Tag: Criminal Justice

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘His Thumb on the Scales of Justice’: Chris Wallace


I am sorely disappointed in Chris Wallace. He does not usually say dumb things. But when he commented about Trump “putting his finger on the scale of justice” in the Roger Stone case, what he said was really stupid.

President Trump is the chief elected administrator in this country with authority over the Justice Department. When he sees the Justice Department do something unfair he not only has the right but the duty to address it. Isn’t that what we want in a president?

Coach Tea is a DJ, producer, podcast personality, and sound engineer for Comedy Central’s Roast Battle. He is also a counselor focusing on the rehabilitation and treatment of young men who have committed crimes. He and Bridget have a fascinating conversation about anarchy, “wokeism,” how unpopular a message of personal responsibility is in 2019, why happiness doesn’t exist without accountability, and how careful you need to be about creating the values systems by which you structure your life. They cover how religion has been hijacked, why trying to impose your moral authority on someone never works, living in a culture that rewards being a victim, how sometimes of “acts of service” are actually self-serving, and have an honest conversation about race, the criminal justice system, interactions with police, and freedom of speech.

Full transcript available here: WiW60-CoachTea-Transcript

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America commend the Trump administration for reinstating sanctions on Iran after rescinding the failed nuclear deal, which the rogue regime did not follow. They also denounce Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth’s Warren’s far-left rhetoric about the criminal justice system and they blame the divisive discourse for the lack of meaningful reforms. And they are frustrated that President Donald Trump tweeted about LeBron James’ intelligence rather than thanking the NBA star for funding education and extolling the benefits of charter schools.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America celebrate the booming economy that hit second quarter growth of 4.1 percent. They also notice the Democrats want to institute five years of jail time for spreading false information about elections dates and locations. And they see that Michael Avenatti was invited to speak to Iowa Democrats and they hope the party won’t take him seriously simply because he hates President Donald Trump.

Richard Epstein explains what the Constitution says about President Trump’s ability to pardon himself, grapples with the constitutional standards for impeachment, and warns about the political excesses being engendered by the Mueller investigation.

In this AEI Events Podcast, AEI’s Gerard Robinson hosts Senate Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who addresses the bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 he cosponsored with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and several other lawmakers. This aims to cut mandatory minimums, grant judges greater sentencing discretion, and help prisoners successfully return to society.

Following Chairman Grassley’s remarks, Hayne Yoon (Vera Institute), John Huffington (Living Classroom Foundation), and the Pat Nolan (American Conservative Union Center for Criminal Justice Reform) discuss how to prepare prisoners for life after prison, reduce recidivism, provide opportunities for returned citizens, and reform the criminal justice system to create safer communities and more stable families. The panelists also address improving prison conditions for women, introducing prosecutorial discretion in sentencing, and funding and operating correctional education programs.

On this week’s Banter, Pat Nolan and Hayne Yoon join the show to talk criminal justice reform. Nolan is the director of the American Conservative Union Foundation’s Center for Criminal Justice Reform and is a leader of Right on Crime, a national movement of conservative leaders supporting reforms to the US criminal justice system. Yoon is the director of government affairs at the Vera Institute for Justice where she leads their national policy work. Both participated in a panel discussion following Senator Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) remarks at an AEI event on reducing recidivism. The link below will take you to the full event video.

Learn More:

Heather Mac Donald joins Brian Anderson to discuss the state of policing today, the “Ferguson Effect,” former FBI director James Comey’s defense of proactive policing, and the recent protests against conservative speakers on college campuses.

Since the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014, public discussion about police and the criminal justice system has reached a fever pitch: activists claim that policing is inherently racist and discriminatory, while supporters say that public pressure has caused officers to disengage from proactive policing.

​City Journal senior editor Steven Malanga and contributing editor Judy Miller discuss some of the issues with the Port Authority Police Department, including a secret review of the department’s security readiness and the contentious relationship between Port Authority leaders and the police union.

Read Judy Miller’s full piece from the Autumn 2016 Issue of City Journal, The New York Police Force That Doesn’t Work.

Member Post


So here you are at your conviction. Yes, for this hypothetical you’ve committed a crime you dastardly individual, you. Anyways, you’re clearly guilty, the verdict is passed, and then the judge lays down sentence. “You have a choice,” he declares, “five years in prison or twenty lashes.” Wait, what? Read More View Post

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. The Barter System of Justice


shutterstock_167988596In a perfect world criminals would be punished appropriately and expediently, and the innocent would find vindication in our courts of law. We do not live in a perfect world. We have the highest rate of imprisonment in the world, our crime rates are low and lowering, but our system can hardly be described as just.

Justice Alex Kozinski of the US Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit wrote an article in the Georgetown Law Journal last summer that is bringing the injustice of our system to light. As George Will put it:

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Notes from the “Justice Reform” Bandwagon


shutterstock_245621518Yesterday, Mona Charen posted some skeptical thoughts on justice reform. I’ve been working on this subject for a few months now, so I thought I might offer some responses to her queries. The short of it is: she’s right that there are reasons to be cautious about reform, but there really are problems that need addressing. Furthermore, some reasonable answers have already been offered to many of her questions.

First of all, I should commend Mona for correctly debunking the oft-cited but highly misleading “two thirds of inmates are non-violent drug offenders” claim. As she reports, that is only true of Federal prisons, which represent a very small minority of America’s inmate population. The make-up of state prisons is quite different, and a majority of inmates have been convicted for violent crimes. So no, it isn’t the case that most of our nation’s inmates are basically harmless people who maybe used (or sold) a few drugs. The majority are there because they’ve hurt people, and it would be quite foolish just to release them en masse.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Crime and Injustice


danger-sex-offender-lives-nLet’s stipulate that a 19-year-old man who arranges a cross-state hook-up with a 17-year-old girl he just met online is not winning prizes for sound judgement. Let’s further agree that if the girl looks a little on the young side — she was just shy of fifteen, her statements to him to the contrary — and he still has sex with her, he’s set himself up for a load of trouble.

Even so, Zach Anderson seems to have been the victim of both extraordinary bad luck and an abusive legal system (H/T: Reason’s Lenore Skenazy). Despite his lack of criminal record, his complete cooperation with authorities, and qualification for a first-time offender status (similar to the one Shaneen Allen was initially denied in New Jersey), and a plea agreement, Anderson still found himself sentenced to to 90 days in county jail, after which his real sentence begins: an additional five years on probation during which he cannot live in a residence with an internet connection or a smart phone and 25 years on Michigan’s sex offender registry.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Libertarian Podcast: Baltimore, Law Enforcement, and Race


You won’t want to miss this installment of The Libertarian podcast. Professor Epstein is on his A-game as we review the recent riots in Baltimore, discuss whether criminal charges were brought too hastily against the police involved in Freddie Gray’s death, work through Hillary Clinton’s critique of “the age of mass incarceration,” and ponder what both law enforcement and African-American political leaders can do to ratchet down the tensions. Listen in below or subscribe to The Libertarian through iTunes or your favorite podcasting app.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Who’s Been To Prison?


shutterstock_86779999I don’t necessarily mean as an inmate (though I’d love to hear about that too if anyone has stories they’d like to share). I’m just curious how many people have visited prisons in whatever capacity, and perhaps have interesting stories to tell about it.

I’ve been working the prison reform beat of late, and along the way have been fostering some interesting contacts in the policy world. It’s an exciting issue. While so many areas of American policy are mired in inefficiency and political gridlock, the justice reform movement is very much on the move. Texas and Georgia have both made great strides in this area, saving millions of dollars and actually closing prisons while still keeping crime rates low.

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. The Cost of the Death Penalty


shutterstock_81191014A favorite tactic of the anti-death penalty crowd is to reach out to fiscal conservatives and other fiscally-minded people and regurgitate outrageous dollar amounts as evidence that the death penalty “costs” millions of dollars.

The problem — like most claims by the anti-death penalty crowd — is they know most readers won’t have the time or inclination to think through and investigate their claims, and will fill in the gaps and innuendos in a way that leads them to the politically-correct conclusion. Let’s take a look at the “cost” of the death penalty, the true cost.

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Returning to Support For the Death Penalty


shutterstock_126767585I supported the death penalty for many years. It seemed only just that a man convicted of a truly heinous murder deserved death, and therefore the state, reflecting the collective conscience of the community, had the right to avenge the brutal death of a murderer’s victim.

Then, about 20 years ago, I read Dostoevsky’s novel The Idiot, and I changed my mind … though still with a sense that there were many flaws in the arguments against capital punishment. In The Idiot, the protagonist, Prince Myshkin, describes an execution by guillotine he had witnessed, and makes an impassioned case that executing a man, even with swift efficiency, was profoundly wrong because, in the moments before he died, the condemned man lost all hope and was driven to insanity. That made sense. It still does in the abstract.