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Old 2011-01-28, 15:20   #1
R.D. Silverman
 
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Default Criminal Sentencing

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==========================================================
Federal prosecutors say 50-year-old Earl Francis Hart held the officer at gunpoint at a Peabody motel in September 2008 and robbed the undercover officer of what he thought were 125 oxycodone pills.

He was convicted in October of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; being a felon in possession of a firearm; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone; and attempted possession with intent to distribute oxycodone.

The judge said she handed down the life sentence because of Hart’s lack of remorse and total refusal to accept responsibility for his crimes.

==========================================================

I think that this sentence is wrong for a very practical reason:

The same penalty applies to murder.

If a felon is going to get life for a crime less than murder, then
he has nothing to lose by killing during the crime.

The same thing applies to the "3 strikes and your out" life sentence.
Consider a rapist. If he commits his 3rd rape and gets caught, he gets life.
Therefore he has nothing to lose by killing his victim so she can't talk.

Comments????
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Old 2011-01-28, 15:53   #2
Wacky
 
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In some jurisdictions, there are two, or more, sentences which are more severe than "life". Since most sentences come with the possibility of parole, and, for that purpose, "life" is treated as "expected life", a sentence of 60+ years is actually longer.

And then there are the sentences of "life without parole" and "death".

But you do have a point.
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Old 2011-01-28, 17:28   #3
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http://www.thedailyitemoflynn.com/ar...ews/news08.txt

Quote:
During Hart's sentencing on Thursday, Judge Saris discussed his length and violent criminal history, which began in 1979 when Hart was sentenced to nine years in San Quentin Prison for violently assaulting and robbing an elderly couple. Saris also said that her sentence was based on Hart's lack of remorse and total refusal to accept any responsibility for holding a loaded gun to the head of a police officer.
If the officer identified himself, that then enhances the crime. To disregard the authority of 'the state' (as represented by a police officer, judge, prosecutor) or to attack 'the state' (as represented by the PM, President, MP, Congressman, Senator, Canton/County/City level office holder), knowingly, is a serious thing. If one kills a peace officer, often the potential sentence goes from life to life with no hope of release or death. If there is an assault on a peace officer, the sentence can be increased dramatically over the case of the average citizen.

Since the perp was a felon with a gun, that can be added to or enhance the sentence. And he assaulted witnesses in this case.

edit: In the past, kidnapping was often a capital offense in many jurisdictions.

Last fiddled with by Uncwilly on 2011-01-28 at 17:30
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Old 2011-01-28, 19:03   #4
petrw1
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I think that in general prisons are more like resorts with too many privileges. I live in Central Canada where Winters are harsh. It is not uncommon for some of the "system-savvy" locals to commit specific crimes in the Fall that give them "free room and board" for the Winter.

I think if there were "privilege levels" in the jails then the guy in your scenario may be less inclined to think if he is going for life anyway there is no harm in shotting the witness.

Making this up as I type (the harsher or more repeated the crime the higher the LEVEL):
LEVEL 1 LIFE: like it is today
LEVEL 2 LIFE: No TV, reduced yard time, no dessert, smaller cell, 4 hours of hard labor a day, guys have to wear pink uniforms
LEVEL 3 LIFE: No yard time, cold meals, mattress on the floor, hot-pink, 8 hours of labor
LEVEL 4 LIFE: ... you get the idea ...

Hard labor: I would suggest to our locals that their "free room and board" for the Winter comes with 8 hours a day of shoveling snow around town ... of course, I'd come up with a way to ensure they can't escape or harm anyone (details).
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Old 2011-01-28, 21:16   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petrw1 View Post
LEVEL 3 LIFE: No yard time, cold meals, mattress on the floor, hot-pink, 8 hours of labor
http://www.time.com/time/nation/arti...929920,00.html
http://wagingnonviolence.org/2009/07...ff-in-america/

Quote:
Hard labor: I would suggest to our locals that their "free room and board" for the Winter comes with 8 hours a day of shoveling snow around town ... of course, I'd come up with a way to ensure they can't escape or harm anyone (details).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chain_gang
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Old 2011-01-28, 22:00   #6
petrw1
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Yes, I had heard of this guy before. The articles suggest he is under a lot of protest and threats but are there any hard facts on whether or not he is having any success reducing repeat offenders?

Questions here (but no answers): http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...7891-2,00.html
Quote:
But if his tough-guy, tax-saving tactics are as effective as he claims at discouraging crime, why has the average daily jail population gone from 4,846 to 6,485 on his watch? Why is he campaigning for a new jail? And why has the budget increased by roughly $10 million, to a total of $91.5 million?
33% increase over about 20 years.
How does that compare to the national average?
Does it just mean they are getting better at catching criminals; that there always were that many but a higher percentage used to get away with it?
Are other juridictions sending inmates his way because of perceived success?

As well the articles suggests he is focusing on people who commit lesser crimes where sympathy will be stronger. I wonder how much protest there would be against the living conditions and treatment of inmates if his jails were instead filled with brutal murderers and rapists.

A couple interesting quotes:
Quote:
"Too many jails in this country are just shy of being like hotels. That isn't right. I keep saying, 'People shouldn't live better in jail than they do on the outside.' Here in my jails, they don't."
— Arpaio on his campaign website, SheriffJoe.org
Quote:
"It's 120 degrees in Iraq and the soldiers are living in tents and they didn't commit any crimes, so shut your mouths."
— Arpaio to inmates living in tents that reached 138 degrees during a heat wave. Associated Press, July 25, 2003
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Old 2011-01-28, 22:03   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.D. Silverman View Post
Comments are solicited:

==========================================================
Federal prosecutors say 50-year-old Earl Francis Hart held the officer at gunpoint at a Peabody motel in September 2008 and robbed the undercover officer of what he thought were 125 oxycodone pills.

He was convicted in October of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; being a felon in possession of a firearm; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone; and attempted possession with intent to distribute oxycodone.

The judge said she handed down the life sentence because of Hart’s lack of remorse and total refusal to accept responsibility for his crimes.

==========================================================

I think that this sentence is wrong for a very practical reason:

The same penalty applies to murder.

If a felon is going to get life for a crime less than murder, then
he has nothing to lose by killing during the crime.

The same thing applies to the "3 strikes and your out" life sentence.
Consider a rapist. If he commits his 3rd rape and gets caught, he gets life.
Therefore he has nothing to lose by killing his victim so she can't talk.

Comments????
I know I'm not familiar with american law but should I give quotes of our book I see how it could fall under attempted murder if the person knew he was a undercover officer, the old version of the Criminal Code of Canada states the maximum for assaulting a peace officer is 5 years so we seemed more lacks then not sure about now, my PCC I got as a gift for helping out in a school library the librarian was going to throw it away, it's the PCC 2002.
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Old 2011-01-28, 22:14   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petrw1 View Post
I think that in general prisons are more like resorts with too many privileges. I live in Central Canada where Winters are harsh. It is not uncommon for some of the "system-savvy" locals to commit specific crimes in the Fall that give them "free room and board" for the Winter.

I think if there were "privilege levels" in the jails then the guy in your scenario may be less inclined to think if he is going for life anyway there is no harm in shotting the witness.

Making this up as I type (the harsher or more repeated the crime the higher the LEVEL):
LEVEL 1 LIFE: like it is today
LEVEL 2 LIFE: No TV, reduced yard time, no dessert, smaller cell, 4 hours of hard labor a day, guys have to wear pink uniforms
LEVEL 3 LIFE: No yard time, cold meals, mattress on the floor, hot-pink, 8 hours of labor
LEVEL 4 LIFE: ... you get the idea ...

Hard labor: I would suggest to our locals that their "free room and board" for the Winter comes with 8 hours a day of shoveling snow around town ... of course, I'd come up with a way to ensure they can't escape or harm anyone (details).
Sorry, not nearly severe enough. You didn't specify
where Death Penalty (absolutely necessary) comes in.
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Old 2011-01-28, 22:31   #9
petrw1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davar55 View Post
Sorry, not nearly severe enough. You didn't specify
where Death Penalty (absolutely necessary) comes in.
That is covered generically by:

Quote:
LEVEL 4 LIFE: ... you get the idea ...
Somewhere down the list could be a LEVEL X: Death Penalty

Personally though, I'm not sure anyone really should be allowed to decided whether another lives or dies; but if it is deemed that a criminal truly cannot be rehabilitated then why should the taxpayers have to pay for decades to house that person?

I was quite intrigued by a movie (or was it a book) a friend of mind told me about 20 years ago where lawmakers decided that the worst criminals would simply be dropped off (by helicopted I assume) on an island where they all fend for themselves.
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Old 2011-01-28, 22:33   #10
Mr. P-1
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.D. Silverman View Post
The same thing applies to the "3 strikes and your out" life sentence.
Consider a rapist. If he commits his 3rd rape and gets caught, he gets life.
Therefore he has nothing to lose by killing his victim so she can't talk.
He has more to lose by committing the 3rd rape.

I find it difficult to believe that someone who is not deterred from committing rape by a potential life sentence would be deterred from committing murder.
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Old 2011-01-28, 22:44   #11
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if he didn't kill the person under the CC I have it could be considered:

1)attempted murder ( with firearm clause)
2)assault with a firearm
3)assault on a peace officer

1) imprisonment for life and to minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of four years

2) term not exceeding 10 years or punishable on summary conviction and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 18 months.

3) a) imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years

b)summary conviction.

these are either direct or paraphrased from the pocket criminal code 2002 , carswell company.
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