Thursday, July 05, 2007

News of the Day, Thursday, July 5, 2007

  • Excellent story here, doing the things necessary to start putting faces and reality behind the stories we tell about "bad guys." The problem is, it's also a story about the failure of politicians to acknowledge that, when we actually do "correct" someone through sentencing and corrections, that person should be accepted for it. I don't usually pull the religion thing out here, but, to me, one of the defining stories of Christianity is that of the Prodigal Son. It does not matter, the story says, what the son has done, how big a "bad guy" he's been, or how law-abiding and upright the loyal son has been, how great a "good guy" he's been. If the "bad" son has true remorse and rejects the past life and all its errors, that son is forgiven and welcomed back on an equal basis, with everyone joyous for the life saved. Period. Nothing about how juries or judges have spoken and they've never been wrong or corrupt themselves. Period. Wonder what Jesus would say about this story, huh?
  • We up the ante on pot and turn kids on to prescription drugs, legal, easier to get, seen as safer, often in fact, as we've noted, indistinguishable at similar dosages from chemically similar illegal drugs? Seriously, this is the outcome we were shooting for?
  • Will ME be the next state to start moving toward sentencing guidelines or toward some other more creative system? Prison bedspace problems are getting front-burner attention there right now. Sorta like NV, which has had the problem longer and harder but still seems to be circling effective action, having once dumped its sentencing commission and now creating a new one on "the administration of justice" to do the same thing, it sounds like. What do they call it when you keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?
  • Great article in The New Yorker on how horrible we humans tend to be at detecting lies, why that leads us to put so much faith in mechanical means of detection, and how horrible we humans are at mechanical means of detection, including the new "science" of MRIs. Good history of our efforts and description of the marketing and hype surrounding the current "solution." Unfortunately, there's absolutely nothing in the story for me to conclude that this won't be a major TECHNOCORRECTIONS area in the future. (h/t Mind Hacks)
  • Oh, this should be fun. The SC legis has overridden a veto to force the state DOC take as many inmates as jails can process, regardless of available bedspace. Basically told the DOC director "hey, we've all got problems." Tell me again--how many times has that sledgehammer really fixed anything?
  • Okay, so now we have to start limiting their baby powder and cocoa butter plus their number of socks they can wear. What's next?

No comments: