December 6th, 2008

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12:17 pm - Run Juice, Run!!!!

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Run Juice, Run!!!! - graffiti.maverick — LiveJournal

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[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: December 6th, 2008 - 08:46 pm (Link)
ok, to be fair, I was avoiding the technical breakdown and such. But I don't really buy the kidnapping charge, and the conspiracy charge while true, technically, is just silly. Most crimes have a conspiracy behind them. As for the armed robbery charge, he wasn't actually caring a gun, others in his company were. In fact, his co-defendant, with the same charges was only given 27 years.

Yes, he can theoretically get parole after nine years, (and in fact, the media is reporting a "nine year minimum sentence") but do any of us honestly believe that he's going home after nine years, even on the best possible behavior?

I could be silly and point out that the man has a Heismann trophy and so the normal rules of society should be relaxed for him, but I don't think I even need a joke here. I really believe what happened to him was excessive. Certainly legal, and maybe even karmically just, but given the nature of the crime, I still feel the sentence is excessive. The Nevada State code calls for a robbery conviction to carry a sentence of 2 to 15 years which seems reasonable. The other 18 are pile-ons simply to cause additional punishment, not to protect the public or rehabilitate, which is something I've personally never agreed with.

So yes, if he were John Doe, I'd still be saying the same thing.
[User Picture]From: sexyhockihoochi Date: December 6th, 2008 - 10:23 pm (Link)
Conspiracy charges are pretty common, widely used, and very successful for the most part. Kidnapping isn't kidnapping in the sense that he took a 4 year old and held him hostage. It's also kidnapping when you detain someone illegally, which is what he did. Most of the news reports I've read said the OJ had a gun on him. Either way, there's a woman with a life-in-prison sentence because her lover robbed a bank with a gun, and she was given the same sentence as him, even though she was sitting in the car.

The Nevada code might call for that punishment for robbery, but when you add in conspiracy, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, and burglary, he got a pretty light sentence.

Really, he knew he was guilty (hello, video tape of him doing it!), and he could've taken the plea deal and gotten a hell of a less time. But instead, he wanted to prove that he could beat the system and that his waning celebrity status would protect him.

And I'd really hate to break it to you, but our criminal justice system is not about protecting the public OR rehabilitating. It's about revenge and anyone who says otherwise at this point hasn't done enough research on the subject. If it was about protecting the public or rehab, we wouldn't be locking up prostitutes or giving people who have 6 ounces of crack on them mandatory 25 year-life sentences.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: December 6th, 2008 - 11:30 pm (Link)
Conspiracy charges: Oh, sure, I know that. However, I personally consider that weak and am against it in concept. I'll grant that it's legal, but generally, as you pretty much are agreeing, this is a conspiracy charge that is piled on to make the sentence more stringent. It's something that I am against in principle and has nothing to do with this case in specific. Also, it's not always done. Which is kinda my issue with it.

Kidnapping charges: I know what they mean, but again, Nevada State Code, one could in fact argue he committed a first degree kidnapping with the intent to rob, as he detained the victims while he was robbing them, but similarly I think that's trumping up the charges to punish "that evil murdering bastard who got away with it." that's my point. I'm not blaming the Judge per se. I'm blaming the people. All of them. Holding someone at gunpoint and not letting them go until they give you their stuff isn't kidnapping and robbing. It robbing. That's what robbing is. That's why not every mugger gets a kidnapping charge. At the end of the day, what OJ did was no worse (or better) than any other thug who robbed someone at gunpoint and being OJ aside, he should have been treated like anyone else.

Pleas and Celebrity: Oh no doubt. He was clearly guilty and he's an idiot. I don't at all mean to defend him. But I'm not really talking about OJ's failings. I'm talking about the failings of the system

Penal system: Oh, but I disagree. I've done a lot of research on it. I'll grant that I don't have a criminology degree, as you do, but I do have a cultural studies degree and have taken a couple classes on it specifically. Again, I'll cite Foucault here. While vengeance was the basis for the justice system, in modern times that system has been revamped for both social and efficiency reasons. The PEOPLE believe in vengeance, but it cannot be the governments job to dispense it. Instead we dispense discipline. Hence using incarceration instead of public flogging, or lethal injection rather than drawing and quartering. This is why we lock up prostitutes and crack fiends. No one is getting revenge on the prostitutes. There's no wronged party. No one is looking for an eye for an eye on smoking crack. We lock them up to deter others from smoking crack or charging for sex. We lock them up so we can say "don't turn turn tricks or smoke a pipe, because if you do, we're sending you away. (Now, to be fair, I have alternate stances here as well, I don't think either of those things should be a crime, but that's a different issue altogether)

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