Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Customary policy of deference to the president

Good news on the Supreme Court striking down mandatory sentencing guidelines. Now we can go back to Southern states sentencing litter-bugs and sodomites to life in the stocks, and San Francisco sentencing mass murderers to aromatherapy and past-life regression.

What, you can’t figure out my position on mandatory sentencing based on that joke? Well, I don’t trust the federal government to set sentences irrespective of the details of individual cases, I don’t like gross regional disparities in sentencing, I don’t trust juries, I don’t trust judges with lifetime tenure, hell, I don’t trust the court stenographers, so I’m a little hard put to come to an opinion on how sentences should be arrived at.

The Supreme Court’s been all over the lot this week. They ruled that people can be convicted for conspiring to commit a crime without even starting to put the conspiracy into practice. This seems to me to be thought crime. The NYT forgot to include what the vote was.

And the Supes ruled that Cuban criminals can’t be held forever after serving their sentences, because Cuba won’t take them back, but it ruled that Somalis can be deported because of the Court’s “customary policy of deference to the president,” even though Somalia has no actual government, so we’d be literally just dumping people--convicted criminals, yet--in another country.

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