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David Wilson, professor of criminology at Birmingham City University, says several factors underlie the high number of American convicts imprisoned for life.
"In large part it reflects the overly punitive nature of the American criminal justice system," says [Marc] Mauer.
"Not only do we use life sentences much more extensively than other industrial nations, but even in the lower level of event severity, the average burglar or car thief will do more time than they will in Canada or Wales."The reality is that putting someone in prison for life is rarely beneficial to any party involved in the crime. If you lock a man up for the rest of his life the taxpayers will end up playing the price for the staggering cost of health care as he gets older.
"We have seen enough criminality on the part of government. It is hypocritical to make this allegation against me. They have narrowed the public sphere of influence." -- Edward Snowden
James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, has released a statement, which, in part, says: "The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans."Just because the Supreme Court got it wrong in Smith v. Maryland doesn't mean we have to follow that precedent. Yes, all of the information regarding who we call, how long we talk and where we are when talking may be found somewhere in the mammoth stack of data the phone of cell company maintains. In our increasingly connected world, such metadata has to be stored someplace, but just because it's stored in a server in the back room of the cellular provider doesn't mean the users of that service don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy as to whom they call and how long they talk.
Judge Jones claimed that the death penalty has actually helped inmates by allowing them to make peace with god in the minutes leading up to their execution.
She claimed that blacks and Hispanics were more predisposed to committing violent crimes and more likely to commit violent acts than members of other ethnic groups.
According to Judge Jones, claims of innocence, racism and arbitrariness regarding the death penalty are merely "red herrings."
She also said that banning the execution of mentally retarded defendants was a bad idea.
And, as if that weren't enough, Judge Jones also claimed that Mexican nationals preferred death row in the US over prison in Mexico.Her comments raise questions over her ability to hear cases involving minority defendants. They certainly seem to indicate the color of the defendant's skin would have an effect on her decision. Her beliefs that there is a religious basis for the death penalty and that by killing an inmate we are doing him favor is extremely troubling.
"They ought to be able, just like a church, just like a charity, to have the right to opt out of a provision that infringes on their religious beliefs,'' said Kyle Duncan, who will argue before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of the Green family, the founders of Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. and a sister company, Christian booksellers Mardel Inc.If health care is a basic human right, then it should be available to all regardless of income level or employment status. If you want to know why health care is so expensive in the United States, just take a look at the delivery model we use. There are so many folks with profit motives controlling who has access and what level of care they receive that the result is we pay far more than we should for far less health care that we should receive.