Crime and Justice

At this meetup we will discuss the American justice system. Topics to be discussed can include:

- The three most cited goals of our penal system are public safety (i.e. removing dangerous people from society), deterrence, and retribution. The first two most would agree are important and necessary goals. But is there a place for the notion of "justice" or "retribution"? Or does that just reduce to revenge?

- Capital punishment

- When is rehabilitation a reasonable goal?

- alternatives to prison

- Can we significantly reduce violent crime without addressing economic inequality?

- Why does the U.S. have the highest incarceration rate in the world?

- White collar and corporate crime.

- "victimless" crimes, such as drugs and prostitution.

- Treating people involved in terrorist acts as "enemy combatants" to circumvent the justice system. When, if ever, is this justified?

Join or login to comment.

  • Jean S.

    Good show, Joe. And the beat goes on...

    May 21, 2013

    • Carole and Bill M.

      Many of the Thinking Group are not from NJ, but our Governor has the right to make our State look even more foolish by signing another Gun law. Doesn't Christie realize, that only "honest people obey Gun laws and they wouldn't be committing a crime anyway". Why not get off the back of the lawfully owned gun rights folks...and get on top of the criminals...how about (1) Do the crime, do the time...all the time(2) No Plea Bargains (3) a crime with a gun should be manditory 5 years.... Compare FBI crime statistics for "Carry permited fireams" against" NJ No Carry/no hidden permission/noprotection"­ and see that criminals come to NJ to work because they know NJ Citizens are not allowed to carry/in sight or out of sight, so we're easy targets. not the case in Pa where crime is lower and in other "Carry permit states".

      May 21, 2013

  • Carole and Bill M.

    Having all your remarks about yesterday read, I am so disappointed I wasn't there to jump into the foray...but had 150 anniversary of the Palmyra Moravian church that my great great grand father George Hintemeier founded. "Victim in the eye of the beholder" I teach HunterEducationSurvival/Rifle/Shotgun as NRA Life Member, "look like a victim, you are a victim".woman, high heels, dark alley, watching the pavement...victim....same woman, smart shoes, dark alley, looking all around..aware of questionable situation...listening hard...not avictim. Prostitution/drugs not victimless crime? God gave us the freedom of choice, that he didn't give to animals.Prostitutes"don't have a choice" but they do.working 3 part time jobs for minimum wages is hard work but is respectable...everybody has choices...make the wrong one..you're responsible for your actions..... Drugs, a choice, not victumless ondrug/driving auto, wielding a firearm, harmful to others Carole Moore

    May 20, 2013

    • Carole and Bill M.

      JI submit O'Henry's short story, known as "Clothes makes the Man" to summarize, two criminals were going to rob a store. They devised the plan that one would dress as a police officer,when the shop keeper called for a cop, he would "fake" arrest his partner, and they would get away Scott free. while the robber progressed the "fake cop" walked his beat out front of the store waiting for the call for "help"...but while he waited, he was spoke to by so many people with such respect for the "police uniform" he was wearing, that the perpetrator stepped a little livelier in his walk, with his shoulders back and his head up....feeling the respect he had so desired all his life. And then it happened...the call for "help"but this time the "fake cop" truly arrested his partner and took him down to the station, and became a changed man....

      1 · May 21, 2013

    • Katie

      I will post this just as an example of how generalizations don't always apply: http://philadelphia.c...­

      May 21, 2013

  • Jean S.

    Is it a crime that we all don't share the same opinions? Would it be justice to beat one side into submission to the other? Or, does society move forward through the struggle of opposing ideas?

    May 18, 2013

    • Carole and Bill M.

      Jean, good retort....beating one into submission is what happened in Germany WWII...first they registered their firearms, then they confiscated them and the rest is history. Only one country in Europe didn't submit....Switzerland where every citizen head of household is required by law to practice monthly with machine gun...still true today... Sorry, I'm a history buff, and Life Member National Rifle Association with a husband Burl Co sheriff Candidate June 4..sorry if I over stepped...oh but isn't that my constitutional right...freedom of speech?

      May 20, 2013

  • Sidney

    Really enjoyed today's highly stimulating meetup--thanks to everyone for all your though-provoking input! Two postscripts have hit me though in the past hour. First, on the subject of shame vs. guilt, it struck me to consider someone who commits some type of crime, lies about it, but gets caught anyway. That person may have appear to others to be a sociopath yes. But if they get caught and subjected to a punishment by the legal system, that offender could end up actually feeling a good deal of guilt at minimum and outright shame at maximum if they really do have a strong conscience at the core. In which case I would diagnose the person more as a compulsive liar than an outright sociopath. Lacking any real conscience, it is the latter who if punished will NOT chances feel guilt OR shame, unlike the former. My second point is that if I remember correctly we never actually spelled out the meaning of the word " victim." Gotta run right now; a follow up thought later.

    May 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    The timing on this struck me as interesting, given a couple of the topics we touched on today:
    Two high school students were in a consensual lesbian relationship. The parents of the younger girl (15) managed to get their daughter's girlfriend (then 17, now 18) expelled from school and charged with lewd or lascivious battery on a child once she turned 18 and did not break off the relationship. *facepalm*
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/05/19/florida-parent-says-religious-zealots-got-teen-daughter-arrested-for-lesbian-relationship/
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/FreeKate/

    1 · May 19, 2013

  • Valerie

    Running a little late but I'll be there!

    May 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry to be changing at the last minute, but its been a long day and I'm exhausted. Have a great meetup.

    May 18, 2013

  • Jean S.

    Are drugs and prostitution victimless crimes? What is the definition of crime?

    May 6, 2013

    • Katie

      To be more specific the FBI estimate a total of 13,164 homicides by guns in 2010, higher than the 11,000 cited by the CDC.

      1 · May 14, 2013

    • Valerie

      Thank you Katie. We are all entitled to our own opinions but not our own facts.

      1 · May 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Personally I would love to discuss political corruption. Some would say it's a "victimless" crime.... when compared to prostitution. It is interesting to see how many politicians fly under the radar when then cross into the "gray area."

    May 13, 2013

    • Carole and Bill M.

      You are correct Leo...if they had term limits, so they couldn't get so "entrenched", corruption would at least be substantially reduced, by the new guy, with new ideas coming into the game every couple terms.

      1 · May 14, 2013

  • Will B.

    Jean, I'd suggest an additional question. What exactly defines a victim? To whom are we willing to give the power to declare a action taken by an individual as informed, coerced, private or a public matter?

    2 · May 11, 2013

    • Jean S.

      This is excellent thinking, Bill. Victim is in the eye of the beholder. Am I the victim because the government wants to take my money for taxes. Or, is the government the victim because I will do everything that I can to not give them my hard-earned money. See you on Sunday...

      3 · May 13, 2013

  • Jean S.

    Go Joe! I can't wait to see what you do with this topic... See you on Sunday.

    May 13, 2013

  • CJ F.

    I cannot attend this meetup due to other plans, but I think "restorative justice" would enrich the discussion. Wikipedia has a good article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restorative_justice and so does the New York Times (keep the tissues handy, you'll need them): http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/magazine/can-forgiveness-play-a-role-in-criminal-justice.html

    May 11, 2013

  • Brian

    One of the other criminal justice theories is rehabilitation.

    May 11, 2013

12 went

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sometimes the best Meetup Group is the one you start

Get started Learn more
Katie

I'm surprised by the level of growth I've seen since becoming an organizer, it's given me more confidence in my abilities.

Katie, started NYC ICO

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy