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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

KENNEDY SPEAKS OUT AGAINST THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

The Wall Street Journal reported today that in surprising testimony yesterday before a House sub-committee, Justices Kennedy and Breyer spoke out against the state of affairs in the American criminal justice system.  Claiming that is was too harsh and that it locks up too many people, for too long.

Referring to our justice policy as being one of "total incarceration", Kennedy, usually a member of the court's law and order wing, stated that he believes that this policy is more harmful to public safety, than it is protective.  Kennedy stated he believed that other forms of community control would serve the public better.  For all the money we spend on prisons, we could provide more probation officers and programs to rehabilitate many offenders.  "Total incarceration just isn't working", Kennedy said.

Breyer added his two cents by coming out against minimum mandatories as being "a terrible idea."  The Republican chair of the sub-committee opened the door to this discussion during a routine budget hearing.

Wouldn't you like to have been a fly on the wall when these two arrived at the Supreme Court Building, and had to face Scalia and Roberts before oral argument this morning?  These two were sent to discuss budgets, not philosophy of sentencing.  

In my last post I discussed the effect of the recent decisions of the Florida Supreme Court in regard to severe sentencing of juvenile offenders.  Is this just one more step in the idea that we begin to rethink our justice systems need for incarceration?  Is it time to start thinking of alternatives?  Are we on our way back to rehabilitation as a goal?  If Kennedy is on board, then maybe . . . 

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

They says those same things every year....

Anonymous said...

If I wanted this type of discussion, I would listen to NPR... more gossip please

Anonymous said...

Omg! I love it. I think too many times people are sentenced to the max and not give 2nd chances. We need to have locked down drug rehab but that was abolished. We need to have more money going into education than prisions. We need to makes sure every prisoner walks out of jail with at least a ged and a trade skill

Anonymous said...

Seen around town:
a gaggle of civil judges at the new organic place downtown; a civil lawyer getting stuck during an arraignment: "Court: do you demand discovery?
Lawyer: I will set a motion and serve it
Court: (laughing) or you could just ask for it now, the prosecutor has it in her hand to give to you";
A retired judge haggling over the second cut of brisket at Epicure in the Beach; two very married lawyer (to other people) canoodling at La Logia over drinks.

Anonymous said...

The Justices are correct, but it does not matter. A majority of Americans, and their elected officials support the CJS. Racism is behind much of the injustice.