Sunday, October 7, 2012

Prisoner Production Measures

Over the past five decades America has been invested in an ongoing policy aimed at, of all things, cleansing our society of every imagined threat to our 200 year old Victorian-style morality, or to our 2000 year old religious based 10 commandment code of conduct. During the process of cleaning up our society we have made victimless crimes our number one priority. We have built thousands of prisons and jails sufficient to accommodate an influx of millions of new inmates, staffed them with hundreds of thousands of jailers, and then massively increased government payrolls for local and federal law enforcement officers to feed the funnel.

Court officials oblige the need for an ever growing prison population by sending everyone not financially able to afford an adequate defense to jail. If the truth were known, our court-appointed system for defending indigent defendants is a farce. Think about it. Why would any legislative body vote to spend as much money to defend the accused as they do to prosecute the accused? That sounds self defeating to me. They might lose as many or more cases than they win which would be an in our tax payer face obvious huge loss to society and a good reason to stop prosecuting victimless crimes in the first place.

Nationwide statistics on time invested per case by public defenders on behalf of their clients indicates that court-appointed attorneys, on average, provide less than 8 seconds per defendant on any one case; this statistic includes capital murder cases where the death penalty could be in play. Folks, money talks, and most public defenders are dump trucks whose real job is to speed the accused into jail, not to keep them out.

Bottom line, if you are broke you are going to jail.

We could save the taxpayers in this country a fortune if we weren't concerned with providing the appearance of a fair trial. This is one of the best, or worst, arguments in favor of a dictatorship (what I say is what is true!). Image is everything in a democratic society and unless you can control your image by controlling the media you had better appear to be on the right side of law enforcement and the wrong side of crime (even if you are one of its biggest beneficiaries!).

This process seems to be irreversible. At any given time only about 2% of our society is behind bars, or in the system, so most of us feel immune to prosecution. Our society, however, delights in seeing our neighbors go to the gray bar hotel for no better reason than to provide fresh gossip for the coffeehouse. The interesting thing about the prisoner production process is that sooner or later it may expand to the point where it includes everyone.

By any objective world measure we are a jail happy and uniform crazy society. Our solution to the inevitable erosion of an obsolete moral code is to "fight another war" against any and all perceived immoral behavior. Legislators pass laws which they know will statistically slide another slice of our society into jail. Society rolls over on its brothers and sisters and accepts yet another limit to the freedom of expression here in America.

Fellow Americans, we have been so successful at identifying and prosecuting nonviolent victimless offenders of obsolete morality statutes that fully 86% of our prison inmates are in jail for victimless crimes. We are spending 2 billion a week prosecuting and incarcerating, for the most part, pot and sex offenders, whose only crime is sharing a different moral code of conduct than our legislators act like they adhere to.

If you follow the headlines in any given week you could get the very real impression that the lawyers who write the laws don't follow their own laws. If Congress was held to a strict honor code and members were forced to admit to their own law violations I wouldn't care to guess how many congressmen would remain seated, but I can guarantee that the members remaining wouldn't amount to a quorum.

As more and more citizens become outraged by the massive amount of money being squandered by law enforcement officials hypocritically trying to enforce antique moral codes of conduct still on the books, legislators will be forced to find fresh meat (legislate a new class of imagined offenders) to prosecute. Until citizens everywhere realize they are being swindled on a massive nationwide prison scam, more and more of our money will be wasted on harvesting new and different slices of society to feed our prison system.

The next time a politician puts pen to paper it could be your own slice of vice on the line and your own freedom in jeopardy. Beware!

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