Crime, excessive punishment, and injustice

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ddxxdd
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Crime, excessive punishment, and injustice

Postby ddxxdd » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:48 am UTC

A few days ago, I got pulled over for driving 86mph (134kph) on a 55mph (88.5kph) highway. I do it all the time, cars around me do it all the time, and the average speed people actually drive on that highway is 70mph. A state trooper pulled me over, acting furious, and threatened to take away my driver's license for 30 days. For speeding. He was talking to me like I was a criminal.

This got me interested in the topic unjust and unfair punishment:
~I read about this case where a mother got 8 years in jail for giving alcohol to minors (in an exercise to teach them responsible drinking).
~I read about this case where a judge sentences a woman to 2 years in jail for throwing a plastic McDonalds cup at an irresponsible driver.
~I've known about this case where a judge sentenced a 17 year old boy to 10 years in jail for having consensual oral sex with his girlfriend (oddly enough, if he merely had sexual intercourse with her, he would have been innocent of all charges).
~Edit: And I've recently read about this case, where a judge jailed a minor for 3 months for making a fake myspace with her vice principal, with the words "this is a joke" on the bottom. The judge was later convicted of receiving money from juvenile centers for giving excessive punishments.

And in all these cases, these innocent people like you and me become convicted felons, and become ostracized from our society for the rest of their lives. What do all of you think of this?

(P.S. The state trooper let me off with a warning because I'm in the military and I was wearing a full uniform. Being in the service has its benefits :D )
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heydonms
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Re: Crime, excessive punishment, and injustice

Postby heydonms » Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:29 am UTC

This. This is quote sniping. If you think you've made your point, let alone the coherent argument we desire in SB, you have not. Please familiarize yourself with the Serious Business rules at your earliest convenience.

-Az
Spoiler:
ddxxdd wrote:A few days ago, I got pulled over for driving 86mph (134kph) on a 55mph (88.5kph) highway.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but that would be illegal in most places.

ddxxdd wrote:I do it all the time, cars around me do it all the time, and the average speed people actually drive on that highway is 70mph.

While that may make it safer to be speeding, it doesn't make it any more legal.

ddxxdd wrote:He was talking to me like I was a criminal.

Hate to break it to you, but based on the fact that you just admitted to breaking the law...you are a criminal.

ddxxdd wrote:~I read about this case where a mother got 8 years in jail for giving alcohol to minors (in an exercise to teach them responsible drinking).

Giving your own kids a small glass of wine at dinner might count as teaching them responsible drinking, I'm not so sure about buying $360 worth of alcohol for other peoples kids without telling them though.

A jail term does seem rather excessive, but how hard is it let the parents know before hand? At that point, it becomes their responsibility to decide whether or not the kids are going to be allowed to attend.

ddxxdd wrote:~I read about this case where a judge sentences a woman to 2 years in jail for throwing a plastic McDonalds cup at an irresponsible driver.

She became abusive and threw stuff at another car (for which the recommended sentence is between 2 and 5 years), the judge obviously felt there were extenuating circumstances and put her on probation (no prison term) as a result. It sounds like the other car was driving dangerously, but I don't see how throwing stuff helps the situation. I can see why it would be illegal to throw things at cars.

ddxxdd wrote:~I've known about this case where a judge sentenced a 17 year old boy to 10 years in jail for having consensual oral sex with his girlfriend


Laws relating to age of consent are problematic, you will never please everyone and those that aren't pleased will tend to be rather vocal about it. While it appears as though the laws on the books in Georgia might be worse than elsewhere the fact that he was released a week after the story was published implies that someone with a bit of power is working to fix things.

Regardless of whether or not the laws are just, at 17 (or 15) I would think most people would be aware of their existence and would have to make their own decision as to whether or not they want to break them.

ddxxdd wrote:(oddly enough, if he merely had sexual intercourse with her, he would have been innocent of all charges).

He would have been innocent of all *those* charges, but guilty on different (albeit less serious) charges.

ddxxdd wrote:~Edit: And I've recently read about this case, where a judge jailed a minor for 3 months for making a fake myspace with her vice principal, with the words "this is a joke" on the bottom. The judge was later convicted of receiving money from juvenile centers for giving excessive punishments.


This is an extreme abuse of power and fortunately it looks like it is being dealt with. Hopefully they will look into why this happened and work towards preventing similar incidents.

ddxxdd wrote:And in all these cases, these innocent people like you and me become convicted felons, and become ostracized from our society for the rest of their lives.


"innocent people"? With the exception of the MySpace girl, none of the people above were innocent.

ddxxdd wrote:What do all of you think of this?


I think you are pissed off that you normally get away with speeding and now you have been called on it. You are trying to make it look like the judicial system is broken so that you no longer have to take responsibility for your own actions. "You were in the right to be speeding, those damn cops are out to get us!"

Actually the MySpace case does mean that the system is rather broken, the ability to bribe people to get someone put in jail is certainly disturbing. However that is a relatively special situation and I don't see how it would apply to any of the other cases.

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TheSkyMovesSideways
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Re: Crime, excessive punishment, and injustice

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:45 am UTC

heydonms wrote:
ddxxdd wrote:A few days ago, I got pulled over for driving 86mph (134kph) on a 55mph (88.5kph) highway.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but that would be illegal in most places.

Instant loss of license (as is anything more than 30km/h over the limit) around these parts...

... and?
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muktowngiant68
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Re: Crime, excessive punishment, and injustice

Postby muktowngiant68 » Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:08 am UTC

ok as a police officer i would be more than glad to help out and answer some questions if that post was more coherent and if a simple question was asked. Bit of advice to you, just because a whore gives blow-jobs for 5 dollars doesn't mean you should too...... unless you like it that way?

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I'm letting you off with a warning.

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This time.

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masher
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Re: Crime, excessive punishment, and injustice

Postby masher » Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:22 am UTC

heydonms wrote:
ddxxdd wrote:A few days ago, I got pulled over for driving 86mph (134kph) on a 55mph (88.5kph) highway.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but that would be illegal in most places.


45.5 km/h over the limit.

10 demerit points and loss of licence.

It's not just you, but did I miss the invitation to turn an SB thread into Let's Share Tidbits About Traffic Laws Without Adding Anything Meaningful to the Discourse?

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seladore
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Re: Crime, excessive punishment, and injustice

Postby seladore » Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:07 am UTC

I actually think that the speeding offence is the worst of those that you listed.

There are speed limits for a reason, and this is because speeding kills people. Like, all the time.

Like, could you cite some sources?

Marquee Moon
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Re: Crime, excessive punishment, and injustice

Postby Marquee Moon » Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:10 am UTC

ddxxdd wrote:A few days ago, I got pulled over for driving 86mph (134kph) on a 55mph (88.5kph) highway. I do it all the time, cars around me do it all the time, and the average speed people actually drive on that highway is 70mph. A state trooper pulled me over, acting furious, and threatened to take away my driver's license for 30 days. For speeding. He was talking to me like I was a criminal.


Sounds like that area has a serious speeding problem and the police are trying put a stop to it. Lots of people are driving recklessly just means the chance of crashing increases and the chance of someone dieing in a crash increases. Obviously this is a bad thing, so the police are handing out tougher punishments to get people to drive safely. If lots of people start doing X, and you want them to not do X, should you a)increase the punishment for doing X or b) decrease the punishment for doing X?

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Re: Crime, excessive punishment, and injustice

Postby Dream » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:01 am UTC

ddxxdd wrote:A state trooper pulled me over, acting furious, and threatened to take away my driver's license for 30 days. For speeding. He was talking to me like I was a criminal.


Well, what did you expect? You didn't end up in court, so you can't complain about lack of discretion and leniency on the part of the trooper. Do you think he's doing his job if he not only lets you off, but doesn't even give you any grief while doing it? He spoke to you like a criminal because he wanted you to understand very clearly that you were being treated leniently in this case, but that speeding is a serious offence.

And yeah, 30 full miles per hour over the limit is very serious. Maybe most of the time a speed limit is about getting people to slow down in general, and you might not have been endangering anyone that one time. But sometimes it's about your immediate safety and that of those around you. You shouldn't decide these things on the fly while speeding on the roads concerned. Other times, well my girlfriend just passed her test today, and if you sped past her so far over the limit, you'd scare her shitless, and risk a serious accident for one or both of you. Just do't be so arrogant as to think you can decide when speeding is appropriate and when it isn't.

I agree with this:
heydonms wrote:You are trying to make it look like the judicial system is broken so that you no longer have to take responsibility for your own actions. "You were in the right to be speeding, those damn cops are out to get us!"

And pretty much everything else in that post.
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Re: Crime, excessive punishment, and injustice

Postby BeerBottle » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:24 am UTC

ddxxdd wrote:A few days ago, I got pulled over for driving 86mph (134kph) on a 55mph (88.5kph) highway. I do it all the time...
I'm assuming you are from the USA. I'm from the UK. According to statistics I found on a UK gov't website1 in the US in 2007 there were around 41,000 deaths on the road. I couldn't find information on how many of those were speed related, but for the UK the figure is around 25%2, and if it's about the same in the US, that's about 10,000 deaths per year because people can't stick to the speed limit. So sorry, but intentionally doing something which is against the law which kills 10,000 people a year nationwide should make you a criminal, by the letter and spirit of the law.
ddxxdd wrote:P.S. The state trooper let me off with a warning because I'm in the military and I was wearing a full uniform. Being in the service has its benefits :D
Nothing like equality before the law is there.

EDIT: But if you are actually interested in real injustices why not have a look at the Amnesty International website (www.amnesty.org.uk)

1. http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/da ... at1849.pdf

2. http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/da ... ritain2005

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Re: Crime, excessive punishment, and injustice

Postby michaelandjimi » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:51 am UTC

Also, ddxxdd, even if everyone is breaking the law at once, they'll never stop it from happening if they don't start instilling knowledge and fear of the law into some people. It's not going to work that everyone magically becomes law-abiding, they have to take it in degrees.
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Re: Crime, excessive punishment, and injustice

Postby Azrael » Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:03 pm UTC

Really?

Massive thread failure.


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