In the 1970's and 1980's, the public got outraged about the soaring crime rate. It stemmed from the crippling of the criminal law by a relentless series of attacks by the Supreme court on the prosecution. None had the slightest justification in the Constitution. All increased lawyer employment. The criminal is a valuable commodity to the lawyer. Any remedy that scares or deters the criminal decreases lawyer employment.
The Executive branch named a group of judges to write Sentencing Guidelines. Congress enacted them. The criminal lover judges lost their discretion in sentencing and could coddle criminals less. As a result, the most reliable measure of crime burden, the DOJ Crime Victimization Survey showed a significant drop in crop in the 1990's. Violent crime decreased by a half.
This large drop could not be tolerated by the lawyers on the Supreme Court, as a threat to lawyer employment. The political affiliation of the Justices made no difference. Scalia voted for or wrote a series of decisions that gutted these guidelines pretextually. These decisions were Apprendi, Blakely (written by Scalia), Booker, and Cunningham.
Since this series of pro-criminal decisions, 1) sentences have decreased; 2) prosecutors have made lower offers in plea bargains; 3) the cost of trials has likely increased; 4) multitudes of vicious predators have been released; 5) the murder and other crime rates have increased.
Why would conservatives want to release so many vicious predators, and hobble prosecutors? 1) To generate lawyer jobs; 2) to effectively immunize the lawyer client, the criminal; 3) the crime victim generates no lawyer fee, and is invisible to the lawyer rent seeking Justices.
It takes about 10 years to fully experience the impact of a law. By 2010, the crime rate may return to that of the ultra-violent 1980's, when the liberal lawmaking of the 1960's and the 1970's bore its ripe fruit.
2 years ago