Everyone is a criminal

We are arguably the most free (freest?) country in the world, and for the most part I would agree. Americans tend to have a stronger sense of fairness and live-and-let-live mentality than others I think. Coupled with our constitutional, representative democracy where the rule of law is paramount, our comparatively huge and diverse country has surprisingly withstood all kinds of attacks with varying intensity on our liberty (for the most part).

But then there is our criminal justice system, on steroids thanks to our legislatures. For our own good of course. John Stossel disagrees:
The rules that bind us now total more than 160,000 pages. The Congressional Research Service said it was unable to count the number of crimes on the books. Yet last week the feds added or proposed another thousand pages. States and cities have thousands more. Have you read them all? Have our "representatives" read them all?

...When there is a big crime, legislators quickly demand that felons be given longer jail sentences and "mandatory minimums" for repeat offenses. This wins votes but kills judicial discretion and crushes unlucky people.

In Iowa, a man with an old felony conviction found a bullet, put it on his dresser and forgot about it. A police officer, looking for something else, saw the bullet. Felons may not possess any ammunition, and this "crime" made the man a repeat offender. He's now serving a 15-year mandatory sentence for possession of ammunition. Really.
Ron Paul was the only candidate to talk about this with any passion, not even Obama has discussed this.The article goes on to point out that if Obama had been prosecuted for his admitted crimes, he would not be president today, far from it actually. We were all young, and we've all done stupid things. In that respect, many of us are similar to Obama. Like him or not, he made something of himself, started a family and supported that family. Now imagine if he went to prison.

The point is that this is becoming a nation of people who are caught, and people who are not of increasingly vague and victimless crimes. And a prison term does not exactly open doors for people, at least not the doors we want.


CABE on August 12, 2012 at 1:07 PM said...

Nice blog you got here =)

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