More On the Huckabee Clemmons Commutation

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3 Responses

  1. Adam Benforado says:

    Alex, Very nice post — and a great excerpt from Huckabee that I hadn’t seen! I think you’re exactly right that it is critical to think harder about monitoring and re-integrating prisoners once they’re released. I might add that if we are serious about preventing tragedies like the Clemmons case, we should also think about what happens within the prison walls (and whether that may influence future criminality). In doing some research recently, I came across a statistic that 95 percent of individuals who are currently in isolation facilities (the type where they lock you up in a closet, by yourself, for 23 hours a day) will eventually be released back into society. Indeed, each year, Texas takes about a thousand or so folks out of solitary, walks them to the prison gates, and let’s them free. Call me crazy, but that seems dangerous. And it’s not the part about releasing people back into society that frightens me; it’s the fact that we may be creating anti-social monsters (or at least exacerbating existing antisocial tendencies) through our system of punishment . . .

  2. Alan says:

    “Unless we are prepared as a society to sentence every 16 year old who commits a robbery to life in prison. . . .”

    He didn’t commit just one crime. Your argument is completely disingenuous.

  3. Alex Kreit says:

    Adam, Thanks for your nice comment. I’ve been meaning to reply but last week ended up getting away from me a bit. I think you raise a really great point regarding thinking about what happens within the prison walls! Coincidentally, I’ve wondered myself for some time why more attention isn’t paid to this question among legal academics. It seems like most every law journal article I’ve seen about the “hows” of punishment focuses on the validity of shaming punishments or similar questions. While those are interesting issues, I do wonder why the law doesn’t focus more on how incarceration is carried out.