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March 14, 2010

Coffee, Tea or Milk: will any new "party" seriously engage with criminal justice issues?

I continue to wonder if (and hope that) the new tea party movement will take on the growth of government and government inefficiencies in the operation of massive modern criminal justice systems.  And, as highlighted by this lengthy CNN piece, there is now another drink-inspired party brewing up talk of engaging with the traditional two parties.  Unfortunately, it seems that so far the so-called Coffee Party is also decaffinated when it comes to engaging with criminal justice issues, which comprise among the most consequential forms of government interaction with citizens and also is among the most massive forms of government control and expense.

Of course, the vast majority of persons who have the luxury of the extra time and energy to get involved with the new Coffee or Tea Parties are not likely to have significant experience with state or federal criminal justice systems.  Still, any and all politically savvy persons must recognize that an extraordinary amount of taxpayer money is spent on modern criminal justice systems.  Moreover, any new party that is concerned about government spending on programs with uncertain returns ought to be asking hard questions about the costs and benefits of mass incarceration and marijuana prohibitions and a host of other related criminal justice issues.

I do not really expecting to hear much sound and sober criminal justice reform talk coming from the new parties (or the old parties) anytime soon.  But I will keep noticing and lamenting the failure of any old or new movement to take stock of the many ways in which massive modern criminal justice systems may be disserving various long-term national interests and values.  And if someone wants to start a new party to focus on these bread-and-butter criminal justice issues (which maybe we could call the Milk & Honey Party), please be sure to count me in.

March 14, 2010 at 09:15 PM | Permalink

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Comments

What is that effect called? A small number of people have a big stake in a government action. They will be far more involved than the large number of people with a small stake in the government action. That is true even though the total size of the small involvement of the large number of people is huge.

That describes the problem of government over-reaching.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 14, 2010 10:42:40 PM

I think SC should form a party entitled the "Shakespeare Party" and the first thing it would do is kill all the lawyers.

Posted by: Daniel | Mar 14, 2010 11:03:49 PM

A defense lawyer whom I respect highly has a theory that the formulation of the criminal justice system has one goal of keeping the "haves" as "haves" and keeping the "have-nots" as "have-nots." Just to forestall all the "lawn order" bluster, I'm not talking about the various permutations of theft. Think more deeply.

Posted by: Mark # 1 | Mar 14, 2010 11:32:24 PM

Daniel: After all I have done here, your comment was disappointing.

I love the lawyer.

I want accountability only for the hierarchy of the criminal cult enterprise. If the public is oppressed by it, the lawyer is doubly so, and the judge is triply so.

If the lawyer would listen a little, the profession would shift to profit, away from rent. It would go facts of nature modern, and give up that Medieval supernatural methodology it uses now. The supernatural violates the constitution of this secular nation.

As a regulated utility, there would be half their number now, with salaries 4 times larger. Crime would be nearly gone, lower than in Switzerland, almost as low as in lawyer residential neighborhoods today. Our economy would grow at 9%, not at 3%. Most of our social problems would be studied only in history class.

The esteem of the public would be 10 times greater. Lawyer associations would have busts of the Supremacy in their entrances. The Endless Supremacy would be continually streaming in all legal settings.

There is no love greater than the love great enough to correct.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 15, 2010 1:50:42 AM

"A defense lawyer whom I respect highly has a theory that the formulation of the criminal justice system has one goal of keeping the 'haves' as 'haves' and keeping the 'have-nots' as 'have-nots.'"

It kept Johnnie Cochran among the haves, that's for sure.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 15, 2010 5:00:46 AM

In other news, the vast majority of Tea Parties in America are still held by little girls.

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When did humans start drinking cows milk, or any other type of
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