We really do need criminal justice reform. Robert Stinson spent 23 years in jail for a crime he did not commit: the evidence against him was some allegedly doctored-up bite mark evidence. Marcellus Williams has spent the last 16 years on death row: his scheduled execution the other day was stayed because new DNA evidence indicates he wasn’t the criminal…and his conviction seems to have been based mostly upon the testimony of his ex-girlfriend and a former cellmate, both of whom got cash rewards for their testimony.
Now, to be sure, I’m betting that the overwhelming majority of those in jail are in there for a good reason – but we’re getting more and more of these cases where it is clear there are at least serious questions as to guilt, and some which work out to a gigantic miscarriage of justice. We are supposed to be small-government Conservatives…and we simply must stop trusting the government when it sends someone up for life, or to death row. The problem lies in two things in my view:
1. We have far too many laws and thus it is possible to nail just about anyone with a crime, if you really want to.
2. Prosecutors who do convict an innocent person don’t pay any personal price for their actions.
We need a year or two of just repealing laws at the federal, State and local level. And then we need to find a mechanism to make sure that the prosecutors have skin in the game: that if they are saying, for sure, they know someone is guilty, they are putting their own financial resources, at the end of the day, where their assertions are. Fine a couple prosecutors half a million bucks for false conviction a couple times and the message will get out there. It is better that a guilty man go free than ten innocents wind up in jail, after all. Always err on the side of innocence and mercy.
A foreigner attends an American university for a year:
…During my ‘Welcome Week’, for example, I was presented with a choice of badges indicating my preferred gender pronouns: ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘they’ or ‘ze’?
The student in front of me, an Australian, found this hilarious: ‘Last time I checked, I was a girl.’ Her joke was met with stony silence…
Unless a kid wants to become a doctor or scientist, I highly recommend against sending them to college. Heck, I’m pretty certain if I had young kids, I wouldn’t even send them to middle or high school. Better they learn a trade than have to navigate the increasingly Orwellian world of higher education.
In the Great Statue Frenzy of 2017, the lunatics have vandalized a statue of St. Junipero Serra. Serra was one of them dirty, mean Catholics who went about converting the Natives to Christianity…so, he’s bad. They are also going after Columbus because, well, he got here…and, so, he’s bad, too.
A lunatic started shooting in Charleston today and Progressives were highly disappointed the shooter wasn’t a white guy.
A poll – which is probably an absurdity, given that it is, you know, a poll – shows that a plurality of Americans would be ok with banning Nazi speech in their local communities. For 1st Amendment purists, this is horrible…and, naturally, we should be wary of any attempt to limit speech. Except for one thing: I’m a Distributist. This means I am absolutely certain that Subsidiarity is the way to go…meaning the decisions on major issues should, as far as practical, be taken by the local communities. Ultimately, my view would be that the local community should decide – but not just on Nazi speech but what, broadly, goes on in the local community. The problem with San Francisco, after all, isn’t that it’s San Francisco…it is that the people who run the place want every other place to toe San Francisco’s line. I don’t give a darn, for the most part, what they do there: I just want them to not give a darn what we do here.
A federal law restricting something is one thing – a local law restricting it is quite another. The ultimate way forward for the United States – the way we keep ourselves a united, happy people – is to not just return to federalism, but to put federalism on steroids. An appeal to the federal power over a local law should be a rarity, and only taken up if the local action is an egregious violation of federal Constitutional provision. Federal cases deciding whether a local football team can have a team prayer before the game, for instance, are an absurdity. There is no real federal Constitutional issue which arises…no more than does a federal Constitutional issue arise when a more Progressive area of the country enacts a law providing for free birth control. It is just no one outside the local area’s business what happens in such a matter.
As it turns out, I don’t think that Mein Kampf should be available in my local libraries. But I also think that Das Kapital is not worthy of anyone’s consideration. And if I could convince, by free and fair argument, my fellow local citizens to enact a law removing said works from the library, it would be of no concern to anyone outside our local area. As long as people feel in their local communities that their ultimate destinies are in their own hands, they will feel largely content.