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Are we "Too Soft On Crime"?  See Below!
Read this insightful email discussion -
You may be surprised at the answer!

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THE SOFT ON CRIME THREAD started with Rick Jackson, a PATRICK CRUSADE member.  From there, the discussion got very interesting.  We hope you gain some insight into the Injustice system from the developing discussion.

From: Rick Jackson rickndrea@powernet.net
To: PATRICK Mailing List patrick@mediadinamics.com
Subject: Soft on Crime
Date: Thursday, July 16, 1998 3:41 PM

At 09:53 PM 7/16/98 -0400, taoss wrote:

One of the things I think we need to do is make it easier on politicians to promote Restorative Justice in our courts and Humane Treatment PLUS REHABILITATION for prisoners.  Right now, if their opponents cry out that  this one or that one is "soft on crime," the politicians who want to see  fairness don't stand a chance of getting into office so they *can* try to affect positive changes.

Taoss,
 
 

Just a thought here Taoss, but in a couple of recent posts, you've said that we at PATRICK are tough on crime, too, but have a different way of looking at the crime situation.  "Tough on Crime" is a rallying cry of right-wing bigots.  I'm proud to claim to be "soft on crime," and if I were running for office, I'd make "Soft on Crime" my campaign slogan and rallying cry.  Rehabilitation is deemed "soft on crime," by the forces of hate, as well as any type of restorative justice.  We're the bleeding hearts.

I suggest we wear the title "Soft on Crime" as a badge of honor, then go on to explain to the public what it really means.  In fact, I think I'll include the slogan in my sig file!  It's bound to outrage folks at first and get their attention, but sometimes you have to bash someone over the head if you want them to listen to you!

Whaddyathynke?

Rick Jackson, Reno, NV....proud to be "soft on crime!"

From: taoss taoss@worldnet.att.net
To: PATRICK Mailing List patrick@mediadinamics.com
Subject: Soft on Crime
Date: Thursday, July 16, 1998 11:50 PM

Rick and All,

In thinking about your proposal to go with "soft on crime" I think I see your meaning.  I truly am "tough on crime" in that I don't want crime in our streets (for several reasons).  First, it hurts the victim and the surrounding community.  Second, it hurts the direct family and the accused.  Third, it hurts humanity as a whole.

Having said this, my "toughness" is NOT any kind of judgment at all.  I see the reasons people commit crimes of all kinds.  Many of what government calls crimes, are not crimes (for example taking drugs).  Now, "pushing" drugs is a crime to me and if drugs were legalized then pushing drugs would cease.  Therefore, my toughness on drugs is to legalize them because it will take away gobs of crimes we see today.  The pushing of drugs relates to many killings, stealings, cheatings, lying, tricking, manipulating and more...  The taking drugs is an individual choice, one that is suitable to some and unsuitable to others, again for numerous reasons, but that's the individual's business and I think it needs to stay that way.

Another side (of the my many sides) of being tough on crime, has to do with educating people from the ground floor up.  This includes academics (for the purpose of giving everyone a chance in succeeding in life).  It also includes treating everyone like "people" in our society.  When that happens, then we will see another big gob of crime disappear because when people are treated right, hatred and frustration ceases and self-esteme develops.  When that happens, the notion of "nurturing" develops which helps the young ones grow up to be self-reliant individuals without having to join gangs for moral support, or without committing crimes that hurt everyone, including themselves.

An additional side of my sides on being tough on crime has to do with helping those who have committed crimes.  They need assistance in developing a sense of "person-hood" and so far this society isn't up to that task.  If it were, ex-cons would not return to prison because they would have the support of society to forgive them for the mistakes they made, and to help them get back on their feet as "respondible" people.

In my view, these things will take a couple of generations to come full circle, that is, if society were to wake up now and start the ball rolling now.  However, as you all know, American society has not seen fit to consider such simple things in the development of life on earth.  They are too busy judging everyone else and never take the time to look into themselves to see how they are part and parcel of the problem.

The one thing I do not wish to see is the pendulum which has swung way too far to the side of abuse, and illegal laws, swing back too far to the opposite side.  I think it would be best for the pendulum to swing to the center and stay there, where the scales are truly balanced and fair for everyone.

Anyway, that's what I think...

Taoss


From: Rick Jackson rickndrea@powernet.net
To: PATRICK Mailing List patrick@mediadinamics.com
Subject: Soft on Crime

Date: Friday, July 17, 1998 4:14 AM

Ah, but that's already expressing an opinion that would be viewed by the mainstream as being "soft" on crime.

But, the "tough on crime" crowd would already call you soft here.  They'd say you're blaming society for the failings of criminals that need to be punished.  In fact, suggesting that crime should be dealt with in any way other than retribution is branded as "soft," which makes politicians afraid to espouse real world solutions.

A "tough on crime" advocate would say that all these individuals really need is a few whacks with the cane. If they don't learn by then, lock 'em up and throw away the key.

Very soft, they'd say!

 OK, this is really a matter of semantics.  What I'm saying is that everything you just said is considered "soft."  Now, you can deny it when you're accused of being soft on crime, but it will just make you appear defensive and rationalizing.  Instead, why not just hold your head up with pride and say "Yes, I'm soft on crime, and proud of it."  Then, go on expaining everything you just said.  The person accusing you of being soft would have nothing left to attack you with, because they would have expected you to deny it.

Eventually, politicians would use "soft on crime" as a vote-getting slogan, and the pendulum would swing back toward the middle.  But, as long as we're ashamed to be called "soft," then the politicians will fear it also and nothing will change.

Make "tough on crime" the new dirty accusation.  Make it a label no one wants to be identified with.  Make it synonymous with Naziism!

Rick Jackson, Reno, NV....proud to be "soft on crime!"


From: Beverly George ahobbit@flash.net
To: PATRICK Mailing List patrick@mediadinamics.com
Subject: Soft on Crime

Date: Friday, July 17, 1998 12:38 AM

Taoss,

As usual,  your thoughts are right on target. I still say we need to be realistic about crime.  Not tough, not soft, because it's not that easy.  The current system wants to categorize so many such as sex offenders, violent crimes, and in court you pretty much become a category when getting sentenced.  Seems like there is no hard or soft when dealing with crime.  It should go back to dealing with the individual circumstances which this system has long ago left behind.  And you can't say fair on crime because then once again we sound too wishy washy.  We need to find the wording that describes the reality of it.  The individuality of the crime and the accused.

Bev


From: Rick Jackson rickndrea@powernet.net
To: PATRICK Mailing List patrick@mediadinamics.com
Subject: Soft on Crime

Date: Friday, July 17, 1998 4:26 AM

But, Bev, no matter what term you try to find to make it sound acceptable, your position will be branded soft if you don't favor punishment and nothing but punishment.  So, what I've been saying is that rather than try to rationalize when you're called "soft," just say "yes, I'm soft, and proud of it" and wear it as a badge of honor.  It totally takes the wind out of the sails of the "tough" crowd!

 I once argued in favor of a plan to not only educate and train prisoners, but to aggressively place them on the jobs they're trained for by giving tax incentives to companies who'd hire them, in addition to providing bonding.  I was accused of wanting to reward criminals.  Sure, I could have denied it, but instead, I said, "Yes, you're right, and if we ever want to find a permanent solution to crime, we need to start rewarding criminals!" No one can fight you when you make a statement like that.

If you want the attention of the great unwashed, you've got to shock and outrage them.  Do that, and you'll have their full attention!

Rick Jackson, Reno, NV....proud to be "soft on crime!"


From: Michael Benoit pursuitoflife@access1.net
To: PATRICK Mailing List patrick@mediadinamics.com
Subject: Soft on Crime
Date: Friday, July 17, 1998 9:17 AM

Taoss started to hit on it.  WHAT IS CRIME?  It is the taking of something that is not yours to take, where you have not been giving the concent of the owner to take it.  As strange as this might sound if two people are totally willing to fight each other to the death, they do it at their own free will, then when one dies there has been no crime.  Oh sure not very civilized but still not a crime.  The govenrment makes it a crime and then they punish the taxpayers too, by making them pay all the cost involved in the prosecution and incarceration.  THAT IS THE REAL CRIME THERE.


From: taoss taoss@worldnet.att.net
To: PATRICK Mailing List patrick@mediadinamics.com
Subject: Soft on Crime

Date: Friday, July 17, 1998 10:17 PM

Candy and All,

Yes, the ways of this country HAVE TO GO!  I am disgusted with the oppression - not just of prisoners but of everybody.  What makes it even more disgusting to me is watching ordinary people walking around oblivious to it all.  When it all falls down around them, these same folks won't stand a chance.

Taoss

At 07:46 PM 7/17/98 -0700, Candyce J. Hawk wrote:

absolutely right!  I was paying attention today to the 'cattle' attitude to totally oblivion of people.  A line formed at the sandwich shop, a couple of us out the door, and the people toward the front of the line are so 'in their own space' that they don't even move the line forward!  My biggest challenge is to not totally go off on people who are 'ignorant by choice'.  These people will be totally shocked because they didn't see the freight train coming along the flat land for 5 miles before it hit them!
 
 

Candy


From: Beverly George ahobbit@flash.net
To: PATRICK Mailing List patrick@mediadinamics.com
Subject: Soft on Crime

Date: Friday, July 17, 1998 11:19 PM

Candy,

Here here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bev



From: Beverly George ahobbit@flash.net
To: PATRICK Mailing List patrick@mediadinamics.com
Subject: Soft on Crime

Date: Friday, July 17, 1998 11:29 PM

Taoss,

And it will be people like you there to help them understand and pick  themselves up.  When they said only the strong survive....they meant it is the strong who carry the weak.

Bev



From: taoss taoss@worldnet.att.net
To: PATRICK Mailing List patrick@mediadinamics.com
Subject: Soft on Crime
Date: Saturday, July 18, 1998 10:42 AM

Beverly,

I will only offer a hand to those who WANT it, for it would be a waste of my time and dangerous to me and the others who sincerely want help, to do anything less.

Taoss



From: Beverly George ahobbit@flash.net

The real crime is that we allowed the Government to gain that much control over us.

Bev

At 12:41 PM 7/17/98 -0700, Michael Benoit wrote:

Again they took something they had not right to take, control over us.

Mike



Date: Friday, July 17, 1998 10:19 PM Beverly wrote:

Mike, agreed!  But let's take responsibility.

Bev



From: taoss taoss@worldnet.att.net
To: PATRICK Mailing List patrick@mediadinamics.com
Subject: Soft on Crime
Date: Friday, July 17, 1998 10:31 PM

So, then we keep telling the truth...keep telling it until a few "hear"...then we keep telling it some more until more listen and "see" that they've been living a big lie.  Been there. Done that too.  It is hard to take.  The most difficult is to realize that almost everything you've been brought up to believe is false.  Ego fights this with a passion and usually wins, thus keeping the status-quo in the psyche until something happens to break the wall of illusion.  Some people are so ingrained in the lie that they will react badly when "truth" finally confronts them in a way that cannot be denied.  Others will say, "Oh yea!  That's right...how come I never saw this before?"  Still others will run and hide, attack the messenger(s) or maybe even bring false witness against the messenger(s).  Ego prefers the status-quo whether accurate or inaccurate.  We have a tough road ahead...I believe we at PATRICK CRUSADE are up to it.

Taoss


From: Beverly George ahobbit@flash.net
To: PATRICK Mailing List patrick@mediadinamics.com
Subject: Soft on Crime

Date: Friday, July 17, 1998 11:31 PM

Toass,

We, indeed, at the Patrick Crusade, are up to it and then some.  We have already shown that to each other and ourselves.  And we are unique.  We don't talk about it and not act.  We discuss it, exchange ideas, take the best of it, and we act on it.  That's what makes us unique.

Bev



From: Michael Benoit pursuitoflife@access1.net
To: PATRICK Mailing List patrick@mediadinamics.com
Subject: Soft on Crime
Date: Friday, July 17, 1998 12:22 AM

Who was it that said I would rather be subject to the vagaries of too much freedom than too little?

Mike



From: taoss taoss@worldnet.att.net
To: PATRICK Mailing List patrick@mediadinamics.com
Subject: Soft on Crime

Date: Friday, July 17, 1998 6:48 AM

I don't know who said that, but I do believe that "most" people have no  idea what responsibilities are required for freedom.  Freedom is not easy because it means everyone must be responsible for their own lives.

Taoss



From: Beverly George ahobbit@flash.net
To: PATRICK Mailing List patrick@mediadinamics.com
Subject: Soft on Crime

Date: Friday, July 17, 1998 11:20 PM

Well, your person and your money is a better way to serve but I see what you mean.

Bev

At 06:35 PM 7/17/98 -0700, Michael Benoit wrote:

The modern day liberal is a communist, the clasical liberal is a libertarian.  Don't call yourself a liberal today unless you are a communist.  Democrats as a rule tend to want to let people have personal freedoms, and economic taxation and control, conservatives want to control your morals, and take 2 % less of your money.

The Liberatarians fly on both wings of freedom, you money and you person are yours not the governments

Mike



From: Beverly George ahobbit@flash.net
To: PATRICK Mailing List patrick@mediadinamics.com
Subject: Soft on Crime

Date: Friday, July 17, 1998 8:23 PM

Individual circumstances regarding individual cases must be viewed as such.  Soft?  I don't know.  Demanding each person be allowed to present their individual case and circumstance, be judged by others that are really their peers, that's what I want.  How many of Patrick's peers were in his jury box?  What about Andrea in her trial?  Were there very many women in her jury box that knew what it was like to be  involved in her certain life and the difficulties she endured?  Doubt it.

So, I'm not talking about hard, soft, or any of that terminology handed down to us.  Hell, who cares what you call it.  Injustice is injustice.  We are not going to change the minds of politicians, no matter what their standing is on crime, until  we make society, people like you and me, wake up that they are the ones that can  tell the politicians how they feel on crime.  Hell, politicians feel what we tell them to.



From: DarkFyre4@aol.com DarkFyre4@aol.com
To: PATRICK Mailing List patrick@mediadinamics.com
Subject: Soft on Crime

Date: Friday, July 17, 1998 7:25 AM

Bev,

Exactly. Being Tiger is being denied parole once again for 'the nature of the offense' that happened 15 years ago, when he was just a 17 years old.  This, even though he cooperated with the Feds, testified in the criminal trials, told the truth (something people don't want to hear) and testified in the civil trial, winning for the family of the victim a 7 million dollar lawsuit. Tiger also apologized to the victim's mom in court, and was truly sorry for what had happened.

Yet, Tiger's youth and the fact that he was under the influence of much older men was NOT taken into consideration. Though the Feds promised him a 'light' sentence, he was later told by his sponsor, Barry Kowalski, that 'he was lucky he didn't get the chair' . Tiger had been raised to believe if you told the truth, did the right thing, then of course you would be dealt with fairly. Tiger was a naive boy. His lawyer a coward, afraid of both the Feds and the Klan. So Tiger was the scapegoat, sold down the river.

Tiger had his parole and appeal denied recently. This despite glowing letters of reccomendation by staff, a letter commending his cooperation at the risk of himself by the attorney for the victim's family in the civil trial, classes both taught and taken, and the fact that the Parole Board themselves admit he's a great parole risk! Yet, he's still in prison...this will be year 16.

What is so terrible about this is the way he was outright LIED to, and cheated. If Tiger had kept his mouth shut, laid low and never said a thing, NOTHING would have happened, as there was just not enough evidence in the case. This sends out such a warped message, really. If you do the right thing, come forward, you will be punished just like you would if you hadn't bothered and were caught. Far better to take your chances and keep your mouth shut.

So, you see, for us, we are generalized as well, though Tiger gave up everything to testify. He can never go home to the south again. He hasn't seen his daughter since she was just 2...she's 16 now. His wife decided she didn't want to deal with any of it and dissapeared. Most of his family don't correspond or communicate with him. Because of being lied to, in a desperate state of mind at the thougth of spending all his life in prison, he attempted escape and was put in the 'hole' for 8 years. He's out now, and we are maybe luckier than some...we have a potential release date of 2006. But that isn't good enough, and isn't fair for a man who gave up everything...absolutely everything to do the right thing.

It makes me angry, and it makes me sad. We don't give up, but what this has done is soured me on those in positions of power in Washington. I'm convinced there is no justice, just lots of game playing for 'P.C.' reasons. We certainly would never take a Government deal or believe what they said again.

Fyre


From: MerlM mmonce@ij.net
To: PATRICK Mailing List patrick@mediadinamics.com
Subject: Soft on Crime

Date: Friday, July 17, 1998 1:36 PM

Fyre,

One thing I have learned is that I NEVER talk to or give any information to cops or detectives. They turn things around too easily and the 13th Jurist almost always believes them.

Merl



From: Beverly George ahobbit@flash.net
To: PATRICK Mailing List patrick@mediadinamics.com
Subject: Soft on Crime

Date: Friday, July 17, 1998 11:18 PM

Candy, Frye,

Absolute agreement.  I sat in the first row when they were practicing criminal justice in Texas and got that lesson the hard way!  There is none.  There is no innocent until proven guilty.  It is innocent until proven wealthy.  There is no justice, no self defense, no circumstantial evidence, no false evidence, not so much as a 50/50 chance anymore.  You go up....you go down.

Bev

From: taoss taoss@worldnet.att.net
To: PATRICK Mailing List patrick@mediadinamics.com
Subject: Soft on Crime

Date: Friday, July 17, 1998 10:13 PM

Date: Friday, July 17, 1998 8:23 PM Beverly wrote:

How many of Patrick's peers were in his jury box?

Bev,

Part of why the INjustice system is what it is today (IMO) and as all of us "seem" to be saying - is the fact that there is "indiscriminate" punishment regardless of the circumstances.  Perhaps the one time Discriminating would be a good thing, is in determining the facts and circumstances of any crime committed.

I can hear the politicians and political committees now...they'll want to write laws and rules in an attempt to facilitate every kind of distinction to which I'm referring.  I don't think this can be done, nor should it be attempted.

No, there were NO peers in Patrick's jury...no police officers or other members of law enforcement, or former law enforcement...but there were church-going, other-directed citizens who were then (and still are) in total awe of "authority" such as a DA - who, in their eyes could NEVER tell a lie...why?...because "DA's" are not supposed to lie, therefore they don't.  Actually, it goes much deeper than that...but you get the drift.  There were five black people - the only black people summoned for jury selection - who were summarily dismissed by the DA, because this DA said he "knew" black people tended to be more lenient.  From what I understand of the law, this is discrimination against those 5 black people and considered a Brady violation.  Alabama has done this for generations, so no one thought much of it at the time.

Taoss



From: Beverly George ahobbit@flash.net
To: PATRICK Mailing List patrick@mediadinamics.com
Subject: Soft on Crime

Date: Friday, July 17, 1998 11:26 PM

Taoss,

That's exactly what I mean by peers.  How could anyone, churchgoing or not, know the circumstances of Patrick's life, without living a similar life.  Aaron's trial there was not one person with mental illness on that jury.  Yet they were his peers.  They were law abiding, church going, members of society who didn't have a clue what it was to be mentally ill or what it was, for that matter, to have a child stop breathing.  Not one.  Peers?

There it is.  My point.  The whole point I was trying to make, not the one above although it's a damn good one, (grin) is that we need new approaches, new terminology, new everything because it's time for new.  Time to say the current system sucks.  Period.  Not smells bad.  Not that it's weak or needs changes.  It sucks.  New.

Bev



At 07:23 PM 7/17/98 -0500, Beverly George wrote:

Taoss, Rick, and all,

But, my point is I don't like soft, hard, or medium well done.  My problem is with categorization.  Some crimes are horrendous and the offender is dangerous. I don't want to be the judge of that and don't know who should be.

Bev



At 05:44 PM 7/17/98 +0000, Rick Jackson wrote:

I believe that with proper re-integration into society following rehabilitative efforts, we could reduce our prisons to 10% of the present population.  That would leave the hard core who will always be dangerous to us, and can never be safely released.  But, with the reduction in population, those remaining could be housed in a relatively comfortable safe, and humane environment.  Their families would still have access to them, and they'd be able to remain somewhat productive if they became involved things like crafts or writing.  But, the general public wants them tormented.  What I would see as an ideal would be branded as "soft."  All I am saying is that rather than waste my time denying my approach (and I think all of you would agree with me the way the 10% hard core should be treated) is soft, I prefer to flaunt it and wear it as a badge of honor!

Now, as for a jury of peers, and taking cases at all their merits one issue at a time, that's where we can agree with Mike's Libertarian principles. Libertarian philosophy calls for a fully informed jury with the ability to judge not only the crime, but the law itself.  They should also have the right to know what any potential sentence should be, and to aquit if they feel the sentence would be too harsh for the individual circumstance.  It's just a matter of making the punishment fit the crime.

 As for a jury of peers, you might be interested to know that Andrea had a jury of 10 women and 2 men.  Bob Dunn has used this to twist the public perception of the outcome, in that it was women who rejected her claims of abuse.  But, the jurors were elderly church women on social security who could never have understood Andrea or her life, and would have identified with Bob Sand and his elderly ex-wife.  They hated Andrea for her beauty at the time, and saw her as a potential threat to their own relationships.

Rick Jackson, Reno, NV....proud to be "soft on crime!"

Please join the "Soft on Crime" Movement Today!

Abused in America

(Could you be next?)

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them.  That is the essence of inhumanity.--George Bernard Shaw
 

The articles previewed here are "representative" of the wide-spread abuses to American prisoners.  PATRICK CRUSADE does not advocate releasing violent criminals.  Our focus, and advocacy, is in the areas of Justice and Human Rights.

Ancient scriptures tell us that what we do to the least of creation, we do to the Creator himself.  We also do it to ourselves.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Rhenquist once quoted from Fyodor Dostoyevsky's book, The House of the Dead: "The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering the prisons."

In other words, you can determine the quality of a society by looking inside its prisons; and what a society allows inside its prisons, is a direct reflection of the character and integrity of that society.  I do not believe that it was the American Society's original intent to create houses of torture and the destruction of due process in its courts.

Are the American people barbaric?  Do the Americans feel at peace knowing their tax dollars are being spent to torture and abuse other people?  My guess is that the American people don't know about the atrocities in their prisons.  Select the state of your choice to review the abuses that go on every single day while you bounce your child on your knee, believing that
all is well in the world.

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