Monday, March 30, 2009

Where has our freedom gone?

Before the TX congress sits a potential 7,000 new felonies, new misdemeanors and enhancements. We are eager to give up our remaining freedoms We hear about decreasing prison population. We see a wider net being cast in order to lock up more people.

While prisons and punishment are necessary the entire nation has gone way overboard. Although the accused have a right to a jury trial about 90% are terrorized into plea bargains. Those who can’t afford an attorney are especially easy prey. We know that innocent people get convicted. Those who exercise their right to a trial and lose are used as examples for those who follow. You can bet your boots that innocent people take the plea. Great work is being done through the Innocence Project and those facing the death penalty are rightfully at the head of the line. The innocent with lesser sentences do their time and seldom get above the poverty line when released back into the community

The prison in Huntsville started out as a slave plantation. Not much has changed in all of these years. At all of the facilities have hoe squads with an armed overseer on horseback. It takes one back to yesteryear.

Many outsiders have a mental picture of inmates lifting weights and swapping tales. When one works the hoe squad, the kitchen, the laundry or any other kind of labor 5 days a week many don’t have the strength to lift weights.

Inmates should work. Then they can return to their cages where the temperatures sometimes reach 130 degrees and cover themselves with a wet towel to try and get relief. There is no air conditioning and nobody has a TV in their cell.

Prison beef is prime and brings a good price. It is sold off to processors who sell the scraps to the next company. The prisons get back what is left at that point and each box is marked “Not for human consumption”. A lot of soy is mixed in and this is what prisoners eat.

There is something wrong with a society that puts people in cages, treats them like animals and expect them to act like humans when released.

Our next governor should be someone who will rip down the current parole system and build something that works. Parole has a job to determine how well an inmate has done while in the system. Making a judgment based on the nature of the crime is what the Judge does at the time of sentencing. The inmate can do everything right in prison but there is no way to change the nature of the crime that brought someone there. It is things such as this that make us want to throw the whole bunch out and start over. Elections are coming up. We don’t elect parole board members but we can throw out the bums that appoint them give them unlimited power and sit back and watch them screw with everyone around them.

Prison is expensive. We are paying $20,000 and up for every year an inmates remains locked up. How many of them are you willing to support and for how long? We can start making a list of individuals that are willing to be financially responsibility for one or more inmates. Please limit your demands for longer sentences only to individual inmates that you support. This country is filled with people who want to lock'em up and throw the key away. If asked to put your money where your mouth is there would be little cash and lots of attitude. If we had as many wise people as we have wise asses our country would not be rocking on the edge of disaster. Every dime the government has comes from our pockets.. Cutting prison populations and spending more on education would be my preference. That is not the way things are done in a nation of people who already know everything.

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