Mass incarceration’s heavy burden on taxpayers
Trump has not released many specifics on how he would handle mass incarceration. However, many comments he has made seem at odds with recent bipartisan efforts to reform the system. In his nominating speech at the RNC in July, Trump slammed “this administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement.” Portraying himself as the “law and order” candidate who will be “tough on crime,” Trump pledged to combat the crime and lawlessness that threatens American communities. Trump reinstated his tough stance on crime by critiquing President Obama’s commutations of sentences of drug offenders. “Some of these people are bad dudes,” he said. “These are people out walking the streets. Sleep tight, folks.”
In 2010, Michelle Alexander, a professor at the Ohio State University School of Law, published “The New Jim Crow,” a study of mass incarceration among African-Americans. Like many influential works, the book identified trends that had been apparent for some time. Alexander noted that the prison population in the United States had grown from roughly three hundred thousand, in the early nineteen-seventies, to two million, after 2000. “The United States now has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, dwarfing the rates of nearly every developed country, even surpassing those in highly repressive regimes like Russia, China and Iran,” she wrote. Moreover, “the racial dimension of mass incarceration is its most striking feature.”
This critique has grown in intensity in recent years. “Mass incarceration is ahistorical, criminogenic, inefficient, and racist,” Paul Butler, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, has explained.. “Throughout much of American history, we incarcerated about one hundred people per one hundred thousand people in the population. After the eighties, it moved to six hundred or seven hundred per hundred thousand. Prisons are finishing schools for criminals, so they breed more crime. They cost a fortune to maintain. And the racism of the process just starts with drug crimes. Black people don’t use drugs more than anyone else, but, with thirteen per cent of the population, black people make up close to forty per cent of inmates serving time for drug offenses.”
But doesn’t common sense throwing people in jail more often will reduce crime? It turns out that increased incarceration has a much more limited effect on crime than popularly thought. It has been found that this growth in incarceration was responsible for approximately 5 percent of the drop in crime in the 1990s. (This could vary from 0 to 10 percent.) Since then, however, increases in incarceration have had essentially zero effect on crime. The positive returns are gone. That means the colossal number of Americans cycling in and out of prisons and jails over the last 13 years was not responsible for any meaningful fraction of the drop in crime. Today, a 1 percent increase in incarceration would lead to a microscopic 0.02 percent decline in crime. This is statistically indistinguishable from having no effect at all. Since the U.S. has the largest prison population in the world, further increasing incarceration is not likely to materially reduce crime. It will simply cost taxpayers more money.
For tough anti-crime policies; not criminals’ rights (but not organized crime)
We can have safe streets. But unless we stand up for tough anticrime policies, they will be replaced by policies that emphasize criminals’ rights over those of ordinary citizens.
Soft criminal sentences are based on the proposition that criminals are the victims of society. A lot of people in high places really do believe that criminals are victims. The only victim of a violent crime is the person getting shot, stabbed, or raped. The perpetrator is never a victim. He’s nothing more than a predator.
Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 93-94 , Jul 2, 2000
It should be noted that Trump’s description of crime in the U.S. is at odds with reality since overall violent crime is down, according to the FBI statistics. The current violent crime rate is lower today per the most recent data (365 incidents of violent crime per 100,000 people) than when President Obama first took office in 2009 (431 incidents per 100,000 people).
Tough anti-crime policies but not organized crime
Officials with the New York State Organized Crime Task Force said that Trump, while not breaking any laws, “circumvented” state limits on individual and corporate contributions “by spreading his payments among eighteen subsidiary companies.”
Trump alluded to his history of political giving in August this year, at the first Republican debate, bragging that he gave money with the confidence that he would get something in return. “I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And you know what? When I need something from them, two years later, three years later, I call them. They are there for me,” he said. “And that’s a broken system.”
As he fed the political machine, he also had to work with unions and companies known to be controlled by New York’s ruling mafia families, which had infiltrated the construction industry, according to court records, federal task force reports and newspaper accounts. No serious presidential candidate has ever had his depth of business relationships with the mob-controlled entities. Source: Chicago Tribune
Racial Profiling is needed
Trump has actively encouraged the practice of profiling, particularly to prevent possible acts of terror. Following Saturday’s bombing in Manhattan, Trump said in a Monday phone interview with “Fox & Friends,” “Our local police, they know who a lot of these people are. They’re afraid to do anything about it because they don’t want to be accused of profiling.” Trump praised Israel’s profiling tactics, a point that Trump also brought up during a June interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation.” Just after the Orlando shooting, Trump pointed to Israel as a nation that did profiling “successfully” before adding, “And I hate the concept of profiling but we have to start using common sense and we have to use our heads.”
That racial profiling can be a tricky tactic is something Americans should understand by observing the diversity of some of the terrorists who have operated on domestic soil or against Americans — Timothy McVeigh (the Oklahoma City bomber), Eric Rudolph (the abortion clinic bomber), Richard Reid (the ponytailed British-Jamaican who tried to bring down an American Airlines jet with his shoe) and the Arab hijackers who crashed into the World Trade Center’s twin towers.
Professor David Harris is Distinguished Faculty Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, teaching Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Evidence. Professor Harris taught at The University of Toledo College of Law through 2007, where he was the Eugene Balk Professor of Law and Values. Professor Harris is the leading national authority on racial profiling. His law journal articles about profiling became the basis for the Traffic Stops Statistics Act of 1997, the first national legislative proposal in the nation to attempt to address profiling. His 2002 book, “Profiles in Injustice: Why Racial Profiling Cannot Work,” and his research on profiling led to reform efforts by the federal government, by more than half the states, and by hundreds of police departments. He has testified numerous times in the U.S. Congress and before many state legislative bodies on profiling and related issues.
Professor Harris has explained that focusing on specific ethnic groups alienates the very people authorities need to help them catch terrorists. “By the time the threat is at the subway or airport, we’re down to the last line of defense,” Harris says. “You really want to catch these people before they go to the subway.” Harris, the author of “Profiles in Injustice: Why Racial Profiling Cannot Work,” simply says profiling doesn’t work. Harris says that when police use race or ethnic appearance as a factor in law enforcement, their accuracy in catching criminals decreases. Even worse, it can lead to accidental deaths, such as the fatal shooting by London police of an innocent Brazilian man after the bombings there. Harris points to a study of New York’s “stop and frisk” campaign in the late 1990s, when police were stopping people in the streets on a regular basis in an effort to confiscate illegal weapons and reduce crime. The campaign created tension between the police and minority communities, who thought they were being unfairly targeted for frisks. It turned out they were right.
Immigrants kill people
The statements that generated votes for Trump: they came within the first few minutes of his campaign kick-off, after he rambled for a bit about the crowd and the Islamic State and Japan. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he said. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” Trump also said that, “Where was sanctuary for all the other … Americans who have been so brutally murdered [by undocumented immigrants], and who have suffered so, so horribly?”
This is simply wrong. Pew researchers have found that first-generation immigrants (legal or not) commit less crime than native-born Americans or second-generation immigrants. Americans need to realize that their fear that immigration cause crime is baseless belief.
Bring Back the Death Penalty
In April 1989, Trump saw an opportunity to speak his mind when a young white woman was raped and beaten while out for a jog in Central Park. As media reports shocked the city and the victim struggled for survival, police mounted an intense investigation that ended with the apprehension of five black youths between the ages of 14 and 16. The five implicated themselves under interrogation, but would later recant, saying they had been pressured into making false statements. Donald Trump bought full-page advertisements in the city’s four big daily papers to proclaim BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE!
Although he avoided naming the accused in the jogger case, Trump’s reference to “roving bands of wild criminals” left no doubt about why he had paid for the ads. Newspaper accounts had described “wolf pack” gangs marauding in the park.
Source: Never Enough, by Michael D’Antonio, p.192 , Sep 22, 2015
Capital punishment isn’t uncivilized; murderers living is
Civilized people don’t put up with barbaric behavior. Would it have been civilized to put Hitler in prison? No-it would have been an affront to civilization. The same is true of criminals who prey on innocent people. They have declared war on civilization. I don’t care if the victim is a CEO or a floor sweeper. A life is a life, and if you criminally take an innocent life you’d better be prepared to forfeit your own. My only complaint is that lethal injection is too comfortable a way to go
Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.102-3 , Jul 2, 2000
Trump fails to acknowledge the evidence: in States without the death penalty the homicide rate is lower. “We’re very hard pressed to find really strong evidence of deterrence,” said Columbia Law School’s Jeffrey Fagan. Fagan pointed to New York as an example. Former Gov. George Pataki (R) reinstated capital punishment in New York in 1995, and although no prisoners were executed, the law remained in place until the New York Court of Appeals struck it down in 2004. Whether or not criminals faced the threat of death seemed to have little effect on their behavior. “New York’s homicide decline has continued before the capital-punishment statute, through the capital-punishment statute, and after the capital-punishment statute,” Fagan said. Fagan and two collaborators recently compared murder rates in Hong Kong, where capital punishment was abolished in 1993, and Singapore, where a death sentence is mandatory for murder and other crimes and is typically administered within a year and a half. The researchers found little difference between the two Asian metropolises.
Hold judges accountable; don’t reduce sentences
Criminals are often returned to society because of forgiving judges. This has to stop. We need to hold judges more accountable, and the best way to make that happen is to elect them. Whey they hurt us, we need to make sure we can vote them out of the job. The rest of us need to rethink prisons and punishment. The next time you hear someone saying there are too many people in prison, ask them how many thugs they’re willing to relocate to their neighborhood. The answer: None.
Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.106-7 , Jul 2, 2000