When an individual is incarcerated for a low-level, nonviolent crime, their family is torn apart and that individual will then carry the stigma of a criminal record when he/she is released from prison. While we can all agree that some crimes absolutely deserve prison time, our communities and wallets will benefit if we can take an empirical look at how we can best handle charging through the criminal justice system and best support those individuals who’ve been incarcerated to reduce the rate of recidivism.
Cash Bail and Drug-Related Offenses/Misdemeanors:
Criminal laws should be limited in their application to violations of the rights of others through force or fraud, or to deliberate actions that place others involuntarily at significant risk of harm. Therefore, we favor the repeal of all laws creating “crimes” without victims, such as the use of drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes. We support restitution to the victim to the fullest degree possible at the expense of the criminal or the negligent wrongdoer.
Criminalization of Poverty:
The Declaration of Independence states that there are certain unalienable rights, including:
Our organization believes that in order to uphold the rights given to every American by the Founding Fathers, we must stop over policing and over supervising our citizens. This starts with ending the current war on poverty.
While we believe that those who commit heinous crimes should be punished for their actions, we also believe in smart and efficient justice. To put it simply, the death penalty is not. It is a huge strain on an already drained system. It costs hardworking taxpayers millions of dollars in appeals and trials and does not always end in the right person being executed. Despite best intentions, human beings cannot be right 100 percent of the time, and when a life is on the line, one mistake is too many.
According to the 6th Amendment of the United States Constitution, every American citizen has the right to a jury. However, Missouri allows for a judge to choose life or death in the instance when a jury cannot decide. This is a clear breach of the United States Constitution.
We are currently working to overturn this unconstitutional practice. Follow House Bill 2459 (Sponsored by Rep. Shamed Dogan) and Senate Bill 996 (Sponsored by Sen. Caleb Rowden) to stay up to date. These bills work to modify the provisions that allow for judges to make the decision of life or death in a capital murder case if the jury cannot do so. This is clearly an overstep of the Missouri State government.
Incarcerating the mentally ill is ineffective and inefficient, because it increases their isolation without addressing their underlying problems. Appropriately responding to mental health issues with treatment will keep communities safer by seeking remedies for the underlying psychiatric issues that drive these behaviors.
Uncover more about Missouri's unconstitutional Judicial Override practices using the link below.