*Credit to ahorseback for prompting this topic.
ahorseback, taking your comment as broadly as it seems written should bring shudders to folks concerned about our Constitutional protections. But on the other hand, it could be a good launching point for further discussion.
Without a doubt I can agree with you that there are serious issues with our legal system; the plea bargaining aspect is just one of the most obvious, but the tone of your list is a bit scary.
One instance is your desire to keep "activist" lawyers out of the system. Would that include the "activist" lawyers that work to free and exonerate wrongfully convicted people, the ones that take a "people's" case against big moneyed interests, or just the ones that use our legal system to afford crooks, (or perceived crooks), the same protections innocent folks have? I also fume when I see a smart lawyer get an apparently guilty person off on a technicality, but that "technicality" is usually there for the protection of all folks. Should innocent folks lose that protection just so a smart lawyer can't use it to help a guilty person?
Regarding violent crime plea bargaining; Could you accept a little tinkering - instead of a flat prohibition? For instance, could you see the equity in taking the death penalty off the table for a Mafioso or terrorism soldier in exchange for help getting a conviction of a Don or terrorist leader? I wouldn't give a free pass, or a "detention center-type" sentence to any violent crime offender, but I can see the need for a little flexibility. Particularly in examples such as I mentioned.
While I can agree that territorial rivalries between our legal and intelligence agencies can be a problem, I also have to consider that those agencies you mentioned have territories for a reason. It's gonna be tough getting instinctive human nature behaviors out of that equation. As I have seen mentioned before - it's all about the money and power.
It seems to me that It is senseless to believe that adding laws to a system that is broken in enforcing existing laws is insanity . Lets simply add one more gun law to be ultimately plead down to lesser crime ? Am I the only one who will stop shoveling when I can no longer climb from the pit ? Of course selectively stopping certain plea bargains is what I mean .
The activist lawyers have already done the damage , The ACLU is committed to emptying prisons , reducing court dockets , stopping or hindering law enforcement ,
further softening drug crimes when criminals are mostly impaired. Anyone seen the ACLU defend policing , incarceration , punishments ?
Protecting the innocents is the job of all attorneys , lets try protecting the victim for a change , let's try making their journey through the system successful for a change .
But not by protecting the rights of the multiply convicted from being further convicted ? How about let's follow the history of a criminal in court .
Just read of a ex-navy Seal who pointedly asked , " Why do we want to ban the one weapon that we ALL hope the police will show up WITH when a mass shooting or any act of terror is happening "- The AR-15 .
Homeland security was the first organization to afford dropping some rivalries between agencies and it worked after 9/11 at least for awhile . is that the only time that works , in a national emergency ? If so , we've got one right now ! Align all crime fighting agencies as one.
Handgun deaths in Chicago alone in this last year -- far exceeded death by mass shootings , How is that hand-gun ban working ? How is their system of law enforcement working ? We have to keep our eye on the real issues and keep the numbers of all violent crime deaths in proper perspective .
I am glad to hear your "plea bargaining" thought ahorseback - it fits my natural confirmation bias, because that's the way I see it too. If a lesser bargain, like foregoing the death penalty won't get the job done - then so be it. Violent crimes need appropriate sentencing. If there is even the question of whether the ends justifies the means - then they don't.
Regarding the ACLU, and emptying prisons ... I think we will have a few disagreements there. I think we need to get a lot of people out of our prisons. Like the non-violent pot smokers, (and similar criminal actions), that get years of prison time, while a child abuser or rapist, or rich white guy, get months. That is an area where I think our criminal justice system is messed up.
Taking the ACLU actions, in the view of Lady Justice's balance scale; how many seemingly outrageous ACLU wins, (yes, I agree they have them), does it take to outweigh the benefit of the times they have protected the Rights of us little people?
To that point, we should probably look at where we disagree. Here is ACLU's ACCOMPLISHMENTS page. Now I know they are going to lead with their best stuff, so I am not offering this page as proof of their Sainthood, but at least this list shows some of the good that I think they have done. Take a look and let me know which ones you think were their abuses. We can go on from there. ACLU's ACCOMPLISHMENTS page.
If the ACLU retains one dollar of federal subsidies it should then be forced and complied to remain politically neutral , perhaps by attorney counts , The moment that one or the other ideology rules their daily roster of operation , they should be stopped.
That goes the same for any legal entity operating in OUR courts . The scales of the ACLU are not to tip in one ideology or the other.
Of course we do need to remove pot smokers from death row , just not pot smokers that committed mass shootings . That committed multiple rapes while high , that have been trafficking in crystal meth and stealing gramma's cars while thanksgiving dinner is being served .
Balance is the key to justice that works , the balance of justice is way off.
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