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View Diary: CHILDREN Sentenced to LIFE IN PRISON (135 comments)

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  •  Mandatory Sentencing (4.00)
    Is a crime.  

    It is just another in a long line of simplistic, half-baked ideas (term limits? flat tax? trickle down?) that appeals to the easily-misled while running this country into the ground.  

    It makes me sick.

    •  The problem is that we allowed the hole to be dug. (none)
      We allowed our state legislators to pass mandatory guidelines in the interest of getting tough on crime.

      The judges never wanted it.

      Now the legislators can't get out of this hole without being branded soft on crime.

      A few years ago, the judges made some noise here in PA...trying to make it easier for the legislators. The judges lobbied for a loosening of the mandatory guidelines.

      However, the legislators did not have the stomach for it.

      I stood near a local state legislator in a tavern when this lobbying effort was underway. He was ticked off at the judges for telling the legislators how it should be...and he is a Democrat.

      The only way out is to get the laws declared unconstitutional, imho. And, which one of these kids has the cash to take this all the way to the state or federal Supreme Court?

      This issue deserves every bit of the attention that capital punishment gets. After all, it IS a form of capital punishment. We are taking their lives from them while they are still kids.

      We look forward to hearing your vision, so we can more better do our job.
      -Your Preznut, 9/20

      by Big Nit Attack on Wed Oct 12, 2005 at 02:07:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In regards to... (none)
        capital punishment I think opposition is a faith based religious opposition and thus would violate seperation of church and state.

        We need to support religious freedom, but the state should not institute religious doctrine or practices.

        "The problem in defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without." Dwight D. Eisenhower

        by RichardG on Wed Oct 12, 2005 at 02:31:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  support for capital punishment is (none)
          typically faith-based.
          How many times have you heard the eye-for-an-eye pablum.

          "No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it."- Franz Kafka, "Before the Law"

          by normal family on Wed Oct 12, 2005 at 03:13:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I guess it could go both ways; (none)
            I think that it should be available, but only in extreme circumstances. I must say, however that I would not be disappointed if capital punishment was abolished.

            "The problem in defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without." Dwight D. Eisenhower

            by RichardG on Wed Oct 12, 2005 at 04:23:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Whenever... (none)
      ...I am selected for jury duty I wait till the very end of the selection process when the judge finally asks everyone, "Is there any reason you cannot fairly serve on a jury?"

      Of course, I launch in to my 2 minute 30 second speech on how minimum mandatory sentencing violates the seperation of powers (ie. the legislature should not be dictating sentancing). It's quite the event.

      Unfortunately, last time around the judge remembered me and cut me off 15 seconds in...

      be good,

      •  I'd Rather You Be Quiet... (none)
        ...serve on the jury and nullify a verdict if 'justice' required.
        •  I have never gotten that (none)
          far in the jury selection process but I was thinking that if I did make it on to a 'capital' jury, I might lie to get on it and nullify.  

          This is Illinois, where even a corrupt Republican governor suspended the state's death penalty and emptied death row because the process was so flawed.  I don't remember the last time anyone was executed here, but the fact that there is such a law on the books is shameful.

          But getting back to the concept of children being put in jail for life, was this even done in ancient societies?  I am aware that juveniles were executed in many cultures in ancient and medieval (and obviously recent) times, but what about jailing for life?

        •  If it was a capital case... (none)
          ...then, yes, I'd forgo my ego and keep my mouth shut. Fortunately, I have not been called to anything that serious.

          be good,

    •  mandatory sentencing (none)
      mandatory sentencing just adds to the desperation and hopelessness of the economically disadvantaged. they know that their third sentence will be their last, and more and more are maxing out on the 10-20-life three strikes rule before they even turn 18, thanks to mandatory sentencing and the pernicious practice of trying kids as young as 12 as adults. makes the DAs look good to the voters, and reinforces the kids' perception that society considered them throwaways since birth.
    •  It is also a violation (none)
      of two of the most fundamental and venerable principles of criminal law: that justice must be applied individually and that the judiciary must be independent (a judiciary that has a core function stripped away by the political branches of governments has been shorn of a part of its independence.

      "No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it."- Franz Kafka, "Before the Law"

      by normal family on Wed Oct 12, 2005 at 03:16:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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