Crime, the system, and punishment / by kevin murray

The United States has too much crime, and though such crime has actually been in decline since 1991, the amount of people that commit crime as well as the amount of people punished for such crime, are substantially higher than any other western nation.  One would think, that in the world's richest nation, that this seemingly intractable problem of crime along with its incumbent punishment, would be something that America, which represents being the industry leader in so many different positive areas of contribution and progress, would have resolved such, or at least be in the processing of making meaningful resolution to, but that isn't the case.


All of the above, would presuppose that the current status of the criminal justice system in America, is clearly not working, and therefore, it is high time to throw out the old and to develop instead a system that will be constructive in creating a nation, of far less crime, victimhood, and punishment.  The first step in making progress in America is the conscious recognition that the more unequal a society is in income, opportunity, and advancement, then the much more significant likelihood that such a country will have issues with crime.  This makes eminent sense, in that envy and jealousy are the banes of human existence, and when those that have little or nothing, suffer from the onslaught of all the material benefits that others have in apparent boundless abundance, such will breed discontent, and from that discontent, crime.


So too, cities and communities that are wholly unequal in the sense of the infrastructure of those communities, in which some live in areas of beautiful parks, no crime, good schools, and stable households; whereas others exist in the very opposite of those things, with dilapidated parks, plenty of crime, horrible schools, and dysfunctional households.  This would indicate that those that live under stressful and trying conditions are quite obviously going to have a very strong tendency to not overcome the environment that they are part of; so that, it would behoove this government to ameliorate the social conditions of what the poor and disadvantaged have to contend with on a daily basis, and by doing so, the result would be more hope, progress, and success.


While America prides itself on its adversarial judicial system, in which the vigorous prosecution of crimes must face off against the resolute defensive counsel, the truth of the matter is that most people accused of crimes, never have their day in court, and never face their adversaries, but are browbeaten into submitting to a plea bargain, instead.  On the other hand, those with plenty of capital are actually able to afford a zealous defense, and from that, assure themselves of a result that will be far more palatable, so that in America, one gets all the justice that one can pay for.


If and when America aggressively pursues the very things that create the basis of crime, which substantially consists of low opportunity and no hope neighborhoods, ill-education, dysfunctional and failing families, a minimum wage which is not a living wage, as well as justice unequally applied, then America will continue to play its zero-sum game of crime and punishment; never resolving the core of the problem which is right in front of their face, of which inequality, unfairness, and injustice, are the witches' brew of crime.