Thursday, March 21, 2013
News and notes on a variety of sentencing fronts
I have the great honor and pleasure to be spending the next few days in Gainsville to participate in the University of Florida Levin College of Law Criminal Justice Center's Young Scholars Conference. Consequently, blogging will be light at least for a few days.
But, even while focused mostly on other matters, I cannot help checking out some of the news headlines, and here are links to a collection of stories that all seem pretty blog-worthy:
Also via ABCNews, "Family Sues to Force Sex Offender Neighbor to Buy Its House"
From local news in Colorado, "Sponsors will push ahead with death penalty repeal despite veto threat"
From local news in Maryland, "Md medical marijuana bill picks up more support: Bill would establish commission to pick patients, facilities"
From the AP in New Hampshire, "NH House votes to prohibit privatizing prisons"
- From the AP in Texas, "With death penalty on the table, judge won't let Fort Hood suspect plead guilty"
Sunday, 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.