair of police officers respond to a scene where a criminal complaint takes place. Maybe a pimp has beat up his ho. Maybe someone did a smash and grab. Or whatever. While proving criminal intent of a known badguy and gangmember who has beat up his girlfriend and kids is difficult, the fact that he was in possession of drugs or paraphernalia wasn't when he was frisked by the cops isn't.

 

And since police and prosecutors offices don't have the time and money to arrest, indict, prosecute and convict individuals who commit property crime, someone has to come up with a way in order to do so the hard way.

 

If your justice system can only convict a man for theft by putting him behind bars for possession, then I'd argue that there is a problem with your criminal justice system.

 

I'm finding it a bit hard to have a conversation about this topic right now because I'm very busy at work/home. But also because there are a huge number of fact-free assertions and anecdotes being thrown around. Which doesn't mean that the assertions are wrong or that the anecdotes hold no value (I'm finding virdea's immensely valuable and interesting), but they don't add up to a sober argument about crime and incarceration.

 

The fact is that you guys live in a country with a massive number of people behind bars, and talking about how just and lenient your prosecution system is doesn't change that. Nor does it change the fact that a lot of the social ills that people love to talk about (single-parent families, for instance) both contribute to crime and are a direct result of locking people up in large numbers. So trying to lock less people up; or at least focus on locking people up where it will do some good rather than making the situation worse; seems like a no-brainer to me.

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I'm finding it a bit hard to have a conversation about this topic right now because I'm very busy at work/home. But also because there are a huge number of fact-free assertions and anecdotes being thrown around. Which doesn't mean that the assertions are wrong or that the anecdotes hold no value (I'm finding virdea's immensely valuable and interesting), but they don't add up to a sober argument about crime and incarceration.

 

The fact is that you guys live in a country with a massive number of people behind bars, and talking about how just and lenient your prosecution system is doesn't change that. Nor does it change the fact that a lot of the social ills that people love to talk about (single-parent families, for instance) both contribute to crime and are a direct result of locking people up in large numbers. So trying to lock less people up; or at least focus on locking people up where it will do some good rather than making the situation worse; seems like a no-brainer to me.

 

Actually it is not such a no brainer.  We can lock up a lot less - Brazil and Mexico lock up only a third the people that we do.  And they have nearly crime free streets where one can walk arm in arm with their loved one without fear. 

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Toxn,

 

Let me offer you an alternative theory that has some traction now.  Crime rates rise with social diversity.  The more diverse a population is, the more crime you have.  European and Asian countries have regularly (every 50 or 100 years) held genocides of one type or another, keeping diversity in those countries low.  Or they have limited immigration after starting with limited diversity.

 

The US has mostly avoided genocides, and most of its actions of that sort are more than 100 years in the past, and involved smallish population bases.  

 

Would you advice the US, if it could reduce crime by reducing diversity, to undertake a genocide, if that was the only option?

 

Steve

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Steve,

 

Let me offer you an alternative theory that has some traction now.  Crime rates rise with economic inequality.  The more unequal a population is, the more crime you have.  European and Asian countries have a long history of social security and wealth redistribution, keeping inequality in those countries low.  Or they have limited free market capitalism after starting with limited inequality.

 

The US has mostly avoided implementing socialist or communist policies, and most of its actions of that sort are more than 50 years in the past, and involved smallish economic populations (unions, the elderly and so on).  

 

Would you advice the US, if it could reduce crime by reducing inequality, to undertake radical socialism, if that was the only option?

 

Toxn

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Steve,

 

Let me offer you an alternative theory that has some traction now.  Crime rates rise with economic inequality.  The more unequal a population is, the more crime you have.  European and Asian countries have a long history of social security and wealth redistribution, keeping inequality in those countries low.  Or they have limited free market capitalism after starting with limited inequality.

 

The US has mostly avoided implementing socialist or communist policies, and most of its actions of that sort are more than 50 years in the past, and involved smallish economic populations (unions, the elderly and so on).  

 

Would you advice the US, if it could reduce crime by reducing inequality, to undertake radical socialism, if that was the only option?

 

Toxn

 

Except, it has not worked and won't.  

 

The safety net in the US is quite extensive for people without work - it is propaganda that it is not.  A person who did work and looses their job earns around $2,800 per month in pay and benefits per member of household.  After a year they loose unemployment and settle at around  $1,600 per month if they are able bodied and able to work - up $400 in the past couple of years.  The average American has access to, in their lifetime, around $20,000 in education assistance - that varies by your ability.  It is correct that an able bodied person who can work but is unwilling to do so gets the shaft - they will take home around $1,600 per month because they loose one of the assistance programs.

 

I should note that my wife's sister makes less in adjusted food basket dollars as a secretary in Brazil.

 

The highest per capita social security payment package also corresponds with cities with the highest crime rate in the US.  In an attempt to stem high crime in DC under Marion Berry Washington DC launched a massive local aid program - the benefits for a non-worker who has never held a job leaped to $3200 per year (factoring in free health care).  The crime rate shot up.  Then we found that one of our key statistical models was off kilter.

 

You would think no jobs >>> higher crime.  In the case of DC the causal relationship was reversed.  Crime >>> lead to >>> no jobs.  Blanket welfare programs >>> lead to people who had more spare time >>> higher crime >>> less jobs.

 

We destroyed an entire US city with unthinking benevolence.  To check this we look to other systems in the Americas.  Brazil is a poster child for this.  Crime in Brazil has skyrocketed in the past decade.  That sky rocket has been attached to a sudden increase in public funding for social spending.  Venezuela was the same.  So was Honduras and Guatemala.  Social spending turns out to be the last thing you want to do indiscriminately.  Sort of like blood diamonds - looks good, no causal proof it works.  

 

Then we look at a nation where social spending was increased massively and no crime.  Turns out it was Cuba.  Cuba has the lowest crime rate in the hemisphere.  And they are proof that is low crime is your goal, you can achieve it simply by giving up human rights and human liberty and stalling your economy.  

 

You cannot do a Cuba in the United States, we cannot have regular genocides like the Europeans.  Crime is at an all time low now since the 50s, and given the disparity in how crime is recorded between Europe and the US, and treating Europe as a single nation, the US has a categorical advantage over Europe in all but one area (gun crime - we suck at that).  

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Except it has and will - crime and inequality are statistically correlated. Further, your 'advantage' comes at the cost of imprisoning a massive number of your citizens.
Tell me how sticking so many people in jail is categorically different from 'giving up on human rights and human liberty'.

 

I'm not saying that the answer is to stick a bandaid on the gaping hole that is your society by upping social spending as is. I'm saying that there are multiple approaches to dealing with crime, and one is to rework your society to be more equal overall in terms of resource distribution.

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Steve,

 

Let me offer you an alternative theory that has some traction now.  Crime rates rise with economic inequality.  The more unequal a population is, the more crime you have.  European and Asian countries have a long history of social security and wealth redistribution, keeping inequality in those countries low.  Or they have limited free market capitalism after starting with limited inequality.

 

The US has mostly avoided implementing socialist or communist policies, and most of its actions of that sort are more than 50 years in the past, and involved smallish economic populations (unions, the elderly and so on).  

 

Would you advice the US, if it could reduce crime by reducing inequality, to undertake radical socialism, if that was the only option?

 

Toxn

 

That's bullshit, though. Criminals don't think "I'm gonna get back at the Koch brothers" before they commit crimes. The most unequal parts of the US don't correlate with the most crime-ridden ones.

I know it's progressive dogma that equality is the bestest thing and will solve all our problems, but inequality is at best only one minor source of crime. Twenty years ago, it was the progressive party line that poverty and desperation caused crime, but that's a harder pill to swallow now that we have criminal welfare families making 50K a year. In fact, crime happens for a wide variety of causes and reasons, and the best way to allow crime to happen is to recommend some panacea cure like "equality" to fix it.

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