Friday, May 21, 2010

Chipping Away

First it was the death penalty....

Interesting quote in today's Rick Casey column at ChronBlog...
“I was not a big supporter of life without parole,” Bradley testified. “I think even people who commit some of the most horrible crimes need an incentive to behave (in prison) and to rehabilitate and develop over a long period of time. I think that applies even greater when that person is a juvenile.”
The context of this quote is in relation to the latest SCOTUS ruling barring life without parole sentences to juveniles who committed a crime other than murder.

What interested me about this quote is how it relates to another argument....the argument against the death penalty.

Just a couple of years ago the battle cry was "Offer life without parole as a sentencing option in place of the death penalty!" That drum-beat continued until the bill (correctly, in my opinion) passed resulting in a decrease in death penalty punishments.

Now the goal posts get moved further down the field.

It's ironic that many of the same who are calling for reduced sentencing options for violent offenders (including murderers it should be noted) are, at the same time, calling for increased penalties for so-called "soft" crimes. That's backwards.

The over-criminalization of America is something that's best been covered by better bloggers than I. It's an issue that I strongly agree with as we sit and watch the "Land of the Free" morph into the "Land of the incarcerated". The idea that a big, sweeping government solution is the key to almost any problem has resulted in the waste of one Trillion dollars, many cases of prosecutorial misconduct and the crazy idea that thought could be enough to put people in prison.

Doesn't that seem backward to you?

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