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Thursday, March 5, 2015

UPDATE ON "THREE STRIKES AND YOU'RE DEAD"

Scroll down to my posting of yesterday, which reports on how condemned criminals will all someday be terminated.  The larger question, however, is whether society has the right to take the life of anyone.


Legend
  Abolished for all crimes (101)
  Abolished for all crimes except under exceptional/special circumstances (such as crimes committed in wartime) (7)
  Not used in practice (under a moratorium or have not used capital punishment in at least 10 years) (47)
  Retainers of the death penalty in law and practice (40)

To summarize:
  • 103 (52%) countries have abolished the death penalty.
  • 37 maintain the practice.
  • 50 permit capital punishment, but have not used it for at least 10 years.
  • China executes by lethal injection more than a thousand every year, by far more than the whole world combined.
  • #2 is Iran with hundreds/year by firing squad, hanging and stoning.
  • #3 is Iraq, 447 hung during the past decade.

In America:

  • 58% believe the mentally ill should not face the death penalty.
  • Similarly, support for capital punishment has declined since the 1990's:
  • Gallup poll:
  • Percent in favor of death penalty:
    • 64% of whites, while only 42% of blacks
    • 82% of Republicans
    • 40% of Catholics
    • 23% of Christian Millenials (younger ones who are serious about their religion
Twenty four states have some form of "three strikes" law, where a persistent offender is dealt a harsher penalty at strike three, such as life imprisonment.  In California, which is strict, crime has significantly fallen.  

The U.S. has more incarcerated/capita than any other country:


To quote from Chapter 1 of my SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity:

Here is my problem with this (3-strikes) law. As immoral as keeping someone in jail for the rest of his life might be, I think it is not worth my tax dollars. Does this mean I am against such a concept? No, I like the fact that seasoned criminals are kept away, only, let us be truly sensible, maybe, even draconian. First, do we want a better educational system or should we build more prisons? Second, isn’t it cruel to keep someone locked up for a lifetime? Third, how, really, can we actually best prevent that fourth crime. This simple solution will soon be announced...but not quite yet.

In the book, I was leading up to:  THREE STRIKES AND YOU'RE DEAD!

In 2009, The Huffington Post published my:


For the primary reason of being too provocative, HuffPo refused to publish, Part 2:  THREE STRIKES AND YOU'RE DEAD.  So I featured this uber controversial posting on13 June 2009.  Read that article for details, but in summary:
  • First conviction: Someone commits a crime. Do everything possible to reform the misguided individual. One remediative option is restorative justice, promoting repair, reconciliation and the rebuilding of relationships. The process attempts to build partnerships, seeking balanced approaches for victim, wrongdoer and community. There will be a lot of counseling and, as necessary and possible, some restitution.
  • Crime #2 is committed and the defendant is judged guilty. Standard prison? Nope. Save your tax monies to build better school systems. Find some hellacious environment where the prisoner will need to support himself, and where the cost to society will be minimal. A mild form -- I was thinking more in terms of dungeons or caves -- of this concept is represented by Joe Arpaio, sheriff of Maricopa Arizona County.
  • Third conviction: termination! Yes, death. The U.S. has now had more than 1,000 executions since the Supreme Court ended a moratorium three decades ago. The transition will be messy, but under the TSAYD formula, this number could seriously increase in the first few years, but should decline with time. The odds are astronomically high that crime rates will significantly drop within the decade. 
Hitleresque?  Abominable?  Yes, all that and more.  I advanced THREE STRIKES AND YOU'RE DEAD to promote discussion on how to better develop solutions to crime.  A table of young liberal lawyers I recently had lunch with was appalled.  Their arguments, however, were not on how to "improve" the concept, but, rather, on the general immorality.  They've got a good point.

Maybe more surprising, and, possibly a clue on how society in general might react, were the responses from my "friends."  To a person they all liked the proposal.  I haven't had the time nor inclination to pursue this approach, but I think some next generation society might want to debate the merits and fashion a  more efficacious legal mechanism to control crime.  Hey, God watching over us and only permitting the pure to enter Heaven and disposing the heathens to Hell, is a canonical system that has worked for two Millennia.

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