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The Pax Romana destroyed the Romans.
Prosperity breeds stupidity.
What is the cause of this, and how do we reduce this number?
I actually would have no objections to giving judges almost 100% freedom to decide sentences, barring obvious exceptions like death and/or cruel+unusual punishments.
Well, so long as every crime at least had a MAXIMUM sentence. ;^)
It's profitable to run a prison.
And that's a huge problem. Prisons are a big part of the economy around here, to the point that a decrease in crime or prison population would cause substantial unemployment. That shouldn't be: criminal punishment/rehabilitation needs to exist as far outside of the real economy as possible.
On occasion we get some creative judges who put forth sentences that cleverly fit the crime, and might actually teach the guilty party a lesson. This needs to happen a lot more often. I can see a world where someone selling alcohol to minors is sentenced to work in a hospital and take care of car accident victims. Maybe some businessman who stole from the pension fund is sentenced to go entertain old people in a really crappy retirement home.
Hand in hand with that, we need to get rid of many of our minimum sentences. More and more laws require minimum sentences. This eliminates the judges discretion in determining sentencing.
Give more money to the employees in prisons that successfully rehabilitate and release more people back into society.
For another thing, if judges have a lot of discretion, you inevitable find that some judges are very lenient and some are very harsh. That's unfair for the defendants who draw the harsh judges, and causes consternation among the populace when newspapers run articles about the lenient judge who lets the burglar guy off with a stern speech.
Give more money to the employees in prisons that successfully rehabilitate and release more people back into society.There is a hue problem with this plan. You have to assume that with any system, there will be people taking advantage. If there is an incentive to release people, there might be a push to put people on the street that aren't ready for it. Even well meaning people would do this if keeping people longer might get their facility shut down.
Sounds like the obvious solution is to get more judges.
Sounds like the obvious solution is to get more judges.And pay them$120K or more each?They already say theyaren't paid enough.
I think the best way to handle the issue of fairness while also giving judges more discretion is to have more judges on that level be elected. If a town wants a stern judge, they can vote them in. If they think their judge is too stern, they can vote them out. It's federalism at its finest.
And pay them$120K or more each?They already say theyaren't paid enough.
We elect judges in KY. That causes some of them to be more than very accomodating to the rich and the well born around election time. So if you can afford an attorney that gives a lot to the judge's campaign fund, or an attorney who has a good family name that can throw a lot of support behind a judge's campaign, you're set for some lenient judicial treatment.
Yeah, that's too much. We basically only need to pay judges enough money to keep them from quitting and becoming lawyers.
Also maybe if judges had more discretion in their jobs, they would be happier, and wouldn't demand more money.
Even the ones that do have discretion (In Ky, there's little if any mandatory sentencing) are very very crabby.
I don't know enough about the everyday life of a judge to figure out what makes them so grumpy, so I can't offer any more layman solutions.
I don't know enough about the everyday life of a judge to figure out what makes them so grumpy, so I can't offer any more layman solutions.I can say that all of the judges with whom I've had to deal have been incredibly friendly. I guess YMMV.
Quote myself "Of course it all breaks down if the corruption remains, but that is true for anything."