But I don't believe any of that is what your statements from the first couple of posts mentioning prison and what-not indicated ANY of that stuff up there.
If you're going to argue a point, actually say what you mean instead of hoping everyone can magically read your mind.
Anyway, other than the drug thing (which I don't want to get into much past I definitely wish certain drugs didn't exist, for the same reasons drunk driving is illegal, but I can definitely acquiesce that as a point for your argument) I sure can't think of anything legitimate that people serve prison time for that they shouldn't. Cuz, uh, Civ, ain't nobody going to prison for consensual sodomy these days. (Except for in Zimbabwe and Iran etc.) In some states the laws still exist, just like some laws like "it's illegal to put a giraffe in your bathtub" or "you may beat your wife on the courthouse steps only on Sundays" or whatever exist. They aren't upheld.
Well just so that you won't slap me with an example of when they have been, I will head you off by saying that while there are a couple examples, that occurs even less than just plain ol' innocent people getting stuck in prison for no reason at all, on what novels and crime drama tv shows refer to as "trumped up charges." It's a FAR cry from being this rolling epidemic of gays being stuck in prison just for being gay. I mean really, in a looot of years, there's only been a very very tiny handful of that happening.
I'm not saying it's not an issue and we shouldn't get a handle on it, I'm just saying it's definitely not something you can cite as an example of how the U.S. constantly criminalizes things that shouldn't be criminalized or whatever. (Besides that, it's a state thing, so you should criticize individual states for this, and not the whole country.)
So yeah. Jm. Decriminalizing certain drugs to reduce prison populations, I can see that. Plus I already said I think the penal system needs this or that change. But that's not how the topic first got started. Your "...puritanical obsession with punishing the wicked" post sounds like the wicked should go unpunished, not that some people that are labeled wicked should not be. And your "don't know what other countries do with their criminals..." post - by referring to imprisoned people as criminals as well as providing no examples to show what you meant sounds like just whatever the crime, prison isn't the answer, and other countries must know that answer but the U.S. sure doesn't.
This post has been edited by Spoon Poetic: 05 September 2009 - 05:36 PM