Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Troy grabs himself a headline

When you're an attorney general candidate with vastly less experience than your opponent, you have to do what you can to try to convince voters to support you anyway. In incumbent AG Troy King's case, that something is the promotion of a three-piece package of tougher laws against child molesters.

The fact that the U.S. Supreme Court probably would find two of the three proposals -- executions in cases that don't involve a death and the ability to forbid defendants to be present as their accusers testify at trial -- to be unconstitutional seems almost beside the point. So does the fact that the Mobile County district attorney's office has prosecuted more than 500 such cases in the time that Democratic AG nominee John Tyson, Jr., has run the show. Tyson suggests a solution of his own: "What is needed is fully funded child advocacy centers around the state. That's where the protection for children really comes."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't mind Troy grandstanding -- but the fact that he uses my tax dollars so he can take cases to the Supreme Court that are going to be thrown out anyway (as he did a few months ago with that juvenile execution case)burns me up. These stunts should be paid for out of his campaign funds.

Tyson is right on with the CAC. My tax dollars should go there, not for Troy to self-promote.

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Any hope of King winning my vote died when I read that article. Not that there was much hope anyway.

7:54 PM  
Blogger Alabamian said...

Can't say I disagree with either of you.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Tyson is famous in Mobile for plea bargaining with child molesters. Very soon you will begin hearing about corrupt plea bargains Tyson has made with child rapists who attacked other children after their abbreviated sentences.

I am thankful that Troy King is standing up for children and has the political courage to stand up in the face of criticism like that of the posters in this forum.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Alabamian said...

More than 95 percent of all criminal prosecutions end in a plea bargain or dismissal, anonymous commenter. The criminal justice system would overload and grind to a halt were that not the case. Do you have any evidence that Tyson's office pleads out child abuse cases at a higher rate than other district attorneys?

11:55 PM  
Blogger Alabamian said...

Anonymous commenter, I removed your most recent comment because the first paragraph contained the kind of accusation (the "bragging" remark) that requires hard evidence to support it. Feel free to repost your comment's last two paragraphs, but don't repost the claim about Tyson unless you include something -- public documents or press coverage, not just anecdotes or rumors -- to back it up.

The wording of the (Mobile) Press-Register story -- particularly the statement that "King wants the law changed to only allow the defense attorney present" -- suggested the proposed closed-circuit testimony law would establish a blanket policy, which the U.S. Supreme Court forbids. If, however, the proposal is for a scheme in which the judge makes an individualized finding that the victim would be traumatized by testifying in the defendant's sight, then the justices did approve such a scheme by a 5-4 vote in Maryland v. Craig over Justice Antonin Scalia's adamant dissent. The Court's Eighth Amendment jurisprudence is still very much lined up against the idea of executions to punish crimes that don't involve a death, however.

Everyone -- you, me, and both AG candidates included -- wants to eradicate child abuse, and I don't doubt that King honestly thinks his proposals are needed to help protect children. But it's wrong to imply that anyone who doesn't endorse a given candidate's ideas in their entirety somehow isn't "standing up for children."

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's not wrong is to suggest that misguided social policies dressed up as crime fighting policies haven't worked in the past, and they aren't working now. Tyson's liberal agenda is the wrong way to fight crime. King's socially conservative tough on crime policies provide the only real solution. Tyson claims that he can solve crimes in schools with liberal touchy feely social feel good programs;

Those programs don't work and they won't stop violent anti-social behavior.

The way to stop this behavior is to punish the offenders by taking away their ability to victimize others while at the same time sending a message that violent anti-social behavior will not be tolerated. General King's get tough approach stands in stark contrast to these liberal ideas and his approach has been proven successful time and time again. I'm sure you will remove this post as it doesnt' fit your liberal agenda.

12:22 AM  
Blogger Alabamian said...

Anonymous commenter, on Tyson's website, to which you linked, is a Huntsville Times story that says 70 percent of suspended students referred to one of his intervention programs had no more suspensions in the next nine months. That evidence is preliminary, given the short timeframe involved, but it doesn't help the argument that such programs simply don't work.

I feel the best way to reduce the crime rate in the long term is to attack crime both reactively (punishment after it happens to deter criminals) and proactively (intervention to try to keep people from becoming criminals in the first place). I don't think society has to make an either/or choice between those approaches. We can do both.

6:05 AM  

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