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Hawai’i is now considering a murderer’s registry, much like a sex offender registry, after two paroled murderers committed more crimes. As ZMan! points out, do we need more registries? Wouldn’t it be simpler to just list all conviction information online on a State’s Department of Public Safety website and let people access it?
I think it might be more sensible to do so (if we are going to do it), since this information is public anyway. Sure, it will lead to some idle browsing, but if the proper safeguards are in place, then what’s the harm? Let people log on, provide their addresses, use a credit card to pay a small fee and list their reasons for looking up the conviction information and away we go!
Connecticut judiciary committee co-chair Mike Lawlor promised this months ago, but I have yet to see it implemented.
As the two Cheshire suspects make their first appearance in Part A today and as calls for tougher penalties and stricter parole regulations make the rounds, it is important to remind ourselves of the cost that comes with being “tough on crime”. For those who have been around long enough, this smacks of the measures taken by the state in the 80s. The Waterbury Republican-American has this detailed story on the costs involved and the consequences on the state’s budget:
While people still mourn the dead and seethe over crime, there has been little discussion of the costs and consequences of getting tougher on crime and criminals.
Yet, the price tag and the implications are considerable.
“To be sure, every citizen must understand that major changes, whether in longer sentences or more monitoring, comes with a price tag. A big one. Potentially hundreds of millions of tax dollars,” House Speaker James A. Amann, D-Milford, said.
In the early 80′s, Connecticut eliminated parole and changed the state’s sentencing structure, going from indeterminate sentences to definite sentences. This led to significant overcrowding and a massive expansion of prisons in Connecticut.