The American Prison System

If you go to prison in America; your life is going to be really, really rough…

What I’ve found out about the penal system is appalling in America. For example: there are laws in place to make sure that once you’ve been convicted of a crime, you’ll never be able to vote ever again.

“Felony disenfranchisement is the exclusion from voting of people otherwise eligible to vote (known as disfranchisement) due to conviction of a criminal offense, usually restricted to the more serious class of crimes, felonies.”

Take for example the African-American community when up to 1/3 of all males cannot vote ever again just because of disenfranchisement

One in six black men had been incarcerated as of 2001. If current trends continue, one in three black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime.

Death row is totally getting out of control Especially in California where there are 743 inmates waiting for the death penalty. In the last decade they’ve only executed 13 people. Costing no less than $4 billion to taxpayers. The cherry on top is that 6 of those 13 people who were executed weren’t even supposed to get executed! Seriously California, how do you kill the wrong damn inmate six times?

Nowhere is the situation more absurd than in California, where the machinery is so rusty it’s falling to pieces. Its death row, housing 743 inmates, is the most populous of any state, and no wonder. Since California re-instated the death penalty in 1978, just 13 people have been executed, the last of them a decade ago. And all this at a cost of no less than $4bn in taxpayers’ money. In economic terms alone, capital punishment is a lousy deal.
But that’s far from the only reason the tide is turning. The biggest one is the near certainty, as DNA evidence has become more conclusive, that innocent people have been put to death.
Last year alone, six death row inmates were exonerated. It’s anyone’s guess how many more wrongly convicted murderers are still there, victims of tampered evidence, over-zealous prosecutors and clueless, ill-paid defense lawyers. Small wonder a majority of Americans, when offered the choice, prefer life imprisonment without parole to the lethal injection gurney.

Locking up millions of people in the pursuit of national security is counter-productive. America needs to re-think its penal system (especially the Private sector) before they have no one left to vote. The death penalty should be only used as a last resort, after multiple convictions, and when someone is placed onto the row, they should be executed swiftly.

The lack of commitment that Uncle Sam provides to support and rehabilitate his people is unacceptable for a place that’s supposed to be the “Land of the Free”— try more like “Land of the Locked-up.”

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