Monday, March 15, 2010

Unusual ways to keep criminals off the streets

By Rick Morris

Some time ago on our FDH LOUNGE Internet TV show (Wednesdays, 7-10 PM EDT on, I was so angered by Michael Vick's plea of not guilty and his lawyer's accompanying arrogant statements that I took the air to proclaim a new idea that I had: that we put defendants under oath for their arraignment. That way, we could nail them for perjury if they pled not guilty and they were convicted and we could lengthen the jail terms. My lawyer friends all pretty much lit me up for that one, and maybe we would need to amend the Constitution to do that, but I think we'd keep more dirtballs off the street for longer periods of time with that weapon in the arsenal.

Born of a terrible tragedy just inflicted on the friend of a friend, I have another such idea.

This man, a good and decent individual if ever there was one (I am not naming names because I don't want their family name to show up on a Google search as a prop for my knee-jerk public policy idea), just suffered the agony of having his son -- a police officer -- drop dead of a heart attack when a criminal instigated a chase on foot. The officer, by the way, was in outstanding physical condition, but had a condition that was previously undiagnosed, as is unfortunately so often the case.

I would like to see the law changed -- again, by Constitutional amendment if need be -- to allow the state to charge a criminal for recklessly endangering the life of an officer under circumstances like this. In other words, the criminal would be taking the ultimate chance in a scenario like this. Officer drops dead, BOOM, manslaughter charge.

As with my first idea, I have a strong feeling it would be found lacking by my friends who have passed the bar -- but, as you might have guessed, that doesn't move me. Whatever the legal process might be, I say go for it. I haven't seen either of these ideas promoted elsewhere, so I'm especially glad for the chance to put these ones out there even though they make way too much sense to come anywhere near ever being enacted.

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