That the US is no longer the freest nation on the planet is one that draws more consensus than the popularity of our President as we become aware that more and a higher population per capita in the US is under strict control of our prison system than anywhere in the world. According to the AP story below, stats released in the fall confirm that we break a new record. And records are something the US is known for, but criminal records?
U.S. Prison Population Sets Record
Friday, December 1, 2006
A record 7 million people -- one in every 32 U.S. adults -- were behind bars, on probation or on parole by the end of last year, a Justice Department report released yesterday shows...more
DC cont'd - Of this, many are proud, assuming that an imprisoned people are a safe people. One hears arguments like:
- At least we got our criminals off the streets
- They were found guilty by there peers; they must be scumbags
- If you use drugs, you should go to prison (of course, alcohol is not a drug)
- If you so much as look at child wrong, you must be a pedophile (and we all hate pedophiles)
- If the majority doesn't like it; it should be against the law.
- The list goes on...
Now, it seems to me, if I wanted to get elected to congress, each of those talking points would get me votes, and that makes us the greatest Democracy in the world, right? Wrong!
It means that any larger group can remove any smaller group by passing a law making it illegal to be a minority. The only minorities that are specifically protect from this tyranny of the majority are :
- Women ( a majority of the population, but still defined as a minority)
- Religions (though a majority are religious, and when combined, can elect anyone that says he is a Christian)
- People over 45 ( though they hold 90% of the assets)
- Immigrants (legal or otherwise)
- Races (other than whites) though when combined with any other member of this list, make a majority
- The unborn (well, they are getting there)
- Indigenous populations (though owning a casino pays okay, I hear)
- Again, the list goes on.
On face value, we have bought into the idea that they are all drug dealers and contribute to violent crime, but a closer look tells us that most were simply recreation users, who had never been so much as suspected before, of violent crimes.
In some states, you can actual go to prison longer if you have less drugs in your possession, than more. More than a certain amount, makes it a federal case and people go to prison and serve on average, one month for each year sentenced before they get out on parole. The guy that had more than an ounce of marijuana, but less than a pound, could very well spend 10 years behind bars if he lives in a minimum sentence state like Michigan.
Former U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos (left) and Jose
Alonso Compean (right) turn themselves in to federal authorities.
Meanwhile, a person of foreign origin, who is transporting 750 pounds of marijuana in his van across the US border, can hop out and run and border officers may not shoot to stop his fleeing. One such case in which border officers allegedly shot a Mexican drug dealer in the buttocks cheek after he allegedly pointed a gun at these officers; well you may have heard, he was let go and the two officers were prosecuted and put in prison for a long time. The real criminal, came back later and continued his regular deliveries of drugs across the border.
In Atlanta, in the case of 17 year old Genarlow Wilson, a local black high school football hero, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for basically receiving oral sex while drunk from an avid 15 year old fan at a party. Videos taken at the party by friends indicated he took no active part in soliciting the act.
According to Findlaw: Because Wilson and a 15-year-old girl engaged in nonprocreative sex, his conduct fell squarely within the terms of the aggravated child molestation statute. And though the Georgia legislature subsequently passed a "Romeo and Juliet Law" limiting sentences in cases like Wilson's to one year of incarceration, this law was not written to apply retroactively... more
The incredible thing was that he would have gotten only one year if he had full intercourse with her.
So, let's sum this up.
If you are otherwise law-abiding and peaceful and want to alter your mind by using drugs that do less damage and are less addictive than alcohol, you can go to prison. If you steal billions of dollars from investors by fraud and have a good lawyer (and you will because you are rich) you will never do a day in prison.
Clearly, these laws have nothing to do with criminality, but are intended to enforce a moral code inflicted by a small religious faction in America who use fear mongering to scare the rest of us into passing laws to put people they hate in prison.
The more political and obfuscated reality is, these people are seen as a threat to the establishment and must be permanently removed from the voter rolls. They must permanently be deprived, even after release from prison from exercising the right to bear arms, (so there go your freedom fighters). It is well designed to permanently disenfranchise millions of Americans from ever contributing to a revolution either peaceful or otherwise.
So much for US freedom now and the prospect for ever getting it back! Meanwhile, if the people we imprison now were not criminals before they went in, they will most certainly be criminals by the time they get out, as they are now graduates of the university of crime.