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August 29, 2008

Governor Palin, crime and punishment

Last week I had this post reflecting on, and seeking comments concerning, what Senator Obama's selection of Senator Biden meant for how the Democrats would approach crime and punishment issues this fall.  Now that John McCain has now made his surprising VP choice, I am starting to wonder about what this decision could mean for the Republican approach on these issues might be. 

Like most everyone else in the continental 48, I knew very little about Governor Sarah Palin before this morning.  But the fact that she, as noted here, is a "lifetime member of the NRA" could prompt more interesting post-Heller debate about the reach and application of the Second Amendment.  (I am already curious whether Governor Palin has a view about whether a person previously convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor should be federally prosecuted simply for possessing a hunting rifle as in this federal case from Wisconsin.)

Notably, this Denver Post blog is calling Palin the "libertarian VP candidate."  I am not sure this label really fits, but I genuinely hope Palin might have a libertarian streak when in comes to the so-called "war on drugs" and similar criminal justice issues.  I hope we will find out this fall (although I continue to expect the MSM will continue to ignore important crime and punishment issues).

Some related posts on Campaign 2008:

August 29, 2008 at 05:23 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Note that in Alaska, it is legal to possess up to one ounce of marijuana in one's own home. I wonder if Gov. Palin will be asked if she would support making that the federal policy as well, or go even further and support Rep. Barney Frank's bill that would decriminalize possession of up to 100 grams (about four ounces) of marijuana. Now that would be a "maverick" position.

Posted by: Milbarge | Aug 29, 2008 9:45:55 PM

Governor Palin may just be the libertarian candidate. She has said that she has smoked marijuana, although I don't think she commented on whether or not it should be legal- Alaska has taken steps that may just clash with the DEA.

I was amused that she sold the Alaska State aircraft on e-bay announcing that it was an unnecessary indulgence. I heard this today just as I was astonished to read in the paper that Ohio has 30 state airplanes. Not surprisingly there is an investigation going on now over officials misusing them for personal use.

The debates will be interesting and rather delicious to watch.

Posted by: beth curtis | Aug 29, 2008 10:57:21 PM

As a gun-loving, pro-death penalty, pro-creationist, anti-environmentalist, anti-abortionist, inexperienced politician, she represents both the malaise of American idealism and just about as dangerous a pick as McCain could have made. She makes Hilary Clinton look like the Messiah she might have been. Maybe that was the point. But who in their right mind would want her at the head of the White House tomorrow? And she certainly brings nothing beneficial to the world of sentencing law that is known.

Posted by: peter | Aug 30, 2008 2:14:40 AM

Well, since AK has a state constitutional right to possess under 4 oz of pot, I am sure that she has made her position known on 1) this issue; and 2) federalism.

See AK v. Noy here: http://www.drugpolicy.org/docUploads/AK_decision_082903.pdf

Posted by: S.cotus | Aug 30, 2008 8:29:32 PM

I for one think that Governor Palin will make a great Vice president. I truly believe that she can and will shake up washington.Maybe she can also do something eventually about our so called drug war.

Posted by: BS | Aug 31, 2008 6:24:36 PM

BS, One of the problems with your post is that you provide no specifics. Instead, you provide political rhetoric. No wonder why lay people are blamed for messing the country up.

Posted by: S.cotus | Sep 1, 2008 7:56:50 PM

When I posted I specifically thought of you scotus. I believe that of all the candidates she is more reflective of the common people something that you are way out of touch with at your Yacht club. In fact if truth be known it is lawyers and career politicians who should be blamed for messing up this country something I am sure you can identify with! More rhetoric but oh well...

Posted by: BS | Sep 2, 2008 2:28:01 PM

I'd like to hear her reaction to the fact her future son-in-law--under McCain-supported laws--could have been subject to jail time, a civil committment hearing, and lifetime registration as a Tier III sex offender which would subject him to restrictions of residency, proximity, computer use, travel, licensing, employment, child custody, and participation in family life.

Had the young couple had relations in a different state, that would have been his fate. Had the couple traveled to another state--perhaps Washington--and had relations (or if they do so before she turns eighteen and before they are married), that would be his fate under Federal law.

Posted by: Arika | Sep 3, 2008 8:51:36 AM

JEFFREY HAVARD'S CASE NEEDS TO BE LOOKED AT. IF WERE FOR YOUR COUNTRY BEING RIGHT IN " FAIR JUSTICE" THIS CASE NEEDS TO BE REOPENED AND LOOKED AT. I HAVE FOLLOWED UP ON THIS CASE FOR A WHILE. MEDICAL EXAMINER STEVEN HAYNES WAS ON THIS CASE AND HE IS THE REASON WHY MR. HAVARD IS THERE. MR. HAYNES WAS FIRED DUE TO NOT HAVING THE PROPER SCHOOLING. WHEN ASKED WHERE HE GOT HIS LISCENCE HE SAID " I CAN'T REMEMBER".ANOTHER MEDICAL EXAMINER LOOKED AT THE CASE AND FOUND A DIFFRENT OPINION TO SAY THE LEAST.WHEN ASKED THE HIGHER IN OFFICE ABOUT THE TIME SPENT ON THESE CASES ONE PERSON SAID THE GOVERNOR ONLY SPENDS ABOUT 30 MINUTES REVIEWING EACH CASE. HOW, IS THIS JUSTICE? I ASK YOU TO PLEASE TAKE A LOOK AT THE JEFFREY HAVARD STORY AND HELP SAVE HIS LIFE.. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME

Posted by: BALKO | Sep 4, 2008 5:54:21 AM

Steven HAYNES

Posted by: Jennifer | Sep 4, 2008 6:12:47 AM

Everyone is tip-toeing around the issue of Alaska Governor Palin’s 17 year old daughter Bristol becoming pregnant by her 18 year old boyfriend. We are being told “it’s a family matter that shouldn’t be in the press and that the couple plans to be married”.

Well, let me bring this issue to the fore front.

The majority of states in America today have laws / statues where consensual sex with a minor result in a statutory rape conviction, usually by that states Attorney General. A conviction is followed by a minimum of ten years living as a registered sex offender.

Is this not the law in Alaska? If so, how has Alaska avoided making it so?

If it is the law in Alaska then why hasn’t the Alaska Attorney General filed charges against Bristol’s boyfriend? Perhaps, it’s because it’s the governor’s daughter who’s pregnant?

I’ll ask the same question in regards to Britney Spears little sister, Jamie Lynn Spears. Why was her boyfriend not charged with rape resulting in prison time and the requirement that he register as a sex-offender for the next ten years?

There is a double standard that celebrities and political families get special legal treatment but regular Americans are being stigmatized and persecuted for the rest of their lives for the very same acts.

Americans need to take a close look at the current sex-offender qualifications. Should an 18 year old who has consensual sex with their 17, 16 or 15 year old partner face the stigma of being a registered sex-offender?

In America the majority of people believe if you are a registered sex-offender then you are a child molester, a pedophile and a pervert.

There are thousands of innocent people who are being forced to become a registered sex-offender every year.

Public urination and “mooning” are both convictions that will also land you on the registry for a minimum of ten years.

When you are a registered sex-offender, you struggle to find and keep housing, employment and your family because of the stress and humiliation that the registry creates within yourself, your neighbors, your co-workers and vigilantes looking for justice for a victim they don’t even know.

In some states like Virginia the accusation of being “touched” is sufficient for prosecution with a sentence of life plus 20 years in prison. The state does not require physical evidence, a witness or that the accuser be mentally evaluated and it doesn’t matter if the accuser has a history of lying, that’s “inadmissible” Virginia even enters the “accusation” as evidence in court!

In Virginia, they prosecute every accusation which means a conviction every time and jail time is highly likely unless you plead “guilty”.

I am not supporting these current laws, statues or the existence of the sex-offender registry,

I want all Americans to know what laws are in existence today, how unfair and appalling they are and stand up and say “No more”.

Maybe if a few celebrities and political families have to endure the demonization of being a registered sex-offender, these ridiculous laws would be eliminated.

Posted by: Mary | Sep 14, 2008 12:00:40 PM

I was in the tank for Obama until he changed his positions on a couple of issues like (on his statement a few years ago) he was for decriminalizing marijuana, now he says he's not. These kind of libertarian issues are usually 'set in stone' in voters/politicians minds; and to change views on such, shows such shiftiness of character that I don't trust him. Palin TOTALLY convinced me to vote for McCain (reaserting his maverick image by picking one); as stated previously, in a state with the best libertarian laws on Marijuana, one cannot find any statement or attemt on her part (as Governor for 2 yrs.) to change such laws. Sure, she stated she wasnt for legalization (due to what her children would think, which is rediculous I think). However, this is probably just a smart digression away from a 'big-time emotional topic'; keeping such a topic 'under the rug' as best as possible is good (due to over-hyped, slanderous media frenzies which would result in such a close race). So she isnt for legalization, big deal; she sure doesnt seem to be against decriminalization (including up to 25 plants grown at home; an Alaskan constitutional right, however, no still no negative statement from Gov. Palin on this issue). :)

Posted by: William Riddell | Sep 17, 2008 9:17:08 AM

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