Is Your News Cycle Rotting Your Brain?
It’s distinctly possible that Americans are being programmed to remain in a hyper-vigilant state of fear that is resulting in a subtle terror that pervades our relationship to society and each other. Your local news stations are responsible for inculcating this fear in everyday people who then go about their lives believing “crime is out of control” and we need to be “tough on crime”.
However, being “tough on crime” doesn’t actually have a solution set that we haven’t already considered. The solution set to “tough on crime” is longer sentences (these do not reduce crime) and producing more laws (which literally increases crime). So, in the scope of “tough on crime” rhetoric, the solution often becomes the problem.
No one says that they are “soft on crime”. That is simply a way of characterizing your opponent as “too forgiving” or not putting the safety of good, hard working Americans at the forefront of their political motives. Instead, it puts “criminals ahead of law abiding citizens.” Meanwhile, there are real problems with the criminal justice system and it’s hard to have a conversation about them in a debate that’s become polarized. It would be a bit like getting in the middle of two archaic Americans engrossed in a duel. Not where you want to be! Nonetheless, a voice of reason must emerge from this schema, and that voice must stand outside of the polarization.
Why bail reform?
When you consider this issue in terms of leverage, removing cash bail is an economic problem for the poor. It becomes possible to hold someone in jail on unprovable charges to leverage them into taking a plea even if prosecutors know the evidence is poor. So, if the poor person wants to fight the charges, avoid a criminal record, and get out of jail immediately, they must plead guilty.
One possibility for the poor is to take an Alford Plea, which means you’re pleading guilty, but not because you’re guilty, but rather because state force makes it more convenient to plead guilty. While an Alford Plea is possible, no one looks at a background check for Alford Pleas. And this serves to place poor people into a spot where it becomes more difficult for them to find employment, apply for loans, and more.
While proponents of cash bail say that it helps keep the public safe, it obviously doesn’t keep the public safe from rich people who can afford to pay bail. So, their arguments are not strong.
Why “defund the police”?
Bad rhetoric with a broader point underneath. Essentially, people are calling for the diversification of police services because too many good people in a mental health crisis are being managed as criminals. It’s to the point where families are avoiding services that engage police officers and instead taking on the danger themselves.
So, we need to fix things and we need to stop fearing crime as an abstraction before we can control it.
Talk to a Tallahassee Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Luke Newman, P.A. represents the interests of those charged with crimes in Tallahassee. Call a Tallahassee criminal lawyer at our office today to schedule an appointment and we can discuss defense strategy immediately.