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Mikey
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PostWed Dec 05, 2018 7:45 am 
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For 3 years I was assigned to the Washington State Legislature and while I was there I attended various Legislative Committee hearings.  There was a hearing regarding increasing the mandatory jail time for offenses including driving under the influence (perhaps this was for driving under the influence and causing an accident that resulted in a fatality).  Some State Senators argued that the cost of having a person in jail was too much and so the mandatory jail times were not increased.  I suggest that the leniency towards violators is related to the money.  One of the State Senators who argued against increasing mandatory jail time for driving under the influence is now a Washington State Appeals Court Judge.
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Schenk
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PostWed Dec 05, 2018 7:59 am 
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It seems to be a bit of a Catch 22...
If prosecution and subsequent punishment is a deterrent to crime then it does make some sense to not accept as many plea deals as it seems they are doing.
Prosecuting more crimes may not be the ultimate answer, but leniency and plea deals to keep crimes from going to trial to reduce trial backlog is not helping to deter or reduce crime, and more crime is where the backlog comes from.

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hbb
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PostWed Dec 05, 2018 8:28 am 
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Seven months in federal prison for stealing a few checks, a walkie-talkie, and a wrench seemed like a pretty long sentence to me.

You folks must all be a bunch of hardened ex-cons or something to brush that off as lenient.
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thunderhead
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PostWed Dec 05, 2018 8:45 am 
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You are forgetting the stolen car, and the repeat offenses.

Stop coddling them.
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hbb
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PostWed Dec 05, 2018 9:01 am 
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No, I am assuming that sentencing for the stolen car will take place in a separate proceeding (and a separate court system) if guilt is established. The same holds true for any enhancement due to habitual offender status.
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Cyclopath
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PostWed Dec 05, 2018 9:05 am 
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hbb wrote:
Seven months in federal prison for stealing a few checks, a walkie-talkie, and a wrench seemed like a pretty long sentence to me.

You folks must all be a bunch of hardened ex-cons or something to brush that off as lenient.

We need to hang them, reanimate their bodies, and drown them.  Anything else is the same as an acquittal.

Unfortunately there's a lot of theft and vandalism at trail heads.  It's like a tax on hiking.  You never know whether your car will be intact when you return to it, and that causes people a lot of anxiety.  Sometimes thieves puncture tires when they can't steal anything of value.

I don't think draconian punishments are the answer, people do this because they think they'll get away with it (not be caught).  The answer is LEO presence at trailheads, or maybe cameras.  It's cheaper than jail, and many fewer people would be breaking into cars if it was known that the police show up at trailheads regularly.
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joker
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PostWed Dec 05, 2018 10:20 am 
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contour5 wrote:
Drag them into the forest, force-feed them 40 grams of dried psilocybin and then make them listen to recordings of Fred Rogers for 24 hours or so.

That's almost like something out of A Clockwork Orange. How about throwing in some Bob Ross video too? Might come out like this:


Sorry for the digression - carry on debating proportionality of sentencing and rationing very limited prosecutorial and justice oriented resources (i.e. "politics")
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RandyHiker
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PostWed Dec 05, 2018 12:28 pm 
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I'm fascinated by the level of outrage about fairly petty property crimes.  I've had my car broken into at a trailhead(1975) and in front of my house (1987).  In the first case the loss was below the deductable and in the second it was above and my insurance company covered the loss without any trouble.

From those experiences I've learned to never leave anything of value in the vehicle ever.  I have been lucky since then with no break ins.  Even though I frequently park on shattered glass at trailheads.
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Schenk
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PostWed Dec 05, 2018 1:17 pm 
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RandyHiker wrote:
I'm fascinated by the level of outrage about fairly petty property crimes. I've had my car broken into at a trailhead(1975) and in front of my house (1987). In the first case the loss was below the deductable and in the second it was above and my insurance company covered the loss without any trouble.

Randy, I think the amount of disposable income that a person has will have a lot to do with their level of outrage.
Not everyone can afford the same level of insurance coverage either.

It is obvious that some folks just don't really have an understanding (much less empathy or sympathy) for how property crime affects people on the mid-lower end of the income scale.
It is all relative...for some people a broken window on their car means scheduling time to get it replaced. For others, it means getting out the tape and a garbage bag and driving through the winter (or longer)with their window covered with that. Or else skipping a few meals, making the kids wear pants too short, shoes too tight, and saving for a window.
The actual theft of property isn't even required to put them into dire straits...just the damage to their vehicle (or other property) is enough to cause  financial stress.

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Backpacker Joe
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PostWed Dec 05, 2018 1:18 pm 
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By and large smart people dont need to steal..... hockeygrin.gif

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

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RandyHiker
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PostWed Dec 05, 2018 1:54 pm 
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Schenk wrote:
Randy, I think the amount of disposable income that a person has will have a lot to do with their level of outrage.

That's an interesting theory.  I've driven mostly rust-buckets, only non rusty cars since '98.   I've never really invested a lot of ego in my vehicle,  to me it's a tool for moving people and stuff, not a status symbol.

I'm a bit skeptical that people living so close to the edge that a busted window will need to miss meals have gas money to drive to trailheads.
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Schenk
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PostWed Dec 05, 2018 2:15 pm 
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RandyHiker wrote:
That's an interesting theory. I've driven mostly rust-buckets, only non rusty cars since '98. I've never really invested a lot of ego in my vehicle, to me it's a tool for moving people and stuff, not a status symbol.

I'm a bit skeptical that people living so close to the edge that a busted window will need to miss meals have gas money to drive to trailheads.

Randy,
It isn't theory. And not all property crime happens at trailheads.
That was an actual example of a family I know. And their break in happened in front of their house, like it happened to you once in the past.

After your time in Harlem I am surprised (that is you, right?) by your lack of insight into the lives of people at the bottom end of the income scale.
I know and interact with a number of people who have to live on under $30,000/year, and have a family and children to support. They don't do drugs, drink, or spend money on necessary things. They are kind, honest, hard working people. And yes, a broken window in their car from attempted theft meant sacrificing something else in order to have it fixed in a timely manner.

I applaud you for not living beyond your means, and for not letting ego rule your purchasing decisions. I see people who could have spent their money more wisely, for sure.
The reality is however, a broken window on a rust bucket lets in as much cold air as on a 'Cedes or BMW, and will need to be fixed.

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RandyHiker
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PostWed Dec 05, 2018 4:19 pm 
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Schenk wrote:
After your time in Harlem I am surprised (that is you, right?) by your lack of insight into the lives of people at the bottom end of the income scale

Harlem is probably way different than you imagine-- it certainly was for me.  Most people don't have cars here.  Even owning a rust bucket here is far beyond the means of almost all Harlem residents.  Maybe 1 person in 20 owns a vehicle.  Venturing out to the countryside for a hike isn't something people even think about.

But people here in Harlem (I'm visiting at the moment) are very friendly and I've never had any kind of trouble crime wise -- even walking around late at night.

A friend of mine owned a house near Aurora in North Seattle during the '80s.  Car prowls were so bad there and then that they learned to empty the car completely, leave it unlocked, with the windows rolled down and the driver's door propped open a bit.  (Bulb removed from the dome light)  The battery was secured to the chassis with a heavy chain and of course the radio was long gone.

Never once did my friend suggest any sort of torture  for the car prowlers.
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Malachai Constant
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PostWed Dec 05, 2018 5:46 pm 
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If you are flying out of  LaGuardia the closest subway stop is in Harlem have been there several times everyone was friendly and food good.

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RandyHiker
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PostWed Dec 05, 2018 6:48 pm 
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Malachai Constant wrote:
If you are flying out of  LaGuardia the closest subway stop is in Harlem have been there several times everyone was friendly and food good.

La Guardia is the closest airport,  but there aren't any direct flights between SeaTac and LGA and there is no subway service from LGA, but there is the M60 bus from LGA to Harlem.  We almost always fly in and out of JFK and take the A train from Howard Beach to 125th Street, just a block away from the Apollo theater.

The restaurant scene in Harlem is evolving,  There are old school places that are inexpensive,  Jimbo's hamburger palace is one place I like, cheap, cash only, most of the staff are Espanol 1st and English 2nd. 

Then there are newer places, where it's easy to drop $100 a person.

My son's apartment is north of the current "gentrification" line, so the rent is quasi do able.
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