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Old 06-13-2019, 07:07 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,544 posts, read 3,650,165 times
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Nixon's crimes were serious and anyone else would have been locked up. At the time, I wanted him in prison. Now, with hindsight, he was so profoundly disgraced and generally disliked that I think he got his sufficient punishment. His need for adoration (based on ego and self perception) was met with contempt and derision and we didn't have to foot the expense of his imprisonment.
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,822 posts, read 18,549,595 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
we didn't have to foot the expense of his imprisonment.
But we did have to foot the bill for eleven years of post resignation Secret Service protection. (Nixon relinquished the service in 1985) I bet that cost more than what would have been the expense of his incarceration. If he has spent those eleven years in the can, we would have come out ahead.
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:33 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,544 posts, read 3,650,165 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
But we did have to foot the bill for eleven years of post resignation Secret Service protection. (Nixon relinquished the service in 1985) I bet that cost more than what would have been the expense of his incarceration. If he has spent those eleven years in the can, we would have come out ahead.
Twenty-plus years in criminal justice causes me to doubt that he would have been confined in a standard cell at an existing Federal prison with the usual security and limitations. He probably would have had security and medical staff assigned to him 24/7. He would likely be the only inmate in whatever unit he was housed and might not actually see other inmates on typical days. The Secret Service would probably have been his primary jailors -- a prison in name only. His personal staff (secretary, etc.) would have had routine access. Ford's pardon probably saved us from that spectacle as well as the expense.

Martha Stewart might have had to go to an existing prison but I doubt a former president would. Even Napoleon got his own island.
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Old 06-14-2019, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,822 posts, read 18,549,595 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
Twenty-plus years in criminal justice causes me to doubt that he would have been confined in a standard cell at an existing Federal prison with the usual security and limitations. He probably would have had security and medical staff assigned to him 24/7. He would likely be the only inmate in whatever unit he was housed and might not actually see other inmates on typical days. The Secret Service would probably have been his primary jailors -- a prison in name only. His personal staff (secretary, etc.) would have had routine access. Ford's pardon probably saved us from that spectacle as well as the expense.

It all would have been worth it just to see Nixon's mugshot, standing there holding up his prison number.

Instead we must make do with mock ups


I would imagine that if convicted, there was a high probability that he would have had his sentence suspended, or perhaps it might have been a period of house arrest. If they had sent him to prison, it would have been one of those minimum security places like where they sent John Dean et al. (Liddy is the only Watergate figure that wound up in a real prison.) We wouldn't have wound up spotting Nixon in his orange jumpsuit as part of a chain gang repaving the roads as we passed.
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Old 07-04-2019, 08:42 AM
 
669 posts, read 144,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2x3x29x41 View Post
To what purpose?

Prison has three purposes:

1) Deterrence.

2) Prevention.

3) Rehabilitation.

As William Muny once said, "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it!". It might make you feel better, but slaking your retributive desires are not a legitimate purpose of the criminal justice system.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Are you arguing that there is no punitive aspect? It is called the penal system because it comes with a penalty.
Don't be ridiculous. Given that it is punishment that deters - and I specifically referenced 'prison time' in the context of deterrence, which you saw fit to snip out when you quoted me - it is obvious that I am arguing no such thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Why do you think that victims get invited to attend parole hearings and their opinions solicited? Because the system wants the victims to weigh in on whether or not the perp is being successfully deterred? To gauge whether or not he is rehabilitated?
Because we have an idiotic criminal justice system, one that puts a greater emphasis on punishing those who victimized articulate and popular victims than on distributing punishment regardless of the charms of the victim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
William Muny quotes aside, punishment is indeed one of the purposes.
No, punishment is not a purpose of the criminal justice system, any more that punishment is a purpose of raising children or being a training a dog. In all of those cases, punishment is a means. Deterrence is the purpose.

See, the problem here is that you - like most people - think that the criminal justice system is for individuals, specifically for the victims of crime. But it's not. Bob, who was murdered, or Mary, who was raped, is not a party to a criminal trial. Mary might be a witness, but the parties are the state and the murderer. Neither Bob nor Mary can ever receive 'justice' (though the silly idea that they can is widespread). Bob will remain dead. Mary cannot be un-raped. The trial serves the interests of the state, representing (ideally) all of society.

The state (and, again, society in the ideal) are being served, as we see this in myriad ways.

Tom, Dick and Harry commit a crime. Harry flips and gets a plea, avoiding part of the penalty he would otherwise incur. The prosecutor, having determined that Tom and Dick are the two from whom society most needs protection, and believing that the testimony of Harry is critical to convicting them, secures their conviction by assuring that Harry will receive less than he deserves.

Idiot parents who leave guns laying around, with children who thereby maim or kill themselves with said guns, are frequently not prosecuted, on the understanding that the punishment would be immaterial next to the suffering the parents have indirectly inflicted on themselves. Is no punishment what they deserve for their gross, life-snuffing negligence?

When Lee surrendered to Grant, Confederate troops were fed and allowed to keep horses and sidearms as long as they returned peaceably to their homes. Lee himself just lost his citizenship as a result of his treason. Jefferson Davis, unlike Lee a driver behind secession, got a mere two years imprisonment. Is that what treason deserves?

Consider the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, wherein hundreds of brutal violators of human rights received amnesty in exchange for exculpation. Discomfort telling their stories and whatever social disapprobation might ensue? Is that what death squad murderers deserved?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Try applying the above sentiments to other crimes. If someone did something horrible to you or your family, murdered a member, or was responsible for the destruction of your home, would you be satisfied if the law, rather than arresting and trying the perpetrator, told you that "It was time to put all this behind us, time to move on?"
I just did exactly that, above.

So you disagree with Grant's actions? With the way South Africa handled the aftermath of Apartheid? I don't think you do.

In these cases, the state - representing society - made choices that made many people unhappy. The logic behind those decisions is exactly the same as the logic behind the decision not to prosecute Nixon. And, of course, the whole "Well, how would YOU feel??" canard is merely an appeal to emotion. Juries are scrubbed of jurors with a vested interest in the outcomes of trials for a reason, after all.

So again, 'deserves' got nothing to do with it.
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Old 07-04-2019, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,822 posts, read 18,549,595 times
Reputation: 18653
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2x3x29x41 View Post
Don't be ridiculous. Given that it is punishment that deters - and I specifically referenced 'prison time' in the context of deterrence, which you saw fit to snip out when you quoted me - it is obvious that I am arguing no such thing.

I do not think that punishment and deterrence are the same things. The first suggests a moral solution, that someone has done wrong and merits suffering of some sort as a consequence. The latter deals with the pragmatic aspect, how can we prevent this from happening again? You do not see a distinction here? What you describe seems more applicable to parent/children relations than to criminal justice.

So again I ask, are you taking the position that there is no punitive aspect? That punishment has nothing to do with making someone suffer for their crime, it is only to prevent a recurrence? You say that you are not, but your expanded explanation reinforces the idea that you are.
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