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December 29, 2010

Any thoughts on top sentencing stories for 2010 ... and 2011?

If time, energy and family allow, I will likely do a post in the next few days in which I review my top 10 sentencing stories for 2010.  A couple of the top 10 entries are pretty obvious, such as the passage of the Fair Sentencing Act by Congress and the Supreme Court's Eighth Amendment ruling in Graham v. Florida.  But there are lots of other top possibilities, ranging from the near-miss pot legalization ballot initiative in California to the news of reductions in state prison populations to the emergence of Right on Crime.

As I look back and reflect on my own top 10 for 2010, I encourage readers to do the same and also to share their thoughts via the comments to this post.  Relatedly, as the headline of this post hints, I am already starting to look ahead to what may be brewing as top stories for next year.  Though I doubt I will make any crazy bold predictions about sentencing developments in 2011, readers are certainly encouraged to channel their inner Jeane Dixon to make forecasts in the comments.

December 29, 2010 at 03:47 PM | Permalink


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The biggest whopper of the year, of the decade, of the century, of the millenium? The criminal law remains in utter failure, is still outrageous in its idiocy, and fails us in Job One and Job Last of government. Drops in rates are meaningless when the count of major crimes is in the tens of millions, when only 1 in 10 crimes is prosecuted, when 95% of prosecutions result in a totally fictitious, and often unrelated adjudicated charge, allowing many violent offenders to be released early because they are adjudicated as non-violent, when a substantial fraction of prosecutions have the wrong guy entirely, when the total incompetents running the criminal law, the buffoons on the bench and the inexperienced, mediocre lawyers in the prosecution grant themselves absolute immunity from tort liability, either from the wrongly accused, or the victims of the unaccused. Lastly, what is unbearable is the atavism of the criminal law, using methods and doctrines from the Middle Ages, a practice that would get any other practitioner properly arrested as a threat to the public safety.

There is no legal remedy to such rampant criminality, itself a violation of the rights of the public. Only self help can remedy this farcical and tragic failure. If torts are a substitute for violence and vendetta, then absolute immunity is an absolute moral and intellectual justification for street justice. This street justice should be brought to the lawyers who are 100% immune, and to their clients, who are 90% immune from prosecution for all their major crimes. I would like to see a direct action movement of crime victims and their families. It should begin slowly with shunning and boycotting of the individuals in the criminal law, the lawyers and their clients.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Dec 30, 2010 4:11:15 AM

Collin County First Assistant to the DA, Greg Davis Indicted
"On Tuesday, a Collin County grand jury indicted Gregory S..Davis on charges of the felony of "Tampering with a government record for defraud/harm". A Special Prosecutor had been requested by the Grand Jury, and it was the Special Prosecutor who investigated the office of the District Attorney. Based on the information of the independent Special Prosecutor, Davis was indicted. The charges accuse Davis of falsifying over 40 time records in order to reward DA office employees with paid time off, even though time records indicated the employees were working on certain days – when, in actuality, they were not."
Davis was responsible for sending at least one innocent man to his death, and quite possibly others, in Texas. The dishonest character shown by this indictment was manifested in that case, and possibly others cases. This isn't justice for that action, but if it brings a small measure of accountability back onto prosecutors then that is welcome. The ivory tower of immunity, granted by the Supreme Court to the service, has corrupted the process of law and endangered every US citizen, innocent or guilty.
The principles involved are effectively discussed in this blog entry:

Posted by: peter | Dec 30, 2010 4:43:58 AM

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