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Three Strikes, You're Out

Vote for an Independent for Governor's Council on Nov. 6.

While campaigning for Governor's Council, once in a while people will ask me what I think of "Three strikes, you're out." It pains me to say, I am rather torn. On the one hand, jail is supposed to be a place to rehab a person and if they can adjust to society why not give them another shot (I know some of you are saying, if they could have adjusted to society, they would have done it before the third offense). 

I have talked to public defenders and many attornies who tell me once a person is paroled, they receive very little help from the state. They believe more services for parolees (like helping to find a job or housing) will mean less reoffending. (Dominic Cinelli tried to get a job for six months before he allegedly got caught in a shoot-out while robbing a Kohls department store on Christmas in Woburn, killing a Woburn police officer. People believe if Cinelli found a job, that incident wouldn't have happened). I am inclined to be with this group. On the other hand, anyone stupid enough to break the law three times just might not be capable of rehabilitating and adjusting to society.

What do you think? Three strikes, you're out, or sometimes two strikes and a foul ball :).

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Tom Sheff August 02, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Hi Earnhardt, I never said I vote blindly or by name recognition and I do vote based upon multiple issues...not single issues. Multipe issues is not the highest priority for me in determining who I vote for. Some of the key elements I look for in a candidate is character, personality, experience, guts and humility. I understand no one is going to be exactly 100% like me, so being a single issue voter, I could mistakenly overlook a great candidate. As far as Cinelli is concerned, you're probably right in that Cinelli couldn't be helped. But, maybe the extra services could help someone else. I don't understand all the hostility towards the idea. If extra services help just 1 in 4 people isn't that helping 25% of the people that otherwise would have presumably gone back to their wicked ways? Isn't that worth it? Thats 25% less people ack in prison or do we give up altogether?
Earnhardt August 02, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Great math skills. But the fact is you speak of a big IF, the hostility? its not hostility, its looking at things as they are: you have comitted serious crimes 3 times. Not once, not twice, three times!sorry your not going to change your ways, Also. there is not many states, if any at all. that could commit the resources and manpowwr to even trying to rehabilitate habitual offenders. Do you realize the resources just 1 offender would require? Case workers, parole officers, life skills teachers. trade skills teachers. Each criminal would require thousands and thousands of dollars and I cant even guess how many hours of classroom and guidance time will be needed. I'm sorry, you commit 3 crimes your out. As for voting, you do not look for the one thing you agree with when voting for a candidate? many candidates have a broad range of issues and I do not agree with many of the issues, So I look for one or two issues I identify with the most, and that's how I vote, You could overlook a great candidate, but by the time elections roll around. If you study the candidates as you seem to want us to believe, you would know that you have pretty much decided to vote for the one that you can identify with the most. And if it's only one issue, then so be it! How many people have you heard saying "I voted for so and so becasue I like his stand on taxes, or health plans?" Too many to count wouldn't you say?
Earnhardt August 02, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Look Tom, as Ive said many times, your probably a great guy who wants to get involved,and I look forward to exchanges with you in the future, But since the start if this thread (which seems like ages ago) you have already flipped your opinion. You started out "inclined" to believe if Mr. Cinelli only had a job and money her never would have done the horrendous things he did. Now your saying he probably couldn't be helped? The fact is: he fooled the parole board, he got out and did his deeds, how many 3 timers do you want with the same smooth talking tell em what they want to hear skills getting out to go on rampages?
Tom Sheff August 02, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Earnhardt, This will be my last post unless something substantial gets posted. I think you misunderstood this exercise for me. I didnt flip my position at all, I used the forum to formulate my own position. We can argue over semantics all you want, but thats what this blog has meant to me. I was never opposed to having Melissas law for violent offenders, I was repeating what professionals in the field were saying and I was giving them the benefit of the doubt. In the future, I want to bring up other issues I am struggling with and want to hear what bloggers have to say and based upon hearing both sides, at the end of the discussion I will come up with a position. I know for some people this is an emotional discussion and I appreciate their input...for me it was a matter of me wanting to be an elected official and I wanted to hear what the people think, so I can form a position.
Earnhardt August 02, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Well done Tom. you took the heat and stayed in the game. My hat's off to you/ I look forward to future debates with you. Professionals do not necessarily know what they are talking about ALL the time. What people show on the outside,with some exceptions, is not what they have on the inside, A career criminal specializes in fooling people, As was evident in the above mentioned crimes. Professionals can never really know what people are thinking, no matter what they see on the outside, Peace Tom. and here's to future debates!

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