June 22, 2003
The Greens—Criminal and Civil Justice Reforms

(See this post for background on this series.)

Abolish the Death Penalty

No. The vast majority of the public supports the death penalty, and it carries with it the ultimate deterrent effect; someone who is executed will never commit another crime. I do, however, support the use of DNA evidence whenever feasible.

Prosecute Police Brutality-The Jonny Gammage Law: Require independent federal investigation and prosecution of law enforcement officers charged with violating the civil rights or causing the bodily injury or death of a human being.

The police are subject to criminal and civil penalties if they are convicted of brutality. As to "bodily injury or death of a human being", virtually all such instances are caused by a suspect resisting arrest, or actively targeting law enforcement officials.

End Political and Racial Persecution by the Criminal Justice System: Freedom for all political prisoners and prisoners of racial injustice. Clemency for Leonard Peltier. New trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal.

End racial proselytization by communist agitators. Neither Peltier nor Abu-Jamal are "political prisoners", no matter how many times their supporters argue the point. They are criminals and murderers, and nothing can change the facts.

Restorative Justice: Establish a humane criminal sanction system based on prevention, restitution, rehabilitation, and reconciliation rather than vengeance, forced labor, and profits for the Prison-Industrial Complex. Restore full funding for college degree granting programs in state and federal prisons. Jobs and justice, not more police and prisons.

Ooooh, the "Prison-Industrial Complex". I suppose that UNICOR (the federal prison job corps) is totally different from the massive public-works projects envisioned by the Greens. Jobs and Justice is a cool sound bite, but it is meaningless when discussing the murderers, rapists, arsonists, armed robbers, embezzlers, and swindlers who are in jail. Or do you feel that Dennis Kozlowski is also a poltical prisoner who should be free?

Legal Aid: Expand funding of legal aid and public defender programs so all people can have competent legal representation.

Why not socialize the legal profession? They want to socialize damn near everything else.

Fight Corporate Crime: Strengthen laws and enforcement against corporate crime with penalties that include incarceration of executives and revocation of corporate charters.

It's already happening, without more laws. Enforcement of existing laws should always come before adding new laws.

Oppose Tort Reform that Limits Class Action Lawsuits and Caps Victims' Compensation: The threat of high victim compensation awards by civil juries must be maintained as an important deterrent to corporate crime.

Of course, the lawyers support this, as long as it's not tied to that pesky "Maximum Wage" thing discussed in the previous post.

Civil Liberties: Support the Bill of Rights. No compromise on civil liberties and due process for "national security," "anti-terrorism," or "the war on drugs." Repeal the 1994 Crime and 1996 Anti-Terrorism bills. End domestic political spying by police, military, and intelligence agencies.

Support the bill of rights, except for the Second, Ninth, and Tenth amendments. The War on (some) Drugs is a valid target for repeal, but the crime and anti-terrorism bills are useful.

NOTE: This document predates the WTC and Pentagon Terrorism attacks, so I don't know if they have changed their plank. This was on the official site as of 22 June 2003, however, so I have to assume that they have not changed their platform on this issue.

End the "War on Drugs:" Decriminalize possession of drugs. Regulate and tax drug distribution. Release nonviolent drug war prisoners. Treat drug abuse as a health problem, not a criminal problem. Drug abuse treatment on demand.

As indicated, I support ending the "War on (some) Drugs". I do not support treatment on demand, however. Drug abuse and its consequences need to be the responsibility of the individual, not the government. Drug abuse is only a criminal problem if they conduct another crime while under the influence, in which case they should be punished accordingly.

posted on June 22, 2003 03:47 PM


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