“Through courts, cops, and correction agencies, government combats but never comes close to conquering crime,” laments John I. Dilulio. “Even on its most aggressive days, the justice system works like a sorting machine, incarcerating only a small fraction even of known, adjudicated, violent criminals…In 1994, Americans experienced some 4.2 million murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults. That same year, states convicted about 146, 000 persons for these violent crimes, but sent only about 98,000 of them to prison.” (“Against Mandatory Minimums: Drug sentencing run amok,” National Review, May 17, 1999, pp. 48-49.)
As for all felonies, Joseph Perkins concisely summarizes Justice Department statistics: “Of 100 felony complaints filed by private citizens, only 30 result in arrests. Of the 30 arrests, only 20 are prosecuted. Of the 20 prosecuted, only 15 suspects are convicted. Of the 15 convicted, only five are sentenced to prison time of more than one year. And of the five, not even one serves out the full length of his or her sentence.” (“What about the rights of crime victims,” Herald Times Reporter, Sept. 29, 1999, p. A4.)
And what is the fate, the average sentence, for the tiny fraction of violent felons who are imprisoned? Writes Dilulio: “Truth-in-sentencing laws pushed the average time served by released prisoners convicted of murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault from 43 months in 1993 to 49 months in 1997.For all types of prisoners, the average time served increased from 22 months in 1990 to 23 months in 1996. (“Against Mandatory Minimums,” p. 49.)
And murder alone: “It is undisputed that we extend extraordinary generosity to murderers. According to the National Center For Policy Analysis, the average sentence for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter is less than six years.” (Paul G. Cassell, The Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2000, p. A14) He obviously means the average time-served in prison.
And Joseph Perkins: “Indeed, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the average sentence for murder is only 15 years. The average time served for taking an innocent life is a mere 5 1/2 years. (“Do murderers get off lightly,” Herald Times Reporter,” Sept. 15, 2000, p. A4) Fortunately, a large number and perhaps a majority of those killed are hardly “innocent” but rather criminals themselves. Certainly a majority in the “inner-cities” and a few “suburbs” of large metropolitan areas.
And Mary Letourneau was enslaved for 8-years, far longer than the average time-served for murder and roughly twice as long as the average time-served for all violent crimes! And Abigail Simon was sentenced to 8-25 years in prison and could have been sentenced to 25-years to life! And Kathryn Ronk was sentenced to 6-15 years in prison! And Cassandra Sorenson-Grohall was sentenced to 4-years in prison for having sex with a criminal who sexually harassed, molested, and raped her!
To call all of this insane is an understatement. It’s beyond insanity.