CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
Justice for EVERYONE
Democrats were holding their collective breaths for the Mueller Report to be completed and submitted since the appointment of the Special Council anticipating that President Trump would be charged with anything (No collusion!) and everything their wildest dreams permitted. Despite the obvious evidence of obstruction of justice by the President and those he has appointed, there is still no accountability for those crimes.
It is likely nothing will come of the recent press conference by Robert Mueller who explained he was following tradition: that he could not charge a sitting president with a crime. Now that a long-time criminal toady has been appointed as Attorney General, there is no crime the Trump Administration can’t get away with.
Unfortunately the Democrats were under the same delusion that many Americans are suffering: there is an equal application in law to all citizens of the United States. This is a delusion that most minority communities and people in poverty do not have the luxury to suffer as they experience the unequal application of the punitive side of the law toward their lives while the rich and powerful walk away from heinous crimes daily.
The Trump Administration has made it a goal to ignore the entirety of judicial decisions from the illegal racial profiling by Sherriff Joe Arpaio, to convicted war criminals of Iraq and Afghanistan. The continued Republican and Democrats support for arms deals with Saudi Arabia, who have absolutely killed American National Jamal Khashoggi, possibly with information provided by Jared Kushner, shows they have no morality beyond the power of the dollar.
It is no conspiracy theory that the law does not treat nor enforce the laws the same to poor people and minorities as it does to the communities of wealth. The perfect disputation of this would be a wealthy community where stop and frisk is a regularly enforced- it doesn’t exist.
Dennis Lambert believes that the rule of law is necessary for any civilization and equal application of and representation under the law is necessary to sustain a democracy. An Attorney General under a Green Administration will embody this representation.
Dennis Lambert hereby makes an oath before the American People of appointing an Attorney General who is not morally swayed by money, at the same time rests their ideology in justice that is not punitive for retribution’s sake, nor is it blind to the indiscretions of the wealthy and powerful in the United States or elsewhere.
The following is a list of changes to the American Criminal Justice System that should be made to ensure the equal protection and application of law for the poor and minorities in the United States:
Abolish Cash Bail- There is no greater failure of the American Justice System than cash bail. If you are presumed innocent until proven guilty, then at a pre-trial hearing have bail applied to your case, you are imprisoned on the assumption of guilt. This often leads to fines and fees leading to greater imprisonment.
Lifetime Bans on Law Enforcement Who Violate Civil Rights or Other Criminal Acts- Those who uphold the law should be held accountable to a higher standard than those who are not charged with that responsibility. This is what we expect of our police. We hope that those who wear a badge not only respect the law enough to make it their career, but also pay their due reverence and follow the law to the letter. Unfortunately too many police hide behind the badge, turning a blind eye to corruption, accelerating situations to the point where use of force is the end result leaving unarmed men, women, and children dead with no repercussions for their actions.
Re-evaluation of Felony/Misdemeanor Crimes- The unequal application of the law begins in the creation of the laws. Often felonies are focused on those minority communities whom law enforcement can target. See all drug laws and the “War on Drugs” for examples.
Prison for Corporate Malfeasance- As it is often stated as common knowledge that one of the reasons people are put in jail is to show an example for those who might think of breaking the law. If this is the case, why has there been no jail time for the bankers and traders who cause financial disasters? What is their deterrent from acting unscrupulously? This gives credence to the ideology that if you steal big enough, the government will not act. Corporate polluters will be held criminally liable for the damage they do to communities.
Eliminate Prison for Profit- When a prison is run on a profit motive, we have no guarantee that the punishment fits the crime, nor do we have any guarantee the parolees will have rehabilitated themselves to reintegrate into society. The only guarantee from prisons for profit is that there will always be a prison if there is a profit. The Obama Department of Justice found that for profit prisons cost us more and provide us less and started to shut down for profit federal prisons. The Trump Administration has reversed that decision again proving they are more concerned about money than justice.
Increase Training for Corrections and Law Enforcement- Less training is required for these jobs than many other occupations and more responsibility is foisted upon those in these roles than should be. More effort is used in training the use of force than de-escalation techniques when the opposite should be true. Psychological assistance should be available to everyone in these jobs so that they are not misguided into the impression their occupation is one of punisher.
Provide Opportunities to Returning Felons- Too often there are no or few opportunities for felons returning to life outside of prison. More often felons face unreasonable hurdles gaining employment, housing, and transportation within weeks of release with no resources to accomplish these goals. We owe it to these communities to make sure these people do not fall into the activities that got them into prison to start.
Parole Reform- There are too many flaws in the parole system to begin to point them out here, suffice to say the system does not work the same way we assume it does. A greater portion of parolees are not capable of completion of their parole on time because of a number of factors that include barriers put up by the government to gain profits.
Voter Enfranchisement for Some Jailed Criminals- The right to vote should not be infringed for those who have not violated voting laws. Other crimes should also not preclude a citizen from voting, especially as the census counts the population of prisons for representation in elections.
Civil Justice for Drug War Victims- With the legalization of cannabis across the United States, we owe a debt of reparations to the victims of the War on Drugs. Those reparations should include erasure of the criminal record and priority licensing and/or business financing for entrepreneurial opportunities.
The United States imprisons a larger portion of our population than any other country in the world. We cannot claim to be free when this is the case.