Thursday, July 9, 2009

Reconsidering the Punishment of Violent Crime

For those of us who believe that America imprisons too high a portion of its population, recent years have seen mixed progress. Many states have adopted measures that aim to move drug-addicted offenders involved in drug and property crime from jail or prison toward treatment under the threat of jail. Other categories of prisoners who seem to be enjoying some increase in sympathy from the public and politicians include women (whose crimes are often tied up with the criminality of abusive partners, and whose loss from the community often leaves a bigger hole than with men), juveniles facing long prison terms, and parolees returned to prison on technical violations (this may be a unique California problem but it includes tens of thousands of prisoners). This approach has lots of political appeal right now, but it will not work to achieve a substantial and enduring reduction in the US rate of incarceration. Instead, against all political common sense, I believe we need to directly address the extraordinarily harsh prison sentences we now hand out for violent crime.

[continue reading this post on Prawfsblawg]


Ahmed said...

As it was in the Anthony Proviano Case - Belmont County Ohio I believe a “Suicide” is really a MURDER.

Paul Edward Ault’s ‘ruled suicide’ on Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 in Bellaire, Belmont County could well have been a murder.

Landlord Ault
[Don’t expect the “Official” records to show Ault as the owner – it could be MEA Properties or Rivertowne Lim. Inc. and if so – just try and find these companies ANYWHERE in the world]
[917 Main St., Wheeling, WV (The Mary Elizabeth Apartments – most of the top two floors)]
to members of a terrorist religious cult whose doctrines promote the ‘…elimination, of those that are not completely cooperative, DURING VIOLENT STORMS’
and Mr. Ault died during a horrible thunderstorm not long after telling members of the cult that he was not interested in selling them the 917 property.
The cult uses, by becoming members, established religious organizations as shields for their varied illegalities.

If any responsible parties care to investigate this matter, be forewarned – you will not find a more entrenched Good Old Boys (Dining well in the Tenderloin District) network than that in the Wheeling/Belmont County area. Expect nothing but indifference, at best, and interference from the ‘local’ authorities.

That is all I know and suspect in this matter.

However I have little doubt that this will go into the ‘Got away with murder’ category because if Mr. Proviano’s parents had not been
well-connected, in the Pittsburgh area, with plenty of money and a desire to fight for justice for their son’s murderer NOTHING would have been done.

Here’s another twist – the 917 property was formerly owned by cult leader Stanley Klos owner of Wheeling’s Victoria Theater.

Michael Bryan said...

Perhaps there is a way to achieve the disability aspect of incarceration without prison. If we better understood the causes of violence perhaps incarceration would be redundant. There should certainly be punishment for violence, but perhaps it should take the form of making the victim whole. Currently, the State does not fully compensate (insure) the victims of violent crime, and we should because the cost is a major externality which we tend to ignore in making public policy because it does not hit the bottom line. Perhaps there are ways that the State could seek recompense for that compensation from the perpetrator as part of the punishment.