# Harvard or Prison?

1. Oct 8, 2007

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21180419/page/5/

2. Oct 8, 2007

### vanesch

Staff Emeritus
Should we then now think of an industrial way to dispose of this ressource-wasting ?

3. Oct 8, 2007

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Well, it would seem to justify sending one person to college for free, for every one kept out of prison. Now, if we could just send less people to prison. I wonder how we might manage that one?

4. Oct 8, 2007

### Kurdt

Staff Emeritus
I bet they don't do shiv making 101 at Harvard.

If Harvard could somehow find a legal loophole where it could be classified as a prison then everyone could go for free.

5. Oct 8, 2007

### Moridin

Gun control for starters.

6. Oct 8, 2007

### NoTime

Last time I saw the figures, way more people were murdered with blunt instruments, like the handy chair or frying pan.

7. Oct 8, 2007

### kach22i

Lets just send all the criminals to Harvard!

8. Oct 8, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

Death penalty.

9. Oct 8, 2007

### Jimmy Snyder

Fewer laws. I have posted this in the past. I propose the following law:

In order to pass a new law, two old laws must be taken off the books.

This would apply at all levels of government, federal, state, local, and forums. Of course, passage of my new law would require the retirement of two antiquated old ones. I recommend the laws against murder and theft as these have proven an impediment to the business community and an unwelcome intrusion into the private affairs of otherwise law-abiding citizens.

10. Oct 8, 2007

### kach22i

There are some song lyrics something to the affect; Laws, who needs them? Bad people don't follow them, good people don't need to be told what to do.

11. Oct 8, 2007

### NateTG

That's a bit silly. Even if you were to pass a constitutional amendment like that, all you'd get is congresscritters rolling together old law a, old law b, and new law c into new law d and voting on new law d. Also, eventually, the legislatures would run out of old laws to remove. Moreover, the practice of re-writing the older laws is questionable considering that a lot of the poorly thought out or less sensible law is modern.

There are a lot of people making money off of the huge US prison population. This is in the form of construction companies, for-profit private prisons, prison labor industries, prison food service companies, and, I'm sure, a whole slew of others. Meanwhile, there isn't nearly the same direct fiscal pressure to keep prison populations down since those costs end up as government debt, or part of the general fund.

While people like to blame mandatory sentencing minimums and excessive use of imprisonment for non-violent offenders, it's hard for me to look past the fiscal pressures as a root cause for overlarge prison population.

12. Oct 8, 2007

### Jimmy Snyder

That is my goal. The two to one ratio would eventually result in all laws being rolled up into a single law. That would make it mathematically impossible for any more laws to be passed. I predict that the form of this law to end all laws will be:

It shall be illegal to commit crimes.

That should hold us I think.

1. Rather than retire two old laws under my new law, the two old laws would be rewritten so that previously enjoined activity would become legal. For instance, rather than simply repeal the following Arkansas law:

"No person shall be permitted under any pretext to come nearer then fifty feet of any door or window of any polling room from the opening of the polls until the certification of the returns."

it would be rewritten so that voting would become legal in that state. 755,539 people voted in that state in 2006. At $42,300 each, my plan would save us$32,639,284,800.00, enough money to build 40 Harvards. And I haven't even started with the laws against owning too many pets.

2. If an activity is deemed both legal and illegal, then legality would take precedence over illegality.

13. Oct 8, 2007

### Moridin

This is not really my opinion, but one could argue that seeing how it costs a lot to keep people in prison and the epidemic of diseases there, such as tuberculosis, it would actually be more humane to apply the death penalty as an act of mercy.

14. Oct 8, 2007

### Jimmy Snyder

Sorry, I got caught up in the moment. The topic of this thread is the problem that it costs no more to send your kid to a private institution in Massachusetts, than to a public one in California. I'm not sure how to solve it. Perhaps the \$200 incentive bonus is too high, or maybe we should ask Harvard to raise their prices. After all, recidivism rates at Harvard are quite low compared to prison and this should be reflected in the price. I think that the implication of the Russert-Koppel (way rehearsed) exchange was that we should send the prison population to Harvard. This would be a mistake in my opinion, as we already have more white-collar crimes than we can handle now.

15. Oct 8, 2007

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
I guess prisons are good for a service economy.

16. Oct 8, 2007

### rewebster

yeah--maybe----or maybe the other way around---a lot of lawyers come out of Harvard

17. Oct 8, 2007

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
That seems unlikely. With the number of death sentences being reversed due to the fact that old DNA evidence can now be evaluated, it is clear that the justice system doesn't work and certainly can't be trusted. Besides, murder convictions account for less than 1% of those incarcerated annually. .

18. Oct 8, 2007

### Moridin

The death penalty does not need to be limited to convicted murderers . . .

19. Oct 8, 2007

### Jimmy Snyder

I like your thinking, solve the overcrowding problems in our prisons and at Harvard in one shot.

20. Oct 8, 2007

### Staff: Mentor

Exactly. Studies show that a large percentage of criminals in prison started off with smaller crimes. I'm thinking death penalty for first offense misdemeanors.