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Mandatory sentences filling jails

March 24, 2013

Since mandatory sentences started becoming law in the early 1980s, Pennsylvania’s incarceration rate has kept going up, up, up....

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(9)

MrShaman

Mar-24-13 6:37 AM

"Since mandatory sentences started becoming law in the early 1980s, Pennsylvania's incarceration rate has kept going up, up, up.

The statewide incarceration rate has increased by 500 percent since 1982, according to the Commonwealth Foundation."

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O.K., we've TRIED what the ReRon Reagan/ John Wayne fans insisted-upon...with things like "Three Strikes"...and, apparently, doing what's CONVENIENT has failed, one-more-TIME.

It's time we get back to allowing Judges to do, what they DO...dispensing justice with common-sense...rather than caving to the "LOCK 'EM ALL UP!!"-herd.

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jeff33

Mar-24-13 7:17 AM

Its BIG business for this County! D.U.I. = MONEY,MONEY,MONEY!

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eriklatranyi

Mar-24-13 7:39 AM

Sentences are still to light for serious offenders. Judges do not live in crime-filled neighborhoods and are provided security.

Liberals have undermined tough sentencing guidelines. After all, convicted felons are a big constituency of the DNC.

Every recent shooter arrested in Williamsport had a massive criminal record. If "three strikes" really existed, those people would not be on the streets.

Instead, liberals in many areas have found creative ways to put criminals back on our streets.

2 Agrees | 9 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

spike2

Mar-24-13 8:39 AM

Erik - you are incorrect in your statement that every shooter had a massive criminal record. You should redo your homework.I suggest you learn computation of Prior Record Scores. They will still be sentenced according to the guidelines if convicted. Homicide is not likely to be downgraded. Most first time D.U.I.'s do not go to jail. If it's a second, then obviously you didn't get the point. Should a third time retail theft of food items receive the same sentence as someone who steals televisions to re-sell? Problems occur when sentencing is delayed and trials take too long to take place. Those who should be in the state system should be sentenced quickly. Financial obligations should receive opportunities under new programs. Day reporting and mandatory work search then maintaining employment would further payment of obligations. Clearly erik knows more about gas than the criminal justice system.

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Progressive

Mar-24-13 9:09 AM

Bravo to our Reps and the Sungazette for posting this article! The prison is not filled with violent offenders. It is filled with low level offenders such as retail thefts and DUIs. It is also filled with petty theft, non-child support contempts, and people who can't pay their fines (including traffic tickets). It is filled to capacity and the inmates aren't even getting enough to eat. If the DA was interested in reducing recidivism, he'd read a study or two and encourage alternatives such as treatment court. But due to the archaic mandatories, the DA's insatiable*****for excessive amounts of jail time, and the Judge's inability to exercise discretion, the prison is full. Too full. And we, the taxpayers are paying for it. Lovely.

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eriklatranyi

Mar-24-13 9:21 AM

spike:

Sorry, but which Williamsport shooter had a clean record?

Every one of them were familiar with the justice system.

1 Agrees | 7 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

spike2

Mar-24-13 10:41 AM

Sorry Erik, you are wrong. Please feel free to name those with any serious criminal contact.

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MrShaman

Mar-25-13 5:42 AM

"Should a third time retail theft of food items receive the same sentence as someone who steals televisions to re-sell?" - spike2

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PERFECT example!!!

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MrShaman

Mar-25-13 5:50 AM

"But due to the archaic mandatories, the DA's insatiable*****for excessive amounts of jail time, and the Judge's inability to exercise discretion, the prison is full. Too full." - Progressive

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Exactly!!! I DO understand a D.A.'s position of going for the "maximum"...like any other "negotiation"...but, in this Country, there's also the political-"benefits", as in...a D.A., with a high "body-count", is (typically) just the "kind o' guy" too-many people want to award Senatorial-considerations!!!

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