View Poll Results: Sentence too harsh?

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  • I believe the sentence was fair

    32 38.55%
  • I believe the sentence was too harsh

    16 19.28%
  • I think he should have gotten 10yrs, but no more

    3 3.61%
  • I believe he has been humiliated enough, no need for jail, just fine him

    32 38.55%
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Thread: Was Blagojevich's sentence too harsh?

  1. #71
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    Re: Was Blagojevich's sentence too harsh?

    I think the sentence was a bit light.

    if he had to make little rocks from big rocks, it would be about the right amount of time though.

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    Re: Was Blagojevich's sentence too harsh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Violence is (normally) the only thing that threatens society in such a way where it's necessary to isolate the perpetrator from the rest of society. Blago is a real piece of ****, but his mere presence in society does not harm anyone. Would anyone be afraid to run into him?
    Why did you arbitrarily come to the illogical conclusion that the only metric for potentially harming society is inspiring fear in people on the street?



    By this same reasoning we could summarily execute everyone convicted of traffic violations, to make sure that they aren't getting away with anything.
    Only if one actually ignores the reasoning and replaces it with irrational, emotion-laden idiocy.

    If you are going to make claims about my reasoning, you should at least have the decency to read the words I use and understand them first. See, I did not make a general comment, despite your desire to ignore the fact that it was a specific statement. I understand that, since your position has no logical merit, it's best defense is to continue to ignore all logic and reason, but that doesn't mean I will simply step back and allow you to make false claims about my reasoning.


    But there is no need to abuse human rights like this, specifically when alternate forms of punishment exist. Locking someone in a cage should be a last resort, when they need to be physically isolated for the protection of everyone else.
    Emotional hyperbole may be nice, but it isn't logical. Just because you can arbitrarily call something a human rights violation, doesn't mean it is actually a human rights violation. You've done nothing to demonstrate logically that a human rights violation has occurred.

    Also, just because you can use emotional rhetoric to try and trigger an certain reaction from people doesn't mean you've made any valid points. Thus far, you've abandoned all logic in lieu of emotional drivel on this issue.

    The fact of the matter is that if someone engages in anti-social behavior that harms society, and they would be able to continue that behavior in the absence of isolation, then isolation is the only logical thing to do to prevent such anti-social behavior in the future. There's no need to arbitrarily limit this logic to violent anti-social behavior because violent anti-social behavior is not the only kind of anti-social behavior that can harm society.

    Community service in this case does nothing to prevent the behavior in this case from repeating itself, because of the connections that the person in question has would make community service a simple matter of getting a friend to fill out some paper work.

    I know this because I have personally known more than a few corrupt Illinois/Chicago official both before and after their convictions. I personally know a few people who were taken down in the licenses for bribes scandal, for example.

    I know how community service works around here when you have political connections, which is why I have absolutely no faith in our justice system's ability to adequately administer any non-prison sentence. His connections aren't going to disappear simply because him serving prison time offends your sensibilities.


    This is speculation and it's difficult to see how this would be possible with adequate supervision.
    The idea that adequate supervision is actually possible is the only thing here that is pure speculation. I is not based on anything that actually exists in reality. The nature of this case is such that the assumption that adequate supervision is possible is a terrible one to make.

    Whereas the idea that he will simply turn around and commit the same types of crimes in the absence of total removal of his ability to commit those crimes is actually common sense based on his history and the history of those around him (his father-in-law, for example).

    On a more theoretical level, I have seen no evidence that prison reduces recidivism more than alternate forms of punishment (particularly for these kinds of crimes).
    I fully expect him to engage in the same kinds of behaviors once he gets out of prison. Prison prevents him from engaging in the same behaviors during the duration of his sentence via isolation.

    Due to cronyism and his political connections, nothing else can provide that preventative factor for the duration of time equal to his sentence.

    When he gets out, he probably will engage in the same behaviors again. To assume otherwise would be silly. But we are essentially looking at preventing such behaviors for about 12 years or for about 2 years.

    The former is superior to the latter as far as preventative measures go. Unless there is any actual demonstration that prison terms for convicted criminals is an actual human rights violation of some sort, as opposed to it simply being emotional drivel that you have made up to try and bolster a logically weak and irrational argument, I have to conclude that his prison term is the appropriate approach to take here.



    But there is plenty of evidence that American prisons and the accompanying abuse that occurs within them are bad for both the convict and for society as a whole.
    Actually, if you were being perfectly honest about your argument here, you'd add the possibility that the evidence suggests that releasing prisoners after their sentences are up is what is bad for society as a whole. The evidence that you speak of can be manipulated to run both directions, depending on the emotional approach that the person making the argument chooses to take. Note, I didn't say "logical approach" in that sentence because neither one actually employs logic. This is because the logical approach that incorporates that particular evidence dictates reaching a conclusion of prison reform, not sentencing reform. It is only when logic is essentially abandoned in lieu of emotion-based argument that you get these arguments about sentencing reform in either direction.


    While I generally agree that in a great many cases of non-violent crime, community service is an adequate form of punishment to prevent a behavior, I disagree that it would be true in this case for the reasons I have mentioned that are unique to this case.

    One size fits all approaches to sentencing are always a bad idea. each and every sentence should take into account the person who is being sentenced. We do this already to some degree by having different sentences for repeat offenders and such, but we don't go far enough on this personalization of sentencing.

    My argument here takes into account the totality of this specific situation and what leads to the best outcome for society with this particular criminal. Isolation from his connections is the best approach available in this case with this criminal. Minimum security imprisonment with monitored visits should be enough to achieve the goal.

    It's not revenge, it's not emotionally-charged rhetoric. It's a logical assessment of the specific situation inclusive of all possible variables.

    While you appear to have a visceral emotional reaction to imprisonment, the fact that your position is not supported logically means it will not be taken seriously by most. It won't have any effect on the people who disagree with you for equally visceral emotional reasons, and it won't have any effect on those of us who rely on logic to draw our conclusions. It only serves the purpose of causing those who already agree with your emotional reasoning to voice their agreement.

    In other words, it's basically pointless to argue your position in the way that you have.

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    Re: Was Blagojevich's sentence too harsh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Why did you arbitrarily come to the illogical conclusion that the only metric for potentially harming society is inspiring fear in people on the street?
    That's not what I said. I said that there's no reason to isolate people unless they harm society in such a way that they NEED to be isolated...and the "inspiring fear in people on the street" test is usually a good (although not perfect) measure of this.

    Only if one actually ignores the reasoning and replaces it with irrational, emotion-laden idiocy.


    If you are going to make claims about my reasoning, you should at least have the decency to read the words I use and understand them first. See, I did not make a general comment, despite your desire to ignore the fact that it was a specific statement. I understand that, since your position has no logical merit, it's best defense is to continue to ignore all logic and reason, but that doesn't mean I will simply step back and allow you to make false claims about my reasoning.
    You argued that any sentence other than prison meant that he was "getting away with it." The same reasoning could be applied to ANY crime and calls for the harshest punishment possible. Why do alternate sentences mean that he's "getting away with it"?

    Emotional hyperbole may be nice, but it isn't logical. Just because you can arbitrarily call something a human rights violation, doesn't mean it is actually a human rights violation. You've done nothing to demonstrate logically that a human rights violation has occurred.
    The entire US criminal justice system is filled with human rights violations. Let's start with the government-sanctioned sexual slavery. Then there's the physical isolation from friends and family, of individuals who don't need to be locked up for anyone else's protection. And then there's the overall incarceration rate itself, which is by far the highest in the world. The US is worse in this regard than China or Iran.

    Also, just because you can use emotional rhetoric to try and trigger an certain reaction from people doesn't mean you've made any valid points. Thus far, you've abandoned all logic in lieu of emotional drivel on this issue.


    The fact of the matter is that if someone engages in anti-social behavior that harms society, and they would be able to continue that behavior in the absence of isolation, then isolation is the only logical thing to do to prevent such anti-social behavior in the future. There's no need to arbitrarily limit this logic to violent anti-social behavior because violent anti-social behavior is not the only kind of anti-social behavior that can harm society.
    Who says that they'll be able to continue that behavior in the absence of isolation? House arrest and ankle bracelets can track where he goes. Restrictions on his finances and employment can track his money. And he already lost his governorship, which means that the potential to abuse the public trust has been reduced.

    Community service in this case does nothing to prevent the behavior in this case from repeating itself, because of the connections that the person in question has would make community service a simple matter of getting a friend to fill out some paper work.
    If the judge tells him to show up at Place X at Time Y, there isn't much room for that sort of thing. And in any case community service is only one of many options available, including the ones I have already mentioned.

    I know this because I have personally known more than a few corrupt Illinois/Chicago official both before and after their convictions. I personally know a few people who were taken down in the licenses for bribes scandal, for example.
    He was convicted of federal crimes, so his location doesn't really matter because he isn't going through the Illinois justice system anyway.

    I know how community service works around here when you have political connections, which is why I have absolutely no faith in our justice system's ability to adequately administer any non-prison sentence. His connections aren't going to disappear simply because him serving prison time offends your sensibilities.
    What makes you think the government is so great at administering prisons and nothing else? What is the distinction?

    The idea that adequate supervision is actually possible is the only thing here that is pure speculation.
    House arrest and ankle bracelets have been used for years.

    Whereas the idea that he will simply turn around and commit the same types of crimes in the absence of total removal of his ability to commit those crimes is actually common sense based on his history and the history of those around him (his father-in-law, for example).
    You can remove his ability to commit these types of crimes without the cage.

    I fully expect him to engage in the same kinds of behaviors once he gets out of prison. Prison prevents him from engaging in the same behaviors during the duration of his sentence via isolation.

    Due to cronyism and his political connections, nothing else can provide that preventative factor for the duration of time equal to his sentence.
    OK, let's assume he wants to go right back to corruption, which is certainly a possibility: What does a man with no money, no political power, with a toxic reputation in his state, and who is confined to his house under constant supervision have to offer a potential crooked business partner?

    When he gets out, he probably will engage in the same behaviors again. To assume otherwise would be silly. But we are essentially looking at preventing such behaviors for about 12 years or for about 2 years.
    Note that I didn't say anything about the length of his sentence, just the nature of it.

    The former is superior to the latter as far as preventative measures go. Unless there is any actual demonstration that prison terms for convicted criminals is an actual human rights violation of some sort,
    Visit a prison some time, even if it's just for a couple hours. The conditions in there are barbaric.

    Actually, if you were being perfectly honest about your argument here, you'd add the possibility that the evidence suggests that releasing prisoners after their sentences are up is what is bad for society as a whole.
    This goes back to my point about summarily executing traffic offenders, which you dismissed as "emotional drivel." Presumably most of the people in prison WILL be released at some point, unless you favor executions and/or life sentences for a much wider range of crimes than such sentences are currently permissible. So it's better to prepare for that eventuality.

    The evidence that you speak of can be manipulated to run both directions, depending on the emotional approach that the person making the argument chooses to take. Note, I didn't say "logical approach" in that sentence because neither one actually employs logic. This is because the logical approach that incorporates that particular evidence dictates reaching a conclusion of prison reform, not sentencing reform. It is only when logic is essentially abandoned in lieu of emotion-based argument that you get these arguments about sentencing reform in either direction.
    Prison reform IS sentencing reform. Spending a few years in a work camp is a fundamentally different type of punishment than spending a few years in a sodomy cage.
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    Re: Was Blagojevich's sentence too harsh?

    I can't say what the right punishment is.

    Just hope he learns his lesson.


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    Re: Was Blagojevich's sentence too harsh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wake View Post
    I can't say what the right punishment is.

    Just hope he learns his lesson.

    I hope the voters learned their lesson. Don't vote for Lego hair.
    Quote Originally Posted by faithful_servant View Post
    Being a psychiatric patient does not mean that you are mentally ill.



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    Re: Was Blagojevich's sentence too harsh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Violence is not the only thing that threatens society. If blago was given nothing mroe than community service he would be getting away with it and he would turn around and do more to hurt society.

    Look at his douchebag father-in-law. The guy is still crooked as **** and his son-in-law just got locked up for corruption. Cronyism is not something to underestimate.
    Community service would mean that Blago got away with it. Shame that others just as dirty as he is, including his foul-mouthed wife, are going to get away with it.

    If only we could find a continent upon which to dump those who are unable to live by the laws. You're right, though; the fact of the matter is that segregation from the free world is required, and so we have prisons. If Blago's going to a minimum-security "Club Fed"-type cage, he'll be lucky.

    I don't think that cages are "barbaric" by definition. They're a time-out for big boys and girls who have been very, very naughty. We physically control our children's "human rights" too, you know. The point of a time-out is isolation and deprivation of privileges.

    If you can't control yourself, you have to removed from the functioning society for the good of all, including you. I like to think of prison time as an opportunity for significant personal growth. And it really is for many, particularly those who decide to complete their GEDs or their college degrees or who learn a trade. The recidivism rate drops when these personal accomplishments are acheived, and this benefits society too.

    Blago has been bad, very bad. A time of quiet reflection will be good for him.

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    Re: Was Blagojevich's sentence too harsh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    That's not what I said. I said that there's no reason to isolate people unless they harm society in such a way that they NEED to be isolated...and the "inspiring fear in people on the street" test is usually a good (although not perfect) measure of this.
    By saying what you have said above, you are actually acknowledging that it is a terrible measure. Not good, and certainly not perfect, but terrible.

    So why have you arbitrarily decided to mislabel it as a good measure despite the fact that your own words belie it's flaws and failures as a measure?

    A highly intelligent response.



    You argued that any sentence other than prison meant that he was "getting away with it."
    Instead of making up lies and putting them in my mouth, please use the words I actually used.


    The same reasoning could be applied to ANY crime and calls for the harshest punishment possible.
    False. Nothing about harshness was involved. As I have said, you have abandoned logic in lieu of emotional drivel.

    Why do alternate sentences mean that he's "getting away with it"?
    Because he will employ his connections to escape punishment, as has been done multiple times in the past with situations such as this.



    The entire US criminal justice system is filled with human rights violations.

    You seem to be having a major problem understanding the simple, very easy to understand fact of "Just because you can say something is a human rights violation, does not mean it is actually a human rights violation.

    To explain:

    Let's start with the government-sanctioned sexual slavery.
    this is simply you calling something a human rights violation. It is not supported by anything intelligent. It is simply your claim, which you falsely portray as a fact. You ar enot so special that your opinions become hard facts simply by the power of your wishing.

    Then there's the physical isolation from friends and family, of individuals who don't need to be locked up for anyone else's protection.
    Again, this is a statement, not an argument. You are not so special that your opinions are hard facts.

    And then there's the overall incarceration rate itself, which is by far the highest in the world.
    Do you see the trend now? Nothing you have said was anything but a statement of your opinion as though it is fact. You've proven my point about your abandonment of all logic and reason in favor of pure emotional drivel with this scree. you don't provide a logical argument in any way shape or form. You simply make an emotionally charged claim without a single shred of logical support and expect it to be taken seriously, which it certainly does not deserve due to the lack of any effort on your part to make a case for your opinion.


    The US is worse in this regard than China or Iran.
    What does this nonense even mean? Seroiusly? Worse is such a subjective term that I can say anything prior to the sentence and it works.

    For example: The US is worse for allowing people to vote in democratic elections than both China and Iran as well.

    The US is worse for treating women as equals than china and Iran.

    The only thing that matters in these statements is my subjective view of what worse means in these cases. Not only have you arrogantly assumed that your opinions are facts, but youve' arrogantly implied that they are universal with this nonsensical "support" of your positions.

    Not to mention the fact that the statement is, in and of itself, a massive logical fallacy. Just because the US is "worse" (whatever that means) than China and Iran on those issues (in your opinion) does not support the argument that they are Human rights violations.

    Like I said, your entire argument is devoid of any logic. Just because you will "yawn" in response to that fact being pointed out to you doesn't mean it is not accurate.




    Who says that they'll be able to continue that behavior in the absence of isolation? House arrest and ankle bracelets can track where he goes. Restrictions on his finances and employment can track his money. And he already lost his governorship, which means that the potential to abuse the public trust has been reduced.
    The issue comes from who is doing the tracking. His political connections make this approach one that has too much potential for failure. Such an approach would be more appropriate in different circumstances.



    If the judge tells him to show up at Place X at Time Y, there isn't much room for that sort of thing.
    Ah, I take it that you are entirely ignorant of how community service works, then.

    And in any case community service is only one of many options available, including the ones I have already mentioned.
    But all of the options you have listed have the same problems.



    He was convicted of federal crimes, so his location doesn't really matter because he isn't going through the Illinois justice system anyway.
    As a governor, it is reasonable to assume that his connections extend beyond Illinois, though.



    What makes you think the government is so great at administering prisons and nothing else? What is the distinction?
    I don't think it is any better at administering prisons. I simply think that prison adds a layer of isolation which is necessary in this case that cannot be achieved otherwise.



    House arrest and ankle bracelets have been used for years.
    And they work in a great many cases. You seem to be dead set on extrapolating the specific argument I am making into a general argument about sentencing, which is another type of logical fallacy. while your argument may be so simplistic as a one-size-fits all argument, mine is not.



    You can remove his ability to commit these types of crimes without the cage.
    Thus far, nothing has been presented which indicates that statement is anything more than an unfounded opinion of yours with regard to this case.



    OK, let's assume he wants to go right back to corruption, which is certainly a possibility: What does a man with no money, no political power, with a toxic reputation in his state, and who is confined to his house under constant supervision have to offer a potential crooked business partner?
    Connections. Most of what makes a criminal of this type effective is his network of associates, both legitimate and illegitimate.

    And your assumption that he has no political power is not entirely accurate. Political power is not simply a product of an office, it is a product of the ability to persuade those in office. He still has political power.

    By isolating him, you add an extra layer of protection between him and his associates.


    Note that I didn't say anything about the length of his sentence, just the nature of it.
    The nature dictates the length of potential efficacy. After time, those who monitor him will become lax. It's human nature. A span of over 2 years of true diligence would be unlikely, even assuming that corruption was not a factor.

    Visit a prison some time, even if it's just for a couple hours. The conditions in there are barbaric.
    Before you make such assumptions in the future, perhaps you should be aware that I have, myself, spent some time incarcerated in the past (If you don't have bail, you have to sit in jail until your court date even if you are innocent).

    Cook county jail is actually far worse than most minimum/medium security federal prisons.

    Now that we have that out of the way, where do you get the impression that your opinion about incarceration being a human rights violation trumps my first-hand experiences with incarceration, when I was innocent no less, which leads me to the conclusion that your opinion is a false one?

    We're both operating from an opinion here, but at least mine has the benefit of being driven by logic and experience rather than emotion.

    What argument can you actually present which trumps my experiences?



    This goes back to my point about summarily executing traffic offenders, which you dismissed as "emotional drivel."
    Aside from the fact that this emotional drivel, when used before, ignored my actual argument in order to create a false general argument, the part I have bolded here is a major factor in it's status as emotional drivel. It presents the false premise that all actions that are a violation of the law have an equal status as being detrimental to society as a whole AND that all actions which are detrimental to society as a whole are equally detrimental.

    Presumably most of the people in prison WILL be released at some point, unless you favor executions and/or life sentences for a much wider range of crimes than such sentences are currently permissible. So it's better to prepare for that eventuality.
    Yes. If you were being honest before, you would have acknowledged how that argument is a potential fix for the detriment to society presented by recidivism for serious crimes.

    But, as I said, such an argument would be like your own in the sense that it is devoid of any actual logic and is focused entirely on emotion.

    Prison reform IS sentencing reform. Spending a few years in a work camp is a fundamentally different type of punishment than spending a few years in a sodomy cage.
    False. Using more emotional nonsense (bolded so that you can actually see it) to support a false claim does nothing to make the claim less false.

    The sentence of 3 years in prison is a sentence of 3 years in prison, regardless of the design of the prison where said sentence is carried out.

    Sentencing reform would be about changing potential sentences for certain crimes that used to carry prison terms to things like house arrest or community service.

    While sentencing reform is something that I agree should occur, evidence related to recidivism and prison sentences is not the driving force for a logical argument supporting such reform. The evidence which supports such reform is actually related to the threat to society posed by certain crimes and an understanding of the particular individual who has committed said crime's overall threat to society at large and how to prevent them form posing a threat to society.

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    Re: Was Blagojevich's sentence too harsh?

    They should have added an extra item to his punishment...a buzz cut.

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    Re: Was Blagojevich's sentence too harsh?

    The judge today granted a request by Blago for 30 additional days to get his personal affairs in order. The judge also recommended (at Blago's request) that he be assigned to a low-security facility in Littleton, Colorado.

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    Re: Was Blagojevich's sentence too harsh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    By saying what you have said above, you are actually acknowledging that it is a terrible measure. Not good, and certainly not perfect, but terrible.
    No. The people who need to be isolated for society's protection are generally the people who we'd be afraid to run into. There may be some other cases (e.g. people who try to flout alternative forms of punishment) but these are the primary ones to whom I'm referring.

    A highly intelligent response.
    I'm not really sure what kind of response you were expecting to your comment that it was "emotion-laden idiocy." Did you really want me to launch into an intelligent discourse on emotion-laden idiocy?

    Instead of making up lies and putting them in my mouth, please use the words I actually used.
    Sorry, you said that a sentence of community service would mean that he was getting away with it, not that any sentence other than prison would mean that he was getting away with it. Although your subsequent comments have not done anything to suggest that you disagree with the latter statement either. And in any case, it doesn't change my point.

    False. Nothing about harshness was involved. As I have said, you have abandoned logic in lieu of emotional drivel.
    I'm really not sure what you are getting so angry about.

    Because he will employ his connections to escape punishment, as has been done multiple times in the past with situations such as this.
    What kind of connections you think he'd employ to escape punishment, and why would this be more applicable to an alternative sentence instead of prison?

    You seem to be having a major problem understanding the simple, very easy to understand fact of "Just because you can say something is a human rights violation, does not mean it is actually a human rights violation.

    To explain:

    this is simply you calling something a human rights violation. It is not supported by anything intelligent. It is simply your claim, which you falsely portray as a fact. You ar enot so special that your opinions become hard facts simply by the power of your wishing.

    Again, this is a statement, not an argument. You are not so special that your opinions are hard facts.

    Do you see the trend now? Nothing you have said was anything but a statement of your opinion as though it is fact. You've proven my point about your abandonment of all logic and reason in favor of pure emotional drivel with this scree. you don't provide a logical argument in any way shape or form. You simply make an emotionally charged claim without a single shred of logical support and expect it to be taken seriously, which it certainly does not deserve due to the lack of any effort on your part to make a case for your opinion.
    Human rights is a subjective term. What you consider a human rights violation I might not, and vice versa. Therefore I don't know what sort of "logical support" you are expecting to "prove" that it's a human rights violation. I can provide you with incarceration statistics, facts about prison rape, and facts about the psychological effects on inmates if you like, but at the end of the day none of that will matter if you don't consider those things human rights violations anyway.

    And I dunno what you're talking about regarding me stating my opinion as fact. Yes, it's my opinion that locking people in cages and subjecting them to state-sanctioned rape is an abuse of human rights. I can't "prove" that it's an abuse of human rights, because we'd simply be arguing about the definition of human rights rather than anything objective. On a political debate message board, I've always thought it was simply assumed that unless we were talking about historical/statistical facts that it went without saying that it was just my opinion.

    What does this nonense even mean? Seroiusly? Worse is such a subjective term that I can say anything prior to the sentence and it works.
    I think you need to calm down.

    The issue comes from who is doing the tracking. His political connections make this approach one that has too much potential for failure. Such an approach would be more appropriate in different circumstances.
    Once again you keep bringing up his political connections but have still not explained what exactly it is that you're worried they're going to do to help him circumvent his sentencing.

    Ah, I take it that you are entirely ignorant of how community service works, then.
    Sounds like a good reason to reform our sentencing. "Show up from 8:00-6:00, Monday-Friday, on exit 28 of the highway" is much more effective than "Complete 2,000 hours of community service and have someone sign off on it."

    But all of the options you have listed have the same problems.
    House arrest with an ankle bracelet (especially if combined with community service) is essentially no different than what he would be receiving at a labor camp, except he wouldn't be physically isolated from the rest of society.

    I don't think it is any better at administering prisons. I simply think that prison adds a layer of isolation which is necessary in this case that cannot be achieved otherwise.
    People can have visitors in prison, just as they can have visitors in their own home while under house arrest. Whatever it is that you're worried about him doing under house arrest could be done from prison too.

    And they work in a great many cases. You seem to be dead set on extrapolating the specific argument I am making into a general argument about sentencing, which is another type of logical fallacy. while your argument may be so simplistic as a one-size-fits all argument, mine is not.
    I have suggested a variety of sentences as possible alternatives to prison, not a one-size-fits-all. I just don't think that prison is appropriate for someone who has done nothing that merits being isolated from society.

    Connections. Most of what makes a criminal of this type effective is his network of associates, both legitimate and illegitimate.
    He still has the same connections whether he's in prison or in his house. And in either case people can come visit him and he can drop names. So again: What is it that you are so worried about him doing while under house arrest, that he couldn't do while in prison? Please be more specific than "He has political connections and wants to break the law." It seems to me that his ability to do so would have the same obstacles in either case.

    By isolating him, you add an extra layer of protection between him and his associates.
    There is no fundamental reason why our criminal justice system couldn't control who visits him while under house arrest. Whether that is normally done, I don't know. But just as you can prevent prison inmates from receiving visitors if they are causing problems, the same could be done for those under house arrest.

    The nature dictates the length of potential efficacy. After time, those who monitor him will become lax. It's human nature. A span of over 2 years of true diligence would be unlikely, even assuming that corruption was not a factor.
    Do prison guards become more lax over time? It seems to me that you are asserting that he COULD do X while under house arrest, and the criminal justice system COULD become more lax at monitoring him while under house arrest...but the exact same arguments could be applied to prison.

    Before you make such assumptions in the future, perhaps you should be aware that I have, myself, spent some time incarcerated in the past (If you don't have bail, you have to sit in jail until your court date even if you are innocent).

    Cook county jail is actually far worse than most minimum/medium security federal prisons.
    I don't know anything about Cook County jail, but I do know that medium security prisons are hell on earth, and I can only imagine what the maximum security prisons are like.

    Now that we have that out of the way, where do you get the impression that your opinion about incarceration being a human rights violation trumps my first-hand experiences with incarceration, when I was innocent no less, which leads me to the conclusion that your opinion is a false one?
    First of all, I didn't say that my opinion DID trump yours. But it doesn't sound like you were a big fan of the way that you were treated in jail either.

    We're both operating from an opinion here, but at least mine has the benefit of being driven by logic and experience rather than emotion.
    Actually you went into a furious rant and attacked me personally, whereas I've been quite calm and explained the problems I see in the criminal justice system. But whatever.

    Aside from the fact that this emotional drivel, when used before, ignored my actual argument in order to create a false general argument, the part I have bolded here is a major factor in it's status as emotional drivel. It presents the false premise that all actions that are a violation of the law have an equal status as being detrimental to society as a whole AND that all actions which are detrimental to society as a whole are equally detrimental.

    Yes. If you were being honest before, you would have acknowledged how that argument is a potential fix for the detriment to society presented by recidivism for serious crimes.
    So in other words, you don't want to execute and/or incarcerate traffic offenders for life. Just people convicted of OTHER crimes where that isn't currently considered appropriate. OK. Fair enough.

    But, as I said, such an argument would be like your own in the sense that it is devoid of any actual logic and is focused entirely on emotion.
    The anger with which you have conducted yourself on this thread completely undermines your claim that *I* am being emotional and you are being perfectly logical.

    False. Using more emotional nonsense (bolded so that you can actually see it) to support a false claim does nothing to make the claim less false.
    Are you denying that "sodomy cage" is an accurate description of the conditions in medium-security prisons?

    The sentence of 3 years in prison is a sentence of 3 years in prison, regardless of the design of the prison where said sentence is carried out.

    Sentencing reform would be about changing potential sentences for certain crimes that used to carry prison terms to things like house arrest or community service.
    The only thing that a labor camp has in common with a sodomy cage is that both are called "prisons" by our legal system. You could just as easily call your own house a prison if you were confined there.

    While sentencing reform is something that I agree should occur, evidence related to recidivism and prison sentences is not the driving force for a logical argument supporting such reform. The evidence which supports such reform is actually related to the threat to society posed by certain crimes and an understanding of the particular individual who has committed said crime's overall threat to society at large and how to prevent them form posing a threat to society.
    Since this is basically the same point which I have been making for the entire thread (the part about assessing punishments based on the threat posed to society), I'm not sure why you flew into a fit of rage. It sounds as though we are in agreement on that point.


    I think I'm done with this thread now, I don't really need the aggravation of being personally attacked. I may be taking a break from the forum for a while too.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 12-13-11 at 07:00 PM.
    Are you coming to bed?
    I can't. This is important.
    What?
    Someone is WRONG on the internet! -XKCD

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