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Old August 19, 2014, 06:14 PM   #1
Jim March
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I have something technical but I think important to the RKBA/CCW fight.

Folks,

I haven't discussed it yet but I am past my first year in earning a BS in criminal justice. Once I have that in hand I intend to go for a law degree.

For the most part the CJ classes have been fairly boring, until a recent assignment in a class on criminal motivations came along, and I was asked to do a paper commenting on this:

http://courses.washington.edu/pbafha...%20justice.pdf

What this is about is a theory being proposed by a group of criminologists and psychologists called "procedural justice". Tom Tyler PhD has spent his whole life on this more or less, and he has a bit of a following. See also:

http://www.psych.nyu.edu/tyler/lab/

http://www.psych.nyu.edu/tyler/

I intend to see just how much traction this guy and his followers are getting. I'm not even 100% sure he's the lead guy on this yet, but if not he's pretty deep in.

What Tyler and company have is a theory that says people being sentenced in the criminal justice system have a much higher rate of "acceptance" of the corrective action (and therefore a lower rate of being a repeat offender) if they see the criminal justice system and process that was applied to them as "fair".

If this is correct, and we can prove it is correct, it is really a manifesto calling for top-to-bottom reforms of the US criminal justice system. As some examples of concepts that follow logically from this core work:

* Everything law enforcement does that even *appears* biased will tend to increase crime. That includes "stop and frisk" the way NYC practices it and "driving while black" types of police activities, and in my opinion it also includes obvious CCW discrimination.

* It is also a very bad thing to let politically and/or financially powerful criminals get away with crimes on the basis of their wealth or power - a classic example is Jon Corzine's nearly $2bil in fraud while CEO of MFGlobal and his total escape due to his political and financial ties (former Governor and Senator from NJ, former Goldman-Sachs CEO).

* Victimless crimes that are seen as wrongful crimes also cause feelings of resentment in the people sentenced and the people that they know.

Put another way: if somebody is sentenced to two years for a crime, what you want them thinking afterwards is "well I screwed up, better get my act together" as opposed to "I WILL HAVE MY REVENGE YOU %$#!%^@^%#$". If any of us got busted for illegal carry in, say, New York City where the main reason we're popped is because we're not Donald Trump or Howard Stern (known holders of rare NYC CCW permits) then we're going to be far more angry than personally committed to self reform. I know where my head would be at.

Attached find the paper I wrote that scored a perfect 300 out of 300 in my class a few days ago. It directly goes into the CCW situation in California as Tyler's research impacts it. If we can enlist the help of Tyler and his people and get them to say that obvious CCW discrimination is a bad thing, that could be useful in court filings on discretionary CCW.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf March_J_M5_A1_Responding_To_Crime.pdf (96.5 KB, 30 views)
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Old August 19, 2014, 06:49 PM   #2
Ruger480
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First I would like to say it is evident that you formed your opinions for that paper based on your time here at TFL. I'm sure you read some of my posts so I had a part in that. You are welcome.

Seriously though, that was very informative. Thank you for sharing it. I intend to share it with my friends who are active duty LEOs. Not that my opinion is worth a darn but I agree with the grade you received on it.
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Old August 19, 2014, 07:21 PM   #3
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I'm not a well educated person by any stretch. But I do try hard to stay educated on current legal topics when time allows.
I'm greatly impressed by your paper and think it deserved the grade received.
Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading of your passing the BAR exam some day.
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Old August 19, 2014, 07:52 PM   #4
Mainah
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Good, and clearly well thought out work. I agree with most of what you've articulated. However... in a formal paper saying that you don't support the death penalty because the justice system might "screw it up" won't work in law school. Maybe use some easy to access stats that demonstrate how that can happen, Illinois would be a good place to start.

You begin by describing your "gut reaction". That's often a great place in which to center your views, but also one that you have to explore and define through critical analysis. Then it becomes an argument that you can defend.

Based on the goals that you've described, and the links that you presented, you are on the right track. Just keep in mind that as far as the academics go these issues are not two sided coins, they are Rubik's Cubes. You have to twist them for a long time to find answers, and that process will make you the kind of person who most people hate when it comes to debating politics and policy. Trust me on that, but it's still worth it.
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Old August 19, 2014, 11:53 PM   #5
Jim March
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Yeah, it was still a bit loose in places but not where I was dealing with stuff core to the questions asked about the Tyler paper. So...no sweat. (On the death penalty issue, that wasn't a question that came as required for the paper and I was on a page limit so I quickly discarded it as an issue.)

The bigger question is, can we get Tyler or one of his fellow travelers on a witness stand talking about the damage done by the loss of credibility and legitimacy to law enforcement by discretionary CCW?
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Old August 20, 2014, 06:23 AM   #6
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim March
* It is also a very bad thing to let politically and/or financially powerful criminals get away with crimes on the basis of their wealth or power - a classic example is Jon Corzine's nearly $2bil in fraud while CEO of MFGlobal and his total escape due to his political and financial ties (former Governor and Senator from NJ, former Goldman-Sachs CEO).

* Victimless crimes that are seen as wrongful crimes also cause feelings of resentment in the people sentenced and the people that they know.
Are not these two items mutually exclusive? What, exactly, is a "victimless" crime? Is white collar crime (such as Corzine's or Bernie Madoff's) "victimless"? How about the guy I once worked for who was indicted for overbilling the government for "in excess of $50,000" (in reality it was probably a lot more, but that was about what they could prove.)

So one guy holds up a corner Stop-n-Rob and gets a couple of hundred bucks out of the register, and he goes to jail for several years. My former boss (according to the .gov) stole thousands of dollars but he could afford a high-priced lawyer, so he got a pretrial diversion and no criminal record, no conviction.

So that, to me proves that the system isn't "fair." But does that contribute to the street robber being more likely to be a recidivist? I don't think so. If we want to keep ex-cons from returning to a life of crime when they get out, what's needed is a system to provides them with respectable, gainful employment when they get out. Unfortunately, many who went into crime directly from a multi-generational welfare mentality don't believe they should have to do any work at all, regardless of how respectable it is. They are going to return to crime not because they think the criminal justice system is unfair, but because they think the world "owes" it to them.
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Old August 20, 2014, 09:00 AM   #7
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Jim, given your interest in this subject, I STRONGLY urge you to read the book Walls, Wire, Bars and Souls by Peter Grant. You may know Peter as "Preacherman" on THR.

(http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ACC37VPVQFFJ73).
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Old August 20, 2014, 10:42 PM   #8
barnbwt
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Very good read; not enough people take the time to ponder the economics of justice. I mean economics in the sense of human behavior --seeking, identifying, and exploiting opportunities based upon expected likely outcomes.

Wasn't it To Kill a Mockingbird that had a line to the effect that jailing an innocent man was more caustic to the system of laws than letting a far greater number go free? The argument was because the system of law is entirely constituted of 'legitimacy' any damage to that seriously weakens it. Obviously failure to punish those guilty is also damaging, but we have lower expectations than perfection for our systems, so it's not as bad. But, returning to the economic model, distortions in how enforcement/punishment are carried out, due to any number of factors like wealth, race, occupations, locale, are an ever worse danger to the system's legitimacy. Making a bad decision regarding defendant is bad enough, but when the bad decision is codified or artificially ingrained in the system, it not only fails to perform the desired beneficial function of meting out justice, but works counter to that end. The law itself becomes a call for criminality.

And that's why we shouldn't tolerate bad laws or bad law enforcement/prosecution

TCB

"What, exactly, is a "victimless" crime?"
Driving a magazine full of hollow points into New Jersey is certainly a contender. There's oodles of plainly victimless crimes out there (cutting hair without a license, blah, blah-blah, blah-blah...)
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Old August 20, 2014, 11:06 PM   #9
Jim March
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Quote:
"What, exactly, is a "victimless" crime?"
"Illegal" CCW in an area where CCW is unconstitutionally banned or limited is one. Pot is another, quite a few more drugs need to be legalized although I'd like to see if we can retain control over the "worst of the worst" (meth for sure, probably cocaine, LSD unless there's a shrink involved, etc.). If we can't heck with it, give up.
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Old August 24, 2014, 12:57 PM   #10
arizonaopa
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a little bit more

Mainah posted a comment about your stand in regard to the death penalty. I think the death penalty should only be used in the most extreme cases. You might want to look at the financial aspects of the death penalty in later papers. If I remember correctly, a study showed that it costs more to get a person executed than it does to keep them in jail for life. This might be an interesting item to bring up in a paper.
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Old August 24, 2014, 02:53 PM   #11
barnbwt
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Quote:
a study showed that it costs more to get a person executed than it does to keep them in jail for life.
That's because we're not doing it right. As we've seen with gun control legislation, the sole purpose behind the great majority of the morality legislation surrounding and controlling our use of lethal punishment is to limit and deny its use by making the process as difficult, lengthy, and expensive as possible. Very little of it has anything to do with demonstrably preventing mis-application or suffering (if it was, they'd be more concerned with prison violence, on both counts)

TCB
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