Crime And Punishment

Posted by CaptainKirk 2 years, 8 months ago to Politics
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Many years ago, I realized we had a problem. Like most problems, it was caused by the intersection of doers and takers (or socialists and capitalists).

Our criminal system was setup so that you had to overcome reasonable doubt. And EVERYTHING is stacked in protecting the person charged with a crime.
(And as we see false accusations used to hurt people, you again realize how smart our forefathers were).

So, it's similar to: You can have EITHER Open Borders or Welfare... But not both.

You can EITHER have Punishment that FITS the crime, or a High Hurdle, but not both.

Keep in mind. The goal of punishment is to DETER the behavior. It is NOT a NEGATIVE reward (fit the crime), it is to STOP the crime before it happens.
I use the IRS rules. If the IRS ONLY made me pay back what I did not pay years ago... I would CHEAT Like the Dickens... And that is the punishment FITTING the crime.
You paid back what you did not pay. A perfect fit. Maybe with interest.

But, if you want to DETER that behavior, you add JAIL TIME, and PENALTIES. So, keep $10,000 could cost you 5 years in jail, and $50,000. That's a DETERRENT!

We have lost that. We also have TOO MANY Laws. And we have too much recidivism. Recidivism is LITERALLY proof that the punishment is too weak!
Maybe 1% Recidivism is acceptable, but above that, we DOUBLE the punishment until it drops!

I often think of the Star Trek Episode where they had NO CRIME, NO LOCKS. Nobody would ever steal anything, or break the law. Because there was ONLY 1 punishment. Death.
Wesley Crusher stepped over a "Do not step on the grass" Sign, and was sentenced to death. Now, it's a bit harsh for an outsider, and for THAT crime. But what a society! ZERO recidivism with a Death Penalty!

Unfortunately, our punishments are too weak. And prisons are NOT the best places for making better people.

But I would love to see NEAR IMMEDIATE Executions for these crimes:
1) Gang member in possession of an illegal firearm, involved in an illegal shooting
2) Any Robbery where a weapon is used (fired or not)
3) Anyone who SHOOTS at police with malice

I think we should help train these people to be productive members of society, and we should even subsidize their
work (like college kids with Work-Study) to get them to be productive members of society. And if they can't do it,
we should have NO OBLIGATION to keep them inside of society.


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  • Posted by mia767ca 2 years, 8 months ago
    legalize all drugs...drug prohibition is the same problem alcohol prohibition was...you take the criminal out of drugs...you clean up the mess in our judicial system (corruption),,,and you hold individuals responsible for their actions...all criminals have to pay back the financial debt they caused while in prison...all food stamp, and welfarists lose the right to vote until they pay back what they took while on the taxpayer dole...

    you get the idea...a responsible system will create responsible individuals...
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  • Posted by $ blarman 2 years, 8 months ago
    Excellent commentary regarding deterrence. Indeed, public policy actually is all about legislating morality: what society should and should not tolerate and the penalties should be high enough to deter behavior in the first place. That most are now placed at a lower level is actually not because of a desire to improve behavior, but instead to increase rationalization and law-breaking in order to engender funding for the government. I wholeheartedly agree that there are too many laws, and this is one of the reasons why.

    I also - again - agree completely that our rehabilitation system has in fact turned into a temporary sequestration system. The notion of penitence in "penitentiary" has been utterly eroded by society's growing unwillingness to clearly label acceptable vs unacceptable behavior. The criminal justice system was supposed to do more than simply incarcerate, but to re-educate. Why? Because it does society no good whatsoever to pay to hold someone for some random amount of time hoping they will change. To me, the time of sentencing should be a guide to approximating how long it takes to actually rehabilitate a convict and return them to a state in which they can rejoin society as a functioning and productive member. Life sentences to me are a joke; if you have determined that someone can not be rehabilitated and can not rejoin society, execute them.

    I do have one quibble with the Star Trek reference, however. The people on the planet in question were barely even juveniles in their intellectual development. Even the alien overlord who wanted to enforce the death penalty (and whom ultimately banned the Federation from coming back to the planet) admitted it as such, so I think your comparison does come up a bit short.


    Regarding your list of punishments, I have major issues with all of them.
    1: Gang member in possession of an illegal firearm.
    Right of Association is a First Amendment Right, and personal ownership of firearms is a Second Amendment Right. I don't think gang membership per se should be a crime, and I don't believe there is such a thing as an "illegal" firearm. Only possession by convicted felons should be illegal.

    2: Any Robbery where a weapon is used (fired or not)
    See the Second Amendment. Unless the perpetrator was a convicted felon (and therefore prohibited from owning or carrying a firearm), this one is poorly devised. Please note that actually pointing a firearm at someone - loaded or not - can be considered felony assault, so that is already covered.

    3: Anyone who SHOOTS at police with malice
    I would shorten it down to simply shooting at police and stop there. Anyone who has taken a gun safety class knows that one of the cardinal rules of firearms safety is to always know what is beyond your target.

    I have a major problem with any law which makes the perpetrators state of mind conditional to commission, primarily because it's almost impossible to prove conclusively. I really don't like the "insanity" defense which gets used so many times. If you want to take their state of mind into the sentencing portion of things, that's okay by me.


    "I think we should help train these people to be productive members of society, and we should even subsidize their
    work (like college kids with Work-Study) to get them to be productive members of society. And if they can't do it,
    we should have NO OBLIGATION to keep them inside of society."

    That's one of the reasons for the founding of Georgia, Florida, and Australia. They were all originally penal colonies.
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    • Posted by 2 years, 8 months ago
      Okay, I am reading all of this feedback, and I think it is great feedback.
      The shooting at a police officer with Malice was intended to remove that I shoot towards my front door, and unbenounced to me, there is an LEO on the other side.

      But USING a weapon while committing a crime, like a gun. That is CLEARLY one in which the punishment should be extreme.

      In Chicago I've read that 90% of the people caught with fire arms illegally, are never prosecuted. Worse, they tend to go after law-abiding citizens more than criminals and repeat offenders! We give a lot of room to those in charge.

      As to the StarTrek reference... But there was literally no crime. Of course ST was poking fun. Even within that, I would have 2 tiers: Misdemeanor and Felony. What he did was clearly not a Felony.

      It's incredibly interesting to me to read all of the feedback and see where people are.

      This comes to me, because my father laid down the law, so to speak. He made it clear as to what I could do, and what would cause him to punish me. his punishments could be considered brutally effective as to having you NEVER want to go thru them again. I think I got it ONCE. Was pretty good from that point on. (You put an earring in, and I will take it out!). His house, his rules. But it made life REALLY EASY. Work, play, have fun, DON'T break the rules. All of our lives were better because of it.

      For the record, i am pro legalization of drugs, and especially medical related (get rid of the FDA), we should be free to try what works for us. Search out our own treatments, etc.

      And I am for improving the definition of Guilty and the Process of Proving Guilt. We should not have so many people in Jail that are not guilty, WHILE letting so many other people that are Guilty walk...

      But as we watch the FBI, we know that a few bad apples is all it takes to ruin a lot of lives!
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      • Posted by $ blarman 2 years, 8 months ago
        "The shooting at a police officer with Malice was intended to remove that I shoot towards my front door, and unbenounced to me, there is an LEO on the other side."

        I completely understand what you were trying to cover, but that can be written another way. If you are shooting at someone else (a home invader, etc.) and accidentally hit someone else - such as an LEO - then create that specific situation in your law. What I suggest is simply to avoid any emotional or psychological ascertainments as necessary statutory hurdles for felony conviction. Most especially these get abused by the left as "hate" crimes - which are a complete misnomer but are used for political purposes. Here's one particular way you might reword the law: "Discharging a firearm with the result of hitting a law enforcement officer shall be a (felony/misdemeanor). Exceptions may be granted for exigent circumstances such as ricochets or if the accused employed a firearm for self-defense against a non-law enforcement officer." I'm not a lawyer, but this approach seems to me to be dictated by physical circumstances rather than being dependent on emotional/psychological state.
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        • Posted by 2 years, 8 months ago
          We agree. I also have a limited # of characters, and I was not writing the EXACT law. I was at a higher level.

          But our legal system has lost that too... We were supposed to have judges who JUDGE the actions against the INTENT of the law. But we can't trust the Judges any more.

          And there is a lot to do in that area, as well.
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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 2 years, 8 months ago
    Thanks for your reply, Captain, just to note, as there were so many points raised in the initial posting, with capital punishment there is no way to undo an injustice. We know about some of the many wrongful convictions because of the work of the Innocence Project. Based on that, and extending the statistics, there are probably 80,000 people in prison right now who were wrongfully convicted. They were factually innocent or guilty of some other crime but not the one for which they are being punished.

    Like politics of which criminal justice is just a subset, no solution can come without a prior establishment of rational epistemology and real metaphysics.

    Just for instance, should juries be held responsible for wrongful convictions?
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    • Posted by 2 years, 8 months ago
      Mike, I appreciate your feedback.

      First, having testified in a Federal Court Case... I feel our legal system is designed by the lawyers and for the lawyers.
      The Trial has been reduced to a pre-ordained showing of limited and specific evidence. That's without the GAMING that goes on (in our trial, the other party lied about the existence of documents, and then excluded the pertinent sections on the first attempt, etc).

      The Zimmerman case comes to mind. Once you See the GPS data from the cells. Mr. Martin made it home, and then went back to confront Zimmerman, what was the trial about? It's much like the media.

      ==
      BTW, I am for professional Juries. I am also for Torte Reform.
      ==

      Of these 80,000 is the trend increasing or decreasing? It would appear that in todays world, anyone carrying a cellphone and they are no where near the crime, has a plausible alibi.

      I can imagine a lot of these were Pre-DNA charges, and some of them could be like that cop accused of Rape, because he had one of the persons hairs on his clothes... Which could have been transferred a bunch of ways.

      But I am truly curious as to determining if we are getting better or worse. Because you would think EVERY defense attorney worth his salt would start citing the false convictions, especially with REMOTELY similar situations as proof of reasonable doubt.

      I am also curious as to the top 2-3 root-causes.
      ==
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      • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 2 years, 8 months ago
        The legal system is indeed "desgined by lawyers and for lawyers" and I am not sure that there is a better way. You would not want to live in a society without lawyers. Trial by combat or trial by ordeal were alternatives to trial by jury. Can we come up with some new system?

        I know what you mean, though. I sat on a jury for a University of Michigan Law School mock trial. It was a criminal case. I was in the criminal justice program at Washtenaw Community College at the time; this was an extra credit assignment. The "lawyers" argued inconsequential details as they jockeyed for points and position to win an argument. To me, working as a security guard while enrolled in a policing class, there were many other things to talk about, which no one seemed interested in. So, I get your point.

        But to that point "every defense attorney worth his salt" is working for pay, not as public defenders. Anyone who can afford a defense attorney stands a better chance. The public defender is part of the criminal justice system that processes people like objects on a conveyor belt. So, poor people end up in prison because they do not get the best defense, but just what the drive-through window is serving that day. And who is the jury going to believe, kid, you or the police?

        Also, courts do not allow lawyers to make broad statements indicting the system, or calling for jury nullification, etc. Citing a million wrongful convictions in other cases would be overruled for relevance to this case here and now.

        Here in Austin, we have a DNA backlog going back like six years. And DNA is only used for heinous crimes such as rape and murder. For lesser offenses, lesser evidence is used. Fingerprints are a perfect example of junk science in the courtroom. Fingerprints never met the Daubert Test, and cannot. You mentioned a hair sample found on a policeman's uniform. Hair samples are another example of junk science in the courtroom, like footprints and tire tracks.

        The 80,000 wrongfully convicted behind bars today were not murder or rape cases, but lesser crimes such as property crimes or drug trafficking. Often convictions come from plea bargains that "clear the books." They catch one person and convince them to admit to a string of crimes for which they receive a reduced sentences or other trades such as early release, etc. But they are in prison for crimes they did not commit.

        In prison, the longer your rap sheet, the higher your status among prisoners. So, if you are going to prison, it is better to be in for a flock than a single sheep.

        All of these problems come from bad epistemology and metaphysics. See my comment above. A rational-real (objective) criminal justice system would be based on restoring the victim and holding the perpetrator financially accountable. Fundamental to that is a marketplace of personal protection and property protection that prevents losses in the first place.
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        • Posted by 2 years, 8 months ago
          Key Question. are the false convictions increasing or decreasing?

          Second, I agree with things like fingerprints. how is a Jury supposed to understand a 3 point, 5 point, or a 7 point match?
          (most people reading this would assume you want 7 points... Google it).

          Pleading to a lessor crime is NOT being wrongly convicted, even if you did not commit that lessor crime. It is, if like Gen Flynn, you choose a plea deal because you are bankrupted, like MANY START their legal battle. And I get that end of the problem.

          But we have to fix the chicken and the egg problem. If we did not have so much crime, we would have more time to defend people. Also, the rotating donation of time to defend some people, should probably be like a CPA used to be. A required 2 years protecting people (as a public defender) before you get to be a real defense attorney. Just guessing...

          Finally, we have TOO MANY Laws. Every law strikes at our freedoms. Not sure what should be REQUIRED to move from a Civil Suit (no jail time) to a Criminal Case, but maybe that can/should be reviewed.
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          • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 2 years, 8 months ago
            We do not know if wrongful convictions are increasing or decreasing because you have to know first that the conviction was wrongful and that takes years. We do know that the exonerations for past wrongful convictions continues to mount.
            http://www.law.umich.edu/special/exon...

            And these are just for heinous crimes like murder. People wrongfully convicted 80,000 of them sit in prison. These are not lesser plea bargains, but factually wrongful convictions. I mentioned the plea bargaining especially because it is used to "clear the books" to get cases "solved." And it remains that if Man X pleads guilty to a crime he did not commit, then Criminal Y is still on the street commiting new crimes.

            That aside, the 80,000 in prison are factually innocent. That number is a statistical inference from the overturned murder and rape convictions extended to the 2.3 million in prison now. It seems like an acceptable margin ... unless it is you behind bars.

            As for fingerprints, you can have all the "points" you want, but any fingerprint examiner who disagrees with the evidence will lose their certification.

            See Suspect Identies: A History of Fingerprinting and Criminal Identification by Simon Cole (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001). pp. 264-266; 272-274; 282. Fingerprint examiners never disagree with each other in court. They only agree that the prints identify or are "inconclusive." Cole tells the story of experts in disagreement all of whose certifications were revoked because that was the only way for the International Association for Indentification to maintain the fiction that experts do not disagree about fingerprints. Today, fingerprints are unassailable in court.

            And. we should not get caught up in street crime. "Suite crime" is more consequential. More people are victimized by "white collar" crime.
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            • Posted by 2 years, 8 months ago
              This reminds me of the early days of the AIDS debate. Because 100% of Gallows patients died of AIDS, but only 80% had HIV... it begged the question as to if HIV, in fact, Caused AIDS. So, the CDC changed the definition of AIDS to say it must be accompanied by an HIV+ test(Circular Logic) to avoid the issue. Therefore if you have Cervical Cancer (AND HIV+) then it is AIDS, otherwise it is is just Cervical Cancer. A Nobel Prize Winner left the industry because they refused to cite ANY documented proof that HIV causes AIDS. (And the media ignored it all).

              Anyone who tried to speak out, or publish articles, quickly became blacklisted, and were attacked. Much like we are seeing today in every aspect of life, especially Global Warming. Science, and the process does not matter.
              ==

              Extrapolating Heinous Crimes to others... If Heinous Crimes QUALIFY for DNA Evidence, and others do not. Can you really extrapolate the numbers? (the lessor crimes could be Significantly Higher, or Significantly Lower than this)... This I understand as a Math Minor/Computer Scientist.

              Gun Stats: 31K Deaths by guns in 2013. But 20,000+ were suicides. ~11,000 Homocides (the ONLY violent deaths, in my book). And ~8,000 were Gang Related. Leaving about 3,000 Homocides (10%) that have anything to do with "Common Sense"... And that includes officer involved shootings (they take ~500 lives/yr), and they are victims as well (# unknown to me).

              Compare that to 400 MILLION Guns in the USA (more than 1 per citizen). And 3 Million Times a year, a gun is ESTIMATED to be used to stop some crime... 3K homocides is pretty dang low.
              --
              If we have 80K in prison, is that 2,000/yr over 40 years or is it on average a 5 year sentence implying 80K/5 Years = 16K/yr... Out of how many convictions? (Just curious)

              Like you said. Even if the numbers are small, when it is YOU or a loved one... Stats don't matter!
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      • Posted by LibertyBelle 2 years, 8 months ago
        There have been too many mistaken convictions. A
        man in Virginia served more than 30 years for a rape he never even did.
        I am also against professional juries. With the regular civilian jury, you get the point of view of the "man in the street", not some acceptance of
        a customary lawyer trick which might not even make sense.
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        • Posted by 2 years, 8 months ago
          So, in the case of the the man in Virginia, what would have prevented this?

          How did they get over reasonable doubt?
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          • Posted by LibertyBelle 2 years, 8 months ago
            I don't really know. I remember from the news that he had been convicted; and, in those days, I believe
            they weren't doing DNA testing, but they found since then (through DNA testing) that the guilty party was evidently some other man.
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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 2 years, 8 months ago
    Readings on Criminal Recidivism. In response to the initial post by CaptainKirk, I googled "recidivism" and found these:

    (One flaw with all of these is that they all only report the failures. Even if it were unarguably true that 68% of offenders re-offend after being released, what of the other 32%? What made them successful at returning to society?)

    Why Do So Many Ex-Cons End Up Back in Prison?
    Maybe they don’t—a provocative new study says recidivism rates are drastically lower than we think.
    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_an...

    Nonfederal (i.e., state and local) law enforcement agencies were responsible for approximately three-quarters (76%) of prior arrests of offenders placed on federal community supervision in 2005.„„
    Nonfederal charges accounted for more than two-thirds (68%) of all arrests that occurred during the 5 years following placement on federal community supervision. „„
    Within 1 year following placement in 2005 on community supervision, 18% of the federal offenders had been arrested at least once. At the end of the 5-year follow-up period, 43% had been arrested.
    Among those conditionally released from federal prison, nearly half (47%) were arrested within 5 years, compared to more than three-quarters (77%) of state prisoners released on community supervision.„„
    About 3 in 10 federal prisoners released to a term of community supervision returned to prison within 5 years, while nearly 6 in 10 state prisoners conditionally released returned in 5 years.
    https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbde...

    Here are a few highlights:
    The most striking number is this: About 45 percent of federal inmates are rearrested within five years of release. This is considerably lower than the more alarming calculation of the Bureau of Justice Statistics: 77 percent rearrested within five years. But the BJS number includes both federal prisoners and the far more numerous veterans of state prisons. The populations are different. Most murders, rapes, assaults and robberies are handled in state courts. The largest category of federal inmates consists of drug traffickers. A failure rate of 45 percent is still not something most institutions would celebrate. But it’s worth keeping in mind that when members of Congress talk about federal sentencing reform, they are talking about a significantly less menacing population than the legion of monsters sometimes conjured by hard-liners. Most of their new crimes are nonviolent.

    And many of those rearrested are not convicted or sent back to prison. The rearrest rate (for the first eight years after release) is about 49 percent. The re-conviction rate is 32 percent. The re-incarceration rate is 25 percent. (Next time you find yourself in a room full of criminologists, ask them to define “recidivism,” and stand back.)

    Inmates who didn’t finish high school are 10 points more likely to be arrested again than those who got a high school diploma – and 40 points more likely than those who finished college. This is a useful number for those who advocate Pell grants and other education programs behind bars.

    Prisoners released before turning 21 had a rearrest rate of about 68 percent; those released at age 60 or older had a rate of 16 percent. This is useful data for advocates of “compassionate release” of elderly inmates, who also tend to be the most expensive to house and tend to.

    Recidivists are most likely to commit their new offense within two years of release. This suggests that society should spend heavily on supervision and reentry programs for the newly released, and not so much after four or five years.

    Blacks are about 17 points more likely to be arrested after release than whites, but blacks are more likely to be arrested in the first place. The report does not address the mix of reasons for this — poverty, broken families, racism and lack of opportunity — which may have little or nothing to do with a criminal disposition.

    Offenders convicted of crimes involving guns are far more likely (68 percent) to end up being arrested again.

    The Sentencing Commission promises to roll out a series of reports diving deeper into their new data.
    https://www.themarshallproject.org/20...
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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 2 years, 8 months ago
    Your wide-ranging proposal has many problems. Not much has been written to establish an objective analysis of crime and justice. We have one video recording of a discussion of about 15 minutes between Ayn Rand and her lawyer, Henry Mark Holzer. Also, I understand that the nature of social media allows and encourages posts such as yours that open the door to discussion, rather than presenting a consistent treatise addressing a problem.

    To take your last points first: How do you define "gang"? A crime is no worse or less bad for being committed by more than one person who know each other. In your system, the lone bank robber who passes a note to a teller (tellers being instructed just to hand over the money as it is worthless anyway), is treated more leniently, as if the crime of theft were less bad for being an impoilite interaction between two individuals.

    More consequentially, your basic premise is flawed. General deterrence is not the basis for punishment in a system of objective law. Objective law considers only the real acts of real actors. Support for that comes from the fact that we know from experience that general deterrence does not work.

    (Objective truths are logically consistent and empirically observable. You are offering a ideal system, and I mean "ideal" in the formal philosophical sense: logically consistent after being derived from arbitrary assumptions. You offered no facts in evidence.)

    You make no distinction between violent crimes and non-violent crimes and that leaves you with unsupported claims about recidivism. Recidivism is a complicated problem. (See below.). Basically, we know some strategies for keeping offenders from returning to prison, but "law and order conservatives" point to "bleeding heart liberals" and the the discussions stop there -- as does the funding for those programs.

    ... and just to ask, Captain, do you think that making tax evasion a capital crime would fill the Treasury?

    Just to note for context, I have been an admirer of the works of Ayn Rand for over 40 years. I attended the Basic Principles of Objectivism lectures and some others from NBI as well. In addition, I have a BS in criminology and an MA in social science for studies in transnational white collar crime. Goto my blog, NecessaryFacts and enter "crime" in the search box: https://necessaryfacts.blogspot.com/s...
    I also have a different site, CSI: Flint (2011) here: http://csiflint2011.blogspot.com
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    • Posted by 2 years, 8 months ago
      Mike,
      I appreciate your well laid out response. I also appreciate that your background is solid, and you are sincere.

      For the record, NOTHING will fill our Treasury as the holes at the bottom are bigger than the ones at the top!

      Interesting point on the Gang Membership issue. I just know that of the 11K Homocides by guns in 2013, 8K were Gang Related. We clearly have some gang problems.

      I also see the day coming where we will be an absolutely lawless society, much like Afghanistan, or Somalia. And I wonder what we can do about this...

      How do we deal with people who want to victimize us?
      Prison aint working. And having a Felony in your background almost prevents you from getting back within the society.

      But these people are failing to be part of Society LONG before they are arrested, convicted, and sentenced.

      The purpose of the post was to encourage a discussion. To find out where I am wrong. To find out where I might be right, and to learn and open the dialogue.

      THANK YOU!
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      • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 2 years, 8 months ago
        I appreciate the complexity of the problem. As you noted, these predators are not going to go away, and having a felony conviction - even for a victimless crime - pushes you into unlawful channels by default.

        As for prisons not working, that, too is well-known and much debated.

        "While sociologists in particular had expressed doubts about the efficacy of Correctional treatment, it was Robert Martinson who led the criticism in 1974 with his article ‘What works: Questions and answers about prison reform’, published in the conservative journal The Public Interest. In this article he summarised 231 studies published between 1945 and 1967 and on the basis of his analysis concluded that ‘with few and isolated exceptions, the rehabilitative efforts that have been reported so far have had no appreciable effect on recidivism’. As Smith, Gendreau, and Swartz noted, his pronouncement labelled ‘nothing works’ became an instant cliché and was eagerly embraced by many policy makers and academics, particularly in the United States, where it was used to challenge the role of prisons and rehabilitation in general. This cliché struck a nerve in the conservative social climate of the time, and Martinson’s ‘second thoughts’, which were published in a near retraction of his earlier pronouncement had little impact, received comparatively little attention and certainly failed to effect policy change." -- http://www.hma.co.nz/wp-content/uploa... (My emphasis added.)

        Perhaps my greatest problem in criminology in college and at university was having a capital-O Objectivist foundation from which I sought realist-rationalist (i.e., small-o objectivist) facts and theories. Philosophical positivism is a "realist" school that was shot through with intellectual errors. It dominated the 19th century and was the basis for both Herbert Spencer's individualism and Auguste Comte's collectivism. This is a pretty good summary as it applies to criminology:

        "The early years of modern American criminology were informed, if not dominated, by the positivist school of criminology. The biological determinism of positivism—at least that found in Lombroso’s work—was eventually forfeited, but the general principles of the positivist criminology paradigm were embraced. These paradigmatic principles structured thinking about crime and, in turn, views on how to control crime. Eventually, these principles became near hegemonic and developed into what we have called a “professional ideology.” That is, every “good criminologist” seemed to accept them.

        "This prevailing professional ideology might be seen as comprising five main principles. First and most important, criminologists believed that crime had definite causes that could be unearthed only through systematic scientific study. The emphasis on science is critical because it meant that the entire framework hinged on the assumption that the study of and fight against crime should be evidenced-based and thus constitute a rational way of formulating practice and policy. Second, the punishment or infliction of pain on offenders was held to be, at best, of limited effectiveness in reforming offenders and, at worst, counterproductive. Third, because crime had definite causes, interventions should be targeted—as in medicine—on changing these causes. Fourth, using the correctional system in this way to change offenders was challenging but ultimately the only rational approach to crime control. Fifth, because the causes of crime differ for each offender, interventions should be individualized. Notably, this way of thinking had emerged with force by the first part of the 1900s and helped to usher in, during the Progressive Era, a wave of reforms that created probation, parole, indeterminate sentencing, and the juvenile court—innovations based largely on the ideal of individualized treatment." (Rothman, 1980).
        "FROM NOTHING WORKS TO WHAT WORKS: CHANGING PROFESSIONAL IDEOLOGY IN THE 21ST CENTURY by FRANCIS T. CULLEN (University of Cincinnati) and PAUL GENDREAU (University of New Brunswick at Saint John).
        http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/...

        Cullen was the doctoral advisor of my best criminology professor, but as you can see, he denies the value of an evidence-based, individualized response to crime. I endorse it as the best framework.
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  • Posted by freedomforall 2 years, 8 months ago
    Well you got your wish at Waco in 1994.
    The FBI burned 100 people to death because they fired back at a bunch of BATF looters who attacked their home with automatic weapons without provocation.
    Who defines the malice?
    Who watches the corrupt watchers and punishes them with death?
    The government IS a gang that uses firearms against the innocent, but it is never illegal because the oppressors run the just-us system and use it as a weapon.
    The government robs the innocent every day and without the threat of violence with weapons they would not be able to do so.
    I am not obligated to keep any of these criminals inside society, but they have the weapons to keep me enslaved.
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    • Posted by 2 years, 8 months ago
      Freedomforall,
      That is a whole other argument. And I don't disagree with you. The list of atrocities and lies pushed on to us by the government and the MSM are innumerable.

      So in continuation, the government is NOT properly monitored and punished for stepping outside the rule of law. These Activist Judges, Janet Napolitano, and others need to be held to an an even higher standard.

      These people in office who "step down" after abusing their power, should be expunged. And there should be more tribunals, and things like LYING to the American People while under their employ should be punished Heavily.

      Again, there is a Stargate episode on an off world visit, with an incredible peaceful culture. The punishment for any crime, especially lying, from a government official is death.

      For me, that level of punishment is clear. WE WILL NEVER TOLERATRE X.

      But, from the ground up, you have to define the system. Otherwise, it decays, or it is attacked in subversive ways (activist judges), Immigration act of 1965, etc.
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      • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 2 years, 8 months ago
        Well, I would begin after some long prefacing with the assumption that the purpose of criminal justice is to (1) restore the victim to whatever extent possible and to (2) hold the perpetrator responsible for the sum total of all losses and costs.
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