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Thread: My family strongly opposes to me writing but I think I'm doing well

  1. #21
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    Default Re: My family strongly opposes to me writing but I think I'm doing well

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarchery View Post
    @Sbarnett I dunno what you're saying. Teacuplittle just made a statement about civics that was very inaccurate. He didn't really say anything for or against the president.

    I'm pretty neutral on this president, kinda like I was on the last Republican president. On the one hand, I don't really like him and didn't vote for him and didn't want him to be president. I'll vote against him in 2020 too, but I could really take it or leave it at this point. On the other hand, he makes a lot of really terrible people really upset, which is something I like. Like the adage "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". I have no doubts that the people who dislike him now would be just as angry if literally any other Republican had won. Just like George W. Bush, I don't really like the guy, but I don't think we're living in some sort of waking fascist nightmare. That's just me though. People put WAY too much emotional currency into the identity of the man in the White House.
    First off, I'm a she. Second, how was my statement inaccurate. You said the president had NO INFLUENCE.
    He's the president, he signs laws. Obama's administration helped to secure bipartisan sentencing reform legislation. President Obama's administration was able to make important changes to federal charging policies and practices, the administration of federal prisons, and federal policies relating to reentry. The president also has the power to pardon. Y s, there are structural and prudential constraints on how the president can directly influence criminal enforcement. The changes that the president brought forth, illustrate just how presidential administrations can and do to shape the direction of the federal criminal justice system in lasting and profound ways.

    Yes, the federal government only has jurisdiction over 10 percent of the country's prisoners. Yes, federal legislation would only directly affect a small number of prisoners. However, there is significant value, both real and symbolic, in Congress and the president joining forces on the issue.
    What happens in Washington does influence the states. What happens there further catalyze state action, and sort of reifies the commitment for reform on the state level. It makes it safe for the states that haven't yet engaged in reform to go in the water and for the states that have to do even more. The presidents actions sends a signal that this is a national movement. It gives cover to the state actors to venture even further than they otherwise would. The federal governments more tangible power to influence state level policy is through funding. For example, the 1994 Violent Crime Control Act created financial incentives for states to adopt harsh "truth in sentencing" laws that would keep criminals locked up longer. Federal funding could make it theoretically make it advantageous for states to take more of a "smart on crime" approach, such as by providing federal funding to states that ease their mandatory minimum laws, or pass legislation that would divert drug offenders into treatment programs.

    The presidents words are very powerful and you underestimate them. No one said the president can abolish the death penalty or make laws for states. You said the president has no influence and it is that statement, that we are arguing against.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: My family strongly opposes to me writing but I think I'm doing well

    I think the best people to speak to the actual and real changes effected by President Obama -- or any president -- would be the prisoners themselves how they've felt the changes. Since presumably we're all in contact with prisoners in one way or another, maybe we should ask them.

    Sure, presidents can pardon federal inmates, and do so as a 'legacy' maneuver at the end of their service, but you can bet your farm that all the pardons given are a highly calculated affair which was vetted for months ahead of time by a platoon of legal experts. Let's put it this way: why would an exiting president pardon someone like Timothy McVeigh or Ted Kaczynski?

    Regardless, even if a president went mad -- loony tunes mad -- and did something like this, it wouldn't change the existing laws on the books, in which the death penalty is prescribed for a certain category of crimes. A moratorium may be insituted for a time, such as happened in CA in the early seventies. The Manson crew benefitted greatly from that one. However, it has since been lifted and people are being sentenced to the DP again in CA. I don't know the history on all what brought it back, but it goes towards Zarchery's point -- governor or president, he ain't all THAT powerful. They come and they go, propelled by charisma and fads. The laws stay.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: My family strongly opposes to me writing but I think I'm doing well

    Quote Originally Posted by Metaxu View Post
    I think the best people to speak to the actual and real changes effected by President Obama -- or any president -- would be the prisoners themselves how they've felt the changes. Since presumably we're all in contact with prisoners in one way or another, maybe we should ask them.

    Sure, presidents can pardon federal inmates, and do so as a 'legacy' maneuver at the end of their service, but you can bet your farm that all the pardons given are a highly calculated affair which was vetted for months ahead of time by a platoon of legal experts. Let's put it this way: why would an exiting president pardon someone like Timothy McVeigh or Ted Kaczynski?

    Regardless, even if a president went mad -- loony tunes mad -- and did something like this, it wouldn't change the existing laws on the books, in which the death penalty is prescribed for a certain category of crimes. A moratorium may be insituted for a time, such as happened in CA in the early seventies. The Manson crew benefitted greatly from that one. However, it has since been lifted and people are being sentenced to the DP again in CA. I don't know the history on all what brought it back, but it goes towards Zarchery's point -- governor or president, he ain't all THAT powerful. They come and they go, propelled by charisma and fads. The laws stay.
    He has influence, which is what I'm talking about.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: My family strongly opposes to me writing but I think I'm doing well

    Quote Originally Posted by Teacuplittle View Post
    First off, I'm a she.
    Well, I didn't know that, and the English language really doesn't have any good gender neutral pronouns. A person always has a 50/50 chance of getting this wrong when guessing. Using that compound "he or she" form always looks bad to me.

    Second, how was my statement inaccurate. You said the president had NO INFLUENCE.
    Okay, a president has some level of influence in a purely symbolic and wishy-washy way. But you never really clarified that point and you very much came off as if you were implying that the president could get rid of the death penalty with some concrete executive or legislative action. Sbarnett adopting an attitude of "well if you don't understand, I'm certainly not going to explain it!" certainly didn't help.

    He's the president, he signs laws. Obama's administration helped to secure bipartisan sentencing reform legislation. President Obama's administration was able to make important changes to federal charging policies and practices, the administration of federal prisons, and federal policies relating to reentry. The president also has the power to pardon. Y s, there are structural and prudential constraints on how the president can directly influence criminal enforcement. The changes that the president brought forth, illustrate just how presidential administrations can and do to shape the direction of the federal criminal justice system in lasting and profound ways.

    Yes, the federal government only has jurisdiction over 10 percent of the country's prisoners. Yes, federal legislation would only directly affect a small number of prisoners. However, there is significant value, both real and symbolic, in Congress and the president joining forces on the issue.
    What happens in Washington does influence the states. What happens there further catalyze state action, and sort of reifies the commitment for reform on the state level. It makes it safe for the states that haven't yet engaged in reform to go in the water and for the states that have to do even more. The presidents actions sends a signal that this is a national movement. It gives cover to the state actors to venture even further than they otherwise would. The federal governments more tangible power to influence state level policy is through funding. For example, the 1994 Violent Crime Control Act created financial incentives for states to adopt harsh "truth in sentencing" laws that would keep criminals locked up longer. Federal funding could make it theoretically make it advantageous for states to take more of a "smart on crime" approach, such as by providing federal funding to states that ease their mandatory minimum laws, or pass legislation that would divert drug offenders into treatment programs.

    The presidents words are very powerful and you underestimate them. No one said the president can abolish the death penalty or make laws for states. You said the president has no influence and it is that statement, that we are arguing against.
    Sure. I mean if we're saying "the president can influence the states", I'm in total agreement on that. Political power is a lot like money, a special money that can only be spent on changing laws and public policy. Every president has a lot of that, some more than others. And of course every elected official below the president also has some amount. Changing prison policy is expensive, because generally the American public doesn't really like convicts that much. The president could spend political currency on a crusade against the death penalty, but it would take away from other domestic policy issues. It could very easily be spun to say "the president is fighting for murderers but not law abiding citizens!" VERY bad situation and it would be political suicide for a president to try and do that in his first term.

    But of course we would never get a total nationwide abolition of the death penalty like you see in Canada, France, etc., A federal attack on it might influence some states away from it, but some of them would just get more intractable. Texans, for example, love their executions.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: My family strongly opposes to me writing but I think I'm doing well

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarchery View Post
    Well, I didn't know that, and the English language really doesn't have any good gender neutral pronouns. A person always has a 50/50 chance of getting this wrong when guessing. Using that compound "he or she" form always looks bad to me.Okay, a president has some level of influence in a purely symbolic and wishy-washy way. But you never really clarified that point and you very much came off as if you were implying that the president could get rid of the death penalty with some concrete executive or legislative action. Sbarnett adopting an attitude of "well if you don't understand, I'm certainly not going to explain it!" certainly didn't help.

    Sure. I mean if we're saying "the president can influence the states", I'm in total agreement on that. Political power is a lot like money, a special money that can only be spent on changing laws and public policy. Every president has a lot of that, some more than others. And of course every elected official below the president also has some amount. Changing prison policy is expensive, because generally the American public doesn't really like convicts that much. The president could spend political currency on a crusade against the death penalty, but it would take away from other domestic policy issues. It could very easily be spun to say "the president is fighting for murderers but not law abiding citizens!" VERY bad situation and it would be political suicide for a president to try and do that in his first term.

    But of course we would never get a total nationwide abolition of the death penalty like you see in Canada, France, etc., A federal attack on it might influence some states away from it, but some of them would just get more intractable. Texans, for example, love their executions.
    The DP is so wrong, ask any nice/smart person.

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