To Catch, and Release, a Thief – The War on Property Continues

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Free Bernie Maddoff!  That should be the rallying cry all across the land.  He was only guilty of a property crime and it should be reduced to a misdemeanor, so that he can resume his rightful place in society.  At least that is the logical extension of the insane revamping of the criminal codes  going on up and down the liberal precincts in various blue-shaded areas of the nation.

Clearly one of the motivating factors is cost,” said Alison Shames, associate
director of the Center on Sentencing and Corrections for the Vera
Institute of Justice
, an advocacy group. “States are looking at the numbers
of people in prison for property crimes and asking themselves a simple question:
Does everybody really need to be there?”

Crimes that do not meet the higher thresholds would be
charged as misdemeanors or lower-level felonies. Prior to the new legislation,
some offenders could have been prosecuted as felons for thefts of as little as
$50 (in Oregon), less than the $62 per day average cost to house a state
prisoner in the U.S.

In Illinois, the threshold for general felony theft was
raised from $300 to $500 and retail theft (theft specifically from retail
stores) from $150 to $300. The new felony theft thresholds took effect earlier
this year.

 

This trend of not prosecuting, or reducing the status of “non-violent” crimes is being pushed by social justice and anti-capitalist and anarchist groups all across the land. The original thought was to push it in the name of “fairness” and “compassion” and “not wanting to saddle someone with a record for a non-violent act.”  Well, we could refer  those groups, and their clueless adherents and useful idiots, to the US Constitution and State constitutions all across the land and tell them, if they were interested, which they’re not, that the protection of one’s property in these United States is just as important, and just as much a constitutional right, as for people to have the protection of their persons, their physical being.

Note above how ‘The State’ is going to tell private citizens that, for example, if their property isn’t appraised  (by The State, we assume) for more than $500, the scumbag who stole it from them is going to walk.  Let’s say the victim, like a lot of people  out here in everyday land, doesn’t have much more than a pot in which to urinate, and it’s only valued at $250. Well his net worth might be laughable to some, but that’s all he had in this world, and somebody stole it from him.  Now cry me a river over the little old men and the little old ladies and the little old liberals who lost hundreds of thousands, millions, just absolutely everything they had in the way of  gambling money, cash and securities, dontchaknow, to Bernie Maddoff.   Tell me why I , or the theft victim illustrated above, should care.

And then there’s this other matter, this “retail theft” thing.  We assume that’s the hoodzie-type boys going in and lifting those Apple thingies and boom boxes and backpacks full of MP3s.  Wouldn’t want to saddle those upstanding youts with a criminal record either, now would we?  Of course, the retail owner might just as well put a sign in the window saying “I’ll be out of business soon due to changes in State Law.  Here is a list of some of the less-pricey items you may walk in and take out at your leisure without fear of punishment.  Have fun!”    Deterrence?  What’s that?  We don’t need no stinking deterrence!  The retailers will just pay higher insurance rates with bigger deductibles to cover all the goods streaming out of the shops unpaid for.

But it’s not just about not wanting to give scumbag thieves the bad name of “felon”, the advocates say.  It’s about the cost, see.  It just costs too much to prosecute crooks and keep them locked up.  Just wondering out loud here – How much did it cost to prosecute Bernie Maddoff?  But the trick is getting bi-partisan support.  Hey, no problem!  Here comes your friendly neighborhood Republican right there in  Montana  to take the bait and run with it:

In Montana, Republican state Sen. Jim Shockley was the primary sponsor of 2009
legislation that raised the threshold dollar amount on felony theft from $1,000
to $1,500. “You have to account for inflation,” Shockley said. “The cost of
everything goes up. We’re hoping that there will be savings, if this results in
prosecuting fewer felons. One public cost that people don’t think much about is
the practical effect of convicting non-violent offenders as felons. Once a
person has a felony record, the chances of finding future employment are
essentially shot.”

You have to account for inflation, see, when you’re weighing whether to fight crime or not. And Big Jim Shockley, not wanting to appear mean spirited, to the criminals at least, lends his support to the “criminals will seek gainful employment and give up their wicked ways if we just don’t treat them too badly and refrain from branding them as criminals” motif.    But Big Jim is right about one thing – most people don’t think about the cost of prosecuting and imprisoning criminals because most people see the government as involving itself in all kinds of social welfare business, at staggering cost if they stopped to think about it, instead of what should be the government’s primary role of keeping them safe from predators, both violent and non-violent.

Property crimes, drug crimes, non-violent crimes – they’re not really crimes at all, don’t you see?  They’re just people making…..mistakes.  Yeah, that’s it, mistakes.  So here’s the thought:  People learn from their mistakes right?  They’ll learn, don’t worry.  Just don’t call them felons.  Call them misdemeanants.  They’ll feel better about it and you will too, although you’ll have a few less pots to ……well, you know.

It is not the dollar amounts, it’s not the designation “Class A Felony” or “Class B Misdemeanor”.  It’s not even the sentencing guidelines or considerations for bail, parole or anything else.  It’s the slow erosion of law and order, the wanton disregard for property and possession.  It’s the constant, unrelenting, asinine excuse and dismissal of aberrant behavior.  And it’s the anarchistic prelude to totalitarian takeover.

 

Oh, and did we mention the War on the Ten Commandments?

 

 

 

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bobmontgomery
Poor. No advanced degrees. Unorganized. Feeble. Disjointed. Random. Past it. .... Intrigued, Interested, Patriotic and Lucky.

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LadyImpactOhio
November 3, 2011 11:57 pm

Wow Bob. Great article. You’ve really been on a roll lately with those rants. Keep up the good work! Yeh, Rezko wants out of jail early too. https://theamericansurvivalguide.com/showthread.php?5542-Philanthropic-businessman-wants-out-of-jail-early-because-he-helped-bring-some-people-to-the-forefront via Kenny S. You aren’t gonna believe his argument 😀

nessa
Editor
November 4, 2011 10:48 am

The annual cost of shoplifting is estimated at 13 Billion Dollars nationally. 35 Million a day. I wonder who pays for all those stolen goods? The businesses raise the prices on everything to make up for the “shrink.” Oh, that’s why it doesn’t matter, its just us, the honest shoppers also known as taxpayers. Everyone knows we don’t need our money.

civil truth
November 4, 2011 12:13 pm

The fundamental problem is that we’ve been breaking the 2nd Commandment for generations in order to punish people breaking the 8th Commandment*, and now the chickens are coming home to roost. So if economics make us take another look at our criminal justice system, that’s a good start.

Unfortunately, it looks like our leaders just want to silence the alarm bell rather than figure out what’s shorting out the system.

*We might also consider how we enforce Commandments 4, 6, 7, 9, and 10, historically and today.