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  • Florida Laws

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crim...icle-1.1107662 Ever since the Trayvon Martin case and NCT30, I've been keeping tabs with Florida's justice system. Being a first time offender that didn't take a life, I find this article disturbing. Are there any mockers that have an opinion they want to share?
    You think you know, but you have no idea!

  • #2
    Florida gets a particularly bad rap (which I think it should), but the reality is that a lot of states have laws like these. Gun, drug and gang laws have been designed such that the mere use (not even firing, necessarily) of a gun, or the mere participation in a group labeled a criminal street gang, can result in far more years behind bars than the main crime you're charged with. Many states have sentence enhancements providing for 20 years in prison for use of a firearm during a crime, for example, even if you didn't actually assault or injure a person with the firearm. Possession of large enough amounts of drugs can sometimes get you life, too.

    Unfortunately, this argument won't work:

    Nonetheless, Shapiro sees a parallel with the recent Supreme Court ruling, telling Reuters that it’s also “cruel and extreme to allow unfettered prosecutorial discretion ... to impose a life sentence on a teenage first offender convicted of lesser charges (than murder).”
    That's a discombobulation of several different constitutional issues, and I'd be very surprised if SCOTUS entertains the case. The Court's 8th Amendment decisions have almost all been for juveniles. This guy would maybe have a shot at repudiating a death sentence and "commuting" it down to life-without-parole for the same crime. The only solution we have left for this issue is legislative action. We need to undo the damage done by the last 40 years of racist, reactionary drug and gang laws. The "tough on crime" rhetoric and lock-'em-up attitude needs to end.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Nur Rauch View Post
      The "tough on crime" rhetoric and lock-'em-up attitude needs to end.
      Easy to say when violent crime is at historic lows.
      Elliott A. - Macalester College 2015
      "Fake it 'til you make it."

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mocktrial96 View Post
        Easy to say when violent crime is at historic lows.
        It was on the decline during the War on Drugs too. Fun fact: crack cocaine hadn't even reached the streets in 1982 when Reagan's media war machine inexplicably started drumming on about a drug epidemic that only 5% of the population thought was a legitimate concern. Most of those survey respondents who listed it as concern #1 did not even live in the areas they claimed were plagued with crime. By the time crack finally broke out, 50-60% of respondents had become convinced that it was a primary concern.

        I highly recommend Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. The chronology of our drug war presents a staggeringly grim reality in both motive and outcome.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Nur Rauch View Post
          It was on the decline during the War on Drugs too. Fun fact: crack cocaine hadn't even reached the streets in 1982 when Reagan's media war machine inexplicably started drumming on about a drug epidemic that only 5% of the population thought was a legitimate concern. Most of those survey respondents who listed it as concern #1 did not even live in the areas they claimed were plagued with crime. By the time crack finally broke out, 50-60% of respondents had become convinced that it was a primary concern.

          I highly recommend Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. The chronology of our drug war presents a staggeringly grim reality in both motive and outcome.
          I'm not really convinced that incarceration or the illegality/legality of drugs has much impact on crime, not do I feel like much arguing the point since I'm not a criminologist. I'm just observing the cycle here - right now with crime at an all time low, the civil libertarians of America are out cutting sentences for violent crimes and advocating the legalization of drugs. 40 years ago, with crime at an all time high, the elites (including African American leaders) and the public were all about mandatory minimums and cracking down on drug dealers.

          If and when crime rates spike again, I'm sure the pendulum will swing back the other way.
          Elliott A. - Macalester College 2015
          "Fake it 'til you make it."

          Comment


          • #6
            40 years ago, with crime at an all time high, the elites (including African American leaders) and the public were all about mandatory minimums and cracking down on drug dealers.
            Crime was not at all-time high when the harshest drug and incarceration laws started to build, nor when they reached their forte. That's the entire point here. It was largely a mythological problem that was so successful because it built upon fear. Just like with terrorism, it only took a short time of totally undeserved media frenzy to change the criminal justice landscape. Our whole society kind of devolved into a state of panic over the drug problem, and it infected just about every politician when Reagan and HW's numbers soared through the roof in its wake. Democrats like Clinton, and absolutely a lot of African American politicians, eagerly embraced the issue as a means to gain office. Clinton himself is probably more responsible for the over-swing of the pendulum than any other single American. He spearheaded an arms race by the Democrats against Republicans to decide which party would be toughest on crime. Until Obama's second term, I'd say Democrats were actually winning this contest.

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