Friday, December 5, 2014

Massachusetts: An Epic All-American Failure (of Government)

Wrong State. Wrong Time.
A 16-year old kid, high on marijuana and narcotics, hits a guy on the head with a stick while trying to steal alcohol from a convenience store. In an effort to avoid the police, the same kid punches another guy in the face. After conviction (as an adult), the kid is sentenced to three months in jail but released about serving just over forty days. That was all back in 1988. The kid is now a 43 year old man, married and has four children of his own. He is more than a little apologetic for his behavior ... almost three decades ago.

But, hey, a crime is a crime. A criminal is a criminal. Can't do the time, don't do the crime! We gotta be / stay "tough" on crime and not coddle criminals, let them loose in the streets. Blah. Blah. Sure. But this same kid did not continue in a life of crime. He went on to become successful in the music industry and in Hollywood. He could have easily stopped there, having taken care of himself - as many do. But he also went on to raise millions for charities, and to donate time and efforts for philanthropic causes, noting:
"I want people to remember my past so that I can serve as an example of how lives can be turned around and how people can be redeemed ... Rather than ignore or deny my troubled past, I have used the public spotlight to speak openly about the mistakes I made as a teenager so that others do not make those same mistakes."

The Minneapolis Star Tribune now reports that that same kid - Mark Wahlberg - has filed a pardon application with State of Massachusetts. And that is just really too too bad. You see pardons are an integral part of our system of checks and balances and separation of powers. The Founding Fathers included the pardon power in the Constitution, and the power exists in the states today, because it is generally understood that the executive branch should see to it that laws are executed fsithfully. It (the executive branch) is supposed to be a significant actor in the criminal justice process, not a mute, irrelevant bystander.

Pardons correct mistakes - the assumption being that humans are, at least on occasion, prone to error. They are used to modify / craft sentences to more expertly fit the crime. Pardons also recognize / clear instances of rehabilitation, retribution and/or penitence or reward good behavior (service to the government, community, etc.) But, hey, this is Massachusetts we are talking about!

The judicial system in Massachusetts is damn near flawless. Every sentence is perfectly tailored to to fit the crime. Judges, juries and prosecutors never ever make mistakes. There is no need for review. They get it right the first time in Massachusetts, every time. What is worse, the criminals of Massachusetts are the Nation's very worst. They can never be punished too much because they never rehabilitate - despite what Wahlberg's pardon application says

The evidence that all of this is true?

Gov. Deval Patrick (Democrat) has been in office for almost 8 full years and has recommended a mere 4 pardons and 1 commutation of sentence. Why, this is a state where a former governor running for president (Mitt Romney, Republican) openly BRAGGED about granting no pardons - at all ! In Massachusetts, governors proudly reject the traditional, American view of separation of powers and checks and balances! Mercy and forgiveness have no place in the State without flaw.

Best of luck Mr. Wahlberg. Sincerely. Parents, don't let your children grow up to live in Massachusetts! See story here.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, it's a combination of ignorance, & politics. The average person lacks understanding of the pardon process, & far too many politicians either share this ignorance, & or, have strong political fear of using their pardon power.

Anonymous said...

The Governor of Massachusetts should forget Willie Horton and follow the example of Governor Quinn in Illinois. Massachusetts would be much better off if he did that.

Anonymous said...

Why does he deserve a pardon?
No mistakes were made with respect to the case itself. If anything, the defendant got off light.
Also the crime itself was violent and cruel. One person was made unconscious by the beating. Another lost his eye.
All of the so called good that he has done has not helped his victims at all.
So why does he deserve a pardon?

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