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July 12, 2014

"4 Reasons Conservatives Are Embracing Prison Reform"

The title of this post is the headline of this new commentary piece by Christian Piatt appearing in Time which includes a religious perspective as well as a political one. Much of the discussion will be familiar to regular readers, but here are a few excerpts of not: 

Criminal sentencing certainly has been one of those divisive social issues among Christians, with many progressives calling for more leniency on nonviolent crimes, and conservatives embracing a “zero tolerance” ethos....

Only recently have the number of incarcerated people within our borders begun to decline, and it’s in part due to a shift in the way those who have championed a hard-nosed approach to sentencing are reframing their thinking. In some respects, the reasons are logistical and economic; for others, the change of heart is informed particularly by their understanding of scripture and the mandates of the Gospel....

[H]ere are four ideas around which Christians – and non-Christians – from both the left and right are coming together.

Reform makes good financial sense. ...

Reform reduces government’s role in our lives. ...

Second Chances are Biblical. ...

Thinking on “paying our debt to society” is shifting....

Warehousing nonviolent offenders is still big business in the United States, which means that people with significant influence are intent on keeping things more or less as they already are. And certainly not all on the political and religious right agree with the points above. But enough conservatives are breaking rank to begin to form coalitions with the center and left, so that real reform becomes an increasing possibility.

July 12, 2014 at 10:31 PM | Permalink

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Comments

I consider my self conservative with a loved one in Fed prison. Our system is broken, when a prosecutor depends on lies, or threatening long terms in prison unless a person do as they say then we have a problem. I have heard more than a few people who say the Feds told them they would go after a spouse unless they plead guilty and when the person proves they are barking up the wrong tree the feds said "Well if you would have corroborated that from the beginning we wouldn't be here today" then insisting they will follow through on the attack. That lady is still in prison for mortgage fraud and the people who really did break the law are outside. Its like a bad episode of twilight zone and some kind of game to people who have immunity from the law. My Gal sold Cocaine in the late 80s, she admits that but she is doing 35 years because someone who helped sell it was turning it into crack and the CI who walked signed a letter stating he saw X amount of drugs. So the Feds depended on a crack head to come up with 1100lbs of cocaine, never mind they lived in a crappy apartment and used a public defender. Two of the people in this conspiracy were convicted of RICO charges. Yea, same crappy apartment and same type of defense team.

Or system is broken, it is backwards when you have to prove innocence and the feds only have to keep throwing lies at a person until they break. As a juror you want to believe our system is just so the Judges and Jurors give the feds the benefit of the doubt but never to the person indicted. The mexican system works better than ours (that was meant to be a slap in the face).

Posted by: Chris | Jul 14, 2014 3:47:46 PM

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