Would you support manditory minimums for police officers?

Discussion in 'Political Opinions & Beliefs' started by Daggdag, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Daggdag

    Daggdag Well-Known Member

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    I had the idea of passing a federal law which requires federal judges to sentence any law enforcement officers ot federal agents who are convicted of federal crimes to the maximum allowed sentence, and prohibits parole being given.

    It would apply to any type of corruption, as well as any illegal assaults, wrongful death, etc, that an officer may be convicted of. Basically, if the office committs a crime in the line of duty, and they are convicted, they get no parole, and they have to serve the maximum sentence that the law allows. That means an officer who murders someone gets manditory death penalty.


    I would also like to see a law which bans officers convicted of corruption, or other crimes in the line of duty from getting a pension.

    As well as one which makes lying for an officer who is suspected of a crime a felony, even if it turns out the officer wasn't guilty. If one cop is suspected of a crime, whether they are guilty or not, an another officer lies to investigators in order to protect that officer, the officer who lied would be charged with a felony.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
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  2. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    No. Each case should be considered on its individual merits. There should certainly be (and I believe generally is) an greater expectation on people with significant responsibility like (but not only) police officers and therefore greater punishment when they abuse it but automatically treating them all exactly the same is simply wrong.

    The conditions of pensions could well be written to take account of if someone is fired for criminal misconduct though I don’t see the argument for limiting that to police officers. There are potential issues with the impact on innocent dependants though.

    Lying during legal proceedings is already covered in law and again, I see no reason to have specific conditions uniquely for police officers beyond the greater responsibility that comes with the job. You also have the more general problem with proving to a legal standard that any given statement was an actual wilful lie. That’s a major reason there are relatively few perjury cases despite the fact that most criminal cases that go to court will inevitably involve one or more parties lying when giving evidence.
     
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  3. JakeStarkey

    JakeStarkey Well-Known Member

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    Yes, of course. They hold a special place in the infrastructure of our society, and when they fail they damage that infrastructure. Book 'em, Danno.
     
  4. Tim15856

    Tim15856 Well-Known Member

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    We had a case in PA like that. Police officer was convicted of something and was given a longer sentence for being a policeman. On appeal, it was found not to be equal justice under the law.
     
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  5. JakeStarkey

    JakeStarkey Well-Known Member

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    Change the law to make it legal.
     
  6. Texan

    Texan Well-Known Member

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    Police should get the same justice that the public gets. The judges have some wiggle room on sentencing. That's what the wiggle room is for. They can go easier on those with special circumstances or go harder on people who should have known better than to do the crime.
     
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  7. AZBob

    AZBob Banned

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    Wait, I thought if you were for reforming the justice system, you were for getting rid of mandatory minimums.
     
  8. Steady Pie

    Steady Pie Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I had a similar idea, but I feel yours doesn't go far enough, it isn't enough of a deterrent.

    Many of these officers are arrogant and don't care what happens to themselves. As a result, I feel that any felony of any class they commit, on the job or not, should result in a mandatory death sentence for themselves and their immediate family (wife, husband, children), their family going first of course so they can see the pain they caused others reflected in their own lives. No appeals, when the guilty verdict is given take them all outside, mercifully execute the family and painfully execute the officer after a period of 15 minutes has passed from his/her family's execution.

    This will also have the positive effect of urging families to report the crime of their breadwinner, resulting in the death penalty for the officer alone.

    It's time to stop police criminality and the only way to do this is with swift, unwavering injustice.
     
  9. Questerr

    Questerr Well-Known Member

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    I think we would see more changes if a law was passed requiring that any lawsuits for misconduct by police officers are paid out of police pension funds instead of by taxpayer money.
     
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  10. kriman

    kriman Well-Known Member

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    This thread bothers me because a significant factor appears to be left out. It is a dangerous occupation. Especially so when youths are almost trained to distrust the police and resist. As a result the police tend to be apprehensive and react accordingly. We hear that a cell phone looks nothing like a gun. That is true when it is laying on a table and you have time to look at it. However, it cannot be positively identified as a cell phone at twenty feet partially hidden by a hand and moving upward at twenty miles an hour. The policeman has milliseconds to determine whether it is a gun or something harmless. A wrong decision can result in a civilian getting killed or the officer getting killed. Neither is a desirable outcome.

    We keep hearing that more police training is needed. No amount of police training in the world is going to make that absolute correct decision possible every time.

    The public also needs training. Just do what the policeman says. It is not complicated. Argue later under calmer conditions.
     
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  11. RodB

    RodB Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Mandatory minimums are a terrible idea, for anybody.
     
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  12. JakeStarkey

    JakeStarkey Well-Known Member

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    Yes, a dangerous occupation with great powers.
     
  13. Daggdag

    Daggdag Well-Known Member

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    SCOTUS has rules multiple times that an on duty police offcer doesn't get equal treatment in cases of corruption. For example, a police officer doesn't have the right to privacy while on duty, an example being that they can not interfere with people video taping or recording them.
     
  14. btthegreat

    btthegreat Well-Known Member

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    1. I oppose 'mandatory minimums' as an encroachment of the legislative branch on the proper authority of Judicial branch and a lousy idea.
    2. the more we treat cops like other people the less we will either deify or scapegoat them in the eyes of juries and the public.
    3. Perjury and obstruction of justice are already crimes. Lying while wearing a uniform, or for a uniform, need not be added to the list.
     
  15. JakeStarkey

    JakeStarkey Well-Known Member

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    Official oppression in the guise of law requires extra punishment.
     
  16. btthegreat

    btthegreat Well-Known Member

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    No. It requires consistent punishment because that is what gets us real deterrence. I am fine with sentencing guidelines, as long as they stay guidelines. Let the jurist in the black robe, who has sat through both the trial, and the sentencing hearing determine the sentence. The legislature who passes this law years before a specific conviction , did neither.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  17. Daggdag

    Daggdag Well-Known Member

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    Except in many cases, judges will give lighter sentences to police because of their "years of service". I do not believe a cop who is convicted of corruption should receive any mercy at all. Especially when innocent people suffered because of that corruption. They should be held to a much higher standard because of the power and authority entrusted to them. They should receive no mercy or leniency when that trust is broken.
     
  18. btthegreat

    btthegreat Well-Known Member

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    Or they will give harsher sentences because they adopt your very reasoning and justification. Some will look at less abstract arguments and just look at the perpetrator, the victim, the circumstances, the motive, and the societal interests involved and weigh all of the above, just like they would in any other trial. Its what we pay these people to do.

    I am much more interested in getting at the pro uniform bias in the jury room than what happens in the sentencing hearing, because that is where I think the real problem lies. We are not getting enough convictions despite the evidence and we are not getting enough prosecutors willing to expend resources when it is so hard to convict a cop.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  19. Daggdag

    Daggdag Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe that law enforcement being a dangerous occupation has any relevence to this debate. Blatant misconduct and corruption does not stem from the dangers of the job. You can't say that a cop who plants evidence on a suspect who they know is innocent, or steals evidence for personal gain did so because their job is dangerous. They did so because they do not care about the trust the public puts in them to enforce the law.
    Police corruption is why mistrust of police has gotten so bad in the first place. Look at the NYPD. There was a time when it was literally their policy to lock the wives of officers who were abusive to them in insane asylums in order to protect their husbands, and they did the same thing to Christine Collins, whose fight against them was the premise of the movie Changling (Instead of looking for her kidnapped son, the LAPD decided to hire a orphan living on the street to pose as her son, and had her sent to an insane ayslum when she claimed the boy wasn't her son). That type of **** is why no one trusts police.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  20. Steady Pie

    Steady Pie Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    1. What about mandatory maximums? We have those.
    2. I agree.
    3. I agree.
     
  21. btthegreat

    btthegreat Well-Known Member

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    We have language in our constitution about cruel and unusual punishment and a series of decisions that broadly define some parameters for those concepts. If the legislative branch applies those concepts in mandatory maximums, it does so for a proper legislative purpose consistent with the spirit of that clause. There is no constitutional provision banning lax or lenient punishment so mandatory minimums are not needed .
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  22. Steady Pie

    Steady Pie Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    So are these mandatory maximums an encroachment on the proper authority of the judiciary? I'd note that the constitution doesn't prohibit mandatory minimums, so the question is still open on whether or not they are in fact, an encroachment.

    If the mandatory maximum can be written into law why not the mandatory minimum?
     
  23. kriman

    kriman Well-Known Member

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    Law enforcement officers who do something illegal should be punished.

    We have a culture where police are attacked and resistance is encouraged. It is a dangerous occupation and it has relevance to this conversation because many, if not most, civilian deaths by law enforcement are a direct result of the suspect disobeying the policeman. There has much talk about police shooting someone who only had a cell phone. When a suspect makes a rapid move which can be interpreted as bringing up a gun, a cell phone is very apt to be confused with a cell phone. The law officer has just milliseconds to make that determination.

    If you want good policeman, then they have to be given some deference in court, otherwise there will be fewer good law enforcement willing to risk their lives. I have already had two law enforcement officers in my family quit the profession at least partly because of the danger.
     
  24. btthegreat

    btthegreat Well-Known Member

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    My reasoning is expressed in the very post you quote. I realize that I will not claim to have legal precedent yet in the form of caselaw underpinning my view. I am saying that one is uniformly consistent with an expressed concern in the eighth amendment and the other has no such basis. the legislative branch can hardly claim that unusually lax and lenient sentences may be subject to reversal on any grounds . It can safely leave all decisions entirely to the discretion of the man in the robe or his superiors in the Judicial branch. No court has had its sentence reversed on constitutional grounds because it only sentenced a thief to 48 hours in the clink. I see absolute value in judges with a history of lax or grossly inconsistent sentencing, having their patterns reviewed by a disciplinary commission set up by the judicial branch.

    Again insofar as a sentencing guideline remains just that, I see benefit in either the legislative branch offering its view inside the statute or in expressed legislative intent or the executive branch doing the same through guidelines provided through a commission report.

    I agreed with Former Chief Justice Rehnquist that legislative efforts to reduce or curtail judicial discretion in lowering some sentences beyond the guidelines interferes with proper judicial discretion. http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/01/01/rehnquist.judiciary/
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  25. opion8d

    opion8d Well-Known Member

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    Ninety percent of cops are decent, professional, honorable people. Five percent are incompetent and five percent are scumbags. That's just mother nature at work. Having said that, cops scare me. If one pulls me over for some infraction, my hands are going on the steering wheel and, unless so ordered, I'm not moving. That sucks for a number of reasons:
    1. I'm white
    2. I'm old
    3. I'm middle class
    4. As a kid mom said, "If you ever need help, ask a policemen."

    What me worry? Once we went to SWAT teams it became the cops vs. us (all of us). The trigger happy ten percent gun down anything that moves even kids. You never know who the ten percent is until your head is blown off because you reached for a handkerchief.

    So, if the law, within Constitutional boundaries, is hard on the ten percent I have no problem. Their job is to protect and defend us, not blow us away because they got scared. It goes with the job. If you don't like the odds, take up some other dangerous occupation, like washing windows on sky scrapers.
     
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