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Crime and punishment


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On 3/15/2019 at 9:37 AM, Longhair said:

Part of the issue of how things historically were handled and the way it's done now, is that over time we've broken down various aspects into too many "degrees of severity". For example, when someone killed somebody it used to pretty much be either murder, self defense, or an accident. Now we have homicide, negligent homicide, justifiable homicide, manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, etc....., each of which carry their own set of sentencing guidelines that have "flexibilities" for sentencing AND plea deals to boot.

 

Everything has been so watered down or become such a legal "what if" game that the penalties no longer act as deterrents at all because nobody typically knows what they can or will be charged with, or what the lawyers will bargain it down to, OR what the penalty will ultimately be. The legal eagles have changed the playing field to no longer represent it simply as right or wrong, but rather "can we muddy it up enough and confuse enough jurors to get what we want because nobody can possibly understand and take into account all the emotional complexities that lead up to it". What a load of CRAP!

 

You are either guilty of a crime or you're not. You either did it or you didn't. If you're guilty, then you pay the price, and when your debt is paid if you're still sucking air then your rights are restored and life goes on.

 

Honor and simplicity no longer exist within our legal system.

Not true. There has been a distinction between murder and manslaughter for centuries. Mens rea and intent have been part of the law for hundreds of years. You need look no farther than John Adams' defense of the British after the Boston Massacre. 

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1 hour ago, Gmountain said:

Not true. There has been a distinction between murder and manslaughter for centuries. Mens rea and intent have been part of the law for hundreds of years. You need look no farther than John Adams' defense of the British after the Boston Massacre. 

Absolutely this.

 

I would suggest to Longhair that he think about this: The different culpable mental states need to be considered when dealing with punishments. For example, let's say someone is speeding, say 75 in a 40,  they know they have poor brakes and bald tires, and they're not able to stop for a pedestrian that falls into the roadway. Because of their speed, and knowing that their car is in poor condition, they could be charged with manslaughter, or criminally negligent homicide. Contrast that to someone who plots for months, preparing a gravesite, buying a knife, tarp, gloves, and tape, then goes into his ex-wife's house and murders her in her sleep. One person made some poor choices that cost another person their life. They did it with a knowledge that their vehicle was substandard, and while knowingly violating the law. Any reasonable person would know that the risk of killing or seriously injuring someone under those circumstances is very high, yet they chose to disregard that risk. In the other, the person made a conscious decision to prepare for, and in cold blood, murder another person, and to attempt to hide the evidence and get away with the criminal act. I think those crimes should be punished differently. Thankfully, so did a bunch of other people over the centuries as our current legal system was formed. 

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57 minutes ago, Gmountain said:

Not true. There has been a distinction between murder and manslaughter for centuries. Mens rea and intent have been part of the law for hundreds of years. You need look no farther than John Adams' defense of the British after the Boston Massacre. 

You're deflecting the point by picking nits.

How many types of manslaughter are there? How many different degrees of murder and types of homicide are there that someone could be charged with? How many exist almost exclusively for the sole purpose of the plea deal?

 

IMO, it's way more complicated than it needs to be. Extenuating circumstances can be (should be) considered by arresting officers in the field, jurors, and judges, and need not be bargaining chips for lawyers before the case is ever heard. The whole thing about being arrested and the charges will be determined afterward between prosecuting and defense attorneys in backroom deals is bull, and it illustrates how screwed up the system has become. Do it all in the daylight of the courtroom, so that corruption and shenanigans aren't as able to hide.

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20 minutes ago, Longhair said:

You're deflecting the point by picking nits.

How many types of manslaughter are there? How many different degrees of murder and types of homicide are there that someone could be charged with? How many exist almost exclusively for the sole purpose of the plea deal?

 

IMO, it's way more complicated than it needs to be. Extenuating circumstances can be (should be) considered by arresting officers in the field, jurors, and judges, and need not be bargaining chips for lawyers before the case is ever heard. The whole thing about being arrested and the charges will be determined afterward between prosecuting and defense attorneys in backroom deals is bull, and it illustrates how screwed up the system has become. Do it all in the daylight of the courtroom, so that corruption and shenanigans aren't as able to hide.

Again, it's not like that. People are not arrested without being charged with ,a crime.

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3 minutes ago, Gmountain said:

Charges can be reduced, or increased, depending on what the evidence shows.

I call shenanigans! It's just another means of "fishing" for crimes, or for favors, coercion, or other payoffs.

If you have evidence, then arrest and charge based on that. If evidence of other crimes materialize, then add additional charges. Beyond that, all else should be done in the courtroom in the presence of peers.

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2 hours ago, Longhair said:

I call shenanigans! It's just another means of "fishing" for crimes, or for favors, coercion, or other payoffs.

If you have evidence, then arrest and charge based on that. If evidence of other crimes materialize, then add additional charges. Beyond that, all else should be done in the courtroom in the presence of peers.

So if someone is charged with murder, and then evidence appears that it was only negligence, the charge should not be reduced?

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2 hours ago, Longhair said:

I call shenanigans! It's just another means of "fishing" for crimes, or for favors, coercion, or other payoffs.

 

BTW, looking for favors, payoffs or coercion? That doesn't happen. The prosecutors I know would never do that. I don't know any defense lawyers tht would do that.  You've been watching too much TV.  For some reason,, you seem to think everyone involved with the legal system is crooked.

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1 minute ago, Gmountain said:

You've been watching too much TV.  For some reason,, you seem to think everyone involved with the legal system is crooked.

Nope! Only lawyers and those jockeying for political purposes.

Sorry, but I don't trust anyone in professions that want to parse the meaning of the word "is". It taints you all.

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3 hours ago, Longhair said:

Nope! Only lawyers and those jockeying for political purposes.

Sorry, but I don't trust anyone in professions that want to parse the meaning of the word "is". It taints you all.

I am very good friends with several attorneys. Yes, there are ambulance chasing scumbags that would lie, cheat and steal to get ahead. But most are honest men and women doing their job the best way they can. If you were falsely accused of a crime, you'd want the best defense you could get, right? There are abusive, or crooked cops. But the vast majority are honest hard working men and women doing the best job they can. Bad apples in every profession. I've watched farriers beat horses because they didn't know what the hell they were doing, and were beating the horse out of frustration at their own incompetence. Should I tar all farriers with that same brush? Or was that one or two just rare outliers? 

 

I want good lawyers representing the state as prosecutors. I also want good lawyers available to represent me in case I need their services, either civil or criminal. My union has an AWESOME labor attorney, and he represents us well. Not just if our employers want to do something silly, but in case we wanted something silly, he's there to put the brakes on it. We rely on his experience and judgement, and he's as necessary in our lives as doctors are. 

 

Longhair, it seems like you want the world to be black and white. It's not. It's a million different shades of grey. I myself was a fairly black and white person until the past few years. 

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You've hit on it pretty well Pepper.....except about the farriers. It's not our job to train horses, but unfortunately we have to all too often, and sometimes that means making them (the horses) understand that it's more pleasant to do it our way than to be jerks. And it's a little different than dealing with people, because with horses you can't let them win or they will be pukes forever, and that's dangerous. I understand that that part is the same with some people, but not all, and most often it's not as life threatening.

 

But you are right.....I like black and white. And while I know that it isn't that simple, I don't believe that there needs to be "a million shades of gray". A couple dozen maybe, but not a million, and it's reached the point of being ridiculous already. I believe that part of the problem is that lawmakers (lawyers) have full time jobs making laws, and they do it to justify their existence, even though we would all be better off if they worked at least as hard to scrub the books of bad laws, archaic laws, and unenforceable laws before further complicating life with more laws. We have so many laws that nobody could possibly know them all, and people routinely break laws on a daily basis simply because they aren't aware of all the aspects of their lives that the government ludicrously tries to assume control over.

 

BTW, the street cops are on my radar the least. Sure, there are some on the take, but I know too many good ones to lump them all together. I can't say the same about lawyers. I know far more lawyers that are snakes or just incompetent than ones that I'd ever trust to represent me. Hell, I'd rather have one of several cops that I know represent me than most lawyers.

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You don't have to be hitlery to get the prosecutors to look the other way. Whether the cops make an arrest or not, it comes down to the prosecutor or a Grand Jury to take up the case and make the prosecution. I have seen it first hand.

 

The 7 year old that got hit by the car and killed had the case buried by the prosecutor. I was there when the State Police crash investigator showed up to do his thing. He did his measurements and calculations and the driver of the car was going at least 25 mph over the posted speed limit. But you have to ask yourself, "Why was ISP doing an accident investigation on a local road?" The answer to that is all of the county deputies knew the driver's mother who was on the county board at the time. There is bad blood between the Sheriff and the county board and no one wanted to get caught in the middle. 

 

So the State Police did their investigation and turned over the result to the prosecutor. Did he pursue a case? Nope, he hired another crash investigator to look at it and recalculate what the state police had said. Then when people started asking why no charges he just ignored them.

 

That will be 5 years ago this summer. There is no justice system any more, it has been perverted to protect those who are in power and screw those who aren't.

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I just watched a video, one that seems to deal with this very subject on several levels. It's a bit long, but it's spot on for almost all of it. I need to give a bit of background for folks who aren't aware of this issue. 

 

San Francisco has gotten a bad rap for being the homeless capitol of the west coast. Well, Seattle isn't far behind, and not far behind Seattle, is Portland. The situation is dire, and something HAS to be done. Simply warehousing these people in prisons won't do it. KOMO news in Seattle just did a special on this, and for KOMO to stand up and say these things, a left leaning news station in a left leaning city, on the left coast, this means people are starting to wake up. As hard as it is to admit that the current way of doing things is wrong, it's comforting to know that enforcement mixed with treatment can start to fix the problem. 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Longhair said:

You've hit on it pretty well Pepper.....except about the farriers. It's not our job to train horses, but unfortunately we have to all too often, and sometimes that means making them (the horses) understand that it's more pleasant to do it our way than to be jerks. And it's a little different than dealing with people, because with horses you can't let them win or they will be pukes forever, and that's dangerous. I understand that that part is the same with some people, but not all, and most often it's not as life threatening.

 

But you are right.....I like black and white. And while I know that it isn't that simple, I don't believe that there needs to be "a million shades of gray". A couple dozen maybe, but not a million, and it's reached the point of being ridiculous already. I believe that part of the problem is that lawmakers (lawyers) have full time jobs making laws, and they do it to justify their existence, even though we would all be better off if they worked at least as hard to scrub the books of bad laws, archaic laws, and unenforceable laws before further complicating life with more laws. We have so many laws that nobody could possibly know them all, and people routinely break laws on a daily basis simply because they aren't aware of all the aspects of their lives that the government ludicrously tries to assume control over.

 

BTW, the street cops are on my radar the least. Sure, there are some on the take, but I know too many good ones to lump them all together. I can't say the same about lawyers. I know far more lawyers that are snakes or just incompetent than ones that I'd ever trust to represent me. Hell, I'd rather have one of several cops that I know represent me than most lawyers.

Brother, I included street cops because of the BLM movement, many people lump us all together. I'm sure there are racist cops in this country. Sure as God made little green apples, there are going to be bad ones in any bunch. We try hard to weed them out, and while I think that the legal profession could work harder with their ethics regulatory people, I know that ambulance chasers aren't the norm for attorneys, they're the exception rather than the rule. 

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