• Welcome to the new Internet Infidels Discussion Board, formerly Talk Freethought.

At least 6 dead in Mass Shooting du Jour

Derec

Contributor
Joined
Aug 19, 2002
Messages
22,066
Location
Atlanta, GA
Basic Beliefs
atheist
I wonder why there isn't a thread on this already. Elixir, I know how much you love threads about mass shootings. Asleep at the switch? Or is it something else?

Sacramento shooting: At least six dead in centre of California state capital
What we know about the 6 people killed in downtown Sacramento mass shooting

Note also that one of the shooters (there are thought to have been five) was released from prison early despite a long history of violent crimes.

Suspect released weeks before Sacramento mass shooting

FOX40 said:
Smiley Martin most recently was sentenced in 2018 to 10 years in state prison for assaulting his girlfriend, according to court records and the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.
In April of 2021, Deputy District Attorney Danielle Abildgaard argued against his early release from prison. In a letter to the parole board she wrote, “Inmate Martin has, for his entire adult life, displayed a pattern of criminal behavior.”
The deputy district attorney continued to detail his various crimes since coming of age. In January 2013, Smiley Martin was charged with gun possession as a prohibited person stemming from a juvenile case, as well as obstruction of justice. The then 18-year-old was sentenced to jail time and probation.
[...]
His most recent incarceration stemmed from a May 2017 incident. According to Deputy District Attorney Abildgaard’s letter, “Inmate Martin forcibly entered his girlfriend’s residence. He located her hiding in her bedroom closet and hit her repeatedly with a closed fist on the face, head, and body, causing visible injuries. He then dragged her out of the home by her hair to an awaiting car. After he put her in the car, he assaulted her with a belt.”
Smiley Martin pleaded guilty to two felony assault charges in that case, resulting in the 2018 10-year prison sentence. He served about half of his sentence and was released on probation in February. He might have been released sooner, but a Parole Board rejected his bid for early release.
Served ~4 years of his ten year sentence, despite a mile long rap sheet. That's California for you. Strictest gun laws in the county, but very lax on actually holding criminals responsible for their crimes.

Criminal justice reform should not be about releasing dangerous violent career criminals early. It should be about trimming the criminal code to get rid of crimes that should not be crimes (either totally legal - e.g. adult sex work or just infractions - e.g. most moving violations). That way police and the courts can focus on the actual bad guys.
 

laughing dog

Contributor
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
21,330
Location
Minnesota
Gender
IT
Basic Beliefs
Dogs rule
Criminal justice reform should not be about releasing dangerous violent career criminals early. It should be about trimming the criminal code to get rid of crimes that should not be crimes (either totally legal - e.g. adult sex work or just infractions - e.g. most moving violations). That way police and the courts can focus on the actual bad guys.
Why would anyone think criminal justice reform is an either or course? Trimming the incarcerated population is a worthy goal of reform just as the avoidance of incarceration of those who are not a danger to society or who have not committed a serious crime.
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
36,661
Location
Nevada
Gender
Yes
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
Served ~4 years of his ten year sentence, despite a mile long rap sheet. That's California for you. Strictest gun laws in the county, but very lax on actually holding criminals responsible for their crimes.

Criminal justice reform should not be about releasing dangerous violent career criminals early. It should be about trimming the criminal code to get rid of crimes that should not be crimes (either totally legal - e.g. adult sex work or just infractions - e.g. most moving violations). That way police and the courts can focus on the actual bad guys.

This isn't about problems with the code (and the changes you're talking about would have pretty much zero effect), but rather that politicians are more interested in putting people in jail than actually providing jail space. The judges have gotten involved and limited overcrowding. Thus the jails have to release people early because they don't have the capacity. This is not a failure of the criminal code or the justice system, it is a failure of the politicians. Throwing criminals in jail gets votes. Them being released doesn't get blamed on the politicians who didn't fund the jails.
 

Politesse

Lux Aeterna
Joined
Feb 27, 2018
Messages
8,674
Location
Chochenyo Territory, US
Gender
nb; all pronouns fine
Basic Beliefs
Jedi Wayseeker
I wonder why there isn't a thread on this already. Elixir, I know how much you love threads about mass shootings. Asleep at the switch? Or is it something else?

Sacramento shooting: At least six dead in centre of California state capital
What we know about the 6 people killed in downtown Sacramento mass shooting

Note also that one of the shooters (there are thought to have been five) was released from prison early despite a long history of violent crimes.

Suspect released weeks before Sacramento mass shooting

FOX40 said:
Smiley Martin most recently was sentenced in 2018 to 10 years in state prison for assaulting his girlfriend, according to court records and the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.
In April of 2021, Deputy District Attorney Danielle Abildgaard argued against his early release from prison. In a letter to the parole board she wrote, “Inmate Martin has, for his entire adult life, displayed a pattern of criminal behavior.”
The deputy district attorney continued to detail his various crimes since coming of age. In January 2013, Smiley Martin was charged with gun possession as a prohibited person stemming from a juvenile case, as well as obstruction of justice. The then 18-year-old was sentenced to jail time and probation.
[...]
His most recent incarceration stemmed from a May 2017 incident. According to Deputy District Attorney Abildgaard’s letter, “Inmate Martin forcibly entered his girlfriend’s residence. He located her hiding in her bedroom closet and hit her repeatedly with a closed fist on the face, head, and body, causing visible injuries. He then dragged her out of the home by her hair to an awaiting car. After he put her in the car, he assaulted her with a belt.”
Smiley Martin pleaded guilty to two felony assault charges in that case, resulting in the 2018 10-year prison sentence. He served about half of his sentence and was released on probation in February. He might have been released sooner, but a Parole Board rejected his bid for early release.
Served ~4 years of his ten year sentence, despite a mile long rap sheet. That's California for you. Strictest gun laws in the county, but very lax on actually holding criminals responsible for their crimes.

Criminal justice reform should not be about releasing dangerous violent career criminals early. It should be about trimming the criminal code to get rid of crimes that should not be crimes (either totally legal - e.g. adult sex work or just infractions - e.g. most moving violations). That way police and the courts can focus on the actual bad guys.
Speaking for myself, my position on gun control has not changed as a result of this incident.
 

ZiprHead

Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member
Joined
Oct 23, 2002
Messages
31,182
Location
Frozen in Michigan
Gender
Old Fart
Basic Beliefs
Democratic Socialist Atheist
I don't understand. Is Derec saying that if the guy had done the full ten year term he would not have done something like this when he got out?
 

Metaphor

Adult human male
Warning Level 3
Warning Level 2
Warning Level 1
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
11,296
Gender
None. on/ga/njegov
I don't understand. Is Derec saying that if the guy had done the full ten year term he would not have done something like this when he got out?
Evidently you don't understand. Derec said:
but very lax on actually holding criminals responsible for their crimes.
If California had not been so lax on the shooter previously, he might have found the potential of criminal conviction a stronger deterrent.
 

ZiprHead

Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member
Joined
Oct 23, 2002
Messages
31,182
Location
Frozen in Michigan
Gender
Old Fart
Basic Beliefs
Democratic Socialist Atheist
I don't understand. Is Derec saying that if the guy had done the full ten year term he would not have done something like this when he got out?
Evidently you don't understand. Derec said:
but very lax on actually holding criminals responsible for their crimes.
If California had not been so lax on the shooter previously, he might have found the potential of criminal conviction a stronger deterrent.
So you think ten years would have reformed this guy?
 

Metaphor

Adult human male
Warning Level 3
Warning Level 2
Warning Level 1
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
11,296
Gender
None. on/ga/njegov
I don't understand. Is Derec saying that if the guy had done the full ten year term he would not have done something like this when he got out?
Evidently you don't understand. Derec said:
but very lax on actually holding criminals responsible for their crimes.
If California had not been so lax on the shooter previously, he might have found the potential of criminal conviction a stronger deterrent.
So you think ten years would have reformed this guy?
I don't know. But what counter argument are you making? That it was no use imprisoning him in the first place, since he was just going to get out and shoot people afterwards?

Imagine if he gets another light sentence for this. Do you think that will make his future offending more, or less likely?
 

laughing dog

Contributor
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
21,330
Location
Minnesota
Gender
IT
Basic Beliefs
Dogs rule
I don't understand. Is Derec saying that if the guy had done the full ten year term he would not have done something like this when he got out?
Evidently you don't understand. Derec said:
but very lax on actually holding criminals responsible for their crimes.
If California had not been so lax on the shooter previously, he might have found the potential of criminal conviction a stronger deterrent.
A ten year sentence did not deter this person from their original crime. Why would anyone think the potential of a criminal conviction after release would have been a deterrent?
 

Metaphor

Adult human male
Warning Level 3
Warning Level 2
Warning Level 1
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
11,296
Gender
None. on/ga/njegov
I don't understand. Is Derec saying that if the guy had done the full ten year term he would not have done something like this when he got out?
Evidently you don't understand. Derec said:
but very lax on actually holding criminals responsible for their crimes.
If California had not been so lax on the shooter previously, he might have found the potential of criminal conviction a stronger deterrent.
A ten year sentence did not deter this person from their original crime. Why would anyone think the potential of a criminal conviction after release would have been a deterrent?
But it wasn't a ten year sentence, was it? He was let out after four. It was effectively a four year sentence. And, of course, if you've been dealt with leniency repeatedly in the past, and you know the real sentence is effectively less than the nominal sentence, the deterrent effect of prison is not as much as it could be.

You and ZiprHead appear to be saying this particular criminal was beyond reform. Should he have been incarcerated for life instead?
 

laughing dog

Contributor
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
21,330
Location
Minnesota
Gender
IT
Basic Beliefs
Dogs rule
I don't understand. Is Derec saying that if the guy had done the full ten year term he would not have done something like this when he got out?
Evidently you don't understand. Derec said:
but very lax on actually holding criminals responsible for their crimes.
If California had not been so lax on the shooter previously, he might have found the potential of criminal conviction a stronger deterrent.
A ten year sentence did not deter this person from their original crime. Why would anyone think the potential of a criminal conviction after release would have been a deterrent?
But it wasn't a ten year sentence, was it?...
Are you seriously claiming that he knew he would serve the 10 years when he committed his original crime?
He was let out after four. It was effectively a four year sentence. And, of course, if you've been dealt with leniency repeatedly in the past, and you know the real sentence is effectively less than the nominal sentence, the deterrent effect of prison is not as much as it could be.

You and ZiprHead appear to be saying this particular criminal was beyond reform. Should he have been incarcerated for life instead?
I think you should stop erecting straw men to deflect from your poor arguments.
 

Metaphor

Adult human male
Warning Level 3
Warning Level 2
Warning Level 1
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
11,296
Gender
None. on/ga/njegov
I don't understand. Is Derec saying that if the guy had done the full ten year term he would not have done something like this when he got out?
Evidently you don't understand. Derec said:
but very lax on actually holding criminals responsible for their crimes.
If California had not been so lax on the shooter previously, he might have found the potential of criminal conviction a stronger deterrent.
A ten year sentence did not deter this person from their original crime. Why would anyone think the potential of a criminal conviction after release would have been a deterrent?
But it wasn't a ten year sentence, was it?...
Are you seriously claiming that he knew he would serve the 10 years when he committed his original crime?
I'm claiming the exact opposite. Whatever sentence he thought he would get, he'd have known it was nominal and not actual.

He was let out after four. It was effectively a four year sentence. And, of course, if you've been dealt with leniency repeatedly in the past, and you know the real sentence is effectively less than the nominal sentence, the deterrent effect of prison is not as much as it could be.

You and ZiprHead appear to be saying this particular criminal was beyond reform. Should he have been incarcerated for life instead?
I think you stop erecting straw men to deflect from your poor arguments.
What poor arguments? That lenient sentences that are cut short are likely to have a lesser deterrent effect than harsher sentences fully served?
 

laughing dog

Contributor
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
21,330
Location
Minnesota
Gender
IT
Basic Beliefs
Dogs rule
I don't understand. Is Derec saying that if the guy had done the full ten year term he would not have done something like this when he got out?
Evidently you don't understand. Derec said:
but very lax on actually holding criminals responsible for their crimes.
If California had not been so lax on the shooter previously, he might have found the potential of criminal conviction a stronger deterrent.
A ten year sentence did not deter this person from their original crime. Why would anyone think the potential of a criminal conviction after release would have been a deterrent?
But it wasn't a ten year sentence, was it?...
Are you seriously claiming that he knew he would serve the 10 years when he committed his original crime?
I'm claiming the exact opposite. Whatever sentence he thought he would get, he'd have known it was nominal and not actual.
You are claiming without a shred of supporting evidence that this person knew before he committed the crime for which he was convicted that he would not serve the entire sentence even though he would not known that sentence prior to his initial criminal act?

And that ignores the reality that there is very little evidence to suggest that harsher sentences deter crime.

 

Metaphor

Adult human male
Warning Level 3
Warning Level 2
Warning Level 1
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
11,296
Gender
None. on/ga/njegov
I don't understand. Is Derec saying that if the guy had done the full ten year term he would not have done something like this when he got out?
Evidently you don't understand. Derec said:
but very lax on actually holding criminals responsible for their crimes.
If California had not been so lax on the shooter previously, he might have found the potential of criminal conviction a stronger deterrent.
A ten year sentence did not deter this person from their original crime. Why would anyone think the potential of a criminal conviction after release would have been a deterrent?
But it wasn't a ten year sentence, was it?...
Are you seriously claiming that he knew he would serve the 10 years when he committed his original crime?
I'm claiming the exact opposite. Whatever sentence he thought he would get, he'd have known it was nominal and not actual.
You are claiming without a shred of supporting evidence that this person knew before he committed the crime for which he was convicted that he would not serve the entire sentence even though he would not known that sentence prior to his initial criminal act?
It doesn't entail knowing the sentence. Knowing that the State you committed the crime in regularly releases people much earlier than the nominal sentence time is enough.

And that ignores the reality that there is very little evidence to suggest that harsher sentences deter crime.

What should California have done in this case? If harsher sentences don't deter crime, would it be justified by literally preventing the criminal from committing crime in the general community (by keeping them incarcerated)?
 

Swammerdami

Squadron Leader
Staff member
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
2,859
Location
Land of Smiles
Basic Beliefs
pseudo-deism
If the facts are as Derec implies, I agree! Even if we were confident he was likely to assault again whether locked up for 10 years or 5 years, elementary arithmetic shows that a longer term reduces the assault rate.

But it's better to focus on the general problem and general solutions rather than jerk-reflex to one anecdote. There are many flaws in U.S. society which need to be fixed. For starters, in 2010, the U.S. incarceration rate was 0.45% for non-Hispanic whites, 0.83% for Hispanics, and a whopping 2.31% for blacks. Those are across ALL ages and both genders: So when restricting to young males, or especially young black males, the incarceration rates are mind-boggingly large. Only Russia comes close to the U.S. rate of incarceration. The average incarceration rate in Europe is about one tenth of the U.S. rate.

It's hard to get good numbers: federal prisons, state prisons, state jails, and juvenile detentions report separately. One government table has no classification for drug offenses and other "victimless" crimes, despite that 45% of federal prisoners are in for drugs. And of course with different average sentences, the incarceration rate will not match the imprisonment rate. But even though the War on Drugs is often blamed for high incarceration, violent crime in America is much MUCH higher than it "should" be.

And many people are incarcerated wrongly. Suspects are often coerced into guilty pleas. Incarceration itself may turn a law-abiding citizen into a criminal. I can't begin to list the flaws in the U.S. justice system.

Reducing gun violence would be a good first step.
Gun control.
Income inequality fosters crime; this is also a big problem in the U.S. So are racial and ethnic bigotries. And now we have important politicians actively fomenting violence.

Frankly much of the U.S. system seems rotten to the core. :-( And while Derec may not be wrong about this particular incident, the smug "law and order" thinking of many right-wing Americans is a part of the problem, rather than solution. (I didn't click, but I bet the subject of OP is black — what do I win?)
 

laughing dog

Contributor
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
21,330
Location
Minnesota
Gender
IT
Basic Beliefs
Dogs rule
I don't understand. Is Derec saying that if the guy had done the full ten year term he would not have done something like this when he got out?
Evidently you don't understand. Derec said:
but very lax on actually holding criminals responsible for their crimes.
If California had not been so lax on the shooter previously, he might have found the potential of criminal conviction a stronger deterrent.
A ten year sentence did not deter this person from their original crime. Why would anyone think the potential of a criminal conviction after release would have been a deterrent?
But it wasn't a ten year sentence, was it?...
Are you seriously claiming that he knew he would serve the 10 years when he committed his original crime?
I'm claiming the exact opposite. Whatever sentence he thought he would get, he'd have known it was nominal and not actual.
You are claiming without a shred of supporting evidence that this person knew before he committed the crime for which he was convicted that he would not serve the entire sentence even though he would not known that sentence prior to his initial criminal act?
It doesn't entail knowing the sentence. Knowing that the State you committed the crime in regularly releases people much earlier than the nominal sentence time is enough.
Your position is incoherent. If increasing the length of the sentence creates more of a deterrent, then knowing the length of the potential sentence is necessary, even if you think the sentence is going to be effectively reduced.

In essence, you are tacitly agreeing that the length of a sentence is not a deterrent.

The OP's argument is that this criminal would not have been free to commit this alleged crime if he had still been serving his sentence. That is absolutely true. However, his release is due to the lack of prison space. Clearly, the people of California through their democratic process do not wish to allocate their scarce resources into expanding prison capacity.



 

Gospel

Unify Africa
Joined
Oct 22, 2007
Messages
3,311
Location
Florida
Gender
B====D
Basic Beliefs
Agnostic
It's called black-on-black crime, not a mass shooting. I always thought a mass shooting was the intent to indiscriminately kill a bunch of random people. Not a shooting like this one where a bunch of hoodlums trying to kill each other kill innocent bystanders in the process. It doesn't make it any less of a Gun Control, law enforcement, Prison system, and most importantly a community issue. It's a wonder where young black men get so much hatred for each other from? Handed down from the parents? Where did the parents get it from? It's like this is a major issue in the black community while not very much so with others. I wonder why?
 

laughing dog

Contributor
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
21,330
Location
Minnesota
Gender
IT
Basic Beliefs
Dogs rule
It's called black-on-black crime, not a mass shooting. I always thought a mass shooting was the intent to indiscriminately kill a bunch of random people. Not a shooting like this one where a bunch of hoodlums trying to kill each other kill innocent bystanders in the process. It doesn't make it any less of a Gun Control, law enforcement, Prison system, and most importantly a community issue. It's a wonder where young black men get so much hatred for each other from? Handed down from the parents? Where did the parents get it from? It's like this is a major issue in the black community while not very much so with others. I wonder why?
Now I get the motivation for the OP.

There is no uniform definition for  Mass_shooting. This incident fall under one conventional use.
 

Metaphor

Adult human male
Warning Level 3
Warning Level 2
Warning Level 1
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
11,296
Gender
None. on/ga/njegov
I don't understand. Is Derec saying that if the guy had done the full ten year term he would not have done something like this when he got out?
Evidently you don't understand. Derec said:
but very lax on actually holding criminals responsible for their crimes.
If California had not been so lax on the shooter previously, he might have found the potential of criminal conviction a stronger deterrent.
A ten year sentence did not deter this person from their original crime. Why would anyone think the potential of a criminal conviction after release would have been a deterrent?
But it wasn't a ten year sentence, was it?...
Are you seriously claiming that he knew he would serve the 10 years when he committed his original crime?
I'm claiming the exact opposite. Whatever sentence he thought he would get, he'd have known it was nominal and not actual.
You are claiming without a shred of supporting evidence that this person knew before he committed the crime for which he was convicted that he would not serve the entire sentence even though he would not known that sentence prior to his initial criminal act?
It doesn't entail knowing the sentence. Knowing that the State you committed the crime in regularly releases people much earlier than the nominal sentence time is enough.
Your position is incoherent. If increasing the length of the sentence creates more of a deterrent, then knowing the length of the potential sentence is necessary, even if you think the sentence is going to be effectively reduced.
None of what you claim follows.

People committing criminal acts don't know the exact sentence they will get if they are caught, but they do know they are committing a criminal act, that they can be punished for it, and the general class of punishment they might get.

Once somebody has received a sentence, longer sentences would be more of a deterrence for future acts than shorter ones.

In essence, you are tacitly agreeing that the length of a sentence is not a deterrent.

The OP's argument is that this criminal would not have been free to commit this alleged crime if he had still been serving his sentence. That is absolutely true. However, his release is due to the lack of prison space. Clearly, the people of California through their democratic process do not wish to allocate their scarce resources into expanding prison capacity.
The people of California paid a much higher price than money in this instance.

 

Metaphor

Adult human male
Warning Level 3
Warning Level 2
Warning Level 1
Joined
Apr 1, 2007
Messages
11,296
Gender
None. on/ga/njegov
I always thought a mass shooting was the intent to indiscriminately kill a bunch of random people.
They don't have to be 'random'? It's predicated only on the number of victims.
 

laughing dog

Contributor
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
21,330
Location
Minnesota
Gender
IT
Basic Beliefs
Dogs rule
I don't understand. Is Derec saying that if the guy had done the full ten year term he would not have done something like this when he got out?
Evidently you don't understand. Derec said:
but very lax on actually holding criminals responsible for their crimes.
If California had not been so lax on the shooter previously, he might have found the potential of criminal conviction a stronger deterrent.
A ten year sentence did not deter this person from their original crime. Why would anyone think the potential of a criminal conviction after release would have been a deterrent?
But it wasn't a ten year sentence, was it?...
Are you seriously claiming that he knew he would serve the 10 years when he committed his original crime?
I'm claiming the exact opposite. Whatever sentence he thought he would get, he'd have known it was nominal and not actual.
You are claiming without a shred of supporting evidence that this person knew before he committed the crime for which he was convicted that he would not serve the entire sentence even though he would not known that sentence prior to his initial criminal act?
It doesn't entail knowing the sentence. Knowing that the State you committed the crime in regularly releases people much earlier than the nominal sentence time is enough.
Your position is incoherent. If increasing the length of the sentence creates more of a deterrent, then knowing the length of the potential sentence is necessary, even if you think the sentence is going to be effectively reduced.
None of what you claim follows.

People committing criminal acts don't know the exact sentence they will get if they are caught, but they do know they are committing a criminal act, that they can be punished for it, and the general class of punishment they might get.
Which was the case for this criminal, yet it did not deter him one bit from committing the crime for which he had been released. Which suggests that positing a harsher sentence would have deterred this new alleged crime is wishful thinking.

Once somebody has received a sentence, longer sentences would be more of a deterrence for future acts than shorter ones.
For some people that is true. For others, not so much or not all. My colleagues in this area tell me that there empirical evidence that harsher sentences mean more deterrence is not overwhelming convincing. And these people happen to believe what you do.
In essence, you are tacitly agreeing that the length of a sentence is not a deterrent.

The OP's argument is that this criminal would not have been free to commit this alleged crime if he had still been serving his sentence. That is absolutely true. However, his release is due to the lack of prison space. Clearly, the people of California through their democratic process do not wish to allocate their scarce resources into expanding prison capacity.
The people of California paid a much higher price than money in this instance.
Some of the people of California did. I suspect the vast majority would not agree with you. Certainly not enough to push to raise their taxes to build more prisons.
 

Toni

Contributor
Joined
Aug 11, 2011
Messages
15,550
Location
NOT laying back and thinking of England
Basic Beliefs
Peace on Earth, goodwill towards all
I wonder why there isn't a thread on this already. Elixir, I know how much you love threads about mass shootings. Asleep at the switch? Or is it something else?

Sacramento shooting: At least six dead in centre of California state capital
What we know about the 6 people killed in downtown Sacramento mass shooting

Note also that one of the shooters (there are thought to have been five) was released from prison early despite a long history of violent crimes.

Suspect released weeks before Sacramento mass shooting

FOX40 said:
Smiley Martin most recently was sentenced in 2018 to 10 years in state prison for assaulting his girlfriend, according to court records and the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.
In April of 2021, Deputy District Attorney Danielle Abildgaard argued against his early release from prison. In a letter to the parole board she wrote, “Inmate Martin has, for his entire adult life, displayed a pattern of criminal behavior.”
The deputy district attorney continued to detail his various crimes since coming of age. In January 2013, Smiley Martin was charged with gun possession as a prohibited person stemming from a juvenile case, as well as obstruction of justice. The then 18-year-old was sentenced to jail time and probation.
[...]
His most recent incarceration stemmed from a May 2017 incident. According to Deputy District Attorney Abildgaard’s letter, “Inmate Martin forcibly entered his girlfriend’s residence. He located her hiding in her bedroom closet and hit her repeatedly with a closed fist on the face, head, and body, causing visible injuries. He then dragged her out of the home by her hair to an awaiting car. After he put her in the car, he assaulted her with a belt.”
Smiley Martin pleaded guilty to two felony assault charges in that case, resulting in the 2018 10-year prison sentence. He served about half of his sentence and was released on probation in February. He might have been released sooner, but a Parole Board rejected his bid for early release.
Served ~4 years of his ten year sentence, despite a mile long rap sheet. That's California for you. Strictest gun laws in the county, but very lax on actually holding criminals responsible for their crimes.

Criminal justice reform should not be about releasing dangerous violent career criminals early. It should be about trimming the criminal code to get rid of crimes that should not be crimes (either totally legal - e.g. adult sex work or just infractions - e.g. most moving violations). That way police and the courts can focus on the actual bad guys.
Interesting comment about decriminalizing adult sex work and most moving violations. I believe you were one of the persons adamant that the officers in the Duante Wright shooting were absolutely 100% justified in pulling him over despite Minneapolis having in place a policy to not pull over drivers for expired vehicle registrations due to COVID.

That aside, relatively few moving violations end up in court. [ removed]

As far as 'focussing on the actual bad guys:' Almost all arrests and trials involve substance abuse or are substance abuse adjacent, from alcohol to whatever the kids are doing these days in some way, shape or form, including most assaults, break ins, thefts, etc.

If we really are serious about unclogging the court system, we should decriminalize pot, at least, and invest a great deal more money into substance abuse treatment and mental health treatment. And we should also do more restorative justice. And we should really pay public defenders more. Our social safety network is very frayed and stretched way too thin.

And since we are on a roll, we really need to tackle the proliferation of assault weapons and the mythology that surrounds carrying weapons, concealed or not.

And we should absolutely stop equipping our police departments as though they are militia occupying a hostile territory.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
36,661
Location
Nevada
Gender
Yes
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
As far as 'focussing on the actual bad guys:' Almost all arrests and trials involve substance abuse or are substance abuse adjacent, from alcohol to whatever the kids are doing these days in some way, shape or form, including most assaults, break ins, thefts, etc.

Agreed--which means if we were to legalize the stuff there would be a lot fewer fights between dealers.

If we really are serious about unclogging the court system, we should decriminalize pot, at least, and invest a great deal more money into substance abuse treatment and mental health treatment. And we should also do more restorative justice. And we should really pay public defenders more. Our social safety network is very frayed and stretched way too thin.

As far as I'm concerned all the stuff should either be legal or legal by prescription with addiction a valid reason for a prescription. Pouring a bunch of money into substance abuse treatment is of only limited value as it only works if the patient really wants it to--without that desire you're just throwing money away.

And since we are on a roll, we really need to tackle the proliferation of assault weapons and the mythology that surrounds carrying weapons, concealed or not.
And here you get it utterly wrong. Look at the numbers--those assault weapons you demonize are rarely involved in crime. Criminals carry the lowly handgun because they value concealability over firepower.
 

Hermit

Cantankerous grump
Joined
Nov 14, 2017
Messages
1,467
Location
Ignore list
As far as 'focussing on the actual bad guys:' Almost all arrests and trials involve substance abuse or are substance abuse adjacent, from alcohol to whatever the kids are doing these days in some way, shape or form, including most assaults, break ins, thefts, etc.
Agreed--which means if we were to legalize the stuff there would be a lot fewer fights between dealers.
If the use of all currently illicit drugs were decriminalised, it would significantly reduce the rate of burglaries, robberies and theft generally. There would also be a massive reduction in the prison population and a considerable reduction in insurance premiums.

No, decriminalising the use of all illicit drugs will not result in more people using them. When Portugal decriminalised the use of illicit drugs the number of users actually decreased.

Drug-use-in-Portugal-2001-2012.png
 

Toni

Contributor
Joined
Aug 11, 2011
Messages
15,550
Location
NOT laying back and thinking of England
Basic Beliefs
Peace on Earth, goodwill towards all
As far as 'focussing on the actual bad guys:' Almost all arrests and trials involve substance abuse or are substance abuse adjacent, from alcohol to whatever the kids are doing these days in some way, shape or form, including most assaults, break ins, thefts, etc.

Agreed--which means if we were to legalize the stuff there would be a lot fewer fights between dealers.

If we really are serious about unclogging the court system, we should decriminalize pot, at least, and invest a great deal more money into substance abuse treatment and mental health treatment. And we should also do more restorative justice. And we should really pay public defenders more. Our social safety network is very frayed and stretched way too thin.

As far as I'm concerned all the stuff should either be legal or legal by prescription with addiction a valid reason for a prescription. Pouring a bunch of money into substance abuse treatment is of only limited value as it only works if the patient really wants it to--without that desire you're just throwing money away.

And since we are on a roll, we really need to tackle the proliferation of assault weapons and the mythology that surrounds carrying weapons, concealed or not.
And here you get it utterly wrong. Look at the numbers--those assault weapons you demonize are rarely involved in crime. Criminals carry the lowly handgun because they value concealability over firepower.
I’m not wrong. Did you read about the weapons used in the mass shooting that inspired this thread? Or the weapons used at any of the more famous mass shootings? Sandy hook, for instance?

There are NO legitimate reasons for owning an assault rifle. None.
 

Toni

Contributor
Joined
Aug 11, 2011
Messages
15,550
Location
NOT laying back and thinking of England
Basic Beliefs
Peace on Earth, goodwill towards all
As far as 'focussing on the actual bad guys:' Almost all arrests and trials involve substance abuse or are substance abuse adjacent, from alcohol to whatever the kids are doing these days in some way, shape or form, including most assaults, break ins, thefts, etc.
Agreed--which means if we were to legalize the stuff there would be a lot fewer fights between dealers.
If the use of all currently illicit drugs were decriminalised, it would significantly reduce the rate of burglaries, robberies and theft generally. There would also be a massive reduction in the prison population and a considerable reduction in insurance premiums.

No, decriminalising the use of all illicit drugs will not result in more people using them. When Portugal decriminalised the use of illicit drugs the number of users actually decreased.

Drug-use-in-Portugal-2001-2012.png
I’m skeptical that legalization of all drugs would reduce most crime except for crimes related to use and distribution of a controlled substance. Sure, drug dealers would not be killing each other abs any innocent person in their periphery. Legalizing alcohol did not mean that alcohol use/abuse is not responsible for many crimes, especially assault, sexual assault, vehicular homicide, theft, child abuse, all manner of domestic violence, etc.
 

Trausti

Deleted
Joined
Jul 30, 2005
Messages
9,784
If the use of all currently illicit drugs were decriminalised, it would significantly reduce the rate of burglaries, robberies and theft generally.
Wut? In Seattle open illicit drug use is de facto illegal - cops won't make arrests - and burglaries, robberies, and thefts have spike. Gotta feed the habit, ya know.
 

Hermit

Cantankerous grump
Joined
Nov 14, 2017
Messages
1,467
Location
Ignore list
If the use of all currently illicit drugs were decriminalised, it would significantly reduce the rate of burglaries, robberies and theft generally.
Wut? In Seattle open illicit drug use is de facto illegal - cops won't make arrests - and burglaries, robberies, and thefts have spike. Gotta feed the habit, ya know.

On February 25, 2021, a Washington State Supreme Court struck down Washington’s felony drug possession law. ... As a result, many police departments, including those in Seattle and Bellevue, ordered their officers to stop making arrests for simple drug possession. Officers began to make that change immediately and refused to arrest individuals based on possessing a drug or controlled substance. The Seattle Police Department also said they would not confiscate drugs based only on the violation of the old drug possession laws.
The number of property crimes in Seattle has risen by 10% in 2021 compared to 2020 and violent crimes by 20%.

"Must have been because of the lack of drug-related arrests" does not convince without empirical support. Perhaps there are more drug users now that they need not fear being arrested for possession, or perhaps the already existing addicts feel that because they no longer need to fear being arrested for possession, they need not fear being arrested for any other crime either. It's up to you to provide evidence for your assertion that the lack of drug law enforcement is responsible for the increased number of crimes in Seattle.
 

Derec

Contributor
Joined
Aug 19, 2002
Messages
22,066
Location
Atlanta, GA
Basic Beliefs
atheist
Why would anyone think criminal justice reform is an either or course? Trimming the incarcerated population is a worthy goal of reform just as the avoidance of incarceration of those who are not a danger to society or who have not committed a serious crime.
Those that are a "danger to society" should be locked up. Why not an "either or" approach? Crimes are not all created equal and neither are people who commit them. There is no logical reason why legalizing weed or sex work should be linked to reduced sentences for violent crime.
 

Derec

Contributor
Joined
Aug 19, 2002
Messages
22,066
Location
Atlanta, GA
Basic Beliefs
atheist
This isn't about problems with the code (and the changes you're talking about would have pretty much zero effect), but rather that politicians are more interested in putting people in jail than actually providing jail space. The judges have gotten involved and limited overcrowding. Thus the jails have to release people early because they don't have the capacity. This is not a failure of the criminal code or the justice system, it is a failure of the politicians. Throwing criminals in jail gets votes. Them being released doesn't get blamed on the politicians who didn't fund the jails.
Removing unnecessary crimes from the books would result in more space for those who really need to be locked up.
But I hear you - politicians should fund jails and prisons adequately.
 

Derec

Contributor
Joined
Aug 19, 2002
Messages
22,066
Location
Atlanta, GA
Basic Beliefs
atheist
I don't understand. Is Derec saying that if the guy had done the full ten year term he would not have done something like this when he got out?
Well, he would be older. So probably less likely to want to go to the club to seek trouble. This guy has a long rap sheet and his previous crimes resulted in short stints or even just probation. So he learned that he will not face serious consequences for criminal behavior.

All that said - one thing we know for sure is that he would not have been out now to commit the shooting now.

I mean, going by your logic, why lock anybody up at all, except for life? Since we can't guarantee they will not reoffend once released.
 

Derec

Contributor
Joined
Aug 19, 2002
Messages
22,066
Location
Atlanta, GA
Basic Beliefs
atheist
If the facts are as Derec implies, I agree! Even if we were confident he was likely to assault again whether locked up for 10 years or 5 years, elementary arithmetic shows that a longer term reduces the assault rate.
It warms the cockles of my heart - and even the sub-cockle area - that we at least agree on something.

But it's better to focus on the general problem and general solutions rather than jerk-reflex to one anecdote. There are many flaws in U.S. society which need to be fixed. For starters, in 2010, the U.S. incarceration rate was 0.45% for non-Hispanic whites, 0.83% for Hispanics, and a whopping 2.31% for blacks.
So what do you think can be done about this? Institute an "affirmative action" program to enforce an incarceration "equity"?
So that equal percentage of blacks and whites are locked up even though blacks commit more crime (~5x for homicide, according to FBI data).
Or should we work to reduce the black crime rate? Note that most homicides are intra-racial, so ~5x higher homicide rate also means a ~5x victimization rate. That would however, require, to dispense with excuses ("how he gonna get his money") and the "soft bigotry of low expectations".
silver-datalab-unhomicide-2.png


Black Americans Are Killed At 12 Times The Rate Of People In Other Developed Countries

White Americans are still killed at higher rates than people in most developed countries - but it is much closer than the overall homicide rate would suggest.

Those are across ALL ages and both genders: So when restricting to young males, or especially young black males, the incarceration rates are mind-boggingly large. Only Russia comes close to the U.S. rate of incarceration. The average incarceration rate in Europe is about one tenth of the U.S. rate.
One reason is the war on drugs. A lot of drug offenders are in jails and prisons that do not belong there.
But there is also a legitimate difference in crime rate - especially murders. And also punishment. Europeans tend to have much shorter sentences even for serious crimes like murder.

And many people are incarcerated wrongly. Suspects are often coerced into guilty pleas. Incarceration itself may turn a law-abiding citizen into a criminal. I can't begin to list the flaws in the U.S. justice system.
Some people are incarcerated wrongly, yes. Enough to affect incarceration stats significantly? I doubt it. It certainly has nothing to do with this case though.

Income inequality fosters crime; this is also a big problem in the U.S.

This particular crime had nothing to do with "income inequality". It can't even be used as an excuse like people often do for thieves and robbers.

Frankly much of the U.S. system seems rotten to the core. :-( And while Derec may not be wrong about this particular incident, the smug "law and order" thinking of many right-wing Americans is a part of the problem, rather than solution.
Holding people responsible for their crimes is a necessary step. Letting thugs run wild results in shootings like the one in Sacramento.

(I didn't click, but I bet the subject of OP is black — what do I win?)
If they were white, then Elixir (or somebody else) would have started a thread on this days ago. Which is a big part of my point - the difference crime is talked about on here but also in the media.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Swammerdami

Squadron Leader
Staff member
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
2,859
Location
Land of Smiles
Basic Beliefs
pseudo-deism
If the facts are as Derec implies, I agree! Even if we were confident he was likely to assault again whether locked up for 10 years or 5 years, elementary arithmetic shows that a longer term reduces the assault rate.
It warms the cockles of my heart - and even the sub-cockle area - that we at least agree on something.
There's often much validity in your posts. I'd be more supportive of you if you followed your problem descriptions by suggesting remedies to improve the flaws in American culture. But all too often, you offer only what almost seems like a bitter self-interested perspective. I'm sure you're a good-spirited citizen who wants to uplift all Americans but sometimes — let me be frank — your perspective seems not dissimilar to that of right-wing hate-mongers.
But it's better to focus on the general problem and general solutions rather than jerk-reflex to one anecdote. There are many flaws in U.S. society which need to be fixed. For starters, in 2010, the U.S. incarceration rate was 0.45% for non-Hispanic whites, 0.83% for Hispanics, and a whopping 2.31% for blacks.
The WHITE incarceration rate is very high. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. Black incarceration is even higher; that's unfortunate whatever the reason.
So what do you think can be done about this? Institute an "affirmative action" program to enforce an incarceration "equity"?
So that equal percentage of blacks and whites are locked up even though blacks commit more crime (~5x for homicide, according to FBI data).
Or should we work to reduce the black crime rate? . . .

Hunh? :confused2: I absolutely did NOT intend to imply the bizarre claim you impute to me. Do you have some sort of tunnel vision that leads you to assume the least intelligent meaning of any sentence you encounter? I could have written "Dear Derec, I do NOT infer the insane conclusion that white incarcerations should be increased to equal black incarcerations" but it would be too tedious to guess WHICH bizarre viewpoint you might impute to me.

Sorry for adding information by itemizing the incarcerations by race — perhaps I should have enclosed that in Spoiler tags with an admonition like "Derec shouldn't click; it will confuse him."
 

Elixir

Made in America
Joined
Sep 23, 2012
Messages
20,809
Location
Mountains
Basic Beliefs
English is complicated
It was an example. Just because I used an example that is relevant to me personally does not make it a "hobbyhorse".

Of course. What makes it a hobbyhorses is the regularity with which you bring it up, even in threads where it is tangential at best. If you don’t like “hobbyhorse” then try “preoccupation”.
 

Elixir

Made in America
Joined
Sep 23, 2012
Messages
20,809
Location
Mountains
Basic Beliefs
English is complicated
I wonder how that stark-looking list would look if it included the racial breakout for the other top countries. What’s the rate for Lithuanian Blacks? What’s the rate for ‘Murka overall?

Seems like the list was compiled to mislead.
 

Toni

Contributor
Joined
Aug 11, 2011
Messages
15,550
Location
NOT laying back and thinking of England
Basic Beliefs
Peace on Earth, goodwill towards all
If the use of all currently illicit drugs were decriminalised, it would significantly reduce the rate of burglaries, robberies and theft generally.
Wut? In Seattle open illicit drug use is de facto illegal - cops won't make arrests - and burglaries, robberies, and thefts have spike. Gotta feed the habit, ya know.

On February 25, 2021, a Washington State Supreme Court struck down Washington’s felony drug possession law. ... As a result, many police departments, including those in Seattle and Bellevue, ordered their officers to stop making arrests for simple drug possession. Officers began to make that change immediately and refused to arrest individuals based on possessing a drug or controlled substance. The Seattle Police Department also said they would not confiscate drugs based only on the violation of the old drug possession laws.
The number of property crimes in Seattle has risen by 10% in 2021 compared to 2020 and violent crimes by 20%.

"Must have been because of the lack of drug-related arrests" does not convince without empirical support. Perhaps there are more drug users now that they need not fear being arrested for possession, or perhaps the already existing addicts feel that because they no longer need to fear being arrested for possession, they need not fear being arrested for any other crime either. It's up to you to provide evidence for your assertion that the lack of drug law enforcement is responsible for the increased number of crimes in Seattle.
Across the country, certain kinds of crimes have spiked during the past several years. Some attribute it to effects from the pandemic. People I know in the justice system attribute certain kinds of crime: domestic abuse being one of them, directly to the pandemic. People were unemployed, spending much more time at home, highly stressed.
 

Don2 (Don1 Revised)

Contributor
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Messages
11,672
Location
USA
Basic Beliefs
Nonpracticing agnostic
Note also that one of the shooters (there are thought to have been five) was released from prison early despite a long history of violent crimes.

Suspect released weeks before Sacramento mass shooting

So in the first paragraph above you are saying he is definitely a shooter but the link says he is a suspect and it is interesting because this is a continuation of a very well-documented trend where you call black male suspects definitely guilty but when a white male is accused of raping a woman instead you scream how he is just a suspect or even innocent...shouldn't be tried in a court of public opinion, etc, etc. I believe this was also the case with George Floyd's murderer where you also objected to the terminology of calling the white male a murderer when we could see him murdering Floyd on video.
 

Elixir

Made in America
Joined
Sep 23, 2012
Messages
20,809
Location
Mountains
Basic Beliefs
English is complicated
Note also that one of the shooters (there are thought to have been five) was released from prison early despite a long history of violent crimes.

Suspect released weeks before Sacramento mass shooting

So in the first paragraph above you are saying he is definitely a shooter but the link says he is a suspect and it is interesting because this is a continuation of a very well-documented trend where you call black male suspects definitely guilty but when a white male is accused of raping a woman instead you scream how he is just a suspect or even innocent...shouldn't be tried in a court of public opinion, etc, etc. I believe this was also the case with George Floyd's murderer where you also objected to the terminology of calling the white male a murderer when we could see him murdering Floyd on video.

Yup. Very sad, but needs to be pointed out, as it typifies the M.O. of conditioned white racism. I doubt that he is even aware of doing that.
 

laughing dog

Contributor
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
21,330
Location
Minnesota
Gender
IT
Basic Beliefs
Dogs rule
Why would anyone think criminal justice reform is an either or course? Trimming the incarcerated population is a worthy goal of reform just as the avoidance of incarceration of those who are not a danger to society or who have not committed a serious crime.
Those that are a "danger to society" should be locked up. Why not an "either or" approach? Crimes are not all created equal and neither are people who commit them. There is no logical reason why legalizing weed or sex work should be linked to reduced sentences for violent crime.
And yet your hobbyhorse OP linked the two.
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
36,661
Location
Nevada
Gender
Yes
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
As far as 'focussing on the actual bad guys:' Almost all arrests and trials involve substance abuse or are substance abuse adjacent, from alcohol to whatever the kids are doing these days in some way, shape or form, including most assaults, break ins, thefts, etc.
Agreed--which means if we were to legalize the stuff there would be a lot fewer fights between dealers.
If the use of all currently illicit drugs were decriminalised, it would significantly reduce the rate of burglaries, robberies and theft generally. There would also be a massive reduction in the prison population and a considerable reduction in insurance premiums.

No, decriminalising the use of all illicit drugs will not result in more people using them. When Portugal decriminalised the use of illicit drugs the number of users actually decreased.
I fully agree--I talked about dealers fighting because that appears to be what this was. Taking a big bite out of other crime would be an additional benefit of legalization, just not relevant to the topic at hand.
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
36,661
Location
Nevada
Gender
Yes
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
As far as 'focussing on the actual bad guys:' Almost all arrests and trials involve substance abuse or are substance abuse adjacent, from alcohol to whatever the kids are doing these days in some way, shape or form, including most assaults, break ins, thefts, etc.

Agreed--which means if we were to legalize the stuff there would be a lot fewer fights between dealers.

If we really are serious about unclogging the court system, we should decriminalize pot, at least, and invest a great deal more money into substance abuse treatment and mental health treatment. And we should also do more restorative justice. And we should really pay public defenders more. Our social safety network is very frayed and stretched way too thin.

As far as I'm concerned all the stuff should either be legal or legal by prescription with addiction a valid reason for a prescription. Pouring a bunch of money into substance abuse treatment is of only limited value as it only works if the patient really wants it to--without that desire you're just throwing money away.

And since we are on a roll, we really need to tackle the proliferation of assault weapons and the mythology that surrounds carrying weapons, concealed or not.
And here you get it utterly wrong. Look at the numbers--those assault weapons you demonize are rarely involved in crime. Criminals carry the lowly handgun because they value concealability over firepower.
I’m not wrong. Did you read about the weapons used in the mass shooting that inspired this thread? Or the weapons used at any of the more famous mass shootings? Sandy hook, for instance?

I have seen no mention of the weapons used--thus in all probability it was handguns. This was almost certainly two bad guys (or groups of bad guys) that shot it out with each other, hitting a bunch of bystanders in the process. Concealed weapons, therefore handguns.

There are NO legitimate reasons for owning an assault rifle. None.

Your obsession with assault rifles doesn't make them a big problem:

(Admittedly a old but I don't think the ratio has changed much)

The FBI's Supplemental Homicide Reports show that 57% of all murders in 1993 were committed with handguns, 3% with rifles, 5% with shotguns, and 5% with firearms where the type was unknown

And note that "rifles" includes more than just assault rifles.

Assault rifles have been demonized but in practice they are simply too big to be desirable to most criminals.
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
36,661
Location
Nevada
Gender
Yes
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
I’m skeptical that legalization of all drugs would reduce most crime except for crimes related to use and distribution of a controlled substance. Sure, drug dealers would not be killing each other abs any innocent person in their periphery. Legalizing alcohol did not mean that alcohol use/abuse is not responsible for many crimes, especially assault, sexual assault, vehicular homicide, theft, child abuse, all manner of domestic violence, etc.

Legalization ended the bootleggers shooting it out with each other.

And these days alcohol is affordable enough that the wino commits only minor crimes to support his habit. The crackhead sticks people up because he needs a lot more money to support his habit.
 

Loren Pechtel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 16, 2000
Messages
36,661
Location
Nevada
Gender
Yes
Basic Beliefs
Atheist
I wonder how that stark-looking list would look if it included the racial breakout for the other top countries. What’s the rate for Lithuanian Blacks? What’s the rate for ‘Murka overall?

Seems like the list was compiled to mislead.

I do agree the list was compiled for deceptive purposes, but it does show something important anyway: Murder is concentrated in a small portion of the population. That's why many people don't get that upset at the murder rate--we know most of it is bad guys killing bad guys. The same pattern applies everywhere--murder is highly concentrated in the criminal subset of the population. In the US there is enough of a racial pattern that you can make a chart like this, but race is just a proxy for the true issue.
 

Toni

Contributor
Joined
Aug 11, 2011
Messages
15,550
Location
NOT laying back and thinking of England
Basic Beliefs
Peace on Earth, goodwill towards all
I’m skeptical that legalization of all drugs would reduce most crime except for crimes related to use and distribution of a controlled substance. Sure, drug dealers would not be killing each other abs any innocent person in their periphery. Legalizing alcohol did not mean that alcohol use/abuse is not responsible for many crimes, especially assault, sexual assault, vehicular homicide, theft, child abuse, all manner of domestic violence, etc.

Legalization ended the bootleggers shooting it out with each other.

And these days alcohol is affordable enough that the wino commits only minor crimes to support his habit. The crackhead sticks people up because he needs a lot more money to support his habit.
Winos only commit minor thefts, sure. But alcoholics or drunks commit many other types of crime: vehicular manslaughter, assault, murder, rape, a variety of domestic assaults. Also a fair amount of white color crime, medical malpractice, etc.

You are right: liquor store owners are not shooting it out in the streets nor are beer distributors. But there is still a lot of crime committed while under the influence of alcohol, including crimes that probably would not happen if alcohol were not a factor.

So, while I am not opposed to legalizing marijuana, I do have some concerns with regards to public safety. As for other drugs: those include everything I've mentioned above plus crimes related to impure or misrepresented drugs being used, etc.

Of course, there is the absolute fact that alcohol abuse leads to many deaths annually, as does drug use/abuse.

I'm not proposing criminalizing alcohol. I'm just pointing out that a lot of crimes are committed by people who are abusing alcohol or under the influence. Those types of crimes with the root cause being drug use will not lessen with legalization and in fact may increase.

The real issue is that we very much need to address mental health issues---and also chronic pain treatment. Both are seriously underfunded, scare, and too often overlooked.
 

Toni

Contributor
Joined
Aug 11, 2011
Messages
15,550
Location
NOT laying back and thinking of England
Basic Beliefs
Peace on Earth, goodwill towards all
As far as 'focussing on the actual bad guys:' Almost all arrests and trials involve substance abuse or are substance abuse adjacent, from alcohol to whatever the kids are doing these days in some way, shape or form, including most assaults, break ins, thefts, etc.

Agreed--which means if we were to legalize the stuff there would be a lot fewer fights between dealers.

If we really are serious about unclogging the court system, we should decriminalize pot, at least, and invest a great deal more money into substance abuse treatment and mental health treatment. And we should also do more restorative justice. And we should really pay public defenders more. Our social safety network is very frayed and stretched way too thin.

As far as I'm concerned all the stuff should either be legal or legal by prescription with addiction a valid reason for a prescription. Pouring a bunch of money into substance abuse treatment is of only limited value as it only works if the patient really wants it to--without that desire you're just throwing money away.

And since we are on a roll, we really need to tackle the proliferation of assault weapons and the mythology that surrounds carrying weapons, concealed or not.
And here you get it utterly wrong. Look at the numbers--those assault weapons you demonize are rarely involved in crime. Criminals carry the lowly handgun because they value concealability over firepower.
I’m not wrong. Did you read about the weapons used in the mass shooting that inspired this thread? Or the weapons used at any of the more famous mass shootings? Sandy hook, for instance?

I have seen no mention of the weapons used--thus in all probability it was handguns. This was almost certainly two bad guys (or groups of bad guys) that shot it out with each other, hitting a bunch of bystanders in the process. Concealed weapons, therefore handguns.

There are NO legitimate reasons for owning an assault rifle. None.

Your obsession with assault rifles doesn't make them a big problem:

(Admittedly a old but I don't think the ratio has changed much)

The FBI's Supplemental Homicide Reports show that 57% of all murders in 1993 were committed with handguns, 3% with rifles, 5% with shotguns, and 5% with firearms where the type was unknown

And note that "rifles" includes more than just assault rifles.

Assault rifles have been demonized but in practice they are simply too big to be desirable to most criminals.
They are certainly the weapon of choice of many mass murderers.

There is simply no legitimate reason for people to use assault rifles or semiautomatic weapons.
 

Elixir

Made in America
Joined
Sep 23, 2012
Messages
20,809
Location
Mountains
Basic Beliefs
English is complicated
In the US there is enough of a racial pattern that you can make a chart like this, but race is just a proxy for the true issue.

And that issue is poverty.
But since it correlates with race due to long term structural economic racism, it makes a great tool with which to claim, without lying, that black people commit disproportionate amounts of homicides, implying a race based proclivity for crime. Then they chant ‘lock em up’ as if that was a solution.

Poor people also commit more crimes. We should lock them up too. And anyone else who can be identified with a carefully constructed crime profile. /:Sarcasm:
 
Top Bottom