Category Archives: Prisons

The anti-prison movement will be a disaster . . . for criminals

Leftists, having placed pro-criminal prosecutors across America, are now doing the same with judges. Criminals will not like what’s coming.

At Power Line, Paul Mirengoff took note of the fact that George Soros, having managed to place leftist prosecutors throughout America, none of whom have the slightest interest in prosecuting crime, has now moved on to placing leftist judges in courtrooms, just in case a prosecutor was unable to keep a criminal out of court:

In Maryland, it appears from the Washington Post’s account that most, if not all, of the victorious outsiders are pro-criminal defendant and sympathetic to the BLM critique of the judicial system.

The two outsiders who won in Prince George’s County certainly fit this description. Gladys Weatherspoon is a longtime criminal defense attorney. She campaigned on the promise to push for “creative sentences” instead of incarceration. This, of course, will exacerbate America’s under-incarceration problem, which is responsible for many a bloody crime.

The other outsider, April Ademiluyi, seems cut from the same cloth. She blames the coronavirus pandemic for “spurring people to crime.” Defense attorneys in the county must already be preparing their the-virus-made-him-do-it pleas for lenient sentencing.

The Prince George’s County police department is 63 percent African-American and only 14 percent White. The interim police chief is Latino. The County Executive is African-American. So are the vast majority of incumbent circuit judges.

I doubt that racism or lack of sympathy for Blacks is a problem in the Prince George’s circuit courts or its criminal justice system generally. But crime is a serious problem in Prince George’s County. Three towns in the county are considered among ten most dangerous places in Maryland.

These trends, of course, are a disaster for the law-abiding. I haven’t been to San Francisco in a while, but the last time I was there, it was a frightening place, with brothels in the “family-style” neighborhoods, skyrocketing violent crime, and complete degradation and squalor on the streets, thanks to mentally ill and addicted homeless people. The same was true when I was in New York a couple of years ago (quite different from when I first went there, on Giuliani’s watch and from subsequent trips on Mike Bloomberg’s watch). This is how you get ordinary, middle-class people (i.e., the ones who hold cities together) leaving in droves, and expanding the scope of poverty and crime in a community.

What leftists don’t realize is that what they’re doing is also a disaster for criminals. As many have said, our modern criminal justice system was set up not just to protect ordinary people from criminals but to protect criminals from ordinary people. Before we had a criminal justice system, complete with police, courtrooms, and prisons, we had vigilantism at the front end, because there were no police, and extreme tortures at the back end of the system, because there were no prisons.

When police arrest bad guys, one of the things they are doing is protecting them from angry people in the community. These people are not just the direct victims but the community at large. People who are trying to live normal lives cannot tolerate rampant crime. If there is no government enforcement, they will become the enforcers. Vigilantes invariably administer rough justice, and it’s usually fatal. The person they grab (and they’re not above grabbing the wrong person), will be beaten to death, hanged, shot, set on fire, or whatever else the mob finds most expedient. We read stories about these things about Latin America and Africa. If leftists keep destroying the front end of our criminal justice system — the police — we’re going to read about it here too.

And what about the prisons these Soros judges and prosecutors want to do away with. They too are a humane alternative. As we all know, running prisons is expensive. Because we use them to sequester bad people away from functional society, rather than as torture chambers, they have to have a reasonable amount of space, of amenities (heat, running water, etc.), food, and management. I’m not saying that American jails and prisons aren’t horrible places. I know that I would hate to be in one. But they still have minimum standards that must rise above cruel and unusual punishment.

Before there were jails, punishment was always cruel and unusual: Whipping (something that blacks think happened only to them but that was, in fact, normative across Western society and that still exists under Islam); crucifixion; hanging in the stocks; branding; amputation (still a thing under Islam, where thieves have their hands chopped off); losing eyes, ears, tongues, lips, etc.; being boiled alive, burned alive, crushed by stones, or broken on wheels; flaying; getting eaten by dogs (still a thing in North Korea); beheading (again, still a thing under Islam); enslavement, and so much more. Humans have always excelled at cruelty.

Some may have noticed that I included in that list punishments that caused death (hanging, crucifixions, etc.). That may seem odd because I was talking about alternatives to prison rather than about capital punishment. It’s not odd at all, though. People were routinely executed for crimes that today we solve with prison sentences. Indeed, sometimes we don’t even bother with prison. In Old England, stealing a loaf of bread was a hanging offense; in America, it’s a minor misdemeanor if it even gets into the prison system. So many crimes that we solve with prison sentences were once capital crimes.

When you think about things this way, you realize that our prison system works primarily for the criminals’ benefit. If we do away with prisons, crime will skyrocket. And at a certain point, the ordinary people — the worms — will turn. And when they turn, it will be ugly. There won’t be functional prisons, so they will revert to the stone-age origins: summary execution at the mobs’ hands or violent penalties that mark the criminal as an outlaw forever. Once your tongue is sliced out, your hand cut off, or a brand placed on your cheek, you can never return to normal society.

As is always the case with leftism, it injures most those it purports to help. The welfare state destroyed black families and led to epic, self-destructive, generational crime. Socialized medicine left everyone with “access” to the “system,” but minimal actual medical care. And the left’s current push for “criminal justice reform” won’t stop at hurting ordinary people and destroying any semblance of a functional society. It will also result in a brutal, anarchic world that will leave criminals praying for the return of the police officer, the judge, and the jail.