Hat tip to Global Guerrillas.
On reflection, the sentencing is a perfect illustration of how the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Judges tend to live in affluent, safe neighborhoods. They tend to come from privileged backgrounds. They feel sorry for the great unwashed who had a tougher upbringing than them. Rather than apply the law, they inject their conscience, their values into sentencing. These do not necessarily reflect those of the community, the intent of the legislature or past precedent. Activist judges believe they are making the system fairer by acting in accordance with their conscience. It’s a progressive thing. It accords with a post modern perspective. It is undoubtedly of the left.
Activist judges reject precedent and impose their values when sentencing. This in turn sets precedents other leftwing judges can draw on when sentencing. It also sets precedent that conservative judges feel obliged to follow. Bleeding heart judges feel good about themselves when imposing lenient sentences or giving criminals another chance. They do not see the hidden costs of their selfish approach to sentencing. Costs such as:
- Innocent people being harmed or forced to live in fear because criminals who should be incarcerated are preying on them or their neighbors.
- People sentenced to inappropriately long sentences due to mandatory minimum sentences or three strikes and you are out laws.
Soft sentences cause people to lose faith in the system. Some may take the law into their own hands. Others demand the legislature act to ensure appropriate sentences. There are only so many things the legislature can do. None of them is cost free. Mandatory minimum sentences and three strike laws are ways the legislature addresses the problem. Activist judges injecting their values into sentences are the direct cause of mandatory minimum sentences or three strikes and you are out laws. These measures remove the ability of judges to impose overly lenient sentences or to impose appropriately lenient sentences.
Make no mistake. The progressive left and activist judges are directly responsible for the injustice that arises from mandatory minimum sentences and three strikes and you are out laws. Every instance should be one more nail in the progressive left coffin. It matters not how good or selfish their intentions are.