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sarongsong
2005-Nov-30, 05:25 PM
November 23, 2005 (http://abcnews.go.com/US/LegalCenter/story?id=1322751)
"...[Judge] Cicconetti said he began offering creative sentencing when he was getting lots of cases of people speeding in school zones. Eventually he got sick of it, and thought why not force these people to confront the danger they are creating?..."

Jim
2005-Nov-30, 06:55 PM
Well, he could have given her the option of being spayed.

Most of his alternative sentences sound pretty appropriate. We have creative judges here, too, though some of their sentences...
As a judge, he received publicity for creative sentencing, such as the punishment for a 66-year-old music teacher accused of fondling two students. Poe ordered the teacher not to play the piano for 20 years.
Seems like it would have better to keep her hands busy.

Gullible Jones
2005-Nov-30, 09:32 PM
I don't know... I really, really don't like the way this could head.

Swift
2005-Nov-30, 10:12 PM
I am very familiar with this case and this judge, since he is a judge in the county I live in and the crime (and punishment) was in the park system I volunteer with. The judge is very well known in the greater Cleveland area. IIRC, the creative sentences are all for misdemeanors or relatively minor felonies - we're not talking death penalty cases here.

Personally, I think it is a great idea. One of the benefits, not mentioned in that article, is that they free up jail space, an issue with over-crowded jails.

LurchGS
2005-Nov-30, 10:29 PM
sounds slick, yup! I like it


Though overcrowded jails is an oxymoron in my book. I *really*like the sheriff in ... phoenix? albequerque? move all his prisoners to a tent city ouside of town. No TV, no A/C, etc... when people complained it was inhumane. His response was essentially "Our soldiers in the gulf don't live THIS well. shut up!"

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-30, 10:31 PM
sounds slick, yup! I like it


Though overcrowded jails is an oxymoron in my book. I *really*like the sheriff in ... phoenix? albequerque? move all his prisoners to a tent city ouside of town. No TV, no A/C, etc... when people complained it was inhumane. His response was essentially "Our soldiers in the gulf don't live THIS well. shut up!"

Right, because torturing prisoners is okay as long as it's only a certain kind of torture or unless they're a suspected terrorist. I mean, who cares? They're all prisoners; doesn't matter what they're in for -- they're prisoners! Who cares what kind of conditions they have to live in, right?

Also, how the hell is "overcrowded jails" an oxymoron in your book? You're all for stuffing as many people in a single location as possible? When would enough be enough?

sarongsong
2005-Nov-30, 10:41 PM
...I *really*like the sheriff in ... phoenix?...Yup, Arizona's Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0114052pinkcuffs1.html), also noted for issuing pink prisoner accessories.

LurchGS
2005-Nov-30, 10:42 PM
Right, because torturing prisoners is okay as long as it's only a certain kind of torture or unless they're a suspected terrorist. I mean, who cares? They're all prisoners; doesn't matter what they're in for -- they're prisoners! Who cares what kind of conditions they have to live in, right?

Also, how the hell is "overcrowded jails" an oxymoron in your book? You're all for stuffing as many people in a single location as possible? When would enough be enough?

how is living in a tent with no A/C or TV torture?

I admit I spoke out of turn re the oxymoron. But I damn well don't like the idea that convicted criminals get some variant of cable TV, including the playboy channel, and eat better than my kids do at school (yes, it happens). They're *criminals*, in a prison. There should be a significant difference between that and low income housing, with the *good* side being LIH.

Having been into a jail or two and a prison (not as an inmate, thank you), I'd rather live there than in Cabrini Green (Chicago)

Whatever happened to the concept of prison as punishment, instead of mere confinement?

Grey
2005-Nov-30, 10:44 PM
I don't know... I really, really don't like the way this could head.I noticed that in the cases mentioned, the "alternative" punishment was always offered as a choice to the defendant, reducing or eliminating the punishment they would otherwise receive. I can indeed see how this could get out of hand, but as long as the choice is there, I don't think it would be a problem.

ToSeek
2005-Nov-30, 11:10 PM
This thread is getting borderline. Please watch both the content of the discussion and the language.

Swift
2005-Nov-30, 11:12 PM
I noticed that in the cases mentioned, the "alternative" punishment was always offered as a choice to the defendant, reducing or eliminating the punishment they would otherwise receive. I can indeed see how this could get out of hand, but as long as the choice is there, I don't think it would be a problem.
IIRC, that is how the judge always does it, and I believe there have been people who have picked the "traditional" punishment.

There is the idea that instead of "punishing" people, particular if they are young and this is a first offense, that we should be "teaching them a leason", and not in the sense of punishment, but in showing them the error of their ways, with the hope they will change. Often it is showing the consequences of their actions. I like that idea.

Doodler
2005-Nov-30, 11:34 PM
how is living in a tent with no A/C or TV torture?

I admit I spoke out of turn re the oxymoron. But I damn well don't like the idea that convicted criminals get some variant of cable TV, including the playboy channel, and eat better than my kids do at school (yes, it happens). They're *criminals*, in a prison. There should be a significant difference between that and low income housing, with the *good* side being LIH.

Having been into a jail or two and a prison (not as an inmate, thank you), I'd rather live there than in Cabrini Green (Chicago)

Whatever happened to the concept of prison as punishment, instead of mere confinement?

Whatever happened to confinement BEING punishment? Should we use Abu Ghraib as a model for prisons here in the States? Starve'em to keep them docile? Why not turn off indoor plumbing while you're at it and go back to a latrine bucket?

Comparing prison to low income housing is false logic. What people do to themselves of their own free will through their own ignorance, vice, or dumb luck in the free world is inconsequential to the conditions under which we should hold prisoners serving time or awaiting trial. Keep that in mind, not everyone in a prison is necessarily guilty, there is still this little hang up in the US about due process. You've got to actually convict them before you can beat them.

You do realize this cowboy sheriff is also holding suspects and prisoners awaiting trial in those conditions and not just convicts? This guy's running a county lock up, not everyone he ends up handling is a hardened con or even guilty in the first place. This guy's not as popular with locals as you might imagine, remember, its some of their relatives that have to deal with this poon when he has them in custody. That kind of holding facility is utterly inappropriate for most common offenses that end up before a county sheriff, even then, he does NOT have the right to play judge, jury and executioner BEFORE trial. Most county prisons are just that, HOLDING FACILITIES. Unless you get a judge ordering you to suffer some consequence, police officials don't have the right to do ANYTHING but stick you in a pen till someone in authority determines your fate.

Remember presumption of innocence? May it rest in peace, because its sure as heck resting in pieces. That kind of nonsense doesn't breed low recidivism, it breeds resentment, and it breeds anger. He can play the leather tough cowboy till his little heart's content, but he's only exacerbating the problem by being a cheap bully.

As much as some people in prison make me want to break out a baseball bat and work on my golf stroke with their kneecaps, the fact remains how we treat the worst of us defines just how far we've advanced as a culture. Yes, there is a point where you go TOO far in making prison comfortable, but turning the clock BACK is not the answer either. If you want to go that route, just go back to mass hangings. Better to kill them and be done with it than lock'em up in miserable conditions. Because what you're looking at releasing after spending time in the good sheriff's custody is not someone who's going to be a happy camper, and someone who's already survived "Hell", so unless you intend to let bully boy psychologically break them (something typically only accomplished through torture), then you're looking at putting someone out on the street with a grudge and no fear of the worst you can throw at him.

Have fun with that one.

LurchGS
2005-Dec-01, 12:00 AM
Whatever happened to confinement BEING punishment? Should we use Abu Ghraib as a model for prisons here in the States? Starve'em to keep them docile? Why not turn off indoor plumbing while you're at it and go back to a latrine bucket?


The importat point is that they were being treated better than our military on the ground overseas.



Comparing prison to low income housing is false logic. What people do to themselves of their own free will through their own ignorance, vice, or dumb luck in the free world is inconsequential to the conditions under which we should hold prisoners serving time or awaiting trial. Keep that in mind, not everyone in a prison is necessarily guilty, there is still this little hang up in the US about due process. You've got to actually convict them before you can beat them.


and going to prison isn't a result of free choice? Joe Badguy didn't HAVE to rob that 7-11. Jim Bob Gunner didnt HAVE to carry that 5 kilos of cocain in his car...

Everybody in prison is guilty by definition. There are a FEW who didn't commit the crime they were convicted of, and what I'm hearing suggest that even that small number is shrinking.



You do realize this cowboy sheriff is also holding suspects and prisoners awaiting trial in those conditions and not just convicts? This guy's running a county lock up, not everyone he ends up handling is a hardened con or even guilty in the first place. This guy's not as popular with locals as you might imagine, remember, its some of their relatives that have to deal with this poon when he has them in custody. That kind of holding facility is utterly inappropriate for most common offenses that end up before a county sheriff, even then, he does NOT have the right to play judge, jury and executioner BEFORE trial. Most county prisons are just that, HOLDING FACILITIES. Unless you get a judge ordering you to suffer some consequence, police officials don't have the right to do ANYTHING but stick you in a pen till someone in authority determines your fate.


When I got the story it was presented as a prison. Jail is for pre-trial holding and minor offenses, prison is for convicts. Period.



Remember presumption of innocence? May it rest in peace, because its sure as heck resting in pieces. That kind of nonsense doesn't breed low recidivism, it breeds resentment, and it breeds anger. He can play the leather tough cowboy till his little heart's content, but he's only exacerbating the problem by being a cheap bully.


Y'know - I don't think either of us has looked at his alternatives.



As much as some people in prison make me want to break out a baseball bat and work on my golf stroke with their kneecaps, the fact remains how we treat the worst of us defines just how far we've advanced as a culture. Yes, there is a point where you go TOO far in making prison comfortable, but turning the clock BACK is not the answer either. If you want to go that route, just go back to mass hangings. Better to kill them and be done with it than lock'em up in miserable conditions. Because what you're looking at releasing after spending time in the good sheriff's custody is not someone who's going to be a happy camper, and someone who's already survived "Hell", so unless you intend to let bully boy psychologically break them (something typically only accomplished through torture), then you're looking at putting someone out on the street with a grudge and no fear of the worst you can throw at him.

Have fun with that one.

I doubt anybody who's been though that bears a particular grudge. Relatives might, I grant you. And I would suggest that the thought of going BACK to an uncomfortable situation like that may well give at least a few people pause. It would, I think, depend on the why of it all, which I don't know.

Personally, I LIKE the idea of public hangings and public floggings. embarrassment is an effective tool - particularly for first time offenders, I should think - far more so than putting somebody in a box for x days or months. It's probably too late to return to flogging, though - way too many parents have effectively disowned their children these days.

Parrothead
2005-Dec-01, 12:40 AM
Up here, we had an ad exec convicted of stealing $1.5 million from taxpayers, sentenced to house arrest and giving lectures on ethics to university students.

Swift
2005-Dec-01, 12:49 AM
Up here, we had an ad exec convicted of stealing $1.5 million from taxpayers, sentenced to house arrest and giving lectures on ethics to university students.
Proving, in my opinion, that there is a difference between creative and he-got-off-way-to-easy.

SolusLupus
2005-Dec-01, 01:32 AM
The importat point is that they were being treated better than our military on the ground overseas.

The military on the ground overseas not only do not have a choice in the conditions they sleep in (they willingly signed up for the military, but after that, they have no choice in the conditions), but they would also prefer not to sleep in tents without A/C. Also, they're put into those positions by circumstance (either training or that it's necessary for their job). The comparison doesn't really fly.


and going to prison isn't a result of free choice? Joe Badguy didn't HAVE to rob that 7-11. Jim Bob Gunner didnt HAVE to carry that 5 kilos of cocain in his car...

Depends on the crime, I'd say. However, let's say that "they chose to do it"... which in most cases, it is a choice. Let's also say that they are guilty, instead of presuming that they were found guilty when they were really innocent. That doesn't justify willingly putting them in a situation that contitutes unfair treatment.

Also, I might add, there's a local Prison Warden here in Texas (I think), that forces his prisoners to work out in the sun, in horrid conditions; out in the heat, for hours on end, with no A/C to look forward to. Just because they're prisoners, doesn't mean we should go and torture them like that for no other reason than "They're prisoners". I don't think they should have videogames or cable television or anything that would be classified as a "luxury", but they also shouldn't be treated as less than dirt.


When I got the story it was presented as a prison. Jail is for pre-trial holding and minor offenses, prison is for convicts. Period.

I don't have the knowledge to dispute this, and I assume it's true anyways based on movies :P

Heid the Ba'
2005-Dec-01, 01:37 PM
Two things spring to mind here:

Firstly, if one judge in a jurisdiction is using creative sentencing and others aren't your sentence can become a lottery based on which judge pulls your case. This is why there are sentencing guidelines (however imperfect), so there is equality before the law. Even if the judge has offered a conventional sentence as an alternative that is still an option for the defendant who can choose the less onerous.

Tangentially, why is it important to have a mix of judges which reflect society? I don't mean any group should be excluded, but why should it be important to have a judge simply because they are hispanic/lesbian/etc. If they are competent their characteristics don't matter, if their characteristics are their defining quality then can they judge all parties fairly? Do you expect a hispanic (for example) judge to side with a hispanic party against a white party simply because of race? If not then the composition of the judiciary is irrelevant as long as none are excluded. If yes, then justice is a lottery based on finding a judge that likes your characteristics more than your opponents.

Secondly, what do you want your prisons to do? Are they a punishment, an attempt to reform, or simply a warehouse to keep the ne'erdowells off the streets? If a punishment then route marches in the desert achieve that purpose, if reform they may not.