YOUR EXCLUSIVE REGJB BLOG AFTERNOON CONE OF CONTINUANCES UPDATE (just got back from court)
Bill is upgraded to a Hurricane but appears to be heading off to the east. Bermuda and the Carolinas need to keep an eye on Bill.
Ana is downgraded to a Tropical Depression and Tampa and the Panhandle look to be likely targets, but it might graze Key West, so if you are down there the only thing to do is to increase your level of alcohol consumption IMMEDIATELY BY ORDER OF RUMPOLE (just don't drive).
From NY Times Op-Ed Columnist Charles Blow, an Op-Ed piece entitled "Getting Smart on Crime" caught our attention. (The title links to the article.)
Stats: US Prison population has quadrupled over the last 25 years while the population has grown by less than a third.
The US has more inmates per capital than any of the 36 European Countries with the largest inmate populations. The total number of US inmates is MORE than the combined total of inmates of those 36 countries.
States spend 1 in every 15 dollars on corrections.
Yeah, those drug minimum mandatories are really working well aren't they?
A 2006 UCLA study found that in California it was cheaper to put drug offenders in rehab programs than to incarcerate them, and the recidivism rate is much lower.
As Judges Rosinek and White-Labora like to remind us: "Drug Court Works!!"
Anybody want to defend the reasoning behind the legislature investing the discretion in drug cases with a 25 year old prosecutor and taking it away from a 50 year old judge?
We elect or appoint Judges (beyond the three hour lunches they take) to make tough decisions on cases. There is no justification, beyond political pandering by politicians seeking votes, for legislatures to enact minimum mandatory sentences beyond the review and discretion of Judges.
Want to piss off a prosecutor in Miami? Watch them preen around court waiving a 15 or 25 year minimum mandatory at some kid- just waiting for the defense attorney to coming begging for something...anything. Then you tell the Judge the client is eligible for youthful offender sanctions and the judge has the discretion to sentence without regard to the minimum mandatory. Makes the prosecutor crazy. They just can't stand to have anyone other than them play the role of the almighty.
But YO sentencing works. When given the opportunity with YO sentencing options, Judges make well informed and reasonable sentencing decisions almost all the time. The same cannot be said for "Dr. NO, Esq," at the SAO and his policy on minimum mandatory sentences. But then again, most judges have a lot more legal and life experience than that .....(fill in the blank with your own choice derogatory adjective.)
Maybe someone reading this will cite the above mentioned statistics to a judge or prosecutor in court today or this week.
It's a start.