The subject of commuting sentences of criminals


Recent events/decisions have surfaced in the news that President Obama has made a decision to commute the sentence of an individual who has served over 20 years. The basis for this decision he states is that the individual is non-violent even though he was in charge or at least a leader in an organization that committed violent crimes. The authority to make this kind of decision is well within the office of President. The point to be made is that individuals have authority to make decisions every day but whether they should is what each individual must decide.

Decisions made by the President have a greater impact on the country than those of individual organizations. Having the authority to make certain types of decisions individuals must decide whether to use that authority along with considering the impact if any. Commuting sentences of criminals that have been through our judicial system is not a decision that should be made lightly. Commuting sentences may be a good thing in some cases and may involve some compassion but compassion with regards to criminals should be for the victims not the criminals. Presidents have a history of both commuting and issuing pardons for criminals across this country. This action is irrespective of which political party occupies the White House.

There is a process from what I understand where the President is advised by at least part of his staff in making decisions about commuting sentences of criminals or granting pardons but in this case the decision lacks logic. As previously stated decisions involving the release of criminals regardless of the crime for which they have been convicted may have some logical basis in some cases but this is not one of them. Releasing individuals with this kind of background will have a negative impact on the safety of every individual who comes in contact with him or the organization in which he has played a leadership role.

Within our judicial system and prison system there are individuals who have been sentenced to life without parole with respect to the crimes they have committed. Justice is served when criminals are put behind bars but that justice is eroded when criminals who should not ever be on the streets of our country are given freedom through actions of any government entity. The problem of commuting or pardoning criminals is that it is a slap in the face of our justice system and the victims of those affected by their crimes. Some victims will never see the light of day as there are no longer living while others must live the rest of their lives without members of their families or friends. The question to be raised which cannot be answered by those who are no longer living is if they would agree with the decisions being made to pardon or commute these sentences. We are a compassionate country in many respects but that compassion should not be so misguided that criminals who should remain behind bars are let go to impact society again.


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Alphadogg16 profile image

Alphadogg16 16 months ago from Texas

Interesting Hub Dennis AuBuchon, unfortunately our society is getting worse. No one is held accountable for their actions anymore, everything and everyone is just labeled. More money is put into the prison system (some private prisons are even traded in stock markets) than into the education for our kids. When a man's decision to change his gender status can dominate the news and win an Espy, instead of real news worthy issues, you know something is wrong with our Society.


Dennis AuBuchon profile image

Dennis AuBuchon 16 months ago Author

Alphadogg10

Thanks for stopping by and providing some input. There has always been problems with some of the media in covering stories that are not worthy of covering while ignoring others that should.


sandrawelch 16 months ago

Not so many years ago, there were four types of crime that would get someone a life sentence or executed. Murder, Rape, Arson, and Burglary all got hard, federal time. Today, things have changed. Then a murder or rape would get your seat heated up in the electric chair. Arson and Burglary meant many long years behind bars. We have softened, and forgotten prison time is sentenced for a reason. To keep society safe, to detour criminals from committing crimes, and to actually punish the criminal. We are so worried about criminals crying that they didn't get their eight hours of rest, or an hour of play time, that their internet was down or they wanted a certain meal that we now cater to their wims and wants.


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Dennis AuBuchon 16 months ago Author

sandrawelch

Thanks for commenting on my hub. You made great points and added to the value of my hub. Thank you


sandrawelch 16 months ago

I used to put inmates on road crews or details that involved office work. Some restaurants were employing females to work as servers. The pay check went to the prison, used against their costs, medical care, or court. Some even paid child support. Someone I knew well, was employed at the same restaurant, and told me that the inmates were having company visiting them at work. This was clearly an infraction. I went in with some friends one afternoon, and watched as a young woman came in and the inmate went outside with her. It was the inmates daughter. Going outside was another infraction. I watched as the inmate picked up over twenty dollars in cash tips. That after noon, I called her supervisor and informed her of the situation. And that I would expect a copy of her time card, with tip report before her next paycheck would be released. Every day that week, that the inmate worked, the young woman came by, they went outside or into the bathroom, and then she left. The inmates were not allowed to bring anything out of the prison, and nothing went back into the prison. One of those visits, the young woman took a bag into the restroom, but did not come back out with it. A minute later the inmate was in the loo. But she had not carried a bag out with her. I went into the restroom (ladies room) and found the empty bag in the trash. After reporting it to my supervisor, he was upset. He sent myself or another county employee to lunch every day that she worked. That is when we found out, she had a locker at work. Another no, no. Every day, we made sure we watched how much she picked up in tips, for at least an hour. See, in SC, waitresses made 1/2 minimum wage, $ 2.13 an hour. She only had to report minimum wage for her tips. When I got the copy of her paycheck, she had reported exactly that amount. She had claimed, about $ 90 for the week. She was short changing the prison, by under reporting. She was short changing her child support, by under reporting. Same for taxes, social security and insurance. But, she was searched daily, where had the money gone? Her daughter was picking up the difference almost daily. The rest she kept in her locker. And the daughter was filling a list for her almost daily. Cigarettes, Midol, postage stamps, candy, and street drugs were going back to the prison with the inmate. We had come across a very deeply, quietly run criminal enterprise, run through the labor program. I went back to her supervisor, and was asked, "Why are you coming down so hard on her? She goes to work daily. She gets along with everyone. In the five years she has been working for the restaurant there has never been a complaint." Well of course she got along with everyone. She was a contraband dealer. I pulled her from the job, and put her cleaning road sides, a big change from the air conditioned, family dropping in, eat what ever she wanted two meals a day to prison sandwiches, Gatorade and rubber gloves. Her transport officer tried to work it around me, by going over my head, to get her back in the restaurant. No way Jose. At the end of the day, she was ratted out, by my crew. The crew worked hard, daily. They were a little irritated that someone serving more time than they were was up to this game. Come to find out, she was paying off the driver, ten dollars a shift, and supplying the entire wing with contraband. Penalty? The driver was taken off the road, the inmate was not allowed to work out side the prison, and the follow of contraband was curbed. It is frightening that inmates working actually have these type of contact and would pull this type of scheme, but they did, all the time.


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Dennis AuBuchon 16 months ago Author

sandrawelch

Thanks for your interesting input to my hub. It is much appreciated.

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