But history has shown it could cycle back to more practical state, as exemplified by Judge Cicconetti. It doesn’t even require mushy idealism: a practical view of achieving the cheapest outcome shows that “hammer and tongs” doesn’t work.
"But as I learned in the shadow of an empty steel plant more than two decades ago, while you can’t necessarily bend history to your will, you can do your part to see that, in the words of Dr. King, it “bends toward justice.” So I hope that you will stand up and do what you can to serve your community, shape our history and enrich both your own life and the lives of others across this country." - President Barack Obama - http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1886571...
The Boston municipal jail was shut down a couple of decades ago but when it was built about a century ago it was intended to be enlightened, providing the prisoners with light, fresh air, and exercise and allowing prisoners some internal liberty while being observed. By modern standards it wasn't a very nice place but at the time it was intentionally much better than the contemporary standard.
That period was the most revolutionary of any in the US's history, with many things under experimentation. The "initiative" (i.e. referendum) system used in various western states dates from this period for the same reason, and which even the name demonstrates.
> Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The article on Judge Cicconetti doesn't mention how many of his alternative punishments have been challenged on appeal (or if that's even an option).
Let's say a judge wants to do something similar, but in a more malevolent way supported by the local community. What checks the power of this judge other than an appeal through the court system?
I think it would be difficult to argue that any of Michael Cicconetti's creative punishments are "severe". Conversely, they appear to be relatively lenient compared to orthodox punishments. Additionally, the punishments are arguably the opposite of arbitrary, being designed to match the specifics of the crimes.
IANAL but, I suspect that since the full length jail sentence is considered neither cruel nor unusual and is an option for the convicted person, that should mean that if they choose a different option, it can't be cruel because they found that option more pleasant than one that is already determined to not be cruel. I guess this assumes that people will tend to choose the less cruel punishment given two options, but that seems like a safe assumption.
> During heavy blizzards, he ordered defendants to clear snow at a retirement home.
I didn't check them all. This one however, I find dubious. Because essentially he is putting these defendants in harmful, dangerous weather.
Who knew that generic jail/prison punishments don't rehabilitate.
> Nationally, the recidivism rate after incarceration is over 75 percent, with close to 50 percent of ex-convicts committing a new crime that can land them back within a year, according to a 2014 report by the U.S. Department of Justice. But Cicconetti claims to have a recidivism rate of only 10 percent.
I'd like to know what the DOJ's numbers would say for his area... and similar counties in the area.
So while it's not correct to say Cicconetti's approach lowers recidivism, or that jail time increases it, it's definitely correct to say that a punitive, jail-heavy approach to justice is not at all effective at rehabilitation.
That's not true as well, see Friedman's Thermostat for the extreme case
Generally rehabilitation percentages for "alternative punishments" can be misleading because they tend to be applied to situations where they're more likely to succeed
Thanks for bringing up Friedman's Thermostat, I wasn't aware of that thought experiment, and it's a really great example.
To me looks like something that should be compulsory to have a gun, to know the consequences of using it. I believe fewer people will have the guts of pressing the trigger after seeing that.
They were careful around the road without shouting or force.
This is how every boundary violation could be taught. "Here's this thing. Here's what happened to it and here are the effects. Any questions?" (Herein: "the pattern")
I'm now realizing this is maybe why we had the silly "This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?" campaign.
Can we redo that campaign with every law & in a clear, literal,and real way children can understand?
"Here's this/these living being/beings. Here's what it's like when they experience <violation>. Any questions? Call 800-555-1212 to register your question and ask the world on our livestream feed!"
Yeah...and let's do it live, with the goal of converting the entire legal code and precedents into something people can actually use.
We could also apply "the pattern" to universal life lessons, like solidarity > charity, coevolution > coexistence, mutualism > competition, and what the universal needs for thriving are.
Perhaps also everyone who chooses to not own a gun should be compelled to go to the morgue to see corpses of the victims of crimes, so they understand the evil of bystanding.
people like Cicconetti probably make for a 'feel good' story but seeing this makes me bitter. Judges are elected officials in the US, so the judge you get can be pretty arbitrary. They are allowed to be callous, and impose very harsh sentences, with little or no oversight. They can lie, and be backed entirely by the prosecution.
If I had a judge that imposed 9 years in prison, or 3 weeks of standing in a field wearing a funny hat, I would immediately take prison. I dont know this judge and my appointed attorney for the state isnt exactly knocking it out of the park. Prison comes with formal educational options like finishing a GED or starting college. It has educated psychologists and psychiatrists to seriously help with some offenders major problems; its not just a clever guy in a robe. Finally, prison has work placement assistance and reintegration assistance if needed.
My "feel good" punishment will still come with a criminal conviction. The difference is I will have foregone any semblance of formal restitution in the eyes of my friends, family, or employers.
Did I read this correctly?
This makes no sense.
Depends on the jurisdiction.
People smoke weed for a variety of reasons, but one of them is to reduce stress which is caused by the GIRK pathways releasing potassium from the cells into the blood stream, hyperpolarisation. Try it by swapping sodium chloride with potassium chloride and you wont be half as stressed with modern life, your intelligence will increase and your physical performance will increase. The take away is this, sodium causes cells to take on water, potassium causes cells to take on glucose, amino acids and other nutrients. Sodium starves the body at the cellular level.
You missed a follow-up. It happened because the original study failed to mention that these judges handled serious offenses before lunch leaving simpler cases for the after.
I love this quote. Notice it applies to an infinite amount of contexts.
For punishment to be an effective and fair deterrent, it must be predictable. In much the same way as judges in common law courts follow precedent in interpreting law, they follow sentencing trends in determining sentences. Additionally, their decisions are subject to the judgement of higher courts (appellate courts; Supreme Court).
Here's jail, and here's something else with less jail time or non - Choose. Parents already do that to their kids, some schools to students. His innovation is in applying it to Law.
Without choice, his method would be considered abuse of power.
Now, these offenses seem to be of mild nature, but who is to say that a world where equally ludicrous punishments for serious offenses is impossible?
Creative, or even corporal (e.g. 20 lashes), punishments are A. more effective, and B. less cruel, than prison time.
"A nanny accused of hitting a boy with a belt was compelled to read articles on the consequences of child abuse, and then discuss them in the courtroom in front of the judge, the victim's mother, and spectators."
Even though the act of shouting it in itself wasn't illegal, it was still not nice and disrespectful given the circumstances, hence why it was incorporated into the punishment. I am struggling to think of a nice "unusual punishment" in this traffic violation scenario that wouldn't incorporate the yelling part, but I guess I am not as creative as this judge.
If nobody is there, nothing is being disturbed.
> In July 2016, Joshua Condiotti-Wade of Colorado participated in a public protest with signs that said "Fuck Bad Cops" and "Blue Lives Murder." Commerce City police officer Chris Dickey approached him, accusing him of trespassing and disorderly conduct. [...]
> Condiotti-Wade has now received $175,000 in compensation from the city."
A million people all sharing "Bob did a bad thing, and I'll shun him until he does X" would be a very strong incentive for action. I'd imagine employers would soon start looking up prospective candidates on this service before hiring.
I try not to be cynical, but my perception is that for every one of these judges who can think up positive punishments, there's at least one who's creativity ends up in a more sinister place. And regardless of a judge's talent in this regard, they have the position and the incentives to make their outcomes seem better than they are.
On one hand, making a nanny who hit a child research and write a report on the effects of child abuse seems like an extremely good way to deter recidivism, and make an impression on the defendant.
On the other hand, making someone do an embarrassing public stunt seems like it would make them famous for the wrong reasons, severely handicapping their ability to find work in the future, to the point that it's ultimately worse than a short jail sentence. Embarrassing someone doesn't fix anything for them.
At least in the examples in Wikipedia, the punishments seem to focus more on making the defendant feel bad (in a hopefully educational way, not merely suffering), which is less good than making some form of reparation or restoration. The legal system already has a notion of community service as an alternative to jail; there is a lot of room for community service that uplifts victims while educating perpetrators.
For example, a nanny who hit a child could be sentenced to XX hours of sewing blankets for children in hospitals and orphanages.
Having the freedom to issue unusual punishments can be beneficial when the judge is positively motivated, but the same powers in the hands of a cruel or vindictive judge offer enormous potential for abuse.
The unusual punisments can be beneficial when the judge and also the defendant, and victims (or their representatives) agree agree that the punishment is restorative.
For example, give judges the power to issue unusual sentences, or ones violating the minimums, but have those sentences trigger an automatic review by an independent panel (perhaps a couple of appeals judges or something).
From the list, it seems that many belong to the "an eye for an eye" category rather than to the "repairing a problem" category.
That’s why in the end we are in the long run probably better off with a set of rules that make sure that things are predictable and the same for all people.
See the Five Good Emperors for examples of this.
From the article you linked:
> The rulers commonly known as the "Five Good Emperors" were Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and Marcus Aurelius. The term was coined based on what the political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli wrote in his book, The Discourses on Livy
Machiavelli isn't really a great foundational source for modern government.
> The concept of "The Five Good Emperors" reflects the internal Roman point of view. [...] It is, however, not necessarily the point of view of provincials and of Rome's neighbors – particularly, of those targeted by one or more of these emperors in a war of conquest or in the suppression of a revolt."
It very much depends on one's point of view, and if you happen to be the right type of citizen to fall on the right sight of autocratic rule.
Don't defend tyranny.
The opposite of tyranny is not democracy. That's why the US Constitution has a Bill of Rights (which, despite its efforts, was still a massive failure for millions of Americans for over century).
It very much depends on one's point of view, if you happen to be the right type of citizen to fall on the right sight of democratic rule.
Autocracy != tyranny.
Anyway, I merely linked examples of good leaders. It's weird to view a historical factual observation as a kind of defence of/desire for that political structure. The context in the Roman Empire was totally different from the world as it is today, of course I'd prefer democracy.
Apart from that: one size fits all rules are exactly the problem. You can NEVER define a set of rules that are even close to being a good model for justice.
People should focus on people instead of code and aim to only put people like the judge in the article in positions of power and decision. An twisted person can twist any law into doing evil.
He's a judge. He gets elected. His power is regulated by his constituents. According to the article, this judge has continually been elected since 1996.
I kinda find that more horrifying, really. It introduces a whole bunch of perverse incentives to the system. (Doubly so in the localities that don't require any legal experience, degree, or certification to be elected as a judge.)
Wow. If this is true, it's impressive.
But of course, that doesn't justify pets cruelty at all, as well as wild animals or insects cruelty, at least on the same level
Every Sunday, I see at least one dead animal along the road, it was a fox 2 days ago, and a dozen bees, butterflies (yea I spend time looking at the road, when riding uphill)
It's brutal, but I've spent 2 years on my own without paying for any food in a city, I sort of self-sentenced myself, no regret though, I like a simple life
edit: if you disagree with this, have at least the courage to leave a good reason