and Pataki/NY proposes our first american gulag...


PDA






scubie02
January 19, 2006, 01:34 PM
In the local paper that Pataki is proposing that Camp Pharsalia (one of our prisons they have been wanting to close for the past several years because crime is down and we don't have enough criminals--but the politico types have fought tooth and nail to keep it and the money it generates) be torn down, then a new "facility" built where NY will keep all the sex offenders who have done their time and have been let out of prison. :scrutiny: Well, sec offenders are a pretty unsympathetic group--well, unless its like one of our students who was 18 and who's 16 yr old gf's parents had him arrested for messing around with their daughter, but maybe he still deserves to live in a camp the rest of his life. But, since we've decided its ok to keep released sex offenders in a camp the rest of their lives, which group shall we decide next its ok to do that to? Hmmmm.


I wonder what would happen if we decided that those "white collar" criminals like the Enron types should live in a "camp" the rest of their lives? After all, their crimes were arguably much more heinous than that student--they affected thousands of people, ruined lives...I bet they'd pass a law where THEY go in a camp forever...

If you enjoyed reading about "and Pataki/NY proposes our first american gulag..." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
rick_reno
January 19, 2006, 02:07 PM
"Compared to non-sex offenders released from State prisons, released sex offenders were 4 times more likely to be rearrested for a sex crime."

Source - Bureau of Justice Statistics, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/rsorp94.htm

Personally, if they want to build a facility for these "people" - I'll support it. I'd really get behind it if the facility were on a sinking boat 300 miles off our coast in frigid water. I have zero tolerance for sex offenders.

EVIL5LITER
January 19, 2006, 02:14 PM
I'm more in favor of castration (be it chemical or physical) for heinous violators or repeat offenders than concentration camps.

rick_reno
January 19, 2006, 02:29 PM
I'm more in favor of castration (be it chemical or physical) for heinous violators or repeat offenders than concentration camps.

Repeat offenders? I'm in favor of not giving them the opportunity to become repeat offenders.

Janitor
January 19, 2006, 02:38 PM
I'm more in favor of castration (be it chemical or physical) for heinous violators or repeat offenders than concentration camps.
Not that they don't deserve that, but it won't stop them from doing their nasty little deeds. They'll find a prostethic of some sort. This kind of thing is NOT about sex. It's about control.

Repeat offenders? I'm in favor of not giving them the opportunity to become repeat offenders.
+1

wingnutx
January 19, 2006, 02:40 PM
I'm more in favor of life sentences, thus making this a moot point.

The bar must be so high, though. The original poster is correct that not all 'sex offenders' are equally offensive.

scubie02
January 19, 2006, 03:02 PM
but you see, that's how they get the ball rolling. You pick some group that people don't mind having bad things done to, and so people say "well, those types deserve it". But then you have set the precedent. If its ok to do it to "them", its ok to do it to other groups too.

"The trouble with fighting for human freedoms is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning, if it is to be stopped at all".


This thread just proves the point and that gov't knows what its doing. I wonder what percentsge of criminals who get out of jail and aren't supposed to own guns get them again anyway? In which case, its pretty clear to me that "gun people" have a high incidence of recidivism...hmmm...so maybe there should be a law that people convicted of crimes involving guns should go in a camp for the rest of their lives...I know its often the case that if somebody steals and commits suicide with a gun, they go after the guns owner because he must not have stored it carefully enough--probably just do it again--off to camp for that fella...or maybe you shot that guy breaking into your house, but he was just there to steal your tv, and that big knife he had was just to pry open the window and such...not a justifiable shoot, and you probably don't seem remorseful...obviously do it again...

jacobtowne
January 19, 2006, 03:03 PM
I'm more in favor of castration (be it chemical or physical) for heinous violators or repeat offenders than concentration camps.

How would that work with female sex offenders?:)
JT

EghtySx
January 19, 2006, 03:08 PM
If they want to build a facility for sex offenders how about a mausoleum?

Sindawe
January 19, 2006, 03:15 PM
First They Came for the Jews

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Pastor Martin Niemöller

longeyes
January 19, 2006, 03:16 PM
Every day, in every way, we need to bring back exile. Plenty of islands around.

El Tejon
January 19, 2006, 04:23 PM
Outstanding, longeyes!:D

I have long called for the creation of a "Mopeberia" where repeat offenders would be sent. Cuba would be a great place or somewhere in the South Pacific.:)

Herself
January 19, 2006, 04:31 PM
Didn't they used to call that place of exile "Australia?"

...And before that, they called it "the American Colonies."

Tellya what, if they get exiled to the Moon or the Asteroids, I'll find some technical offense that doesn't harm persons to commit to get sent there. It seems to be a good way to get out from under, historically.

It does beat building concentration camps or reservations -- but not by much.

At what point in this Great Plan For The Perfection Of Society does the notion of "having paid one's debt to society" come into play? Is there any room at all for restitutional justice, or should we start lopping off the hands of thieves and branding adulterors now?

--Herself

sturmruger
January 19, 2006, 04:53 PM
There are different levels of sex offenders in most states. The guy that is 18 with a 16 year old girlfriend would only be a Level 1 sex offender in all of the states that I know of!!

Some guy that rapes little kids in the park should not be released into the general public. We have laws to put down vicious animals that are known to bite and harm people. I don't any reason we can't keep some of these people that prey on small children locked up.

Cellar Dweller
January 19, 2006, 05:00 PM
U.S. Constitution - Amendment 5
Amendment 5 - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

U.S. Constitution - Amendment 8
Amendment 8 - Cruel and Unusual punishment
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Criminal is tried, found guilty and sentenced. Sentence completed. Released from prison and "released" into an exile camp...
Either prison for x years OR immediate walled exile, OK. Not both.

I nominate New Orleans; since construction crews are already there, they could build walls while rebuilding levees. The second camp could be Washington, D.C. :neener:

ScottsGT
January 19, 2006, 05:06 PM
I once met a guy that was charged and found guilty of a sex crime. He was urinating in a back alley after dark. The prosecuted him for "Exposing Himself" in public. Never mind he was facing a corner or a wall out of sight of anyone. He now is on the sex offenders registry the rest of his life.

Chipperman
January 19, 2006, 05:11 PM
There are a few versions of Niemoller's statement floating around, but the one believed to be the correct one from 1945 is this one:

In Germany they first came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me —
and by that time no one was left to speak up

=======================================
I agree with the sentiment that sex offenders are among the most heinous criminals, but if they are put into "special housing" AFTER serving their time, that sets a very dangerous precedent.

Dmack_901
January 19, 2006, 08:03 PM
I'm assuming they wouldn't be put into this camp after their sentance, but after their jail term w/ this as part of their sentance. Otherwise it's just plain unconstitutional. But If it's part of their sentance, say as an alternative for life in prison, that's no too unreasonable IMO.

Sindawe
January 19, 2006, 08:45 PM
From the originating post.......then a new "facility" built where NY will keep all the sex offenders who have done their time and have been let out of prison.

Alex45ACP
January 19, 2006, 08:46 PM
Repeat offenders? I'm in favor of not giving them the opportunity to become repeat offenders.

Me too, but we have to let them out after a few years to make room for all the people arrested in the "War on (people who use certain types of) Drugs".

scubie02
January 19, 2006, 09:09 PM
the article seemed to be saying that they would go there after having served their time in prison. We already had one city in NY which passed a law saying that sex offenders couldn't live within so many feet of a school, park, etc etc--it was of course soon apparent that there was NO PLACE in the city that wasn't within so many feet of the specified areas--which of course was the intent. So if you pass laws like that, pretty soon where else do they have to go, right?

Certainly I am not defending people who prey upon little children. But I wonder how many of the "sex offenders" out there are those type? Maybe its a huge percentage, I don't know. All I know is there have been an awful lot of cases which I saw publisized where the "crime" someone was convicted of a sex crime for certainly didn't seem like something they deserved to spend the rest of their lives in a "camp" over. It is an EXTREMELY disturbing precedent set in my mind to have people in this country who have served their time told they must live in a camp. This is contrary to what this country is supposed to stand for.

Standing Wolf
January 19, 2006, 09:59 PM
The problem with life imprisonment is that it costs more to keep someone in prison for a year than it would to send a deserving young person to virtually any college in the nation for the same length of time.

The obvious solution to the problem of serious sex offenders is to hang them by the neck until dead upon their second convictions. Everybody deserves a second chance.

I didn't say a third chance. I didn't say an umpty-seventeenth chance. I said a second chance.

After that, they're out of here.

SomeKid
January 19, 2006, 10:03 PM
Instead of all crimes leading to jail terms, crimes should have actual punishments.

Murder someone, hang.

Rape someone, hang.

Molest children, hang.

Drive drunk, hang.

Break into someones home, or attack someone on the street, hang.

Vandalize property, replace it, and pay the owner 10% of the value of whatever was replaced. (Value determined by whatever it costs to replace/repair it.)

Steal 1000 dollars, pay the money back, plus 50%. Meaning, 1500 to the victim.

Defraud someone, get same punishment as a thief. (This would REALLY nail corporate fraudsters, and inside traders.)

Now, prisons and jails would still have uses. Holding people during trials, or in the instances where it was a more appropriate punishment, which I really don't think would be often.

Benefits are obvious, less cost on the system, by having fewer prisons, and of course, with the real hard criminals actually getting the death penalty, crime will decrease.

One simply has to tweak the laws, so an 18 year old banging a 17 year old doesn't hang (other tweaks as well, just one example). Also, nobody should sit on death row more than 5 years. After those fixes, I think the system will be an extremely good one.

Krenn
January 20, 2006, 12:40 AM
hmmm... maybe a LITTLE extreme, but a variation might work:

"predatory" rape, where no possible misunderstanding between parties could exist: Death penalty.

"Date" rape: death penalty on second offense.

"Statuatory" Rape: On third offense. must be three distinct victims.

murder, torture, etc: on first offense

other Violent crimes: on third offense, unless defensive gun use gets you first.

manslaughter, drunken driving, fraud, embezzlement:

exile and forfeiture of all assets.

tellner
January 20, 2006, 07:47 AM
Welcome to Bizarro world where "Done your time" means "Lifetime imprisonment at the King's pleasure".

RealGun
January 20, 2006, 07:47 AM
You handle it the same way that a posse of angry fathers would handle it. They quietly had a late night hanging out in the woods, and no one says anything about it. The law would deal with it in a controlled way, trying to verify real guilt, but should get the same result and without undue delay.

Cellar Dweller
January 20, 2006, 08:24 PM
Drive drunk, hang.
or
manslaughter, drunken driving, fraud, embezzlement:

exile and forfeiture of all assets.

All other examples had a "criminal" and "victim" and actual damages done. Drunken driving: as in blowing .08 (or whatever the State determines the limit should be) even though the person is driving better than 50% of the sober drivers OR falling-down, puking, and wasted OR only if Steve Sixpack caused personal or property damage? Are 90-year-olds on legal meds (or missing their meds) exempt when they mistake the gas pedal for the brake and run over a group of pedestrians?

I've got a problem crucifying someone over a "what if;" what if Joe the CCW holder wants to shoot up the schoolyard or workplace? Not that he likely will, going through the trouble of acquiring a license, training, keeping his nose clean, etc. but he could.

GoRon
January 20, 2006, 08:35 PM
Welcome to Bizarro world where "Done your time" means "Lifetime imprisonment at the King's pleasure".
Welcome to bizarro world where those that prey on innocent children are actually allowed to see the light of day.

The attempt to keep on punishing them after they have done their time is a reaction to the judicial and legislative failures to properly punish these offenders in the first place.

We have "zero tolerance" on kids bringing toy guns to school and a judge on the east coast sentencing a repeat child rapist to 60 days.

That is bizarro world.

SomeKid
January 20, 2006, 10:54 PM
Cellar, I hate drunk drivers. They are not in any way compariable to HCP holders. HCP are law abiding citizens, who do our best to be good citizens. Drunk drivers kill people.

22-rimfire
January 20, 2006, 11:50 PM
What's a HCP?

Drunken drivers.... hang em. Sounds like the al-Qaeda way. I personally think the DUI laws are too rigid, the limit of 0.1 or 0.08 is too low, and I don't drink except for an ocasional beer. The MAD group has a bit too much power. They turn a sex offender loose after 60 days. They sentance a murderer to less than a year, and they throw a drunken driver in the clinker for a year.... doesn't sound equitable to me. Oh, lets not forget drugs, meth manufacture and possession to sell... maybe as much as 10 years prison. The DUI felon can no longer vote or own a firearm? Sound equitable? They should prosecute people for what they do and not what they could do.

Own a gun... hang em. Oh, they might hurt someone. Thank goodness this law does not exist, but similar punishments were given to Jews for being Jews in Germany. Oh, it can't happen here?

SomeKid
January 21, 2006, 12:24 AM
What's a HCP?



Own a gun... hang em. Oh, they might hurt someone. Thank goodness this law does not exist, but similar punishments were given to Jews for being Jews in Germany. Oh, it can't happen here?


HCP = Handgun Carry Permit. It is what TN issues.

I knew the idiocy would come up. Let me make some simple facts obvious to you.

Guns are inanimate objects. They don't move.

Drunk drivers however, are drunk, and driving a vehicle around. Said drunk drivers don't exactly have very good record of being safe drivers. Driving drunk is equivilent to waving a loaded gun around a crowded room, blindfolded, and occaisionly half jerking the trigger while running around on a floor covered with marbles. They weren't born drunk drivers, they made themselvesa drunk drivers. The Jew reference was a sorry use of the Nazi card.

KriegHund
January 21, 2006, 12:39 AM
Considering that you can be a sex offender for urinating in public, i propose we...do something rather innapropriate to this new yorker.

22-rimfire
January 21, 2006, 01:52 AM
Somekid said..."Drunk drivers however, are drunk, and driving a vehicle around. Said drunk drivers don't exactly have very good record of being safe drivers. Driving drunk is equivilent to waving a loaded gun around a crowded room, blindfolded, and occaisionly half jerking the trigger while running around on a floor covered with marbles. They weren't born drunk drivers, they made themselvesa drunk drivers." The simple facts are not obvious to me at all..... sorry.

It is a question of what defines drunk. I don't think your analogy with the marbles and half jerking the trigger of a loaded gun is any better than mine with the Nazi's (even though the Nazi analogy was a low blow). It is also a question of over simplification of the drunk driving problem. Truly drunk drivers have a very poor driving history. A 21 year old driving with 0.1 blood alcohol level is probably about the same as a 50 year old man driving without any alcohol use in terms of reaction time (just guessing). Should the 50 year old be thrown in jail for being 50? or 60? or 70? My feeling is if the driver is weaving on the highway as in crossing the center line erratically, they should be checked for alcohol or drug use. It is reckless driving. Again, where do you define the drunk vs not drunk limit?

So many accidents are caused these days by cell phone users, basically lack of attention and slow to react to a traffic problem. Ban them? Heck, I had a young woman ram me a couple months ago at a stop sign because she was using her cell phone and for whatever reason thought I had pulled out (there was oncoming traffic). What about driving while eating a burger from McDonalds? Messing with the Ipod? Driving with screaming kids in the car? Putting make-up on while driving?

My point is that prosecution for drunk driving should be based on actual driving and not on some test that assumes significant impairment at 0.08 or 0.1 levels. The penalty is for reckless driving not a blood alcohol content that might be caused by one ounce of liquor.

The gun control people use the same argument about guns and safety. They feel that guns should be banned because the the gun is present. The person holds the gun, so he must be evil and likely to commit murder or another serious crime.

I don't know the answer to where you draw the line on drunk vs non-drunk. I just think it is too low and the laws are too rigid in terms of enforcement and penalty imposed. The penalty does not often fit the "crime".

Oh, thanks for reminding me what HCP means.

The penalties for sex offenders is another emotional issue like drunk driving. My feelings are that most sex offenders can not be rehabed. Does that give us a right to put them in jail or a camp for the rest of their lives? The 60-day penalty mentioned above is sad. But, life in prison may be just as sad. Again, we can't broad brush a crime with rigid penalties. I don't know the answer to this issue either, but sex offenses by adults against children is a terrible crime against humanity and the death penalty may be appropriate in severe cases.

SomeKid
January 21, 2006, 03:29 AM
22, fair enough. I think this is a good compromise to your concerns.

If you drive drunk (have alcohol in your system, any at all) and are caught, but nobody is injured, you:

1) Walk home.
2) Loose your car, and everything you had in it.
3) No driving privileges for a year
4) 5k fine first offense, it doubles each subsequent offense. (10k 2nd, 20k 3rd, 40k 4th, and so on)
5) If you drive drunk within the next year (no license, which is revoked for 1 year) you are executed.

If you drive drunk, and are caught because you had a wreck, whether or not injuries are involved, you get executed. There, that should protect the innocent, what say you?

Ryder
January 21, 2006, 05:08 AM
which group shall we decide next its ok to do that to

Probably drug users or alcohol drinkers. What's harder to figure out is who will be last as more and more classes of people become incriminated. Tobacco users are notoriously hard to rehabilitate, as are fat people. Both are currently legitimate targets for discrimination and prime candidates for future incrimination.

Kind of makes me wonder what it takes to make people determine their own rights instead of letting others do it for them.

22-rimfire
January 21, 2006, 11:58 AM
Somekid said as a "compromise" to my earlier statement that.... "If you drive drunk (have alcohol in your system, any at all) and are caught, but nobody is injured, you:

1) Walk home.
2) Loose your car, and everything you had in it.
3) No driving privileges for a year
4) 5k fine first offense, it doubles each subsequent offense. (10k 2nd, 20k 3rd, 40k 4th, and so on)
5) If you drive drunk within the next year (no license, which is revoked for 1 year) you are executed.

If you drive drunk, and are caught because you had a wreck, whether or not injuries are involved, you get executed. There, that should protect the innocent, what say you?"

HOW ABOUT IF YOU ARE IDENTIFIED AS DRIVING RECKLESSLY AND HAVE ALCOHOL IN YOUR SYSTEM AND THERE IS NO ACCIDENT OR INJURY, THE OFFICER TAKES YOU HOME AND A WRECKER PICKS UP YOUR CAR?

Your use of the word compromise makes me chuckle.....the penalties you mentioned are just about what they are now or worse whether or not you know it. Especially if you take legal costs into account. The whole system forces people to break the law once they are caught in order to generate an income to live. Do you want to make their house payment and feed them if they can't drive to work?

Again, what's to stop the government from singling out another group with very harsh penalties for use of an object.... lets say semi-automatic rifles that look like assault weapons after the next terrorist event in the US? Not enough people to vote against it.... too many people say things like.... I don't have one, that doesn't affect me..... DIVIDE AND CONQUER. Always works as a tactic. Bet you wouldn't be in favor of that? I'm not.

SomeKid
January 21, 2006, 06:24 PM
HOW ABOUT IF YOU ARE IDENTIFIED AS DRIVING RECKLESSLY AND HAVE ALCOHOL IN YOUR SYSTEM AND THERE IS NO ACCIDENT OR INJURY, THE OFFICER TAKES YOU HOME AND A WRECKER PICKS UP YOUR CAR?

Your use of the word compromise makes me chuckle.....the penalties you mentioned are just about what they are now or worse whether or not you know it. Especially if you take legal costs into account. The whole system forces people to break the law once they are caught in order to generate an income to live. Do you want to make their house payment and feed them if they can't drive to work?

Again, what's to stop the government from singling out another group with very harsh penalties for use of an object.... lets say semi-automatic rifles that look like assault weapons after the next terrorist event in the US? Not enough people to vote against it.... too many people say things like.... I don't have one, that doesn't affect me..... DIVIDE AND CONQUER. Always works as a tactic. Bet you wouldn't be in favor of that? I'm not.


In response to what you wrote in red, how about we actually punish scumbags who wrecklessly put other peoples lives at risk? To compare this to guns, what penalty do you give someone who makes there backstop the neighbors house? Assuming nobody is injured, you could do something similar to the drunkards punishments, which I might add, is a punishment not on safe use of a legal object, but improper and dangerous use of said legal object. People should be punished for dangerous acts (drunk driving, shooting a neighbors house) not owning or consuming legal substances or items. That bolded part is what you, and Sarah Brady both need to figure out.

I know the penalties I propose are harsher than current, punishments SHOULD be harsh. Slaps on the wrist merely embolden the troublemakers. Real trash needs a real punishment. Drunk drivers fit into my definition of real trash. As for their house payment, and their food, that is their problem. They should have thought about it before they went and put other peoples lives at risk in such a selfish manner.

Cellar Dweller
January 23, 2006, 08:36 PM
Motorcyclist magazine has done several tests on drinking and riding over the years (starting around 1986 and the last time was 2004); the results were surprising. Riders were given a varying amount of alcohol (based on body weight) so their BACs were the same, tested roughly every +.02...

Two professional road racers went FASTER and hit less cones (that defined the course) even when they couldn't walk. Another non-pro was very impaired ~.04 and was puking long before .10, which was the legal limit at the time.

If you drive drunk (have alcohol in your system, any at all)and are caught, but nobody is injured, you:
Blah blah blah

What about:
1. Drivers on meds that cause judgement/reaction time impairment
2. Drivers OFF their meds, that have impaired judgement/reaction time
3. Sober drivers with voluntary distractions (radio, hot coffee in lap, cellphone etc.)
4. Sober drivers with involuntary distractions (kids, sudden external loud noises, debris in road, etc.)
4. Completely SOBER drivers driving recklessly by CHOICE
5. New drivers, elderly drivers, scared drivers that have impaired judgement/reaction time

Same penalties? Execution as well if someone is hurt or killed, even when there is no "demon rum" involved?

First you can execute all the sex offenders (and keep changing the definition of what is a sex offense), then drunk drivers (who you wish to be anyone >0.00); then you can go after smokers (popular target) and fat people (next popular target) and the sexual deviants (anything but missionary, only with your spouse, opposite sex only in a lot of juristictions) and the thoughtcriminals (for what they might or could do)...

There is no room for gun owners in a totalitarian utopia.

Art Eatman
January 23, 2006, 10:55 PM
Ain't the anonymity of the Internet wonderful? Amazing how bloodthirsty a Keyboard Kommando can be. Think I'll go out and join Drunks Against Mad Mothers.

"Gotta drive, oshifer; I'm too drunk to walk!"

Last I heard, this thread was about Pataki's idea...

:), Art

22-rimfire
January 23, 2006, 11:55 PM
Somekid wrote.. "Real trash needs a real punishment. Drunk drivers fit into my definition of real trash." All I can say is> :barf: Get a life and stop making my blood pressure rise. I know you believe these things. But that doesn't necessarily make the punishment fair, equitable, or just. I think I need a beer.

SomeKid
January 24, 2006, 01:25 AM
This got a bit funny, y'all made an assumption that I am against alcohol. Enjoy the beer 22, just stay off the roads. hating drunk driving is like hating murder, both are the misuse of totally legal and fine items.

Cellar, I got the 'blah blah blah' part of your post and skipped on. After that, your post became 'blah blah blah' to me.

Art, I would join that group in a heartbeat. I never have been fond of MADD. (Especially since the humorless GUY called asking for donation. Thats right, a GUY called from MOTHERS Against Drunk Driving. Whats worse, was he had no sense of humor. Ugh.) Oh by the way, I am toning it down and being nice on here Art. This bloodthirstyness you cite from a KK is actually my polite version. People who selfishly put everyone around them in danger get no pity from me.

Cellar Dweller
January 24, 2006, 02:42 PM
I think this is the original article:http://www.thedailystar.com/news/stories/2006/01/11/phars1.html

Pataki: Replace Pharsalia

Chenango prison camp would turn into sex-offender facility

By Paul Ertelt

Capitol Bureau

ALBANY — A minimum-security prison camp in Chenango County would become the home of 500 "civilly confined" sex offenders under a plan unveiled Tuesday by Gov. George Pataki.

Under the $130 million proposal, the 258-bed Camp Pharsalia would be demolished and replaced with a secure facility with more than 1,000 employees and an $80 million annual payroll. The facility, to be operated by the state Office of Mental Health, is expected to open by 2009.

The announcement was seen as a sign that the governor is optimistic about the Legislature reaching a deal on legislation that would establish procedures for confining sexual predators who have served their prison sentences and been deemed mentally defective.

The governor has been trying to close the camp and other prison facilities for two years to reflect the decline in the state’s prison population, which has dropped from a peak of nearly 72,000 six years ago to less than 63,000.

Lawmakers from the regions affected have resisted those proposals because of their impact on local economies.

Pharsalia town Supervisor Dennis Brown said the project would bring needed jobs to his town and county, but residents will need assurances that the inmates won’t pose a threat to the community.

"We need that question answered," he said. However, he noted that the 60-bed Valley Ridge Center for Intensive Treatment in Norwich, which houses mentally disabled sex offenders, hasn’t created a public-safety problem.

"The CIT center down there has got some violent predators, and you don’t even know they’re there," he said.

The proposal is a major victory for state Sens. Thomas Libous and James Seward, who have worked to keep Pharsalia open.

"This is big news," said Seward, R-Milford.

Now, the two lawmakers said, it is time to hear from residents and ensure that their questions are answered and their concerns addressed.

Libous, R-Binghamton, said residents need to keep an open mind.

"We don’t get an opportunity to create a thousand jobs often," he said.

The New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association, the union that represents correction officers, praised the initiative to protect the public, but "we steadfastly oppose the closing of any correctional facility," said union President Larry Flanagan.

Mike Fraser, spokesman for the state Department of Correctional Services, said no Pharsalia employees will lose their jobs but that they will be transferred to other prisons. Camp Pharsalia houses 143 inmates and has a staff of 91, including 65 security personnel.

Advocates for the mentally ill said they were pleased the governor doesn’t plan to house sex offenders in mental hospitals.

But David Seay, executive director of the state chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, said he is concerned about the governor’s plan to seek $27 million to house sex offenders in existing mental- health facilities in the coming state fiscal year.

He wants assurances that the limited resources of the state Office of Mental Health won’t be tapped if that amount proves insufficient.

"If you don’t do that, people who need psychiatric treatment ain’t going to get it," he said.

The governor, who presents his budget next week, is also seeking $35 million to renovate existing OMH facilities so they can be used to temporarily house sex offenders.

In a related matter, lawmakers from both houses expressed hope that they would soon have a deal on civil confinement.

Sen. Dale Volker, the western New York Republican who is sponsoring civil confinement legislation in his house, said it appears that the Senate and Assembly are close enough to close on the issue soon.

"I don’t think it’s that far apart," he said.

Assemblyman Jeff Aubry, D-Queens, chairman of the Assembly Correction Committee, said there are some differences in the two bills, but "I don’t think they’re insurmountable."

The Assembly and Senate also agreed to meet in conference committee to come up with a plan to keep hundreds of lower-level sex offenders from dropping off of a state registry later this month.

If it is a "secure mental health facility" then it isn't a gulag, nor are rights violated...unless/until the definitions of "sex offender" and "mentally deficient" keep changing.

carlrodd
January 24, 2006, 02:48 PM
hmmm... maybe a LITTLE extreme, but a variation might work:

"predatory" rape, where no possible misunderstanding between parties could exist: Death penalty.

"Date" rape: death penalty on second offense.

"Statuatory" Rape: On third offense. must be three distinct victims.

murder, torture, etc: on first offense

other Violent crimes: on third offense, unless defensive gun use gets you first.

manslaughter, drunken driving, fraud, embezzlement:

exile and forfeiture of all assets.

i'll second that.

buzz_knox
January 24, 2006, 02:50 PM
So this facility is where they will house those who have undergone civil committment, by which sex offenders who have served their time but are deemed still a danger to society are locked up until the danger ceases?

trueblue1776
January 24, 2006, 02:56 PM
I'm more in favor of castration (be it chemical or physical) for heinous violators or repeat offenders than concentration camps.


right on, like anything else in life: if you don't know how to use it, you're gonna loose it.

trueblue1776
January 24, 2006, 03:04 PM
What's a HCP?
Drunken drivers.... hang em. Sounds like the al-Qaeda way. I personally think the DUI laws are too rigid, the limit of 0.1 or 0.08 is too low, and I don't drink except for an ocasional beer. The MAD group has a bit too much power. They turn a sex offender loose after 60 days. They sentance a murderer to less than a year, and they throw a drunken driver in the clinker for a year.... doesn't sound equitable to me. Oh, lets not forget drugs, meth manufacture and possession to sell... maybe as much as 10 years prison. The DUI felon can no longer vote or own a firearm? Sound equitable? They should prosecute people for what they do and not what they could do.


I agree, I was given a DUI after passing ALL field sobriety tests without question, dont believe me? They let me drive home, after I blew over the legal limit, I was clearly sober, so I got a DUI and got sent on my way.

It would have been way easier to just be a pot smoker.

Sinsaba
January 24, 2006, 05:03 PM
Hmm... DUI. I will admit that it one of the more stupid dangerous things you can do with a car.

Please, be 100% honest. Is there anybody here that can HONESTLY say you haven't done something stupid and dangerous with a car? Hmm?

Off with your heads!! The lot of you!

Chrontius
January 24, 2006, 07:06 PM
i'll second that.

You're aware that "statutory rape" also means high school senior making it with high school junior, right?

:banghead:

Hmm... DUI. I will admit that it one of the more stupid dangerous things you can do with a car.

Please, be 100% honest. Is there anybody here that can HONESTLY say you haven't done something stupid and dangerous with a car? Hmm?

Off with your heads!! The lot of you!

Yes.

I lead a *really* boring life.

SomeKid
January 24, 2006, 11:13 PM
Hmm... DUI. I will admit that it one of the more stupid dangerous things you can do with a car.

Please, be 100% honest. Is there anybody here that can HONESTLY say you haven't done something stupid and dangerous with a car? Hmm?

Off with your heads!! The lot of you!

Sin, have you ever had a ND? Or maybe you realized after the fact that you broke a rule. Guess maybe we should remove your rights, eh? Stop being general and be specific, drunk drivers are akin to people who hold guns to other peoples head, and play russian roulette with them. A society should not tolerate such actions.

A genuine car accident is not the same as being a drunk driver. Some of you are willing to be obscenely absurd, Bradyesque, in your attempts to defend drunk driving.

22-rimfire
January 24, 2006, 11:57 PM
Somekid said (in relation to Sinsaba's comments)...."Stop being general and be specific, drunk drivers are akin to people who hold guns to other peoples head, and play russian roulette with them. A society should not tolerate such actions.

A genuine car accident is not the same as being a drunk driver. Some of you are willing to be obscenely absurd, Bradyesque, in your attempts to defend drunk driving."

MAN I NEED ANOTHER BEER, MAYBE TWO. What is it that makes you the authority on what is correct behavior and able to dole out absurd punishments? Again, I just think the penalties too harsh. Punish after you commit an act of violence not for the potential to commit an act of violence.

SomeKid
January 25, 2006, 01:04 AM
MAN I NEED ANOTHER BEER, MAYBE TWO.

Have three, you sound like you need to relax.

carebear
January 25, 2006, 04:55 AM
We already have appropriate punishments for people who drive recklessly for whatever reason; traffic infractions / reckless driving for when no one is hurt and varying grades of assault and vehicular homicide for when someone is. Sure, throw BAC/drug on there as an aggravating factor but why let the makeup applyers and cell phone talkers off the hook. It isn't the BAC, it's the actual harm to others that matters.

If a person is driving absolutely perfectly but is over the arbitrarily determined BAC of danger (a patently non-scientific number, it's based on averages and has no bearing on any particular individual) why do we care, they haven't done anything mala in se.

I know you think it'd be reasonably enforced and wouldn't lead to preventative laws against, say, weapons but there's no historical support for that belief. Folks back in the good old days never thought those gun control laws aimed at "those kind of people" would ever be aimed at them. We don't need laws that presume harm by an individual where none has been proven, we don't need more mala prohibita law to "make society better".

I'm guessing you have been personally affected by a DD horror. So have many of us, moral outrage at an individual's choices does not mean we ought to give away all our freedoms or the very structure of our justice system with or without (the actual case unfortunately) any guarantee of increased safety. That's a fool's bargain.

As far as Pataki's idea goes, if the guy is dangerous enough we're going to lock him up indefinitely at the end of his prison time, they need to just sentence him to that punishment at the time of trial. Otherwise it is indeed double jeopardy. You can't sentence someone again after they've completed their sentence for the same crime.

I'm as in favor of good old horsewhipping as any of us, but we CANNOT allow our emotions to start throwing exceptions into due process and the rule of law. Nothing will accelerate our slide toward tyranny faster.

buzz_knox
January 25, 2006, 10:12 AM
You're aware that "statutory rape" also means high school senior making it with high school junior, right?

:banghead:



Yes.

I lead a *really* boring life.

Most states I'm familiar with allow for the possibility of 18 year old senior and 16-17 year old junior relationships by providing that a specific disparity in age must exist when the perpetrator is 17-18. So, senior-junior relationships generally aren't statutory rape (your particular state may be "out of the mainstream").

DRZinn
January 26, 2006, 04:13 PM
SomeKid, the problem is your definition of "drunk: (have alcohol in your system, any at all)As has been proven, but was pretty intuitive anyway, some people can drive better drunk than others can sober. Punish someone who drives badly. Punish those who endanger others, but don't define "endanger" as some number chosen by the teetotallers.

trueblue1776
January 26, 2006, 06:17 PM
Punish after you commit an act of violence not for the potential to commit an act of violence.

;)

SomeKid
January 26, 2006, 07:12 PM
CB, I am seeing your point. The only problem I have with giving the cops discretionary powers, is that police have a tendency to abuse them. I do see the point, if a person with alcohol in them is driving perfectly, it wouldn't matter as much.

I have always hated those blasted checkpoints, as they are just harassment. It is rather obvious, the only purpose they serve (other than violation of the 4th and 5th) is to catch drunkards who would otherwise make it home. So how about this..

If, for whatever reason you are pulled over and have alcohol in your system, $500 fine, cop takes you home. Do it again within say, a year, loose your car, fine jumps to 5k. Do it a third time, within a year of the second offense, and you get DP.

If a wreck is involved, one car or two, they pay all damages, plus a 5000 fine. They have another one of these, DP.

I do however stand by using the death penalty, on the first offense, if they injure someone. Period. 1 injury because you drove drunk, die.

What do y'all think of that? It is much more incremental, and gives leeway for people to be a little stupid.

Cellar Dweller
January 26, 2006, 11:27 PM
I hate to veer again, but:

From NHTSA's website, the % of Non-Occupants killed that had >0.08 BAC
2002 10%
2003 10%
2004 12%

This is basically pedestrians and bicyclists in "alcohol-related" accidents, where the only DRUNK involved wasn't even DRIVING.

~1.5 million DUI arrests in 2003
~1.4 million DUI arrests in 2004 - better at checkpoint avoidance, less drunks driving, less alcohol consumed? Can't tell.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Asset forfeiture for ANY alcohol in the system. What a great idea. Police departments can set up checkpoints and get thousands of seizures a day (over 3800 a day on average for DUI now, with a higher standard) and nobody can say they're NOT fighting crime. The dragnet will get a few gangbangers and people with outstanding warrants, so it's not ALL about drunks. Relatively safe compared to drug raids or bank robberies in-progress so it should be popular with the police (except the ones who WOULD rather be chasing real criminals). More loot for municipalities, although I'll bet that taxes wouldn't go down. Gee, it's a win-win all around because only CRIMINALS will be hurt, not the prohibitionists. It's not like any civil rights would be trampled in the process (like cruel and unusual punishment) :barf:

/end veer, for good I hope

c_yeager
January 26, 2006, 11:34 PM
This isnt about the crime that was commited, the offenders, or the victims. It is about due process. Think that sex offenders should be executed? Cool, im fine with that, but it needs to be the law. People are convicted by a jury, that jury considers the sentance that goes with a crime when they return a verdict and the voters elect the people who decide the punishment. By allowing this sort of post-sentance incarceration we are subverting the entire justice system, and once that ball starts rolling it aint gonna stop at sex offenders.

carebear
January 26, 2006, 11:38 PM
Somekid,

Any amount of alcohol, like if I took some cough medicine before leaving the house? It's still an arbitrary number until it can be demonstrated that I'm actually driving in a reckless manner.

As far as the death penalty, why should killing a person draw a death penalty when killing them sober wouldn't. In effect you are proposing to make drinking the same as those BS "hate crimes".

I'd rather just add it to a list of aggravating factors but leave the sentence requirements the same for any assault w/DW. Same crime, same time... that's justice.

SomeKid
January 26, 2006, 11:52 PM
As far as the death penalty, why should killing a person draw a death penalty when killing them sober wouldn't. In effect you are proposing to make drinking the same as those BS "hate crimes".

Considering how I support making murder a DP offence, always, that comment of yours holds no validity. The reason I specifically mention making drunk drivers face that penalty, is that I never see them get it as is. It is always negligent homicide, or vehicular manslaughter, 10 years and they walk. It is wrong, and this fixes it.

carebear
January 27, 2006, 12:07 AM
Well, that's gonna take more law changes than just drunk driving related.

Right now in most DP states only 1st degree murder or 2nd with aggravating conditions can draw the ultimate sanction.

That's why we HAVE criminally negligent homicide or manslaughter; for times when an individual is killed but the killer had no specific intent to kill or there are mitigating circumstances.

To upset that classification system by adding a new one solely for specific driving while intoxicated related homicides introduces a due process issue and upsets centuries of common law.

It's neither realistic nor sensible.

If you enjoyed reading about "and Pataki/NY proposes our first american gulag..." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!