Two Things

Monday, July 30th, 2012

I don’t have time to give either of these the attention they deserve—which they deserve for entirely different reasons. But I’ll leave them here for y’all to ponder, discuss, and dissect.

  • The first is this article, which depicts a story so unbelievably outrageous on so many different levels, it may well shock even the jaded souls who read this site. It’s really astounding.

 

–Radley


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63 Responses to “Two Things”

  1. #1 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    USA: pitchfork crowd cheering for the execution of the mentally ill.

  2. #2 |  The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » DEA Uses Truck Under False Pretenses; Refuses to Pay Truck Owner $133,532 in Repairs Resulting from Botched Sting Operation | 

    […] Tip: The Agitator Permalink || Comments (0) || Categories: Dumbasses and Authoritarians,Government […]

  3. #3 |  marie | 

    EVERY system will have error. You have to decide what level of error is acceptable – NONE is not possible, unless you have no system at all.

    The level of error that is acceptable? Zero innocent men incarcerated.

    The purpose of our justice system is justice. The part of the Constitution that prevents you from being a victim is the second amendment.

  4. #4 |  pim FEE | 

    Facile is an uncommon word. It was used by Mr. Balko and twice in the comments section at the KC star. I imagine the Joker being a huge fan of adult cartoons and watching Jon Stewart. I’ll bet he considered himself a progressive.

  5. #5 |  Harry Suit | 

    Economic answer – default punishment for murder is death penalty, unless the guilty can raise enough money to afford to be kept alive (in prison). Those who are against the death penalty can form charities to help those who cannot afford it on their own (I’d imagine the vast majority, since it’s what, over 50K/year?).

    Run out of funds in year 10? Too bad, you enter death row.

  6. #6 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @55 – Ah yes, one justice for the rich, another for the poor.

    “Charities”. Yea, right, “those scum who keep murderers alive”, as the press will call them. They’ll last, maybe, three months.

  7. #7 |  Mark F. | 

    “USA: pitchfork crowd cheering for the execution of the mentally ill.”

    How do you know Holmes is “mentally ill?” And how come “mental illness” never causes anyone to do something good?

  8. #8 |  Jason Kuznicki | 

    When a mental eccentricity causes someone to do something bad, we call it a mental illness.

    When a mental eccentricity causes someone to do something good, we call it a lot of other things: Obsession. Virtuosity. Genius. Sainthood. Anything but mental illness, seemingly.

    But if you were to take the typical person from today and place them in the Renaissance, they might well be called insane. And vice versa.

    I’m not making a blanket endorsement of relativism here, either. I’m just noting that the standards for mental illness seem especially pliable over time.

  9. #9 |  Deoxy | 

    The level of error that is acceptable? Zero innocent men incarcerated.

    The only way to accomplish this is to incarcerate no one.

    The part of the Constitution that prevents you from being a victim is the second amendment.

    So, execution, then? The errors that would still manage to occur would be a whole lot worse…

    Granted, I believe very strongly in the second amendment, and I believe very strongly that our current system has major problems, but let’s be serious for a moment:

    What would your system (one with no prison at all) do with the “judgement proof” (read: completely utterly broke) who commit crimes?

    If I have nothing to pay restitution, and I steal something valuable (say, a car – and I wreck it, so it’s no longer worth anything), what is my penalty? Do you get to kill me?

    If not, what penalty is there for me? Yay, crime sprrreeeeee…..

    And of course, you are also advocating killing people in defense of your stuff, not just yourself or your family – not sure I’d disagree with that, really, but it would be a hard sell with most of the population these days.

  10. #10 |  marie | 

    You are an idiot, Deoxy.

    Putting zero innocent people in prison means only those proven beyond a reasonable doubt would be in prison. Prosecutors have the power now to put defendants in prison without having to prove anything. That’s wrong and that leads inevitably to putting innocent people in prison.

    Do I think it is possible to get to my goal of zero innocent men in prison? Probably not, but that still needs to be the goal.

    I don’t know where your little fantasy about execution comes from. The second amendment gives you the power to prevent your becoming a victim. If you don’t like guns, fine, but do learn how to protect yourself and stop expecting law enforcement to do it for you.

  11. #11 |  Deoxy | 

    I’m not an idiot – I am applying your requirements logically and telling you the result. The idiocy is in the requirement.

    Putting zero innocent people in prison means only those proven beyond a reasonable doubt would be in prison.

    That is ostensibly the system we have now.

    Prosecutors have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt… to a jury. The rules for jury picking are crazy.

    The only way prosecutors can put people in prison without proving anything is the plea bargain… and that only works so badly because getting juries (selected badly) to do what you want is far too easy.

    There are dozens of ways we could improve out system… and there would still be innocent people put in prison at least occasionally.

    I don’t know where your little fantasy about execution comes from.

    “My” little execution fantasy comes, again, directly from you, your requirements, and the direct logical consequences of them. In fact, I quoted them both in just earlier, but I will do so again, just for you:

    The level of error that is acceptable? Zero innocent men incarcerated.

    The part of the Constitution that prevents you from being a victim is the second amendment.

    So, if there is to be no incarceration, and the second amendment is the remedy to victimization, then that leaves execution or NOTHING for those unable to pay recompense for their crimes.

    I laid all this out before; you simply don’t want to think through the consequences of your stated desires. You are fantasizing.

    he second amendment gives you the power to prevent your becoming a victim. If you don’t like guns, fine, but do learn how to protect yourself and stop expecting law enforcement to do it for you.

    And this makes it clear (if the other didn’t) that you didn’t even read what I wrote earlier. I support the second amendment, I think the vast majority of the populace should be armed, and I think you should be able to hold a thief at gunpoint until the police arrive… meaning that you can SHOOT the thief is he tries to run (that’s the only way “holding at gunpoint” actually works).

    But hey, I can point out the ridiculous fallacies in your so-called reasoning, so I must be a gun-fearing idiot.

  12. #12 |  marie | 

    Prosecutors have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt… to a jury.

    That’s just it: prosecutors rarely have to do that. Mandatory minimum sentences make it possible to incarcerate large numbers of people without EVER going to a jury. When someone takes the plea, the prosecutor doesn’t have to prove a damned thing.

    The prosecution says, “We could charge you with X, which has a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years, or you can plead guilty to Y, and serve 6 years.” Which would you take?

    THAT is the way it works.

    In the last five years, only 2% of Colorado’s convictions came from a jury trial. Two percent.

    …by threatening the accused with drastically more severe potential penalties if they exercise their right to a trial by jury, prosecutors undermine that right and sometimes compel the innocent to plead guilty.

    I did see that you support the Second Amendment. The bit about learning how to protect yourself even if you don’t like guns may not have been appropriate in your case, but in #49 you had said “The objective of our system is to produce the least victimization by crime.” I think that is foolish thinking. You also said, “I want to live in a society where I have a very low chance of being the victim of a crime.” I was telling you to rely on yourself instead of relying on our system to prevent being victimized.

    Our system victimizes innocent people. Is it better to be “kidnapped” by the system than it is to be kidnapped by strangers? It is still kidnapping, and yet you are willing to let OTHERS be “kidnapped” by the system. If your ass was on the line, your choices would suddenly look a whole lot different.

  13. #13 |  Deoxy | 

    If your ass was on the line, your choices would suddenly look a whole lot different.

    My ass IS on the line. Everyday.

    Just like everyone else in this society – “To live is risk.” Every day, I roll the dice and hope not to be in the .004% of people (or whatever) who will be victimized today. (Yes, there are things one can do to minimize the risks, but you can’t eliminate them.)

    WHO does the victimizing is not really that important. There is X risk of it being the state, and Y risk of it being someone else – the total is Z, and that’s all I really care about.

    The state tends to be more thorough and long-lasting about it (jail, etc) and lot harder to defend yourself against – these add to the impossible-to-properly-quantify “victimization quotient” of the state doing it.

    But, especially when it comes to violent death, well, it doesn’t really matter who does it – it matters that we minimize how much it happens, total.

    I completely understand that the current system only holds public actors accountable on an extremely rare occasion, and that makes such abuses more likely, but that doesn’t change the argument, only the current steps needed.

    I don’t understand why that’s so hard to understand.

    Is it better to be “kidnapped” by the system than it is to be kidnapped by strangers?

    Depends on the state, the state agents involved, and the strangers in question.

    That is, they are both very bad things, and I want the TOTAL of that lowered, not just one group or the other. In fact, I’d go for a little higher of either one if it meant the total was lower.

    To turn your question around, is it better for 12 people to be kidnapped by strangers or 10 by the state?

    Barring other material differences (which vary greatly by the specific event), I’d pick the 10 instead of the 12. EVERY TIME.

    Wouldn’t you?