Thursday, September 21, 2006

Three Strikes -- About Time!

Starting the nanosecond that Parliament reconvened for the fall session, I've been hearing about the proposed new "three strikes" law that Vic Toews wants to table as part of the law-and-order agenda.

I say it's about time. There have been too many instances of people getting out of prison after doing time for something violent, then turning around and committing another violent crime. Within months. Sometimes within weeks, and even days.

Is there anyone reading this that doesn't remember seeing/hearing a recent story about a violent offender being charged yet again for a violent crime...and then getting yet again a slap on the wrist and an admonition not to do it again? Hearing that, how much confidence do you really have in what we laughingly refer to as our "Justice System?"

So far, it hasn't been Justice. It's been Law. Yes, there's a difference.

But it could be Justice, with this legislation.

The objections coming out of the woodwork about this new legislation rally 'round the obfuscatory point that "somebody" (hint: defense lawyers) says it will mean violent offenders will now be considered to be guilty until they prove themselves innocent. Now, nobody has actually seen the proposed legislation -- so how could anyone possibly know what it says?

On the other hand, if that's true, I have one response:

DUH!

However, the way I'm reading it to mean, the designation of "dangerous offender" will be applied only after the scumbag has been convicted for the third time. He doesn't have to prove himself innocent at all. He now has the time afforded by his prison sentence to apply himself to proving that he is not dangerous, and can safely be released again into society.

That ought to keep him busily occupied while he's serving his third, and now possibly an indefinite sentence!

Works for me.

8 Comments:

Blogger Howlin' Hobbit said...

Ah... there's a leetle problem with the whole "three strikes" concept. See, the folks who're all hot and bothered to get such a thing going don't stop with the "violent offenders". Pretty soon you have people serving "indefinite sentences" for such menaces to society as smoking dope or stealing cosmetics from the local dime store.

Prison becomes a growth industry. Many, many people get their right to vote revoked because more and more things become felonies. It's way easier to get elected when you've taken voting rights away from large swathes of the population.

Even California, perhaps the stupidest state in the union -- politically speaking (the land of sun-baked people and half-baked ideas) -- is considering doing away with the whole 3 strikes concept.

Read the proposed legislation very carefully. Now indulge yourself and a free-for-all of "what if?" thinking. If where that leads is still acceptable to you, go ahead on and support it.

I don't.

HH

Friday, September 22, 2006 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger Chimera said...

HH: I know whence you're speaking, and it doesn't actually apply here.

I didn't include it in my post, because I was expecting commenters to bring it up (little thinking that it would be an American commenter who would do so), but one of the prime objections to this proposed legislation is that it's "too American."

Fact is, it's nowhere near the American model, which (especially in California) seems to include everything in the three-strikes law.

Right now, we in Canada have the opposite problem that you have in the US: we don't have enough prison space, so judges are refusing to impose prison sentences of people who really, really need to be behind bars. I'm talking about people who kill other people -- not some dope smoker who harms no one. And of those who actually get planted behind bars, we let them out 'way too early (we've got something called "double time already served" -- which means that if you stay in a holding cell for the duration of your waiting period and trial, you get double that time shaved off your prison term on conviction. We actually end up owing some felons time. Isn't that cute?)

Prisoners in Canada have the right to vote. That, in my opinion, is insane. However, that's another issue, for another time.

Canada is the land of the status quo. We are very very reluctant to shift position in our comfortable ruts. However, for the sake of public safety, as well as for the sake of civil obedience, we really need this new legislation.

And yes, once its actual wording is made public, I intend to read it with a microscope.

Friday, September 22, 2006 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Psychols said...

Three strikes is as ineffective as mandatory minimum sentences. They will not reduce violent crime but will waste a lot of money to create the illusion that something is being done.

Sunday, September 24, 2006 8:32:00 PM  
Blogger Chimera said...

Hey, there, cyk! Long time no see. Changed the spelling on your moniker, have you? An audial pun... ;D

I don't get why everyone thinks that the goal of any new legislation regarding crime-and-punishment should be the reduction of crime. Punishing criminals does not reduce crime. It just gets them off the street. And that's all I'm looking for.

Every time some new law is proposed, the prime objection is that it doesn't reduce crime.

I got news for everyone -- nothing is gonna reduce crime except a drastic reduction in the numbers of humans inhabiting this planet. Depopulation by attrition. That, and the drastic re-thinking of what it is that constitutes a crime.

Both concepts are things that the government avoids like the well-known vial of anthrax. Because both concepts would actually loosen the chokehold the government now has around the throats of the citizens.

I don't want to rehabilitate violent criminals! Just get the assholes behind bars and out of everyone's life.

Monday, September 25, 2006 8:31:00 AM  
Blogger Psychols said...

Hey Chimera,

I changed the moniker because I like the similarity to psycho. :)

The CPC is selling this thing as making the streets safer but that is not going to happen. They are going to waste a lot of money to create the illusion of addressing the problem.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 5:57:00 PM  
Blogger Chimera said...

LOL. I'm having a difficult time imagining you as Norman Bates...

Why won't the streets be safer if the violent criminals are behind bars?

Thursday, September 28, 2006 9:46:00 AM  
Blogger Cait said...

Actually, I think the statistics from the US (particularly NYC) show that there has been a reduction in violent crime because the US made a determined effort to build more prisons and keep more people in prison who needed to be there. We are, as a people, going to have to accept that there are some offenders who are not going to be rehabilitated, and simply will have to be permanently incarcerated or they will reoffend. In particular, this is true with sex offenders. As the FBI profiler told us in a class on serial sex offenders/serial killers, all rapists are serial rapists & all sex offenders, will eventually kill in the course of an offense, if they are not caught, killed or die.

Thursday, October 12, 2006 2:34:00 PM  
Blogger Chimera said...

I'm with you and the FBI profiler!

And as I said before, I personally don't care if anyone gets rehabilitated behind bars -- my goal is to be able to walk down the street without having to look 360 degrees around me all the time, just in case some loser decides I look like I might have some money that he wants...

Friday, October 13, 2006 11:29:00 AM  

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