Death Penalty

        Death row inmates often sit on death row for over 20 years as they are able to take advantage of the never-ending appeals process. This comes at a cost to taxpayers, delays justice, is especially infuriating when used by inmates who undoubtedly committed their heinous crime(s). To fix this problem, I support the implementation of the following three reforms to capital punishment trials: (1) Change the standard of proof from ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ to ‘no doubt’. (2) Incorporate three additional judges who would act as appeals judges. (3) Require a unanimous guilty verdict from the jury, approval of the verdict by the presiding judge, and a unanimous approval from the three 'appeals' judges.

       In bumping up the standard of proof and needing the approval of the jury, presiding judge, and three 'appeals' judges, an argument can be made that at the very least, the first two appeals a death row inmate receives (direct review and state collateral review) should be waived. This would drastically reduce the amount of time a death row inmate spends on death row.

Solitary Confinement for Prison Sentences of 6 Months or Less

       I support the use of solitary confinement for prison sentences that are 6 months or less in order to limit inmate interactions. I believe that housing inmates together and letting them constantly interact with one another only helps to create tougher more hardened criminals who are more likely to return to prison. While in solitary confinement, I would support giving these inmates an unlimited number of visits from family members, close friends, church and community leaders, and anyone else who might have a positive impact on them.

 

Reduced Sentencing

       I am in favor of reducing the length of prison sentences for most nonviolent crimes. I believe that the amount of time spent in prison should serve the purpose of being a fair punishment without being overly excessive. Reduced sentencing is expressed down below.

 

A Nine-Point Crime System

       Through parole and non-life sentences, our current criminal justice system gives murderers, rapists, and other dangerous criminals a chance to integrate back into society. Our system also allows career criminals to be given chance after chance without facing any ultimate consequence. In creating a nine-point crime system, those who accumulate nine points, whether it be from one crime or multiple crimes, would be sent away for life. To accumulate nine points, a person will have proven to either be a danger or a detriment to society. There should be a limit to the amount of destruction a person can cause before they ultimately face the consequence of life in prison. A nine-point crime system would resemble the following:

Crime          

Aggravated Assault/Battery       

Aiding & Abetting/Accessory     

Arson         

Assault/Battery      

Attempt       

Bribery          

Burglary       

Child Abandonment  

Child Abuse         

Child Pornography     

Computer Crime     

Conspiracy        

Credit/Debit Card Fraud      

Criminal Contempt in Court       

Cyber Bullying      

Disorderly Conduct       

Disturbing the Peace    

Domestic Violence       

Drug Distribution/Trafficking     

Drug Manufacturing and Cultivation 

Points    

2.0 – 6.0    

1.0 – 9.0    

2.0 – 9.0   

1.0 – 4.0  

1.0 – 9.0    

civil penalty – 4.0  

1.0 – 4.0   

civil penalty – 4.0  

2.0 – 9.0  

3.0 – 9.0   

1.0 – 6.0  

1.0 – 9.0 

1.0 – 6.0  

civil penalty – 1.0  

civil penalty – 3.0 

civil penalty – 1.0 

civil penalty – 1.0  

2.0 – 6.0   

2.0 – 6.0    

2.0 – 9.0  

Time in Prison

2 months – 2 years

1 month – life

2 months – life

1 month – 9 months

1 month – life

up to 6 months

1 month – 9 months

up to 9 months

2 months – life

6 months – life

1 month – 2 years

1 month – life

1 month – 2 years

up to 1 month

up to 6 months

up to 1 month

up to 1 month

2 months – 2 years

2 months – 2 years

2 months - life

Drug Possession – Drug possession and drug use by itself should not be a crime. However, for more conservative states, I would be in favor of tacking on up to 2 additional points for anyone who commits a crime while under the influence of certain drugs.

DUI/DWI 

Embezzlement  

Extortion   

Forgery   

Fraud  

Harassment   

Hate Crimes   

Indecent Exposure  

Identity Theft   

Insurance Fraud  

Kidnapping   

Manslaughter: Involuntary  

Manslaughter: Voluntary  

Money Laundering 

Murder: First Degree 

Murder: Second Degree  

Open Container Law  

Perjury  

Prostitution  

Public Intoxication   

Pyramid Schemes  

Racketeering/RICO   

Rape   

Robbery  

Securities Fraud   

Sexual Assault  

Shoplifting   

Stalking   

Statutory Rape   

Tax Evasion/Fraud  

Telemarketing Fraud  

Theft  

Vandalism  

Wire Fraud  

civil penalty – 2.0   

2.0 – 6.0  

2.0 – 6.0  

civil penalty – 3.0  

2.0 – 6.0 

civil penalty – 3.0  

2.0 – 6.0   

civil penalty – 2.0  

2.0 – 6.0   

2.0 – 6.0  

2.0 – 9.0   

3.0 – 9.0  

6.0 – 9.0   

2.0 – 6.0  

9.0  

6.0 – 9.0 

civil penalty – 0.5  

civil penalty – 2.0  

civil penalty at most

civil penalty – 1.0  

2.0 – 6.0    

2.0 – 6.0    

3.0 – 9.0   

3.0 – 6.0  

2.0 – 6.0    

2.0 – 6.0   

civil penalty – 3.0  

1.0 – 5.0   

2.0 – 6.0  

2.0 – 6.0   

2.0 – 6.0   

2.0 – 6.0    

civil penalty – 2.0  

2.0 – 6.0      

up to 2 months

2 months – 2 years

2 months – 2 years

up to 6 months

2 months – 2 years

up to 6 months

2 months – 2 years

up to 2 months

2 months – 2 years

2 months – 2 years

2 months – life

6 months – life

4 years – life

2 months – 2 years

life

4 years – life

up to 1 month

up to 2 months

NA

up to 1 month

2 months – 2 years

2 months – 2 years

6 months – life

6 months – 2 years

2 months – 2 years

2 months – 2 years

up to 6 months

1 month – 1 year

2 months – 2 years

2 months – 2 years

2 months – 2 years

2 months – 2 years

up to 2 months

2 months – 2 years

(for mobile)

Multi-Tiered Life Without Parole Prison System

        A multi-tiered life in prison system would create more humane living conditions for some less violent inmates while ensuring that dangerous and/or career criminals are never allowed back into society. In this system, the first tier to be quite liberal and grant more freedoms to inmates but would only be reserved for a select few. Then the higher up a tier goes, the more restrictive it becomes. The tier an inmate starts out in would depend upon the severity of their crime(s). A murderer or rapist would most likely start serving in a third or fourth-tier prison, while someone who accumulated nine points from less violent crimes would probably start serving in a second-tier prison.

        Here is an example of what a three-tiered life in prison system would look like.

Tier 1: Small individual rooms instead of cells, jobs within the prison, conjugal visits, consumption of legal drugs (caffeine, alcohol, marijuana, etc.), access to electronics, variety of meal options, access to gym equipment, etc.

Tier 2: Cells instead of rooms, limited jobs within the prison, restrictions on conjugal visits, restrictions on the consumption of legal drugs, restricted use of electronics, fewer meal options, limited access to gym equipment, etc.

Tier 3: Cells, no jobs, no conjugal visits, no consumption of legal drugs, no access to electronics, minimal meal options, no access to gym equipment, etc.

Criminal Justice Reforms