Scales of Justice

Many U.S. Inmates Face Cruel & Inhuman Conditions & Practices

Like many readers of Frank Report, I am not particularly bothered by the fact that Keith Raniere is suffering in prison.

Mk10Art painting of Keith Raniere imprisoned by his own brand.

Given how much harm he did to others, my only real concern is that he may be killed by a fellow prisoner – or take his own life – before he’s been in long enough to balance the scales of justice.

But I am also keenly aware that many inmates in the U.S. are routinely subjected to conditions and practices that we would deem unacceptable for animals.

Part of the problem is due to the fact that we have so many prisoners.

As I have noted before in other posts, the U.S. has 4% of the world’s population – and 22% of its prisoners.

There are many other statistics that underscore the fact that over-criminalization and over-incarceration are very real problems in our country:
– In 2007, 1 in every 31 adults in the U.S. was behind bars – or on probation or parole.

– In 2012, one in every 108 adults in the U.S. was in prison or in jail.

– According to a 2012 Department of Justice survey, more than 100 million Americans have criminal records (The total U.S. population at the time of the survey was approximately 310 million).

But even if we take appropriate steps to reduce the number of activities we label as crimes, the number of people we incarcerate, and the length of time we incarcerate people, many of our prisoners will still be subject to conditions that are clearly barbaric and inhumane.

*****

Why Are Prisoners Treated So Badly?

One of the primary reasons why inmates in the U.S. are treated so poorly is because, per our Constitution, they are slaves.

But, you ask “Wasn’t slavery abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment?”

The answer is “Not entirely”.

The actual text of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is as follows:
– Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
– Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

And those few words – “except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted” – which are known as the “exception clause” to the Thirteenth Amendment – mean that federal, state and local prisons are allowed to treat prisoners as slaves.

Because of the “exception clause”, prisoners in our country have very few rights.

And even the few rights they do have are often disregarded by prison guards and administrators.

*****

Eighth Amendment Rights Are Routinely Ignored in Prisons & Jails

The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was supposed to protect all U.S. citizens from unreasonable penalties and punishments.

As set forth therein, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted”.

The problem is that the key terms in the Eighth Amendment are undefined.

And so it is that many prisoners in the U.S. routinely have “cruel and unusual punishment” inflicted on them.

To begin with, many prisoners are incarcerated in systems that are severely overcrowded.

This is not a major problem in federal prisons – which only account for about 10% of the approximately 2.2 million people who are currently locked up in the U.S.

But it is a major problem in those states whose prison systems currently house many more prisoners than they were designed to hold.

Among the worst state prison system in terms of overcrowding are Illinois (173% of designed capacity), Hawaii (164% of designed capacity), Delaware (163% of designed capacity), Nebraska (158% of designed capacity), and California (143% of designed capacity).

In addition to overcrowding, our prisons also inflict numerous other “cruel and unusual” punishments upon prisoners.

These include, but are not limited to, the following:
– Inadequate medical care
– Inadequate mental health services
– Unreasonable health risks
– Excessive use of solitary confinement
– Sexual abuse
– Physical abuse
– Lack of access to sunlight and fresh air
– Substandard food
– Inadequate heat and/or air conditioning
– Abusive conduct by guards and staff
– Inadequate educational services

*****

So, What Should We Do to Address These Problems?

The problems that permeate our prison systems didn’t happen overnight – and they can’t be fixed overnight.

But there are several things that we can do to address these problems – both in the short-term and the long-term.

Reduce Prison Populations
One of the first things that we should do is figure out which current prisoners can be released from prison without endangering the general public.

Towards that end, it should be noted that more than half of the prisoners in the U.S. are incarcerated because of non-violent crimes.

Reduce the Number of Crimes
In recent years, many states have decriminalized the possession and use of marijuana (Some have gone further and legalized those activities).

Why can’t we do the same with other activities that we currently classify as crimes?

Gambling? Seriously, like it’s not happening anyway.

Prostitution? Legalizing it would likely reduce – if not eliminate – the need for pimps. And it’s not like the current laws have eliminated it.

Assisted Suicide? Why should someone not have the right to end a life of endless pain and suffering – and why should we prosecute someone who helps them do that?

Ticket Scalping? Who cares if someone can make a few bucks re-selling a ticket to a sporting event they don’t want to attend? Who exactly is the “victim” in this particular crime?

Public Intoxication? What if we locked up everyone who ever got drunk outside of their residence? Where the hell would we put them all?

“Deviant” Sexual Activity? If the people involved are consenting adults, then why do we care?

Utilize Other Forms of Punishment
Why can’t we come up with other forms of punishment besides incarceration?

Most other countries have already done so without experiencing societal collapse.

Many non-violent offenders could be adequately punished via home confinement with electronic monitoring, community service, and other penalties.

Why are we so obsessed with putting people in jails and prisons?

*****

What say you, Frank Report readers?

Do you favor our current system – or do you think we can do better?

What current crimes, if any, would you de-criminalize?

And what, if any, current non-crimes would you re-classify as crimes?

What other punishments besides incarceration would you impose on those who commit crimes?

About the author

K.R. Claviger

74 Comments

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  • I just did a year straight for marijuana possession, first-offense. What happened in there changed me.
    I’ll never be whole again.
    Especially solitary confinement punishments which I wouldn’t do to my worst enemy. I wouldn’t treat an animal that way.
    Deeply appalling what we do to one another.

  • Wasn’t what happened to their victims cruel and inhumane?
    And you want sympathy for the perps?
    Excuse me while I reject that notion you try to elicit from us for those incarcerated.
    Frankly, I’m all for bringing back the guillotine.

  • I agree that too many are incarcerated, but state prisons don’t have as many of those petty crimes as you may think. Also, “inadequate ” is subjective. In my 24 years as a parole officer, I never once interviewed a person serving a sentence for being a sexual deviant. Sex crimes involving a minor, or sexual assault are clearly not the same as 2 people banging in a restroom. Never saw a person get a state sentence for that. That being said, judges give out Probation like candy on Halloween. Of course, a kid in some city will violate a condition of probation! Why bother imposing it if you don’t have intentions of enforcing the conditions? Treatment centers? Good idea, but the good ones are full and the rest take $ but provide little treatment. It’s hard to overcome years of negative family influences for most of these people. Don’t even get me started about mentally ill offenders. Not near enough good resources in the community for that.

    • Jarhead,

      I am very interested if you have time to respond…

      What is your opinion of nonviolent and nonsectarian low level drug offenders?

      And should society change it’s current policies and laws?

      I am not a bleeding heart….The current systems does not seem
      to be working or maybe it is working? What is your opinion?

      You are the only one here that has any real world experience.

      • Good morning, Niceguy,

        Prison or jail isn’t a good place for that person who is a casual smoker of marijuana. There are plenty of those folks who mind their own business and lead productive lives. I do have some concerns over modern day marijuana, however. Marijuana of the 60’s -80’s had a lower THC level, but some of this stuff now is grown in hydroponic, highly controlled environments which has increased the THC levels. Thus, there are numerous studies out there that show a higher likelihood of psychosis, especially for young adults who regularly use marijuana before the age of 24 (which is when the frontal lobe fully matures). A friend of mine has an adult son who sampled a strain of this in Colorado, and he ended up going to an Emergency Room because it caused severe paranoia.

        That being said, I don’t have a great answer for you. Incarceration of casual users isn’t the right answer. The criminal justice system, at least where I am involved, has moved away from prosecuting those folks years ago. Keeping it illegal but only imposing fines/costs of casual users is basically the same as “tax”. It’s not a leap to say that government will highly tax it, as you can see that with cigarettes and even gasoline.

        But the answer needs to be real. We need to balance how we treat these folks, but the pro-legalization folks also need to acknowledge that this marijuana nowadays can be much more potent and does have some negative side effects. Can we legalize certain strains of marijuana that doesn’t exceed a particular THC level? Not sure if we can, or if that is even plausible.

        • ‘Can we legalize certain strains of marijuana that doesn’t exceed a particular THC level? Not sure if we can, or if that is even plausible.’

          just as easy, if not easier than brewing alcohol at different strengths. I grow a single sativa with low thc, but only thc, because i don’t enjoy the dopey couch potato effects of too much cbd. I have to agree with your observation of current black market weed – its dangerous shit that definitely induces hyper psychosis and paranoia, even at 1960s/70s strengths and strains its not something that should be taken that regularly anyway – how do people know they are high if stoned all the time?

        • Jarhead,

          Thank you for replying!

          The Marijuana is definitely more powerful. My nephew “in law” had a psychotic episode from BHO marijuana and edibles. In addition at the same time he had a “form” of marijuana poisoning and vomited for about 4 hours straight and the hospital could not stop it.

          I guess there are no good answers/solutions without bad consequences.

          Thanks again!

  • So many police, the world over, tell us that their discouragements are just about overwhelming. The same people arrested for being drugdealers, for hurting, even shooting, robbing or beating other people, people right out in the open are seen shooting themselves up with dope, puking, relieving themselves, stay in jail overnight, only to be be processed back out onto the streets a day or two later. Then it is back to business.

    Last night I heard a Seattle man say that he is ashamed to show anyone his old neighborhood now. I try to imagine what that sorrow and anger is like for him, despite having seen the same all over our world, sometimes much more severely. People barely surviving, generations of struggle. Beautiful people who have every right to a better life. For the love of God, even a little chance!

    Then in prison we incarcerate people, for years and years on end, who could have been, often should have been, released sooner. The crowding is such that really dangerous men and women know how to do the shuffle, bide their time, eat for a month or so and get sent out of jail, the same as they entered if not worse.

    It is far, far harder, if you are poor and if you are not Whitey. Everything is upside down. People are profitting off of our lack of ability to effect change, as well as due to our acquiescence to horribleness and our complacency, inertia. I do not know what it will take to convince anyone to give a damn, to speak up, to raise ourselves UP. Even one by one by one. I hear many trying so hard, and this awareness, involvement, is building. Hope in the face of so much that can look so hopeless.

    People who own businesses call for assistance over and over again and are told, pretty much “tough shit. Nothin’ we can do. Our hand are tied.” Yet the good citizens, trying to be heard and needing things to change, can be arrested if they take the law into their own hands. There is immense frustrstion, anger, a sense of helplessness. You try so hard to “do the right thing” but are constantly up against the wall of a terrible inertia, experiencing that it seems that there IS no right course of action available. Who can surrender to this state of affairs? Who wants to give up? Who wants us to shut up and leave things be? Who?

    Seattle, as just one place worth learning about right now, is enduring a city-wide crisis, because a large population of people have been and are camping out throughout the city, right up against storefronts, eateries and cafés, apartments, on street after street, surrounded by filth, feces, used needles, every kind of detritus of addicition and mental illness This is impacting the lives of everybody who works there, tries to keep their children safe there and who calls Seattle home.

    People are going through sicknesses of withdrawal right out in the open, until their next fix. The associated crimes, the robberies, home break-ins, the demolishment of our own culture, is everywhere, right in the faces of everyone living nearby. The only U.S. city with crime statistics showing more home break-ins than Seattle is San Francisco, of all places. The same loaded deck of messes in Seattle permeates the ” logistics” of California. Liberalism says “don’ t arrest these poor people'” who shoot up and are shooting up their drug garbage, right under everyone’s noses.

    The more conservative people seem to say “lock “em up, hang ’em high.” The middle ground, firmly handing out both incarceration and rehabilitation, has to have funding, for rehab and for reeducation, for the chances to make real change, to ready people to escape addiction, leave crime behind, to make a living, to be held up long enough, strongly enough, to be able to keep going, not to fall back.

    Our tiniest state, Rhode Island, is doing some of the best work in the entire nation, funding rehabilitation and dispensing medication to cut off severe addictions, not to send back onto our streets the same human wreckage who was brought in the doors. Here is a strong, sturdy, quiet example, for all who want change and who want prison to be more than just a Dead Zone.

    People are shooting up and wigging out and off, right in the open. There are documentaries to inform us all about it, if one wants to learn. See the tents, the garbage, people with their clothes falling off of them as they seizure, as they tremble. These men and women and kids live right on the streets. Brazil is full of children with nowhere to go, no one watching out for them. This is huge, it is unavoidable, the awfulness is unmistakable, in places that used to be fine streets. This cannot be avoided or ignored. Or it can continue to be shoved aside.

    People are unrepresented by their/our governmental structures, and the problems keep mounting. Yet these are merely some small examples of worldwide “unfixability” that will and that must be changed. Our world.

    Then there are those who are imprisoned and prisons are drug dens, with gang terrorism, prison guard rot and sadism. On and on and on. Little or no rehabilitation offered or sustained. Conditions of terrible unsanitariness and human debasement are being maintained with unbelievable indifference, coldness.

    Attempts at improvement constantly stymied or throttled. One good man is not enough. One bigmouth is not enough. One man who fasts, in protest, like Dick Gregory did, is not enough. One Martin Luther King. One Gandhi. Not perfect men, but men who did not give up. I still go to Memphis, remembering and offering tribute. All of these years may pass but the feelings will not disappear. There is no death of spirit.

    Reagan’s adminstration had a lot to do with spreading this current and tolerated, helplessness. Cutting off hard, hard won efforts and resources to improve conditions, throughout all of these describable, ongoing circumstances, by “legally” removing our most viable resources down to almost nothing. People who really could be helped? No place to provide for these people, no money given to give lasting assistance. Closing hospitals, cutting off free mental health.

    As if doctors are only for the rich, schools are only for the rich, governments are only for the powerful. It is absolutely sickening and it promotes more suffering, more sickness.

    The worst cutoffs affected, and continue to affect, the ones who most need our attention, those who are unable to regain health and strength alone, without the rest of us being able to offer real opportunuties, programs, even medicines, to give authentic chances for people to get better.

    It is heartbreaking. Whatever is offered as an attempt to make positive change, to develop sustained assistance, can be cut off at the knees. There is staggering indifference. There are hideous vested interests who profit, wanting and keeping terrible conditions as they really are. Everyday is a day to learn and to keep learning. We can build our passion, the passion to be better and to offer better. You can say this is our natural duty, to love life itself. Take out the vipers. Leave them in the dust and keep holding out our own small hands to find ways to give healing, relief and comfort, the right to pursue happiness. For everybody.

    • The horror, the horror, are you a public servant? working your life to the bone to make things better for others? probably not. This sounds a bit word salad-y to me tbh, like you might have too much time on your hands and live too remotely from the thing you describe.

      Sounds like the kind of fearful morbid word-salad that might come from sitting in great comfort watching too many poverty porn videos on quan-y type sites. There are a lot of commenters on this site actually working for the good of humanity – with their lives. If you care as much as you have perhaps claimed, about the poorest most disenfranchised brothers and sisters amongst us, why not roll up your sleeves and muck in. You can help. You can make a difference. You can even draw a salary for it, or, if that’s not a necessity for you, offer voluntary assistance. It would be a pleasure to hear about that.

      Just don’t join a cult that promises in a vague, wordy over-generalised way to solve problems you have outlined in much the same way.

  • The problem with home confinement is that it could punish some people more than it punishes others. If you are rich and confined to a luxurious mansion it is a great deal more tolerable than if you are poor and living in a noisy Hellhole.

  • Hey stupid spankers! Time for UncleReTurdBangkok to educate you spankers. Just few items first:

    KClavigar Top social scientists believe Access to abortion because of Roe Vs Wade Boggs helped poor bitches from having more kids since they’re to stupid to use free condoms according to the Freeknomics book. Also Well fair reform meant we stopped paying them to have kids to bring to McDonald’s for free food.
    Do you think we should increase access to abortion and reform welfare more? Thank you mad spanker! 🙂
    Are starting this conversation because your boyfriend is in prison? 🙂

    Flowers doesn’t need access to abortion because her flower wilted long ago; and she uses the new freely acquired space like a glove compartment to store loose change. Hey Flowers if you spray some WD40 down on the change you won’t jingle when you walk. :).

    SHADOWSPANKER1958

    The stupid video you posted claim Allison Mack and dikey Cline were attacking people is a big lie. You crazymad spanker Allison Mack and Nicki Clyne are not even in the video. The video is of a black man that is being attacked by a bunch of white people because they don’t like rap! You crazy Shadowyate mad Spanker! You smoking your toe cheeze now?

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2hMu1yrXtbI&ebc=ANyPxKpdIQNUB9YR93jgTgIy6eAuhUceHXc9dDhdp2jghUQyJvnwhdVpd_VhuRpISsxaPORtOmkzVAKElzL2kkh6mujo-yUxdw

    Flowers will now claim she was in the video or the cult that is after her bounced her head of a subway car and that’s why she is out on disability.Isn’t that right Flowers? 🙂

    • “The stupid video you posted claim Allison Mack and dikey Cline were attacking people is a big lie. ”

      Perhaps some day you will be lucky enough to have a gang of people hold you down while someone brands you with a hot iron.

  • GREAT, refreshing report, Clav! I don’t know from the prison system — knock on wood — but I am familiar with the California HealthCare System that runs on a similar paradigm with bloated, warring County, State and Federal Govt. Agencies “overseeing” for-profit — and/or just as profiteering non-profit — greedy, private subcontractors.

    These Gov. contracted profiteers — such as they who run the U.S. prison system, too, I imagine — are out-of-control. They monopolize, they collude, they steal from the blind and easily swindle taxpayers, they mistreat their own workers as well as disabled clients, they cook the books, they bribe — of course — they don’t ever get the job done, and they wipe their asses on the Constitution of the U.S. and every Federal or State law and healthcare regulation that came after it that stands in the way of their profits.

    Haliburton’s hall pass on the Persian Gulf capital venture was child’s play for the players that are in the Gov. subcontractor game nowadays.

    Look at this year’s NY prison system corruption record FR’s reported on thus far: Jeffrey Epstein’s mystery murder (allegedly due to incompetence) at MDD, the MDC freeze — possibly something akin to murder (also chalked up to incompetence), El Chapo’s ill-timed presence at MDC during said electric fire and the mite infestation (just sayin’), Whitey Bulger slocked (no alleged incompetence), the high cost of prison commissary goods not to mention pure-blood Aryan Brotherhood protection for ALL your prison purchases — including that contraband cell phone someone finally pulled out of Keith Raniere’s asshole — but, thank God he’s still alive to stand sentencing in the name of SOME achievement of Justice — so long as Emiliano Salinas remains an unindicted free man in Cuba and Clare Bronfman remains out of the mental institution she belongs in and can pay the Nazi purebloods. When all else fails, there’s Karma.

  • K.R. what about “prison reform”? What exactly does this mean? Does it mean anything? I hear the word thrown around sometimes from political candidates. Are they referring to their own personal gain when they say reform?

  • KRClaviger,

    I agree that something should be done regarding the, “Many U.S. Inmates Face Cruel & Inhuman Conditions & Practices”. However, I believe the American Justice Court system needs to be cleaned up.

    How does the USA have the highest incarceration rate in both the total number of individuals incarcerated and by per-capita rate; When the following is also true….”FBI numbers, the violent crime rate fell 51% between 1993 and 2018. Using the BJS data, the rate fell 71% during that span”?

    4 things need to happen to make prison life better and thereby help with rehabilitation/recidivism numbers:

    1. The Grand jury system is now a joke in Federal and State courts. It’s used by DAs to develop their criminal cases. The original intention of the grand jury system was to prohibit frivolous/corrupt criminal prosecutions and trials.

    The most glaring example is the Grand jury indictment of Roger Stone. The original purpose of grand juries was to stop politically motivated prosecutions.

    The Grand jury system set up by the founding fathers of the United States has been gutted and turned into a kangaroo court-like system.

    2. Three strikes and your out laws: i.e. mandatory sentencing. It’s ridiculous to have 3-strike laws for nonsexual and nonviolent offenders. Money saved on mandatory sentences can improve prisons and help with rehabilitation.

    3. The public needs to be educated about the reality of prisons. Most Americans are under the impression if you speak with them that minimum security prisons are like country clubs. The vast public outside of the Frank Report has not even a clue.

    4. The 8th Amendment needs to be rewritten.

    • Typo in my comment above.

      Meant:

      However I believe the American Justice Court system needs to be cleaned up “first” before the prison population can be addressed.

    • Completely agree Niceguy – especially with the three strikes laws and mandatory sentencing. I doubt anyone has been able to measure a corresponding decrease in crime. And number 3: Prisons are NOT motels with bars, and most of us have no idea how hard it is to serve one year, never mind 20.

      However, I wish KAR 30. He’s squeezed more greedy self gratification into his lifetime thus far than anyone could ask for. And God knows how many STDs he’s spread in the process. He’s left a trail of financial, emotional and spiritual destruction, not to mention scarred flesh and premature deaths. I think he is a poison who will never reform his ways if released.

      • Orange County Dreams,

        Why I changed my perspective on 3 strikes:

        My wife sat on a Grand Jury once a while back. One of the casess involved an individual who never committed a violent or sexual crime. It was all non violent crimes and non sexual crimes his 2 strikes. The man(defendant) was on his 3 strike.

        My wife having a legal background explained to the jury that normally a crime such as the one the defendant was charged with would be a plea bargain to a misdemeanor.

        My wife explained that sending a nonviolent and nonsexual defendant to trial, who had 2 strikes would result in a life sentence and would be miscarriage of justice. My wife explained fully why Grand Juries exist. It did no good.

        The other jury members argued that the defendant would get a fair trial. The man has now been in prison for 8 years for a crime that would have been a 1 or 2 year sentence normally. He had a public defender which is on par with defending yourself.

        The man’s third strike crime was for stealing scrap aluminum from a closed recycling facility. He hopped a fence and was witnessed carrying a street lamp away.

        8 years later the male defendant is still in prison.

  • Our prisons also house the mentally ill, many that didnt have proper treatment and meds when they committed their crimes. Many used drugs to self-medicate. Many are released back out on the street with no direction or regular advocate in their lives. The cost to society is enormous. Improving mental health will improve the bottom line at prisons and improve the lives of our citizens.

    • Laura,
      You are 100% correct. Many prisoners have mental health conditions combined with drug problems.

      Many are just repeat offenders with low level drug possession convictions.

      What many readers of Krclaviger’s article fail to understand is Krclaviger is not being an advocate for murders and rapists; He is being an advocate for the nonsexual and nonviolent prisoners which make up a huge portion of the prison population.

    • Peaches:
      And Kamala Harris’ Presidential campaign is on the verge of collapse.
      To learn more about Senator Harris read the blog “The People’s Republic of California.
      Senator Harris has a very interesting history.

      “THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CALIFORNIA – This site is dedicated to exposing the continuing Marxist Revolution in California and the all around massive stupidity of Socialists, Luddites, Communists, Fellow Travelers and of Liberalism in all of its ugly forms.
      http://thepeoplesrepublicofcalifornia.blogspot.com/

  • Another big reason is for profit prisons. States will get taxed if they don’t keep beds filled so they are more likely to put people in prison for minor offenses and keep them there for full sentences instead of parole then out.

    • Spot on, FP. And I agree with the article as a whole. We need to come up with other methods to punish non-violent offenders, Our prisons are ridiculously full of people who, for example, smoke weed. When is the last time you saw someone on marijuana only, start a bar fight?

      Of course, some of the financial crimes, while not outright violent, can destroy peoples’ lives so that would have to be taken into consideration.

      Back in the day, prisoners used to run farms, woodworking and leather shops, etc. In other words they were productive. I think pointless, idle confinement does next to nothing to rehabilitate a person.

      I’m glad Frank Report is taking up this issue. A separate issue: We trust a screwed up system to execute people, and there is always, always the chance they have the wrong person. That is not OK with me. Sure, we all like to see the Ted Bundys of the world executed, but at what price? Is it worth it, when we know good and well that “several” innocent people will be deprived of their very lives, by the government?

      • OCD,

        As you correctly point out, the issue of Capital Punishment has all sorts of sub-issues. While I personally think that Capital Punishment is not a “cruel and unusual” punishment, I also think its use should be very limited. I would prefer that Capital Punishment only be allowed after the case has been reviewed by a federal tribunal – and that the actual execution be carried out by medical officials under the auspices of the DOJ (I just do not trust 50 jurisdictions to get this stuff right).

        One of the worst aspects of our current Capital Punishment system is that we allow prisoners to languish on Death Row for decades before their cases are fully resolved. In my mind, that is definitely “cruel and unusual” punishment.

        There is no easy answer to the point you raise about some innocent people being executed no matter how strong the safeguards are on a system that imposes Capital Punishment. Even if the changes I propose were all implemented, there is always going to be a chance that we screw up and execute someone who is later exonerated. Hopefully, by tightening the standards – and by taking this function away from states – we can reduce those errors to the absolute minimum.

        • Good points all. I very much like your idea about a federal tribunal review.

          What really gets me is when new DNA or other evidence arises and the state government (Texas) won’t allow DNA tests to be done or new evidence to be introduced. Rodney Reed is scheduled for execution on November 20, 2019, and folks down here are scrambling to get it reconsidered as someone (former fiancee) else confessed to the crime while incarcerated.

          I am not a bleeding heart liberal type. But this state, at least, has executed innocent people, and there is no undoing that. It’s permanent.

        • K.R. Claviger,
          You look at so many precautions to ensure criminals don’t suffer unjustly yet you retain no effort to devise and implement the same process in fact any process for their victims.

          If someone innocent has their throat cut with a butter knife how should we ensure they are not exposed to “undue” or “unfair” suffering?
          How do we apply such a law? Contact all current and future serial killers to communicate that to them?

          Killers shouldn.t spend so many years on death row: of course, so long as we take the people they killed out of the coffins after a while. Why not? What have they done wrong to spend 41 years in a coffin without seeing daylight or not to benefit from airconditioning during summers?

          Otherwise it is best as the gun lobby says backed by the elites: give the electorate more guns, in fact it is best if medium range rocket launchers are made available to all americans! Everyone will feel safe and will be safe very soon and very permanently.

          Trump proposed this idea himself: we only defeat murder with more guns. Why stop at guns when you can mass distribute rocket launchers?? America enjoys power. Give a tank to everyone… why do things in half measures?

  • I think the problem is that the punishments are not severe enough for the most severe crimes – why does it take 30 years to execute a rapist & murder? Why does that person have more rights than they allowed their victims? There is very little to fear in our justice system & therefore it is clear that it is NOT working in its intended goal which is to actually prevent or reduce crime. Crimes against children should receive the harshest punishments – but our system protects the criminals to the point where one person can victimize hundreds before being brought to justice. If the sexual assault of a child resulted in castration (chemical castration being the mandatory use of a prescription that simply removes the urge for the deviant sexual act) or lifetime confinement, perhaps fewer children would be harmed – it is known that over 90 percent of child predators offend again – why are they EVER allowed out once caught??

    I’m all for monitored home confinement for non-violent offenders

    Also of note is that our probation system does not work either – those on probation very often commit crimes or evade detection of violations

    • You raise some interesting issues – and make some valid points. I would agree that those who have committed violent crimes – and those who have committed crimes against children and other groups that can’t protect themselves (e.g., the elderly, the infirmed, etc.) – ought to be punished harshly and quickly (And full castration for those who commit sex crimes would be just fine with me).

      But, at the other end of the spectrum, I also think we need to back off on some of the “crimes” that we currently prosecute. Setting aside the fact that they killed him in the process, did the police really need to bust Eric Gardner for selling single cigarettes? And how about all the current inmates who have been incarcerated for years for selling marijuana or other non-lethal drugs?

      Parole and Probation have actually become an easy way for jails and prisons to replenish their empty cells. In part, that’s because the list of restrictions that can lead to violations – and, therefore a return to prison – is extensive. And in part, it’s because the period of Parole or Probation often goes on far too long (Does every federal prisoner who is released from prison really need to be on Probation for 3 years – or is that just a way to ensure that the Probation Officers’ Union is happy?).

      Thank you for enagaging in this discussion. The more we discuss and share, the sooner we’ll come up with better solutions.

  • K.R, isn’t part of the reason is because of the political share holders? Do they get a percentage of each person that goes through the jail?

    • Peaches,
      You’ve hit upon a key problem.
      America is one of the few nations in the world with private prisons.
      You can actually invest in a company that operates prisons and prison factories.
      The two big private prison companies are the Corrections Corporation of America and the Geo Group.
      Some people talk about a Prison Industrial Complex.

      Prison–industrial complex
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prison%E2%80%93industrial_complex

      Another problem is that America has massive drug abuse problem.
      America has the largest drug abuse problem in the world.

      There is also no denying that multi-cultural societies have more internal divisions that are managed by a militarized police force.
      Every major police force in America has a SWAT team that is more military than police force.
      And many police officers receive military style training in the National Guard and the military reserves.

      On top of all that American society is one of the more violent in the industrialized advanced world.
      In Brooklyn just a week ago a man shoved a woman head first into a stopped subway car.
      What the hell do you do with an asshole who shoves an innocent bystander into a metal wall?
      You lock his ass into a metal cage for ten or twenty years.

      Look at NXIVM’s poster girl Allison Pimp Mack.
      She branded approximately one hundred women with hot irons scarring them for life.
      In this process Allison Pimp Mack used either force or fraud.
      In many cases the women had to be held down by a gang of women acting under Allison Mack’s orders.
      Allison Mack committed ASSAULT AND BATTERY against one hundred women.
      Even by the standards of America’s violent cities Allison Mack is a VIOLENT CRIMINAL.

      She did it for her “boyfriend” Keith Raniere who enjoys torturing people but is too LAZY to do it himself.

      What is the proper response to a level of criminal behavior like that?
      Lock the assholes in cages for ten or twenty years.

      Here is a video of the Brooklyn subway assault and battery to give you a flavor of America’s violent gangster culture.

      • Shadowstate,

        Crime is actually down in the United States.

        You are as disingenuous as Alexandrea Ocasio-Cortez.

        Actual real data…….
        “Using the FBI numbers, the violent crime rate fell 51% between 1993 and 2018. Using the BJS data, the rate fell 71% during that span”.

        A few videos of violent acts every year, in a country of over 327,167,000, is not indicative of the existence of “US Gangster Culture”.

        Shadowstate1958 Please stop
        cherry picking videos to promote your “fake news” propaganda and fear-mongering

        BTW:
        How does Allison Mack fit into a video of a deranged black man on drugs in a subway station?

        The man in question is not even a gang member. Gangster what?

        You need a serious reality check. 😉

          • Anonymous,

            Decent rap song and video. Thanks!

            Unfortunately Shadowstate1958 believes it to be real. 😉

        • “Crime is actually down in the United States.”

          Tell that to the woman who was just body slammed into a subway car in Brooklyn.

          You are the one who seriously needs a REALITY CHECK.
          Your heroine Allison Pimp Mack was a one woman crime wave who committed ASSAULT AND BATTERY against up to one hundred women.
          She directed and supervised the branding of women with hot irons while those women were forcibly held down.

        • “BTW:
          How does Allison Mack fit into a video of a deranged black man on drugs in a subway station?”

          Allison Mack ASSAULTED AND BATTERED up to one hundred or more women with hot irons seared into their flesh.

          • Shadowstate,

            You are conveniently forgetting Dr. Danielle Roberts performed the branding. Do you suffer from amnesia? Allison Mack did not do a single branding holding the electric cauterization “branding” pen.

            Shadowstate you misstate the truth to satiate your hunger for the untrue narrative you push. You have become so overzealous and entrenched in this Allison Mack was the “real Kingpin” narrative you forgot the truth…..

            Allison Mack was only present for roughly 1/2 of the branding ceremonies. Lauren Salzman monitored and attended almost all the rest.

            Do you not remember the truth that Keith Raniere was, in fact, the leader of Nxivm and DOS?

            Ultimately, Keith Raniere was the root of all evil in NXIVM and DOS, not Allison Mack. Are you so blinded by rage that you cannot see the truth anymore?

            Shadowstate, who was the founder and leader of NXIVM and DOS?

          • “You are conveniently forgetting Dr. Danielle Roberts performed the branding. Do you suffer from amnesia? Allison Mack did not do a single branding holding the electric cauterization “branding” pen.”

            The person who orders it and supervises it is as guilty as the person who actually does it.
            That is how governments punish conspiracies.

            Your obstinate refusal to learn how conspiracy law operates tell\s me that you ARE a member of NXIVM.

            Talk to a prosecutor or a defense lawyer and you will learn that a person need not hold the cauterizing pen to be guilty of ASSAULT AND BATTERY.

          • “Girl Scout Cookies
            November 4, 2019 at 8:05 pm
            you are deranged Shadowstate. Please get some help.”

            If Allison Mack is so frigging innocent, then why did she forfeit her town house?
            Answer the question, Girl Scout Cookies.

        • Niceguy,
          With all due respect, you need to view ShadowState’s message in a calm environment. Seriously. No need to get ramped up and slide into an offroad ditch like you did above. I am sure you understand statistics. Have a look at a comparative overview of crime stats between the US and those of the civilised populations of this planet. If you can bypass your fear of dislodging your preconceived ideas I am sure you do have the intellect to draw the appropiate conclusions from such data.

      • I didn’t read the whole post, but TOTALLY AGREE with your point about private prisons! They should not exist. Incarceration should not be a business, other than as involves suppliers to a government run and owned facility.

      • To Shadowstate,Krclaviger, & Everyone,

        Dear Mr. Shadow,

        So Shadowstate by your own logic, one isolated incident should dictate law for over the 327,167,000 million people living in the United States?

        Does that make logical rational sense to you?

        Should federal law be written for one “black guy” pushing and assaulting a white woman? How many white men beat their wives? Philip Levens ring a bell? Maybe all white men should be nabbed off the streets and incarcerated?

        Over the last decade there have been only two incidents of white adult schizophrenics one male and one female pushing innocent people to their death, in front of subway cars. Should the United States lock away the nearly 2,700,000 million Schizophrenics in the United States because of 2 incidents?

        Do you even understand the impact, scope, and magnitude of laws? Laws written based on sensationalized isolated acts of a few to placate the mob(masses)?

        Krclaviger asked a question and you agreed with him for one paragraph and flipped “it” to the usual narrative, you are always pushing; Allison Mack and minorities are evil. You post sensationalized videos to bolster your dramatic rhetoric.

        You are if nothing else a mercurial melodramatic ideologue!

        ******

        Re Krclaviger’s Initial Questions:

        Shadowstate is like a a jelly fish completely transparent always pushing his own agenda. Allison Mack is not even in the video and Krclaviger’s questions had nothing to do with Allison Mack or the “black man” in the video.
        Shadowstate1958 made a real contribution to the serious conversation Krclaviger was attempting to have with all of us.

        Shadowstate1958 is disruptive like Bangkok; A foolish provocateur with a one track mind.

        If I were asked to describe Shadowstate…..I would describe him as a mercurial melodramatic ideologue.

        • “Should federal law be written for one “black guy” pushing and assaulting a white woman?

          I’m not making an issue of the race for either the assailant or the victim.
          You are!

          And laws are written to deter the abnormal, antisocial people from committing crimes, not the vast majority of people who try to be law abiding.

          “Mack is not even in the video”

          Mack’s behavior is as violent and abnormal as the video of the criminal in the video.
          The assailant in the video injured one woman..
          Allison Mack injured dozens of women.

          So called Niceguy, why do you focus on defending Allison Mack, a major perpetrator of violent crimes?
          Why don’t you focus on the dozens of women harmed by Allison Mack?

          You are a screwed up Liberal with messed up priorities.

          • Shadowstate,

            I am an American first and foremost. My political affiliation comes second, and I am a Republican, who actually believes in the Grand Republic.

            You bathe in dogma and treat it as incontrovertible truth.

            Logic and rationality only exist outside of dogmatic belief systems such as liberalism, conservatism, and libertarianism.

            I am no more liberal then my skin is the color purple.

            ****
            Shadowstate1958,

            Who is the least culpable in the NXIVM hierarchy Keith Raniere, Clare Bronfman, Allison Mack, or Nancy Salzman?

          • Shadowstate,

            There are a million videos of women getting assaulted in the world; You chose to post the one of a black man assaulting a white woman.

            You posted it, not me!

          • “Who is the least culpable in the NXIVM hierarchy Keith Raniere, Clare Bronfman, Allison Mack, or Nancy Salzman?”

            That’s like asking who is the least culpable person in the Nazi party.
            Hitler, Himmler, Hess, Goebbels, Goering, Bormann or Speer.

          • “There are a million videos of women getting assaulted in the world; You chose to post the one of a black man assaulting a white woman.
            You posted it, not me!”

            So in your twisted world posting a truthful video of a black man assaulting a white woman who is an innocent bystander is “racist”?
            Would it be racist to note that O;J. Simpson is black and his murder victims are white?
            Your Political Correctness would gag a maggot.

          • Shadowstate,

            Two things:

            1. The guy in the video is not a street gang member.

            He is not an example of Gangster Culture.
            Your example of Gangster Culture is bullshit you fool.

            I am just pointing out that you are a liar!

            If you had posted a video of an actual gang member doing the same thing I would not have said anything.

            You are a liar!!!! Or you are just old fashioned crazy!

            You are making up shit above a stupid video that has no context with your overall message.

            How transparent and dumb are you?

            2. Allison Mack and Nxivm are not comparable to the top 5 members of the Germany Nazi party in the 1940s who are responsible for killing millions of civilians and soldiers in war.

            You refuse to answer my question regarding the culpability of Allison Mack why?

            Does my question make you feel anxious?

            Do you suffer a kind of cognitive dissonance, in regards to Allison Mack’s level of criminality?

            Allison Mack is guilty of crimes and should go to prison. I do not dispute that, however unlike you I do not believe she is the Antichrist.

            Should Allison Mack go to prison for the rest of her life Shadowstate ?

            Should Allison Mack recieve the death penalty?

            Come on cupcake, answer the question.

        • “flipped “it” to the usual narrative, you are always pushing; ”

          Truth is truth.
          Truth is constant.
          Truth does not change because it offends politically correct punks like you.

          Truth does not change depending on whether the criminal is a poor crazed black man or a rich white actress.

          I will push the truth whether you like it or not.
          Get used to it!

          • Shadowstate,

            The problem is your “truth” is a fictional perspective not bearing any semblance to the truth.

            I have only been arguing with you in a feeble attempt to get you to understand how off your perspective on the Nxivm story is.

            I could care less about Allison Mack.

            I do worry for you.

            Shadowstate do you agree with the following statement?

            Keith Raniere, Clare Bronfman, and Nancy Salzman all played bigger roles in destroying the lives of women than Allison Mack.

            Do you not agree with the above, previous statement?

            Ask yourself why is “it” so hard to answer my question……Why?

      • He looks a little black to me! Is he black with rage or black with Ivy League college education?
        It would be very interesting to dissect various statistics of crime categories by ethnicity.
        I am convinced blacks don’t feature more than 0.0006% at the very most in any of them. After all they have the greatest presence in enrolments at Ivy League universities for the past 37 years running.

        • Alex,

          The black man in the video is clearly mentality ill or on drugs.

          He is not a street gang member or Gangster Thug.

          Street gangs are not Equal Opportunity Employers. 😉

          Shadow’s evidence of gangster culture is bullshit. 😉

          My point is the man in question is not a member of M13, the crypts, the bloods, the Italian Mafi, or Mexican Mafia or The Hells angels!

          Shadowstate is pointing at the crazy guy and claiming he is part of Gangster Culture.

          Shadowstate and the crazy black guy have more in common then the black man in the video has in common with organized crime.

          Shadowstate’s point is mute.

          If the guy was a game member I wouldn’t of said anything.

          A male and a woman schizophrenic in the last 10 years; both pushed innocent people off the subway to their A male and a woman in the last 10 years that were schizophrenic both pushed innocent people off the subway deaths.

          Should we lock up all 2 million schizophrenics in this country?

          Shadowstate point is moot and he is attempting to rewrite history and push his ridiculous narrative of life.

          Shadowstate’s point and narrative have no merit.

          • Hey Niceguy,

            I am not disputing any of the points in your message above. I had to vent my deep and ongoing frustration on a tangential subject. Sorry!

          • You should stop using Apple products for the mere fact Jobs was a despicable monster to his biological child! He was sub-human not to mention how his views of the poor in Asia who made him afford a new Porsche every time he noticed the slightest scratch on it!

            Secondly, although Apple is touted as being more user centric, challenging yourself to learn handling an Android can only lead to personal growth with little discomfort! 😋

About Frank Parlato

About Frank Parlato

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