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February 18, 2008


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One of the byproduts of the left's obsession with the death penalty is that extremely long sentences are handed out every day to nonviolent and young offenders. Folks that could be given a second chance at age 30, 40, or 50, are in jail until natural death or extremely old age. It's a waste of resources; it ignores that folks over 40 or so offend less by an order of magnitude; and it's just "ink on the page" for legislatures pursuing poorly constructed "three strikes" laws and other tools.

I believe there's good reason to put violent, recidivist, sociopaths in prinson a very long time. But that's not true of every mule found with crack. Here in Florida, we have a law that says if you reoffend within X years of release for a felony you get the statutory max for a reoffense. Well, for armed robbery, that's life. I watched someone get sentenced to life at age 24 for an "armed robbery" with a "bb gun" because he had stolen some cars when was 19 and got out. Sure, he deserved time, maybe 10 years, but natural life is a total waste for every interested party involved, including the State of Florida.


The problem, Roach, with comments like "I watched someone get sentenced to life at age 24 for an "armed robbery" with a "bb gun"..." is that they often overlook the statistical realities of criminality.

That is, for every burglary for which one is caught/arrested, the deeper statistics reveal that the offender likely burglarized two or three other times when he wasn't caught.

Steal once and get away with it is a perfect formula for steal again, eventually to get caught. Call it House odds.

Surely you'd agree that Mr. bb-gun man, who at age 19 stole a car, probably enagaged in just a few other crimes that you don't know about. Probably dozens truth be told.

So before you cry, even if it's a cri de coeur, for the putative miscarriage of justice that befell your fellow Floridian, take some measure in knowing that he likely takes with him unpunished crimes.

As most of us do in our little journey.


It's true, but natural life is an extremely harsh penalty, especially with no parole possibility even after 30 or 40 or 50 years.

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