"And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
-- Micah 6:8

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
-- American Bar Association Standard 3-1.2(c)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
--Pope Benedict XVI, June 2004

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Parole, Rising From the Grave

It seems our Governor here in Virginia wants to resurrect parole,  which was wisely abolished 30 years ago.

So despite what a sentencing judge or jury, having heard all the facts and evidence of the case, and the facts and evidence in mitigation of sentencing, would be supplanted by an appointed board.  Presumably like before, a jury would not be told about the possibility of parole when fixing a sentence.

Yet another example of why, despite the beliefs of the bishops of Virginia and others, mere incarceration cannot to a moral certitude protect society from violent offenders, who, under a parole system, could be released on an unsuspecting public.


2 comments:

Perlet & Shiner P.A. said...

I personally agree that they will reincarnate parole. But parole should be given to the people who really deserves to be awarded not to those people who were just having a big influence.

Art Deco said...

If a prisoner is eligible for parole after completing a fixed portion of a determinate sentence and all the stakeholders are aware that this has been incorporated into the statute and his eligibility date is publicly reported and specified at the time of his sentencing, I'm not seeing this as akin to some sort of scam. The real problem you get is with rococo sentencing rules (see New York's) which include indeterminate sentencing, options for consecutive sentencing, concurrent sentencing, substitution of probation for incarceration, and substitution of one sentencing schedule for another. No one who has not done a sociological survey of sentences and time served knows just what the distribution of sentences is or would be for any given crime. You also have crimes so described that you have categorical options are presented when spectra would be better. Why not

1. Determinate sentencing, fairly brief for most offenses. Consecutive sentencing by default.
2. Parole consideration after half or 7/11ths of the sentence is served and annually thereafter;
3. Parole decisions by ad hoc impaneled juries rather than a state appointed board.
4. Parole decisions based on a written dossier from the prison warden, wherein the prisoner's respect for prison discipline is delineated.
5. The use of fines only for corporate crimes, nuisance offenses, and minor crimes supplementary to short incarceration.
6. An end to probation and community service.
7. Selective use of birch, cane, and pillory-and-stocks in lieu of incarceration.
8. Prescribed discounts for juvenile offenders, determined by formulae.
9. Prescribed premia for recidivists, again determined by formulae.
10. Prescribed discounts for guilty pleas and negotiated pleas.