Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

So the people got sick of it, all those criminals being coddled by all those bleeding heart liberal judges with all their soft-headed concern for rights and rehabilitation. And a wave swept this country in the Reagan years, a wave ridden by pundits and politicians seeking power, a wave that said, no mercy, no more. From now on, judges would be severely limited in the sentences they could hand down for certain crimes, required to impose certain punishments whether or not they thought those punishments fit the circumstances at hand. From now on, there was a new mantra in American justice. From now on, we would be “tough on crime.”

We got tough on Jerry Dewayne Williams, a small-time criminal who stole a slice of pizza from a group of children. He got 25 years.

We got tough on Duane Silva, a guy with an IQ of 71 who stole a VCR and a coin collection. He got 30 to life.

We got tough on Dixie Shanahan, who shot and killed the husband who had beaten her for three days straight, punching her in the face, pounding her in the stomach, dragging her by the hair, because she refused to have an abortion. She got 50 years.

We got tough on Jeff Berryhill, who got drunk one night, kicked in an apartment door and punched a guy who was inside with Berryhill’s girlfriend. He got 25 years.

Now, we have gotten tough on Marissa Alexander. She is the Jacksonville, Fla., woman who said her husband flew into a violent rage and tried to strangle her when he found text messages to her first husband on her phone. She said she fled to her car, but in her haste, forgot her keys. She took a pistol from the garage and returned to the house for them. When her husband came after her again, she fired — into the ceiling. The warning shot made him back off. No one was hurt.

  • All of these things are symptoms of the uniquely American aversion to thinking. GIVE US A POLICY, A RULE, A CONSTITUTION, A STANDARD-OPERATING-PROCEDURE, BUT, GOD, DON’T MAKE US THINK !!!

  • These mandatory laws have to go, they never should have happened in the first place. What do we have now, more and more prisons that hold people like Alexander and Shanahan. The companies who own prisons are making records profits and now they say we need to build more prisons, why to put more people like these in jail or let’s put more pot smokers in jail, why?? Let the judges do their jobs, stop mandatory sentencing!!!!!

  • Ed

    TEN-OF-WANDS I salute you. I tell everyone the thing americans hate most is being alone with their nthought.

    • Many of them do not have to worry, because they do not think at all. It is the silence that kills them.

  • Seems ironic, in many places we have “stand you ground laws” that give us the right to wound, maim, or kill anyone we believe are threatening us. At the same time, we have “minimum sentencing laws” that put people in prison for defending themselves against obvious aggressors, even if the aggressor was not hurt, or imprisons people for non-violent, minor, petty crimes, or even mistakes in judgement. So much for equal justice in America!!

  • Come on, still soft hearted liberals! We have just started the path onto the America we want: no justice and no liberty for those who think differently from us. Our day is coming.

  • 1AmericanHoney27

    Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. These are 2 phrases I’ve heard all my life and find trueth and solice in both. To those of you out there organizing & championing for change I as a fellow American commend you & thank you from the bottom of my heart. To those of you who are aren’t doing anything but talking about how wrong these laws are I say ” Get off your dead asses & do all you can for change “. Doing nothing but talking about how wrong things are does nothing for change. “United we stand, divided we fall” is a phrase to live by so please stand up…. speak out & help the innocent stop being railroaded by unfair laws. Talk to those with the power to make these much needed changes…. Hope I didn’t offend anyone… I volunteer time and put forth effort each week & so can you one way or another… Thanks for the ear!

  • I have said it once and will say it again….often we force God to think ” Maybe I should have left it to the monkeys.”

  • joyscarbo

    I have known about Marrisa Alexander. I mentioned her case here on the the National Memo sites a while back. I’m not surprised she’s being sent up the river because she fired into a ceiling. I’m not surprised why this black mother didn’t get to use “stand your ground” law to protect her from going to jail for 20 years. (And a tidbit of info- Marissa had just given birth prematurely a week before the shooting occured. Her premature labor and birth were brought on by injuries inflicted by her abuser.)

    Well, it seems everyone has now come to the conclusion about Trayvon Martin. Because had marijuana in his bloodstream and he fought George Zimmerman, he obviously got what he deserved. God knows a broken nose and a cut on your head is far worse than a point-blank gunshot wound to the chest that kills you. It makes me sick!! There is no justice in this country!

    And it doesn’t stop there… In Pensacola, Florida, a 17 year old who weilded a gun but never shot it during two robberies, got 80 years in prison. Really?! Does that punishment fit the crime?? This young man will finish paying his debt to society and actually getting a second chance.

    We live in some very dangerous times, people! And it’s has nothing to do with so-call “religious” people are espoucing.


  • If I understand this correctly, Marissa Alexander could have merely shot her husband and gone free under the ‘stand your ground’ law; but she chose to fire a warning shot, and gets 20 years?
    I THINK that’s what I’ve been reading. Maybe she can just claim that she has very bad accuracy with the gun? That she WAS trying to shoot him, but missed?
    Because then, she’d be a hero and we’d all be sympathetic. Instead, now, she is getting 20 years in the pen for firing a gun. Into the ceiling.
    Am I missing something here? As I understand it, this is unbelievable.

    • SaneJane

      I read somewhere that merely showing your gun in order to stop an aggressor is a chargeable crime in circumstances where shooting them would not.

  • howa4x

    The only outcome of this law and order crusade run by the republican party since Nixon and his start of the war on drugs is currently we have over 2,000,000 people behind bars at a cost of anywhere from $ 20-50,000/head/yr. You can do the math. What we get as a society for that massive expenditure is a class A felon who is un employable because of their record
    In our special school districts we spend $ 10-14,000/pupil/yr. which dramatically less. This clearly shows where Republican values are. Willing to spend more on punishment than education. It is no accident that we are falling in the world rankings in math and science. We are moving toward a knowledge based economy that will create the future jobs, and we need smart people to fill them. We need to admit that the war on drugs perpertreated by republicans is an abject failure of colossal proportions. We need to empty the prisons of minor drug offenders and make drug addiction a health issue and take it out of the criminal justice system and into detoxification clinics linked to job training and skill building if we are going to survive as a culture. There could still be harsh punishments for those who commit violent crimes for drugs and the sale to minors as we do with alcohol. The tax revenue we would get would fund the treatment centers. We need to stop the maddness that is going to drain us of funds and stiffile the potentialof people who through no fault of their own, are brought up in drug infested areas where the sale of drugs is the only economy that exists

  • Most legislators are trapped at a relatively low level of moral development; in the case of Kohlberg’s stages, they are trapped in stage 4 (‘law and order’). They are not capable of understanding that a judge should be capable of true judgment, balancing mitigating circumstances, potential for social harm, and higher levels of justice. Mandatory sentencing is tragically the triumph of the morally retarded over the morally developed.

  • The DA in this case could have not filed charges against Alexander and there would not have been a case. When did it become against the law to shoot a ceiling? Mrs. Alexander didn’t shoot at her abuser but the ceiling so why was she charged with such a serious crime ? She had an order of protection against this so called man so why doesn’t that justify her actions of shooting the ceiling to warn him away? In my opinion this DA was looking for publicity and doesn’t think women should protect theirselves against the male abushers expecially if they are married to hm. If he felt like he had to charge her with something, he could have charged her with distributing the peace instead of charging Alexander with a crime that knew would send her to prison for 20 or more years. Also why was she offered a deal to plead guilty and serve only 3 years if what she did was bad, that she is to be sentenced to 20yrs. The way this case and cases like it makes me so mad when we have so many people getting away with murder under stand your ground laws and women like Alexander , who fired a shot into the ceiling and Shananhan being convicted of murder of the man that had raped her, held her captive, and beat her for not having an abortion is stupid and cruel. What happened to all these laws that have been past against forcing a woman to have an abortion if she doesn’t want, those should have kept Shanahan out of prison.

  • we need to destroy the law books and start again…..Law has gotten out of control and WE are supposed to control it…unusually long sentencing killed a young girl that was trying to escape a bad situation in SC,,,,she had a car accident trying to escape an aggressor…17 year sentence…….she hung herself in prison. Two kids have no natural mother….and a father lost his only child……F SC.

  • Mandatory sentencing is not FAIR. Building more prisons only show how they can make more money and put it in their pockets. MORE PRISONERS, MORE MONEY FOR THE PRISONS. I SAY HELL TO THE NO! Why not be more FAIR? and Why not build more rehabilitation centers for individuals who can really use the help? Now, for those individuals who go out and just kill people just to be killing them, they should serve a life time in prison, and for those individuals who are raping children, women/men, should have their penis cut off for life.

  • DurdyDawg

    Hell, in the Nixon years you could get ten years for possessing one rolled doobie.. And often, if they found seeds on the floorboard of your car, they would gather them, grow them then charge you on the amount they produced.. Then in the Raygun years, it began to spread out and get worse.