From our “Crime and Punishment in the Burgeoning Police State” Files

From our “Crime and Punishment in the Burgeoning Police State” Files December 3, 2013

Here are three incredible stories:

First, a judge gets something like a just sentence for being a living demonstration of some of the evils of unrestrained capitalism and blind faith in “market forces” as the sole guide to life. Seems the good judge sentenced 4000 kids (some as young as 10) to prison so that some EvilCorp private prison could keep up their revenue. He’s 61 and they gave him 28 years so he’ll be good and old, if not dead, when he graduates. Rare to see a member of the Ruling Class actually get real punishment. One hopes the prison population–which has its own sense of frontier justice when it comes to crimes against kids, not to mention a unique perspective on corrupt judges–does not impose a short and brutal redefinition of the term “life sentence” on the good judge.

It remains to be seen whether anybody will question the notion of “private prisons for profit”.

Second, speaking of members of Ruling Class not paying for their crimes, there is this incredible story of a Massachusetts state chemist who falsified a whopping 40,000 cases, resulting in tens of thousands of innocent people in prison or otherwise punished. If you docked one day from the the sentences of all her victims and gave them to her to serve in prison, it would come to 109 years. But the state, in its careful protection of its own, has wisely chosen to give this woman a slap on the wrist with a 3-5 year sentence.

Some of my readers may remember that I am the complete and utter moral idiot who did not buy the idea that “Cops lie in order to Catch Bad Guys, so lying is obviously good”. This woman is Exhibit A in why the discernment-free contingent of Conservative Christians for Lying is so massively wrong here, as in so many other cases. Turns out lying is corrosive to the soul and you wind up using the Lie, as you wind up using the One Ring, in ways other than you originally planned.

Finally there’s this little tidbit from the Burgeoning Police State’as Rochester cops valiantly stem the rising tide of people Waiting While Black. I, for one, feel safer knowing that goons can shove people around for the crime of standing at a bus stop minding their own business. I look forward to the day when such goons are no longer forced to restrict their bullying to minorities but can treat all citizens without regard to race, creed, or color as equally powerless subjects of the state.

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  • John

    Here in Massachusetts, the big story about the chemist has been how many actual criminals are being released as a result of evidence that she tainted. There are hundred of horrible people walking free because she made it impossible to know who is guilty and who isn’t.

    • Dan F.

      Amazing that some good work can get tainted by lies /sarcasm/

    • Heather

      Apparently there has been at least one other person at the same lab implicated in evidence tainting. The link at the end of the story says that as many as 180,000 cases may have been affected.

      Every time I hear about a story like this I thank God my country does not have the Death Penalty. Bad enough to wrongfully imprison someone. How is it that these shenanigans went on for years? Where was the oversight? How many places are still getting away with it now?

      • PalaceGuard

        And that’s one (among many) reasons I am against the DP. (And also why I was dismissed from the jury on a DP case.)

    • Marthe Lépine

      I would not worry so much about the risk of releasing actual criminals by mistake. More serious is the fact that actual criminals did go free – and quite possibly committed more crimes – while innocent people were sent to jail in their place because of that tainted evidence.

      • John

        It isn’t a mistake to release the actual criminals. Under our system they deserve to be released.

        However, it is unfortunate that the conditions to convict them fairly didn’t exist. Many have re-offended already–often in violent or deadly ways.

  • Marthe Lépine

    It seems to me that the court system has been infected with the notion of “winning” and “losing”, in the same way as a lot of sports. It is no longer a matter of finding if an accused person is guilty or not, but of winning a case, and as in sports, any trick will be tried. This is why some people, including myself, no longer talk of a “justice” system but a “legal” system. In too many case, the “winner” will be the one who has the most money to pay the lawyers. It is a good thing we no longer have the death penalty in Canada, since in recent years, as many as 7 persons convicted of murders were later found not guilty.

    • Rachel

      You are correct that its infected with “winning” and “losing” but money also has a great effect as well. Cops are paid (especially getting commissions) on how many arrests they make. It effects if they get promoted or not. So, its not out of the realm of possibility (in fact, its the truth according to a former cop classmate of mine) that some cops, in order to get their quota and the chance to get more pay, arrest people on BS charges or attempt to trap them (the stop and frisk program in NYC who practically entraps any young African American or Latino into emptying their pockets. Sure, if you do that enough times, some of people might have weed on them). It is no longer justice. This is legal bullying. Also, the system discriminates heavily against the poor, especially African Americans and Latinos. Its corrupt :(.

      • Marthe Lépine

        That reminds me of the case of a friend who got a ticket for failing to slow down in a school area — problem was that it was at 7 p.m. on a day in July!

  • Mike the Geek

    Wow, Mark – was there a Cyber Monday sale on straw men?

    • ImTim

      Maybe I missed something, but it seems as though he linked to sources for his claims.

      • Mike the Geek

        I think you missed the point – using judicial misconduct to flog “unrestrained capitalism” (whatever the heck that is supposed to mean) is the logical equivalent a using bank robbery. Sound byte silliness with no content beyond “bad people doing bad stuff is a bad thing.”

    • chezami

      It troubles you somehow that these people exist?

    • Francisco J Castellanos

      If you mean straw men like the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, you are absolutely right. The people in these stories are like him:
      Scarecrow: I haven’t got a brain… only straw.
      Dorothy: How can you talk if you haven’t got a brain?
      Scarecrow: I don’t know… But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking… don’t they?
      Dorothy: Yes, I guess you’re right.

  • BobRN

    Here’s another side to the story of the young men arrested while waiting for a bus.