By The Daily Bell Staff – May 21, 2017
Why did “private” prison stocks soar the day after Trump got elected?
It is almost like people in the industry knew something that the public didn’t. The former Attorney General Yates said that private prisons would be phased out. So before any cabinet members had been announced, why were stockholders betting that private prisons would not be phased out after all?
It could just be Trump’s tough on crime stance in general. But something else happened days earlier that suggests Washington insiders already knew what was going to happen.
…just before the election, two of Sessions’ former Senate aides, David Stewart and Ryan Robichaux, became lobbyists for GEO Group, one of the two largest private prison companies, and that the two were specifically engaged to lobby on government contracting.
Sessions was chosen for Attorney General on November 18, and in February 2017 announced that private prisons would not be phased out because that would have “impaired the Bureau’s ability to meet the future needs of the federal correctional system.”
And now we are starting to understand what those future needs are. Sessions wrote in a memo that law enforcement should charge defendants with the most serious crimes possible, especially when they carry mandatory minimum sentences.
It is a core principle that prosecutors should charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense…
By definition, the most serious offenses are those that carry the most substantial guidelines sentence, including mandatory minimum sentences.
Of course, many mandatory minimum sentences apply to drug crimes, which means the Justice Department will be wasting more tax dollars keeping people in cages for non-violent victimless crimes.
The drug war has been so successful already, why not double down, spend more money, and ruin more lives? This is what investors sought to capitalize on when they heard the news of Trump’s election.
But the evidence suggests Sessions doesn’t really care about crime or law and order. He has connections to the private prison industry and will be able to steer contracts in their direction as America’s top cop.
Back the Blue
But just to make sure America doesn’t lose the superlative for highest prison population per capita on earth, a new bill is making its way through Congress. Called “Back the Blue,” the bill adds mandatory minimum sentences for killing or attempting to kill police officers.
The legislation also creates new mandatory minimums for assaulting a law enforcement officer based on the extent of the injury and the use of a dangerous weapon.
Fleeing from justice to avoid prosecution for committing one of these crimes, meanwhile, would carry a mandatory minimum of 10 years.
This conjures up the line from Animal Farm, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Last time I checked murder and assault were already illegal. Why should crimes carry different sentences depending on who the victim is? Do police lives matter more than other lives?
Furthermore, this bill assumes it is never appropriate to fight back against a police officer. Police are capable of committing crimes too, and this ensures a strong disincentive to protect yourself against anyone in a uniform or claiming to be a cop, regardless of the truth behind their costume/ statement.
Anyone who has watched youtube in the last decade has also seen police violently throwing people to the ground while shouting, “stop resisting”. The police shout “stop resisting” in order to make a case for later charging people with resisting arrest. But when resisting arrest is the only charge, it means someone was literally arrested because there was no reason to arrest them, and they expressed that in their actions.
So this bill would threaten those pesky supporters of the First and Fourth amendments with a 10-year prison sentence if they don’t accept the aggressive and unconstitutional actions of officers.
Furthermore, as public protests heat up, this bill just ensures peaceful protestors have to take all the abuse the police pile on, like pepper-spraying crowds for no reason.
And this highlights another reason this bill is trash. Police can abuse the citizens all they want, and attack them without provocation, but if any citizen resists, they risk a decade behind bars.
Luckily a couple of Senators are fighting back, namely Senator Paul and Senator Leahy, who introduced legislation to give federal judges more discretion in ignoring minimum sentencing guidelines.
But the whole attitude of the government and law enforcement is the ultimate reversal and perversion of a government supposedly made up of the people for the benefit of the people.
The corrupt officials make money and amass power by abusing the citizen and making up excuses to throw them in cages for the most minor offenses.
We are getting to the point where all actions of a private citizen must be approved by the government, while the government officials need no permission–and will face no punishment–for their egregious abuse of the people.