WALL STREET JOURNAL
NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE
THE WEEKLY STANDARD
DRUDGE REPORT
THE WASHINGTON POST
SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE
NEW YORK TIMES


*=recently updated





Matthew Hoy currently works as a metro page designer at the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The opinions presented here do not represent those of the Union-Tribune and are solely those of the author.

If you have any opinions or comments, please e-mail the author at: hoystory -at- cox -dot- net.

Dec. 7, 2001
Christian Coalition Challenged
Hoystory interviews al Qaeda
Fisking Fritz
Politicizing Prescription Drugs

RSS FEED
<< current


Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More













A note on the Amazon ads: I've chosen to display current events titles in the Amazon box. Unfortunately, Amazon appears to promote a disproportionate number of angry-left books. I have no power over it at this time. Rest assured, I'm still a conservative.



Sunday, October 02, 2005
People unclear on the concept: Well, duh.


To More Inmates, Life Term Means Dying Behind Bars


I'm sorry, but I thought that was the whole point. And I suspect that the jurors who suggested the prison term also thought that was the whole point.


Just a few decades ago, a life sentence was often a misnomer, a way to suggest harsh punishment but deliver only 10 to 20 years.


Well, that's the fault of the legal profession which likes to pat itself on the back for its wisdom -- and cleverness. And frankly, that's why so many "lifers" are staying behind bars.

Do you want to know why the legal profession has been steadily losing the respect it once had? Well, this is it. People read about some murderer who was released from a "life" sentence after having served 20 or 25 years and say to themselves: "I thought he had a life sentence, the only way he should be leaving prison is in a pine box."

I don't know if the murderer featured in the article, Jackie Lee Thompson, should still be in prison or not, but this is a problem the legal community created on its own. Maybe sentencing him to 20 years and then adding one year to his sentence for every infraction that he committed while incarcerated would be better -- but such a system would violate the Constitution's guarantee of a jury trial. (Maybe that could be voluntarily waived?)

You can get in trouble with headlines because you're trying to simplify a sometimes complicated topic, but that doesn't excuse a stupid one. You'd think that the Times could do a little better.

8:41 PM

Comments:
"Maybe sentencing him to 20 years and then adding one year to his sentence for every infraction that he committed while incarcerated would be better -- but such a system would violate the Constitution's guarantee of a jury trial. (Maybe that could be voluntarily waived?)"

Maybe, but then again, it may just be easier to sentence the guy to the maximum amount you could possibly want him to serve, and then credit him for good behavior. Done right, accomplishes the same in the end, but puts the burden of proof on him to show he's kept his nose clean, rather than on the state to show he hasn't.
 
"You'd think that the Times could do a little better."

You must not be reading your own blog!
 
I thought Fox "Crime rate drops while prison incarceration rate increases" Butterfield retired?
Frank G
 
Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger Pro™