Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Troy King's 2009 Crime Bills Package

In just a few short weeks the legislature will be back in session. I'm not very hopeful that much will be accomplished and what I am hearing from my contacts in the legislature that is pretty much the mood of everyone.

But, sometimes the legislature not accomplishing everything on its agenda is a good thing. Take for instance Attorney General Troy King's new package of crime bills. All that's missing is a rock-n-roll record burning.

- A bill that makes the intent to lure a child for immoral purposes punishable regardless of whether a child is involved.

I'm all for destroying child sex offenders. However that isn't what we do when we catch them. It seems they are released from prison after only two or three years in many cases. If we'd keep these sick bastards in jail to begin with we'd have fewer of them out there on computers looking for kids to molest. I also don't like how cops pose as 15 year olds and lure people in. That seems a lot like entrapment to me. I read about a couple cases yesterday where the charges were thrown out because no child was actually involved as it was the police posing as a child. I also think our whole slate sex offender laws need to be reworked. Right now in Birmingham, AL homeless men are routinely rounded up for peeing in alleys, charged with indecent exposure and labeled sex offenders pretty much ensuring that they will always be homeless. Under current law an 18 year old boy can get a sex offender wrap for having consensual sex with his 15 year old girlfriend. That is just plain wrong. No teen having consensual sex with another teen should ever be labeled a sex offender.

- Put new restrictions on who is eligible for parole;

I'll be most interested to find out just what that entails. The prison system is struggling as always because of severe overcrowding and lack of funding. Seems the AG would better serve the state were he to help in finding ways to let more people out as opposed to ways to keep more people in. Here's a suggestion. Keep the real sex offenders in like FOREVER and keep the non-violent drug offenders out FOREVER. That would solve a great deal of the overcrowding problems.

- Elevate the punishment for cock fighting, including allowing for the seizure of property bought with profits from cock-fighting operations;

If I were Troy I'd stay as far away from anything with the words 'cock fighting' in it as I could. Looks like they are going to start seizing assets like they do when they arrest someone for drugs. I know cock fighting is cruel but does it really rise to the level where the AG has to be involved? Seems like there are other more pressing issues to worry about.

- Redefine drug laws to punish the mother of an unborn child who tests positive for a controlled substance;

This is wrong on so many levels. Humane people with sense would try and approach this with a focus on keeping a family together not further destruction of the family unit. But, alas, Troy King is neither humane nor does he appear to have any common sense. An addicted mother doesn't need punishment. Addicted people whether pregnant women or not don't need punishment. They need treatment. Snatching a mother and newborn baby apart is just plain cruel. It's a very strong bond that forms between a mother and her new baby. Very important. It could be the very thing that gives the mother the motivation she needs to succeed in treatment. Why must the state involve itself in further destroying the family unit?

Another thing about this whole drug testing of pregnant women. About the only thing it is guaranteed to do is stop women who might have a substance abuse problem from seeking prenatal care which puts the baby at greater risk. And how exactly does drug testing work? Do the women consent? Are they tested without their knowledge? How is it that Doctor's can violate the doctor/patient relationship by turning the results over to the cops without facing criminal charges and losing their license to practice? If the test is conducted after the child is born how can it be done without the parent's consent? I fought this bill last year and will do so again this year. There are far better ways to handle pregnant women who have a substance abuse problem.

- Another bill would stiffen the punishment for people who run from police. The crime would start as a misdemeanor and would become a felony if a motor vehicle is used. The punishment would be two to 20 years in prison if bystanders are threatened.
NASA engineer Darren Spurlock was killed on Redstone Arsenal last year after his car was rammed by a drug suspect fleeing police.

How about we stop high speed police chases of drug suspects? That would have prevented Mr. Spurlock's death, which, in reality, was caused by the police chasing someone because they didn't like what that someone was ingesting. Pretty stupid if you ask me. If they hadn't been chasing then the suspect wouldn't have been running and Mr. Spurlock would still be alive. They could have just gotten the tag number of the vehicle and gone to the residence and made an arrest there. No one would have been killed. Sometimes police chases are necessary say when there are bank robbers involved, murderers, child kidnappers....but high speed police chases over drugs are just stupid and high speed police chases in heavily populated areas are the definition of fucking retarded.

One thing that isn't on Troy King's agenda this year - Tougher laws on sex toys. Looks like my direct action involving an inflatable pig cured ol' Troy of his fascination with what other people might be using in the bedroom.

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