Crime & Punishment
The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world. As of December 31, 2010, the International Centre for Prison Studies (ICPS) at King's College London estimated 2,266,832 prisoners from a total population of 310.64 million as of this date (730 per 100,000 in 2010). In comparison, Russia had the second highest, at 577 per 100,000, Canada was 123rd in the world as 117 per 100,000, and China had 120 per 100,000. A recent article by Fareed Zakaria also shows that Japan has 63 per 100,000, Germany has 90, France has 96, South Korea has 97, and ­Britain has 153. In the same article it states that in 1980, the US had 150 per 100,000, so why the increase - the war on drugs. Drug convictions represent half the inmate population. Some have said that the US had more people in prison than Stalin had in his gulags. Watch out for extremist rhetoric like this. Stalin reported killed 20m people, so you wont find them in his prison population numbers. There is also much written today justifiably about wrongful convictions overturned by DNA evidence years later. According to the Innocence Project 292 convictions have been overturned by DNA evidence. While each one of these wrongful convictions is a travesty and the causes must be corrected immediately, it represents only .0001269% of the total prisoner population. Some wild extrapolations estimate up to 20,000 wrongful convictions, or about 1%. So the much maligned American justice system gets 99.% right in the worst case extrapolation. Though I could find no statistics, this is probably the #1 effectiveness rate in the world, too. Anyone would like a 99% winning percentage, but we can and should still do better. Also, within three years of their release, 67% of former prisoners are rearrested and 52% are re-incarcerated, a recidivism rate that is alarming. Plus, African Americans are imprisoned at a rate roughly seven times higher than whites, and Hispanics at a rate three times higher than whites, giving rise to racial profiling accusations and poverty as justification, but interestingly no other reasoning for this high percentage is publicly debated. More than 60% of the people in prison are now racial and ethnic minorities. For Black males in their thirties, 1 in every 10 is in prison or jail on any given day, and some say it is a higher rate than were slaves in 1850. These trends have been intensified by the disproportionate impact of the "war on drugs," in which two-thirds of all persons in prison for drug offenses are people of color. There is clearly much to do in this country to improve our criminal justice system. Below and in the sub-category of cyberattacks, you will see both sides debate the issue. The Gray Area believes the "Right on Crime" Statement of Principles is the best blueprint we have seen to reform the American Criminal Justice system. Also, the Overcriminalization guide prepared by The Heritage Foundation is an eye opener.

What A Joke!

from The Gray Area:

Today it was announced by the State's Attorney, Kimberly Foxx, in Chicago that the State had dropped the charges against Jussie Smollett.

She said it was because he would not get more than the fine he had already paid and the community service he had already provided. So, they kept his $10,000, dropped the charges, records will be sealed and the charges were to be wiped clean from his record.

If you want, as I want, to believe in our justice system, your first reaction is to think that this must have been the right thing to do. Then, as you review the situation in your mind, your common sense takes over and you begin to feel that churning in your gut. A slam dunk case dropped, record expunged?

What a joke, a bad joke. This decision stinks, badly.

Let's think for a minute about the two legal decisions of the past two days. Yesterday, after the Mueller Report summary was released, the left was depressed and the right was happy. Today, with the dropped charges against Jussie Smollett, the right is sad and the left feels redeemed. Seems fair and balanced, right? Not necessarily. If you compare the two, the Mueller probe had no charges they were pursuing against President Trump. Smollett had specific, credible charges levied against him. There was hard evidence (video tape, personal checks) against Smollett. There was after two years of investigating, no evidence at all against President Trump. Not the same at all.

Let's think for a minute about the timing of the Smollett decision. Could it be that the timing of such a ridiculous decision is designed to get the reactions to the Mueller Report off the front pages? What are we talking about today, the Smollett decision. Is that because the reactions to the Mueller Report, after two years of daily stories, is no longer a media topic? Of course, it is still a story, but, now the story has flipped to the right. So, it needs to get off the front page. Sadly, this happens all the time.

Or, is this a conspiracy. Why was Michelle Obama involved? Why did the State's Attorney recuse herself and then come out to announce the dropped charges? Why does the State's Attorney need to talk to the Smollett family? Why did the Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson come out angrily against this decision? They are all Democrats. Is this all a complex coverup? Or, is there some truth in here? Or, is this confusion just designed to keep the subject in the news longer?

What is the benefit to the left of this decision, other than controlling the news cycle? Having a high profile, false flag, leftist proven to have faked a MAGA attack is something they would never be able to hide from. Especially since that violent MAGA narrative so largely occupies the left's messaging. And, they have made a successful practice of hiding from their sins. This one had to be removed. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence, this had to be removed. Now, with charges dropped, it can be defended or debated with plausible deniability.

It is now off the table, no matter what the police, the mayor or Republicans say about the decision.

A bad, sad, joke.

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