Sen. Todd Lakey, R-Nampa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, should rethink his stated intention to deny a hearing for a bill reforming Idaho’s mandatory minimum sentencing system.
The bill is a bipartisan piece of legislation cosponsored by Rep. Bryan Zollinger, R-Idaho Falls, and Rep. Ilana Rubel, D-Boise. It passed the House in a 48-21 vote Monday.
But Lakey has indicated he won’t give the bill a hearing in the Senate, killing it while ducking a debate about an important issue facing the state. Instead, he plans to introduce his own, greatly watered-down version of the bill.
There’s an argument that the policy expertise of experienced chairmen can prevent bad legislation from passing, and that may be valid in some cases. But Lakey’s position flies in the face of most available evidence on this issue, undermining any claim to expertise he might make.
Decades of research on deterrence in the criminal justice system lead to a clear conclusion: Longer sentences don’t deter crime. Rather, what deters crime is the certainty of apprehension and punishment.
You’re likely to get a much greater reduction in drug trafficking by catching lots of drug dealers and giving them lighter sentences than by catching a few and sentencing them harshly.
Researchers have also dug deep to find whether longer prison stays reduce the risk that a convict will re-offend. Generally, those studies have found that a longer prison stay either has no detectable effect on recidivism rates or that a longer prison stay increases the risk of recidivism.
But tying judges’ hands to force longer sentences does have one predictable effect: It causes an explosion in the prison population. As a result of “tough on crime” mandatory minimum sentences throughout the nation, the U.S. has far and away the world’s highest incarceration rate. It’s about 20 percent higher than Cuba’s rate, nearly twice as high as Russia’s and almost six times as high as China’s.
Even El Salvador, a country beset by gangs with a murder rate 10 times higher than the U.S., has a lower incarceration rate.
More comparable societies, like England, France and Germany, typically have an incarceration rate that’s between one-fifth and one-tenth of ours. Despite their comparative laxity in sentencing, they generally have much lower crime rates as well.
Idaho’s prisons are so overcrowded that the state is paying a private prison company to house some 700 inmates at a facility in Texas. And the state has kicked around the idea of building a new prison. The estimated price-tag? Half a billion dollars. You could pay for a lot of additional law enforcement with that money. The total annual budget for the Idaho State Police last year was about $70 million.
In short, mandatory minimums are a great way of spending a lot of money and imposing a lot of pain, but they provide no clear benefit to society.
Lakey may disagree with the bill and the bulk of the empirical research, which clearly supports it. That’s fine. He should simply grant the bill a hearing, make his argument, and convince his committee to vote against it.
Unilaterally preventing Senate debate on a bipartisan, sensible piece of legislation that overwhelmingly passed the House, however, is unacceptable.
I am truly easy to make happy and this short haircut does it. My natural blond is on full display but nothing a 10 minute tube of color can’t fix
I have been published in the USobserver.com
go check it out
This is my first step toward my book being published
I am writing a book, my oldest going to jail has prompted me to put in writing all the things through out the years that moms deal with.
Title: Mad as Hell
A Moms Journey
Keep watching I will post a link to it once it is available. Truly it is my way of dealing with stress while educating and making people laugh
So today on my blog I am going to be serious because I’m mad as hell and need to talk about the legal system in this country.
Mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses is the most asinine law on the books to date and does nothing but cause massive overcrowding of all prisons and shifts power away from judges and into the hands of prosecutors.
If you don’t know what this is here’s a quick overview:
Mandatory minimum sentencing laws are laws which force a judge to hand down a minimum prison sentence for certain crimes, such as drug possession. These mandatory minimum sentences are set for possession of a drug over a certain amount and are set by Congress, not judges. Judges cannot lower these sentences, even for extenuating circumstances that would otherwise lessen the punishment.
This proves to be the biggest problem with mandatory minimum sentencing. Originally, these laws were passed to ensure that certain criminals served long prison sentences; these laws are cruel and ineffective. They have pointed out that these laws often unfairly target low-level offenders while the worst offenders tend to evade the system.
The saddest part of this whole equation is that this disproportionately impacts people of color.
Texas law assigns penalties based on the weight of certain types of drugs, dividing the drugs into penalty groups to determine the type of felony and punishment range.
In Texas, possessing less than 1 gram of cocaine is a state jail felony with up to 2 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Whereas possessing 1 – 4 grams is a 2nd degree felony with possible punishment of 2 – 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Under federal law, selling 28 grams of crack cocaine triggers a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison, regardless of what a judge believes is a fair sentence.
- 26 year old man with no criminal history:
- College graduate
- Given opioids by the truck load by doctors and coaches to be able to participate in athletics and “play through injuries”.
- Young man graduates but is a full blown prescription med addict, how could he not be?
- Can’t get prescriptions now so moves onto cheaper options to try and not be dope sick
- Young man arrested in Idaho with just over 2 grams of whatever drug for personal use
- Young man charged with drug trafficking and facing mandatory 3 years to life in prison based solely on amount of drug in his possession
- The prosecutor does not have to prove this person was selling
- The prosecutor does not care what circumstances led to the drug use
- Wasn’t the intent to use mandatory minimums against “kingpins” and “middle-level dealers,” not the minor offenders to whom they have been applied
You can be certain that I will be standing in front of the legislature during the upcoming joint session to scream as loudly as possible about this idiotic law and try to change the incarceration of drug users who need treatment not prison.
If we spent the amount of money on treatment that we do on the incarceration of nonviolent low level drug offenders due to mandatory minimums the prisons in the United States wouldn’t be bursting at the seams.
Here are some articles or you can do a google search and find thousands or outcry’s for change
My co-worker came in today so excited she was given a Rumba for Christmas.
This little gadget here: would be grounds for divorce in my house. Why you ask?
- Anyone who knows me is aware that I LOVE to vacuum.
- The only rooms in my house that have carpet are the bedrooms (which is both good and bad); the additional parts of the house have solid surface floors and throw rugs.
- I added the rugs to ensure that the floors didn’t get scratched and honestly to provide additional areas for me to clean.
- It baffles me that anyone would not want to vacuum, are you crazy?
- I think the all the new electronic gadgets have created a bunch of lazy folks who can’t bend over anymore, my observation of course
- Now Alexa is a whole other story, she can play music ha
- Each time I turn on the vacuum that sound gives me such joy
- I know that when I am done I get to see all the junk that has been sucked up
- Dog hair, food, dirt, etc. (you have a visual of what you have accomplished)
- The satisfaction of knowing how clean you have made the floors is great (this includes my cars)
- Stress relief, yes it works no Xanax for me
- Just think about it:
- No one can talk to me when I’m vacuuming
- The TV can’t be on because you can’t hear it
- Anything left out the night before has to be picked up so I can vacuum
- If you are sleeping, it’s time to get up
- If you put in your headphones you can vacuum with Pharrell (HAPPY)
- I have a valid reason to move the furniture
- Last week I was lying in bed at 2 am thinking about how I was going to rearrange the bedroom when we got up
- I know it’s a sickness don’t judge, ha
- FYI, My husband loves the new layout, win win
- Just think about it:
- I know that when I am done I get to see all the junk that has been sucked up
I work approximately 12 minutes from my house and go down one road, no freeway commute for me. I decided for Christmas I would get myself a cheap (you know I’m cheap right) commuter car and here it is a used 2011 Smart Car. It has this funky little manual/automatic transmission that would probably make most people crazy because it hesitates when shifting and if you want a zippy car this is NOT it but for me it is perfect. I can literally park anywhere and if it takes a while to get up to speed ok. I am certainly in no hurry at 5:30 am on my way in.
And the funnest thing is this little thing is convertible so in the summer it is going to be Great. Apple car play and cruise control, who would have thought. I sent a picture to my older brothers and they asked why I didn’t buy a bike with a motor, ha they are hilarious.
Anyway Super cute and fun and I will get it wrapped eventually with some crazy graphic.
My best friend is the beauty guru and her lashes are amazing. I have gone and had lash extensions that made me crazy because I felt like I couldn’t wash my face, my issue but I have to wash off mascara.
So a few weeks ago my girl brought over lashes and schooled me on how to put them in easily. Ha right this is a lie, big fat lie. She showed me in like 5 minutes just glue, place, etc. I was going to a party, it took me 5 tries, a tube of glue and a whole lot of laughing but got them on.
I’m sure this is easy if you put lashes on daily but for me this was hilarious and difficult. I love them but good lord help me….
My husband asks me all the time why I watch reality TV. He is like why would you just want to watch a bunch of people screaming and calling each others bitches, ha. Well let me explain:
- My life seems super chill when I see these bitches (their word, not mine) screaming at each other all the time
- I see so many saggy boobs in belly button cut tops and dresses that I feel like my assets look pretty fan friction tactic.
- my mom always told me to keep them guessing and only show what you got to those who deserve to see it (so so so true)
- I feel smart and like my vocabulary is super advanced, some of the words I don’t even know what they mean and that is a good thing
- I recognize how materialistic most of these people are and it makes me appreciate the fact that I don’t want or need a fancy bag, car, house to impress people who probably can’t stand me or can’t remember my name.
- As Dave Ramsey would say why do you need a fancy car to impress people at a stop light you don’t know ;0)
- My velvet back pack from Target gets lots of compliments
- I recognize what people I don’t want to be around and how I would never allow people to speak to me.
- We know our worth and treasure the fantastic people we call friends
- I have learned to love my face, now this is not to say I don’t get botox on the regular and I am not opposed to maintenance to enhance your features but when I see you and don’t know who you are because your nose is missing or your lips are so big they look like they are going to pop, too too much…
- Last if you married into money and don’t do anything to contribute to the bottom line but demand at every turn bigger and better homes, cars, etc. you need to go.
I am so glad I am just a normal working woman who lives a quiet simple fantastic life with lotsa love.