Stricter punishment reduces crime
This question is looking for your views on whether stricter enforcement and mandatory sentencing is the solution to crime. However you answer the above question would be similar to your response to these statements:
The 'Black Lives Matter' movement attempts to get police to stop treating African-Americans differently than white suspects. The movement comes to the fore whenever a video emerges from a police shooting of black suspects, as has occurred regularly over the past years. Saying 'Black Lives Matter' blames the police for institutionalized racism, and demands corrective action by changing how police behave. The counter-movement uses the term 'Blue Lives Matter,' implying support of police in a dangerous job.
The National Crime Victimization Survey found the lowest overall crime rate since the survey began in 1973. Since 1994, violent crime rates have declined, reaching the lowest level ever recorded in 2010. Property crime rates continue to decline as well.
Despite the falling crime rate, taking into account both violent crime and property crime, 83 percent of Americans can expect to be a victim of crime at least once in their lifetime.
‘Three Strikes’ laws mean that people convicted of a third felony receive a mandatory life sentence. The term refers to the baseball rule, "Three Strikes and You're Out." Some candidates advocate ‘Two Strikes’ or ‘One Strike,’ which generally means more mandatory sentencing, less judicial discretion, and less chance of early parole.
The opposite viewpoint from ‘Three Strikes’ focuses on the increasing prison population. In this view, along with prison privatization, imprisonment has become big business, and hence subject to political pressure to increase imprisonment. In particular, black males are ever more likely to be imprisoned.
‘Broken Windows’ laws mean that police focus on ‘quality of life’ issues as much as on crime itself. By addressing even minor crimes such as broken windows, according to this theory, a community is less likely to tolerate any crime, and overall crime rates should fall.
‘Community Policing’ refers to a policy of crime prevention replacing incident response. It is often accompanied by a ‘broken windows’ policy, or by increased police presence on the streets.
A ‘tort’ means a civil infraction as opposed to a criminal violation. ‘Tort reform’ includes capping lawsuit rewards; banning ‘frivolous lawsuits’; or some other change in civil lawsuit procedures.
The death penalty is currently implemented in 34 states. It was re-legalized by a Supreme Court decision in 1977. Since then, 1,278 people have been executed. About 3,250 inmates remain on 'Death Row.' Texas is by far the national leader in executions--it has executed 477 people as of Jan. 2012, 37% of the national total. (Virginia is a very distant second with 109).
Much of the current controversy about the death penalty focuses on the circumstances where it should be applied, and on its unequal application among racial and socioeconomic classes. About 52% of death row inmates are Black or other minority, versus 17% in the general population. Over 98% of death row inmates are male.
Congress defines ‘Hate Crimes’ as a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim because of the actual or perceived race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability or sexual orientation of that person. Hate Crimes are covered primarily as racial or anti-gay issues under Civil Rights.
V. No person shall... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.... (1791)
VIII. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. (1791)
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