Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thanks for giving them that tool, you tools...

...or, Do you mean to tell me they have to kill someone before they can be locked up for good?

The Supreme Court took two cracks at one of the law's thorniest questions Monday: When can you lock up a prisoner and throw away the key? Not when it's a teenager who hasn't killed anyone, the justices said. But when it's a "sexually dangerous" inmate, maybe so, even if he has completed his federal prison sentence.
The court ruled in the case of Terrance Graham, who was implicated in armed robberies when he was 16 and 17. Graham, now 23, is in prison in Florida, which holds 60 percent of juvenile defendants who are locked up for life for crimes other than homicide.
"The state has denied him any chance to later demonstrate that he is fit to rejoin society based solely on a non-homicide crime that he committed while he was a child in the eyes of the law," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion. "This the Eighth Amendment does not permit."
I am not understanding how keeping people locked up for violent crime constitutes a violation of the Eighth Amendment -- especially considering that when I was 16, I had a pretty firm idea that armed robbery was not something a person does who is worthy of walking among free citizens. It strikes me as a more than reasonable thing to do considering the severity of their crime. I would say their crime showed them to be quite unfit to rejoin society no matter what. Isn't armed robbery often the first step on the road to more violent crimes such as home invasions and, yes, murder? So many times you see people arrested for murder with records for crimes less violent and they are, more often than not if I remember correctly, either parolees or people who have finished their sentences. So now the gun banners get to say, "The NRA wants ARMED ROBBERS to have GUNZ!" and the media will take that lie and run with it, as they always do, and now we get to have more thugs-in-training back on the streets because our justice system CAN'T keep said thugs locked up as they damn well should be. Thanks a lot, you tools.