There’s growing awareness of a conservative initiative aimed at criminal justice reform, buy modafinil online sun pharma, and it resonates with me personally.
I became keenly aware of how the criminal justice system worked when I first began to freelance. I contracted with a nonprofit organization to write newsletters and other content about the group’s efforts to rehabilitate people who had done their time. The group was headed by a S.C. legislator named buy modafinil singapore.
I learned a lot about sentencing, and at times, I just sat in disbelief at how sentences could vary wildly, as well as how harsh some sentences were. I didn’t view the data through a racial lens as some are prone to do. I realized that any person of limited income who is charged with a crime faces obstacles that some with deep pockets probably won’t face. I also realized that sometimes the law doesn’t really deliver justice.
I don’t mean to imply that many who are serving time don’t deserve to serve it. But I have learned firsthand that a goodly number are serving lengthy sentences, not because of the harm they caused society, but because of well-intended laws or because they didn’t take a plea deal and became a double target for a prosecutor.
Not long ago, I had a friend who got himself entangled in a messy situation. To protect his privacy, I’m not including his real name. I’ll just call him Bill.
Bill was at a gathering one evening in a small community, and he happened to be hanging out with friends in a garage. The garage door was open. A couple local deputies happened by, looking for another house involved in a noise complaint. The deputies got sidetracked when they saw the open garage door, and one deputy claimed to smell marijuana.
Even trained dogs aren’t infallible when it comes to the sniff test, and I suspect humans are less reliable, but that is why the deputy claimed he had the right to detain some of the people at the gathering.
Bill had a gun on him. He owned a business that necessitated paying laborers in cash. He’d never used the gun, but he liked having it handy in case anyone tried to rob him. When the deputy approached, Bill didn’t stop as ordered—he began to slowly back away. The deputy arrested him, and found the gun.
Unfortunately, Bill’s Second Amendment rights had been taken away. When he was young, he’d got into trouble over what I think was making fake IDs for his friends so they could get into nightspots and such. This was long ago, and after he was pardoned, the only right the governor didn’t restore was the Second Amendment right. After that youthful transgression, Bill did not get into trouble again until now.
The justice system threw the book at Bill because technically he was a felon carrying a gun.
By the time the case came to trial, Bill’s girlfriend and friends had launched a massive effort to keep him out of prison, or at least keep him out of there for a very long time. I think he could have received a 20-year sentence. I wrote two letters attesting to his character. By the time I wrote the second letter, to make sure the judge read it, I sent it certified.
In part, here’s what I wrote:
“The matter involving [Bill] had no victim. No property loss occurred and his actions resulted in no harm or damage being inflicted on society.
I realize…sentencing laws place vast power in the hands of the prosecutor because of min/max sentencing. I regret that judges are hampered when it comes to discretion.
However, if there is anything at all that you can do to ensure real justice, all of us who care about [Bill] would appreciate it.
It makes no sense at all to me to remove a taxpayer and businessman from society and place him in an institution where taxpayers will pay for his upkeep when he poses no threat to anyone or anything.”
Now I know Bill broke the law. He should not have had the gun on him. When the deputy told him to stop, he should have stopped without delay. But I also know Bill presents not even an iota of danger to society, and that a law he broke as a youth and was then pardoned for should not have impacted his present case. He is currently serving a 4-year sentence.
One observer in the courtroom said the prosecution “blatantly lied 6 times” during the trial.
Whatever the case, I know in my heart Bill’s story—and I am hitting the high spots because it is complicated—is a small ripple in a big pond across the United States.
Prison should be for the really bad people who will harm us, not for people whose “crime” damages no person, thing, property, community, or material anything.
From the beginning, I viewed his case as an issue revolving around individual rights. If the police come to your home in error, detain and search you without a warrant, and get very creative when the report is filed, is that justice?
Daily we see perpetrators of financial crimes on the federal level go scot free. We witness constitutional violations repeatedly. We even learned recently that thebuy modafinil paypal for more than 36,000 “criminal aliens” in 2013. Among their crimes: 193 homicides, 426 sexual assault convictions, and 16,070 drunk or drugged driving convictions.
Yet my friend Bill sits in a state prison, having never posed a threat to anything or anyone.
Did you know you can go to prison for importing orchids improperly? Or for purchasing a guitar made of certain types of imported wood even if the country who exported the wood has no problem with it? Refuse to return a library book and see what happens.
When I did the freelance work for the criminal justice group, the executive director, Parker Evatt, also served in the S. C. House of Representatives.
Parker was a natural born storyteller, and he shared many anecdotes with me regarding his work with prisoners. I remember a story he told me about a young man, a sharp dresser, who’d been convicted of shoplifting. Parker was having a time with him, attempting to help him find a job. “What does he want to do?” Parker asked me. “He wants to work in retail!”
Getting a job in today’s economy is double tough, and it’s triple tough if you have a record. I think about Parker often, and I think about how many families he helped personally as he assisted former offenders in their efforts to make an honest day’s wage.
It’s taken a few years for buy modafinil europe to notice the Right on Crime initiative. It’s a conservative initiative, and conservatives aren’t as adept at sharing their messaging as other political sectors are. It strikes me that at the heart of the true conservative, however, there remains a strain of the authentic libertarianism that lies at the heart of our Constitution.
Within that philosophy, indeed embedded in the Bill of Rights, there should be respect for the premise that the punishment should fit the crime rather than fit a bean counter approach to shallow justice.
I haven’t seen Parker Evatt in years. He probably doesn’t even know I still have an interest in something he kindled in my heart years ago, when I was a young writer in search of work. He can’t possibly know that my oldest daughter is like-minded, and she earned a Master’s degree in criminology, eventually overseeing a program that helped at-risk families among other endeavors.
I have worked with at-risk youth, and others in a variety of volunteer endeavors. I have lived long enough to learn that one person can really make a difference in a person’s life. Try to save the whole world and you spin wheels, but help an individual and you really may help save the world in a figurative sort of way.
A thorn in Parker’s side was then-solicitor Dick Harpootlian. Harpootlian was a constant critic of Parker who went on to become state director of prisons in South Carolina. Harpootlian once said this about Parker:
“Evatt’s philosophy was that any inmate, given enough TLC, could be converted into a productive citizen and that if you bring enough resources to bear you could take the most hardened criminal on one end and pop out a Harvard graduate on the other…That’s Pollyana-ish…” [Spartanburg Herald-Journal; Jan, 5, 1995]
Harpootlian’s assessment was not accurate. Parker was always a realist about the convicts he helped, but his mission as far as I could tell was to help those who would help themselves.
Harpootlian went on to become chair of his state political party, the Democrats.
Parker, a lifelong Republican, received the American Correctional Association’s highest award. He is one of the few in public service I will always admire.
If you wanted to compare records of who helped the downtrodden, the at-risk youth, or the low income families more, Parker Evatt tops Harpootlian hands down.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/May 22, 2014)
Page snip/graphic: rightoncrime.com