Food for Thought

This isn’t strictly gun related, but interesting and applicable.

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I’m thinking about pizza.

Never a bad idea.

I’m having Lou Malnati’s for dinner tonight

Edit: Okay, I read it.

Here is my take: It is a resource limitation problem at the core, and, my proposed solution is this: Reduce the number of laws. Many things in many areas of the law should not be a crime at all. Fix that, and you greatly aid that resource problem.

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You do realize that creating a system of tripwires that is impossible not to touch is very much desired by some. Same about congested/malfunctioning system of justice

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" There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for me to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed or enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt." ~Ayn Rand

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Nobody actually knows how many laws there are in the US; not the DOJ, or Congress, or the courts. Then you include all the foreign laws which are included by treaty or regulation and there is no way even an honest citizen can avoid violating some law or other. As a 25+ year veteran LEO said, if he was on patrol and took an interest in a car, all he had to do was follow long enough and the driver would violate some traffic law or driving regulation so that he would have legitimate probable cause for a traffic stop.

Maybe there are too many laws on the books. I don’t know if reducing the number is the answer, but it’s something to think about.

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To me it’s more than just the sheer number, it’s that many of them (opinion inbound) shouldn’t be a crime at all anyway, even viewed solo in a vacuum. But discussion of what and why, that’s getting more into politics than I am willing.

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Generally speaking I would say, yeah there’s a system full of problems — the tripwires, the resources, the incentives. 6A is obviously a victim of convenience over justice, and no part of the system is attempting much to correct that — instead, offering incentives for an accused to waive a fundamental right in hope of favor.

OTOH, if the front end of the system is working properly (I don’t argue that it is, but just sayin’), then the vast majority of those charged should in fact be guilty. In which case, is it really unjust for society to hold a more favorable judgement of the guilty party who gives it up instead of pretending otherwise? I don’t think a high guilty plea percentage proves error or accurate — it’s just a statistic until there is a causal link.

Oh, the back end of the system is also broken. But centuries later, we are still fumbling with a system announced as justice, but executed as vengeance.

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Most people have heard the question “do you want 12 people who are not smart enough to get out of jury duty to determine your fate?” There is bargaining done throughout the justice system, both criminal and civil. On the civil side, arbitration and mediation are common tools to reach a solution without going to trial. And about 99% of civil cases are resolved before trial. And, even after a trial starts, there are often resolutions reached before the case gets sent to the jury. And the 7th Amendment preserves trial by jury for any case where the amount in controversy exceeds $25.

The same is very true in criminal cases. The vast majority are resolved without a trial. And the bargaining process starts at the very beginning from an arrest or turning a suspect in, to bond and bond conditions, down to final sentencing. And at each stage, the defendant, the prosecution, the judge and now in many places, the alleged victim, all have a say in what will happen along the way.

I believe in most cases @tech’s statement is true. Not to say there are not many false reports made against people, the enforcement arms of the government do a decent job of ferreting out the the lies. I know the vast majority of my criminal defense clients were guilty of the offenses charged and, in some cases worse. Likewise, there have been some that I truly believe were innocent, but the compromised plea was compelling enough to not walk in to a court to allow a jury decide their fate.

The reality is that a compromise is, in most cases, a better answer to solving a problem then asking 12 people to try to agree on what the right answer is. With compromise, there is certainty in a result that all parties can live with. It may be taking the death penalty off the table in a capital offense, an agreement to probation in a felony offense, a reduction of a felony to a misdemeanor, a diversion or deferred prosecution agreement that results in charges being dismissed.
In 2021, I resolved 2 cases with the possibility of significant prison time with extraordinary compromises. One was a felony in possession of a handgun with an enhanced possession of marijuana charge that was enhanced because of the firearm that was resolved with a plea of guilty to possess on marijuana, no fine, no jail, just payment of court costs.The other, which I was certain my client was innocent, had my client and the codefendant pay restitution to the alleged victim with the agreement that upon payment, the case would be dismissed with prejudice and expunged in 60 days. This was one where justice was not necessarily served, but, it was an extremely practical compromise that, in the end, saved my client and the codefendant thousands of dollars in legal fees with certainty that the charges would disappear in 60 days without having to face a jury and the possibility of up to 10 years in prison.

Every person makes bargains in their life. The criminal justice system is no different.

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Thank you for posting, it’s always nice to get whatever we can from an actual attorney

This, I believe, is the very heart of the matter. The vast, vast, vast majority of human beings can’t abide uncertainty. It’s why humans settled down to farm and to domesticate useful animals. It’s why every society developed customs and religions and moral codes - to attempt to prevent the unexpected. (By the way, the fear of the unexpected can also be seen as a foundational motivation behind socialism and communism and most other forms of tyranny, as well as an alluring selling point.)

In the legal setting there are a tremendous number of variables (uncertainties) to consider. The accused must decide what level of risk these variables present and what level of risk they are willing to accept. Plea bargaining can be a tool that serves the accused and the state at the same time. In my heart I absolutely reject the idea a pleading guilty to a crime I didn’t commit. In terms of real-world practicality (especially if I’m guilty) it may be the best of a bad situation. It may well be one of those things where none of us knows what we’ll do until we’re faced with it.

Our legal system may not be perfect, but it’s better than any other I know of.

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In science fiction author Larry Nivens’ universe, for the rich and powerful, life is extended through organ transplants. The source for much of the material is criminals.

This began with murderers, but the threshold crept ever lower as described in one short story where a man was sentenced to be an involuntary organ donor for a parking violation.

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I read that one many years ago!

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Larry Niven predicted existence of modern China!

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I’ve often wondered how the Bilderbergs and Lou Malnati’s could come to rule the world.

Maybe they’re scientists and they can’t help it?