Monday, July 23, 2007

Grump Monday - Justice Edition

Opened my inbox to find a pitch from Russ Feingold to give input on his upcoming Censure Resolutions. I sympathize with those who prefer impeachment, but I've always thought that this was the way to go. A year and a half ago I supported an earlier version, although I was unable to persuade my Senators:

Dear Jason:

Thank you for contacting me regarding President George W. Bush. I support
President Bush and his administration, and do not intend to call for his

Again, thank you for writing to me. If you have any additional concerns,
please feel free to contact me anytime.

Very respectfully yours,

United States Senator



Visit Feingold's Censure Page to chime in.

2) Payday Lenders. I cannot for the life of me figure out how any politician thinks that these folks make savory bedfellows. Jim Siegel has a piece in the Dispatch about how regulating these guys is uniting hardcore conservatives like Speaker-Wannabe Batchelder and Progressive Champ Ray Miller, but... Minority Leader Beatty not only likes Payday Lenders, she's threatening caucus members who side with Batchelder on the issue. She is quoted as saying:

"I have not had anybody call me and say, 'I go to a payday lending establishment, and I think you should close them down.' "

Ms. Beatty, have you ever had an addict call you and say "I go to a smack dealer, and I think you should close them down?" I know you're on our side, Joyce, but you're taking the morally wrong position on an issue that also happens to be the politically unpopular one. What gives?

3) Finally, someone points out the horrifyingly obvious - there are thousands of people in jail for crimes they did not commit (story behind NYT Select wall, I'll try to update with a public link later). For every DNA exoneration, there are ten crimes without the DNA evidence available, and for most crimes, it isn't even relevant. Now of course, the only way to absolutely ensure that innocent people are never convicted is to never convict anyone, and the debate over the acceptable ratio (Better five thousand/one thousand/a hundred/ten/five/two/one guilty men go free...) has gone on for millenia, but we do not do not come close to meeting even a standard of "reasonably well" here in America. This is true even when defendants have the benefit of our legal system, which is what makes our treatment of "enemy combatants" so suspect.

So anyway, guilty people go free, innocent people go to jail, and powerful people who should know better can't be bothered to concern themselves with victims. Happy Monday.

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