The last thing an old dyed in the wool law and order authoritarian wants to be called is soft, and in some instances a hardy application of pragmatism can (wrongly) be confused with going soft but there is a reason why we separate the spirit from the letter of the law. Rigidity for its own sake diminishes justice, re visiting edicts with fresh eyes and periodically replacing them back on those scales for recalibration fortifies and renews our faith in its proper application.
We all understand the need for frugality and parsimony wrt government spending and the allocation of public monies. In these days of deficits everywhere, city/state and federal budgets, a proper accounting and a need to trim the fat is essential and nowhere is that more evident than in the prison system.
There is a rather unpleasant fellow that is doing a 127 year stint in the big house for a brutal rape committed 14 years ago. The courts have decided to release him early due to his personal circumstances, and I am inclined to agree with letting him go;
A California appeals court has granted the release of a quadriplegic rapist who was considered an excessive cost to the state.
Steven Martinez was convicted of several counts of violent rape in 1998 after he drove his car over a woman, assaulted her, kidnapped her and then raped her.
While serving his sentence in 2001, Martinez was attacked by two other inmates and was stabbed in the neck. The wound paralyzed him instantly. As an inmate, his caretakers say he remains an “angry, repulsive person.”
Martinez applied last year to become the first inmate freed under a medical parole law that aims to reduce prison costs. He was turned down as a public safety risk. An appeals court in San Diego rejected that decision last month and ordered his release, according to the Associated Press.
I think we are all in agreement that Martinez is a POS whose own actions have left him in a pretty sorry state of life. We can discuss the idiocy of giving thousand year prison sentences . I get that multiple crimes carrying minimums can add up to some serious time (Bernie Madoff got 150 years).
The video mentioned that it costs the state about 800 grand to care for Martinez and since they are letting violent offenders out anyway, not enough room, allowing the privilege of wiping his ass and spoon feeding him everyday to his parents seems reasonable to me. Much like yet another school bond that gets foisted on me every year, I would support building more prisons to keep those violent offenders away from me and my family, but understand that the prison system ,like everything else in this stare is operating in the red.
I don’t buy the D.A’s excuse for keeping him locked up, that somehow he could Svengali some other offender to do is criminal bidding for him. The guy is basically a vegetable. His life is shit regardless, whether he occupies space in a prison cell or in his parent’s home, nobody should think that he is getting away with anything.
Aside from the obvious financial considerations, the issue for me was compassion for his parents. No doubt they have paid a heavy price for the transgressions of the son, they want and are able to care for him now, this is a win/win for everyone.
Anybody feel differently about this, that he did the crime so now he must do the time no matter the circumstance?