Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Drug Free School Zones, Sex Crime Registries, and Other Dumb Laws

Me, at the Washington Post:
The stupid laws and rules promulgated over decades of “tough on crime” rhetoric will take years to reform and correct. Throwing the book at offenders with well-meant but misguided lawmaking has wreaked havoc on correctional budgets while breaking up families and damaging local economies in the process. Policymakers who are now reevaluating laws and extending review to thousands of inmates subjected to blind punishment would do even better than the reforms above to let judges decide who is punished and how severely in the first place.
Read the whole thing here.

NB--I should be writing there, and elsewhere, more often. Hit me up if you have a good idea you want me to write about.

bellum medicamenti delenda est


Dustin said...

>>I should be writing there, and elsewhere, more often. Hit me up if you have a good idea you want me to write about.<<

There are so many issues that libertarians usually just to themselves about, but need to get out into the public. A few just off the top of my head:

1. How occupational licensing hurts the poor the most.

2. How Patents actually hinder, not encourage innovation.

3. Copyright laws that are out of control.

4. If liberals truly want to stop climate change, then they need to tell the government to ....
A. quit subsidizing cars by building roads for free
B. quit regulating railroads to death.
C. quit subsidizing heating oil
D. etc... etc... etc...

5. All the ways that private power has been ahead of government power in combating social discrimination. (e.g. companies paying benefits for "same-sex partners" long before gay marriages being recognized in that state.)

If you don't think any of those are good ideas, I'm sure I can come up with more.

JPB said...

Dustin, thanks for reading.

Most of those topics are well outside my ken, as it were. I should have been clearer, but I meant within the broad topics that I write about here--criminal justice, race, poverty, etc. I have colleagues that competently and knowledgeably take on the broad topics you've mentioned, and don't feel I'm in best position to convey those ideas.

Thanks again for reading.


michael Dee said...

Jonathan Blanks, The Washington Post you wrote:
America’s stupidest criminal laws

"create extra penalties for already illegal acts with no reasonable tie to the public’s safety"

"Until the 1800s, juries ... determined ... but whether the law in question was just"

"whether or not a legislated punishment is reasonable"

You ignore the 4th amendment but raise the key word, unreasonable. The title of your article should relate to the 4th. Due process of law defines reasonable as protecting public safety.

America's Unreasonable criminal laws

Judges still have constitutional authorty to declare criminal laws are unreasonable. But with marijuana the judiciary has declared the marijuana laws have a rational basis because no fundamental rights are injured. This means that marijuana users are not persons and we do not have fundamental right to liberty and to propertry, the right to be secure from unreasonable governement intrusion.

Michael Dee

Vicki Henry said...

I am so thankful for every voice of reason that speaks to the absurdity of the current sexual offense process. A horrendous tragic situation involving rape and murder of a child results in a landslide of media reports and the ironic thing is the focus is on the rape more so than the murder. Let me stop here and say that all of us are concerned about the safety of children. A horrible situations like Jacob Wetterling or Cherish Perriwinkle and the resulting legislation continues to annihilate the families of former offenders who are law-abiding citizens and merely trying to move on with their lives.

We should be focused on the prevention of sexual crimes and education programs instead of more punitive punishments. If there were pretrial diversion programs, intervention programs and restorative justice initiatives it would better serve all of society.

I am so encouraged by a recently released National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers study which addresses many of the downfalls of folks re-entering society after a criminal offense.

The U.S. is 5% of the world's population but 25% of the world's incarcerated....this is not the answer. We have gone back to a penal system instead of a correctional system that allows people to re-enter society.

Let’s get real folks! Ariel Castro (Ohio), Jerry Sandusky (PA) and many others we hear and read about were NOT on any public registry and that is EXACTLY THE POINT. The public has been led to believe all they have to do is check a registry and be aware of “those on it” and their family will be safe. The truth of the matter is that according to credible studies, like the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the recidivism rate for another “sexual” offense is 3.5 % and those who are beginning to educate the public are advising the other 95% of sexual offenses come from within their environment (family, friends and those having access to the children) and NEVER get reported.

(Part 2)
There are over 769,402 men, women and children (as young as 6, 8 and 10 in some states) required to register and the "crimes" range from urinating in public (indecent exposure), sexting, incest, mooning, exposure, false accusations by a soon-to-be ex-wife, angry girlfriend, or spiteful student, viewing abusive OR suggestive images of anyone18 years old or younger, playing doctor, prostitution, solicitation, Romeo and Juliet consensual sexual dating relationships, rape, endangering the welfare of a child and many others.

If you multiply the number on the registry by 2 or 3 family members you can clearly see there are well over 2,500,000 wives, children, moms, aunts, girlfriends, grandmothers and other family members who experience the collateral damage of being harassed, threatened, children beaten, have signs placed in their yards, homes set on fire, vehicles damaged, asked to leave their churches and other organizations, children passed over for educational opportunities, have flyers distributed around their neighborhood, wives lose their jobs when someone learns they are married to a registrant....all these things occur when these people try to hold their family together and provide the three things that professionals state are needed for successful re-integration; a job, a place to live and a good support system.

At the current rate the United States will hit 1,000,000 registered men, women and children within 8 years unless there is a monumental swinging of the pendulum toward restoration.
Vicki Henry
Women Against Registry dot com