POSTS FOR 2011

Professional Reasoning and Empirical Data

Law324 words2 minutes to read

America loves to put people behind bars. When will we begin to allow professional reasoning and empirical data to guide our lawmakers?

From PCR Consultants, citing POLITICO:

In a disheartening turn of events Senator Webb (D-Va.), a long-time supporter of criminal justice reform in the United States Senate, had his bill shot down. The bill in question would have established a commission to review and propose changes to the criminal justice system in America. […]

Individual Republican senators said they had come under pressure from local district attorneys and judges in drug courts to oppose [Senator Jim Webb (D-VA)]. But the Democrat countered that he had strong support from the drug court judiciary and the model for his proposal was the influential presidential commission on crime and the judicial system in the mid 1960’s led by then-Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach.

Webb said that 40 years later it is reasonable to have a second review, especially given the high incarceration rate in the U.S. at a time of relatively low crime rates.

“Our criminal justice system is broken in many areas,” he told the Senate in his own floor comments. “We need a national commission to look at the criminal justice system from point of apprehension through reentry into society of people who have been incarcerated.”

It is troubling how partisanship can play so heavily to a major issue facing the United States, which incarcerates almost 25% of the entire globe’s prisoners.

25%? Wow. I didn’t know it was that high. But if you look at things, a Kindergarten boy kissing a Kindergarten girl on the cheek is considered a sex crime. Seriously? Now Congress is trying to imprison people who sing along to songs and post them on YouTube. In some cases, Congress is trying to bypass the vote of the American people all-together by signing treaties that were crafted in secret.

Right now, people are marching on Wall Street. We shouldn’t stop there.

Ryan Parman

Ryan Parman is an experienced software engineer, open source evangelist, and passionate user advocate currently living in Seattle. He is the creator of and , and worked on DevOps and Security at . He is now bringing learning into the digital age as an Engineering Lead and Site Reliability Engineer at . Ryan's aptly-named blog, , is where he writes about ideas longer than .