Now and then, when you want to get a look at what the “smart experts” think, you can mosey on over to some expensive think tank and read the articles.
A recent piece by an Ivy League professor called David Alan Sklansky is a perfect example. Sklansky is a law professor who helps run the the Stanford Criminal Justice Center.
He wrote up an article recently for the Brennan Center for Justice. Sklansky’s main argument is we shouldn’t respond to the violent crime surge in America by getting tougher on jail sentences and punishment.
Here’s Why Sklansky Doesn’t Believe in Cracking Down Harder on Crime
According to Sklansky, the crime wave we’ve been experiencing won’t be solved by being tougher on crime. He does acknowledge, at least, that we do have a crime wave.
There was a 30% spike in murders in 2020 and we’re up 16% more so far in 2021. The old days of 2019 seem like an easygoing stroll in the park in comparison.
The recent murder increase has hit black and Hispanic Americans especially hard. Homicide is the primary cause of death for 30% of black men under 45 and the primary cause of death for 50% of Hispanic men under age 45.
Those are stunning numbers. What Sklansky says, however, is we should focus on how the homicide rates are still much relatively lower than the 1980s and 1990s.
Despite 33,000 killings in the past year-and-a-half, we shouldn’t overreact by punishing criminals more harshly. Sklansky’s main argument is punishing criminals more doesn’t work.
He says we already tried increasing sentencing and punishment and it led us to where we are today.
Female high school wrestling champ, 18, is shot dead as she sat in her parked car outside her family's Chicago home amid a huge surge in violent crime in the city https://t.co/LZ6ibYnctj
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) September 28, 2021
Sklansky Says We Shouldn’t ‘Double Down’ on Harsh Sentences
According to Sklansky, we need to focus on programs to reintegrate violent criminals into society, including things like parole and “re-enfranchisement.”
This includes measures like offering drug rehab and mental health treatment for violent criminals who need it. These kinds of measures would get armed criminals the kind of help they need and stop them from reoffending, according to Sklansky.
Sklansky starts with the idea that “mass incarceration” is evil. There’s no doubt being in jail is awful; it’s also awful to commit violent crimes against people, and when thousands of people do that, thousands of people end up in jail.
Sometimes, it’s hard to believe these academics are respected in their field when they have such a hard time with basic logic…
The FBI says murder and manslaughter increased by 29.4% in 2020 — the highest single-year spike in killings in at least six decades.
— Axios (@axios) September 27, 2021
Why Sklansky is Dead Wrong
Sklansky is wrong because we saw how harsher penalties in the 1990s led to a drop in violent crime. We know criminals are deterred when they are more certain they will be severely punished.
We also know the people who need more protection in America are innocent citizens, not those who go down the road to crime.
We should have more articles about how innocent people can keep themselves and their families safe. We also should have less articles full of crocodile tears for criminals.
Stay in your ivory tower at Stanford, Mr. Sklansky. The rest of us will keep handling the real world out here.