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VIDEO: Right on Crime: A Conservative Approach to Criminal Justice Reform

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: crime, ethics )

- 1882 days ago -
In case anyone in the U.S. was looking for common ground across the political spectrum, I think there is something for everyone here. Also, a scary prospect in the U.S. justice-system.

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Jay S (116)
Saturday April 27, 2013, 12:52 am
We are being suffocated by ever more rules and laws, and we are sick of it! And, no, we aren't right wingers but Democratic Socialists; who are fed up with the intrusion into our lives.

Carol Dreeszen (346)
Saturday April 27, 2013, 1:50 am
Wish I could watch this one Stephen but we have a bandwidth issue so I can't..:-( There is too much PC BS that has come into our country in the past several years but more so since Obama has been in. It appears to me that the good is made to be bad and the bad is made to be good! Something is definitely screwed up in our society there is no doubt about that and we Americans are coming to take our country back!!

Diane O (194)
Saturday April 27, 2013, 6:07 am
It is obvious that President Obama pushes hard for more government control over our lives. Even his own democrats are distancing themselves from him in order to survive politically. I am also fed up with the intrusion into our lives.

Lately we are reading about those who want to do away with the Second Amendment as well as a few others. It will never happen. We are a Republic. We have a Constitution. Most countries have some form of a Constitution that they must abide by.

My prediction is that Obama will be the most disrespected president in our history. Meanwhile, George W. Bush pops up with a 49% favorability rating especially now that we have learned that Saddam mobilized his WMD's and sent them to Syria.

Yes, Carol, we have a mess on our hands but it can be fixed and will be fixed when Americans vote in 2014 and 2016.

Stephen Brian (23)
Saturday April 27, 2013, 9:43 am
Hi Carol :)

I didn't just watch it again, but if I remember correctly from when I did, the general idea in the video is that there are about federal laws in the 4.500 U.S., 1,700 on tax, 11 possible felony-level laws about oysters from Texas, and a whole lot of criminal law about conduct of business, including, again in Texas, criminal (rather than civil) law about mislabelling of fruit. Essentially, there are too many different laws. More than that, many of them overlap and criminalize the same acts.

A few issues are raised:
The first is that many of these laws do not require there to be criminal intent or even affected victims. While there must be due diligence in many things, those really should be things where people either know the level of diligence required, or where that level is so apparent that they could reasonably be expected to know it. An example is a Florida drug-possession law which was challenged: While in effect, it considered the owner of a car criminal if somebody else brought drugs into it.

The second is that for ignorance of the law not to be considered an appropriate defense, the code of law must clearly stem from the culture, be intuitive, and be simple enough for everyone to know them all. According to the video, this is no longer true in the U.S., casting doubt upon the ethics of enforcing many laws while rejecting that defense. On top of that, good faith is already considered a defense for police who break the law in the course of their duties, but not for ordinary citizens.

The third issue raised is that while there is due process in investigation and courts, those aspects of the process may be rigged against defendants through the law, and there is no due process at all regarding whom prosecutors charge and with what. This leaves prosecutors, in many cases, according to the video, potentially with the power to imprison nearly anyone.

A couple of solutions are proposed:
First there is requirement of criminal intent with any law.
Second, there is simplificcation of the law.
Third, there is "restorative justice" through private arbitration, where the plaintiff and defendant come to an agreement (repayment for stolen property, etc.) after which the courts only get involved if the agreement reached in arbitration is broken.
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