Guest MINDSETTER™ Broadmeadow: Crime & No Punishment

Wednesday, August 01, 2018
Guest MINDSETTER™ Joe Broadmeadow

Everyone deserves a second chance. One might even argue you get three strikes, but in any case, after that, they must pay the price.

In the last few months, two officers were killed, and two officers wounded in three separate shooting incidents. Where, you might ask? Southside of Chicago? A gang invested area of Los Angeles? Downtown Detroit? Baghdad?

Nope.

On Cape Cod, the ordinarily tranquil summer vacation mecca and one of the most beautiful parts of the Eastern Seaboard.

It’s happening here for two very troubling reasons. First, the incestuous nature of the court system. Spend time in the courts around the Commonwealth, mainly the smaller venues, and you’ll see it in action.

If you pay attention.

Certain defense attorneys, generally the old hands or their associates with years of appearances before the courts, are treated differently, and their clients benefit by the largess of this deferential treatment. Their ability to wrangle minimal sanction from prosecutors, with the silent acquiescence of the courts and despite the extensive criminal record of the defendant, defies logic and diminishes the effectiveness of criminal sentences.

It’s an enlightened version of the “old boy” network without gender discrimination.

The second factor is the secrecy around criminal records in Massachusetts. Out of some misguided sense of fairness to those who’ve committed a crime, access to criminal records in the state is almost non-existent.

Even investigators face Draconian rules to access records of suspects under investigation. It is these two factors, lawyers with an inordinate amount of influence within the court and the secrecy of criminal records, that put dangerous repeat offenders back on the street under the guise of fair pursuit of justice.

Everyone deserves a second chance, after that they must feel the full weight of responsibility for their actions. Access to criminal records is as much a matter of the public’s need to know as is any other governmental function.

Courts cannot work in secret. That is exactly the situation in Massachusetts. Judges need to act as a balance between a vengeful public and the rights of the accused. Once a defendant signs a plea, that second chance philosophy takes over. Fail any part of probation, commit another crime, violate any order, and the opportunity for leniency should be surrendered.

In many ways, it does not work that way.

This, however, is only part of the solution. The reality is resources to deal with repeat offenders, especially those who commit minor offenses, is limited. Often the state faces a Hobbs choice of where to put people who deserve to go to prison but where there is limited space to put them.

To be effective the criminal justice systems need adequate resources. But that doesn’t just mean more cops, judges, and prisons. It also means we must invest in a prison system that punishes in a manner consistent with the law and functions as an actual system of corrections.

Clearly, if you’ve ever seen the inside of most prisons in the US, that is not happening. We cannot expect a prison system that amounts to nothing more than a warehouse of troubled humans to return a better person back to society.

If we focus exclusively on punishment, at the expense of rehabilitation, we are perpetuating the very problem we want to solve.

Every single criminal case disposed of in court should be a public record. If it takes a generation before people once again understand actions have consequences, then so be it. We’ve created this society of victimhood where everything is someone else’s fault. We must be the first to recognize the folly of that and accept our own responsibility for it.

The situation in Massachusetts is not unique. It permeates the criminal justice system throughout the US. It shouldn’t take cops being wounded and killed by individuals who’ve been given not a second chance but what amounts to a get out of jail free card before we recognize the problem and fix it.

Our criminal justice system need reflect the realities of the human condition in life. Our Constitution guarantees the rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Pursuit is not a promise of success, just a fair opportunity to achieve it. Continuously breaking laws is not one of those opportunities. 

“There is no going back in life. There is no return. No second chance.”

Daphne du Maurier

Joe Broadmeadow is an author and a former captain of the East Providence Police Department.

  • Registered Voters

    Q1: Are you registered to vote in Rhode Island?

    Total 501 100%
    Yes: 501 100%
    No: 0 0%
    Don't know: 0 0%

     
  • Gender

    Q2: Are you ...
    Total
    Total: 100%
    Male: 44%
    Female: 56%

     
  • Age

    Q3: In which age group are you?

    18-24:  7%
    25-34:  16%
    35-44:  15%
    45-54:  20%
    55-64: 17%
    65+      25%

     
  • Political Party

    Q4: When it comes to voting, do you consider yourself to be affiliated with the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, Moderate, or Unaffiliated with a major party?

    Democrat: 38%
    Republican:14%
    Moderate: 6%
    Unaffiliated: 39%
    Don't know/Refused: 3%

     
  • Likely Voters

    Q5: Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices.  How likely is it that you will vote in this election?   Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...

     

    Definitely be voting.............................. 81%

    Probably be voting............................... 19%

    All others.............................................   0%

     
  • Top Issue

    Q6: What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
     

    Taxes.................................................. .18%

    Jobs and economy.............................. 16%

    State budget.........................................11%

    Roads...................................................10%

    Education............................................  8%

    Healthcare...........................................  5%

    Corruption/Public integrity.................... 4%

    Immigration..........................................  4%

    Housing.............................................. ..2%

    Governor............................................. ..2%

    Homelessness.......................................1%

     

    Other.. ............................................... 14%

    Don’t know..........................................   6%

     
  • Direction

    Q7: In general, would you say things in Rhode Island are headed in the right direction or are they off on the wrong track?
     

    Right track........................................... 19%

    Wrong track......................................... 36%

    Mixed.................................................. 45%

     
  • Optimism

    Q8: Thinking ahead several years, is your outlook about Rhode Island more optimistic or more pessimistic?   
     

    Optimistic............................................ 52%

    Pessimistic...........................................48%
     

     
  • Finances

    Q9: Over the last three years or so, has your family's financial situation improved, gotten worse, or not changed at all?
     

    Changed for the better......................... 24%

    Changed for the worse......................... 33%

    Not changed at all................................ 43%

     
  • Governor

    Q10: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Gina Raimondo, a Democrat

    I am sure to vote for her:  9%

    There is a good chance I will vote for her:  19%

    It is possible that I vote for her:  24%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for her:  18%

    I will never vote for her:  31%

     
  • Governor

    Q11: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Matt Brown, a Democrat

    I am sure to vote for him:  4%

    There is a good chance I will vote for him:  8%

    It is possible that I vote for him:  40%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  30%

    I will never vote for him:  17%
     

     
  • Governor

    Q12: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Spencer Dickinson, a Democrat

    I am sure to vote for him:  3%

    There is a good chance I will vote for him:  7%

    It is possible that I vote for him:  37%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  35%

    I will never vote for him:  18%

     
  • Governor

    Q13: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Paul Roselli, a Democrat 

    I am sure to vote for him:  2%

    There is a good chance I will vote for him:  7%

    It is possible that I vote for him:  35%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  37%

    I will never vote for him:  19%

     
  • Governor

    Q14: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Allan Fung, a Republican 

    I am sure to vote for him:  7%

    There is a good chance I will vote for him:  18%

    It is possible that I vote for him:  28%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  25%

    I will never vote for him:  21%

     
  • Governor

    Q15: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Patricia Morgan, a Republican 

    I am sure to vote for her:  3%

    There is a good chance I will vote for her.:   9%

    It is possible that I vote for her:  32%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for her:  35%

    I will never vote for her:  21%

     
  • Governor

    Q16: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Giovanni Feroce, a Republican 

    I am sure to vote for him:  2%

    There is a good chance I will vote for him:  5%

    It is possible that I vote for him:  24%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  35%

    I will never vote for him:  34%

     
  • Governor

    Q17: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Luis-Daniel Muñoz, an Independent

    I am sure to vote for him:  3%

    There is a good chance I will vote for him: 6%

    It is possible that I vote for him: 33%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for him: 38%

    I will never vote for him: 21%

     
  • Governor

    Q18: Which of the following comes closest to your view regarding each of the following potential candidates for governor of Rhode Island?

    Joe Trillo, an Independent

    I am sure to vote for him:  1%

    There is a good chance I will vote for him:  8%

    It is possible that I vote for him:  37%

    It is unlikely that I will vote for him:  34%

    I will never vote for him:  19%

     
  • Governor

    Q20: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Gina Raimondo, Republican Allan Fung and Independent Joe Trillo - for whom would you vote?        

    Allan Fung, a Republican..................... 33%

    Gina Raimondo, a Democrat................ 33%

    Joe Trillo, and Independent.................. 16%

    Don't know     18%

     
  • Governor

    Q20: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Gina Raimondo, Republican Patricia Morgan and Independent Joe Trillo - for whom would you vote?         

    Gina Raimondo, a Democrat................ 39%

    Patricia Morgan, a Republican............. 20%

    Joe Trillo, an Independent................... 19%

    Don't know ......................................... 22%

     
  • Governor

    Q21: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Matt Brown, Republican Allan Fung and Independent Joe Trillo - for whom would you vote? 

    Allan Fung, a Republican..................... 35%

    Matt Brown, a Democrat...................... 25%

    Joe Trillo, an Independent.................... 14%

    Don't know .......................................... 27%
     

     
  • Governor

    Q22: If the election for Governor were held today and the candidates were: Democrat Matt Brown, Republican Patricia Morgan and Independent Joe Trillo - for whom would you vote?        

    Matt Brown, a Democrat...................... 30%

    Patricia Morgan, a Republican............. 20%

    Joe Trillo, an Independent.................... 18%

    Don't know .......................................... 33%

     
  • U.S. Senate

    Q23: If the election for the U.S. Senate were held today and the candidates were: [ROTATE] Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse and Republican Robert Nardolillo - for whom would you vote?

    Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat........... 53%

    Robert 'Bobby' Nardolillo, a Republican.. 31%

    Don't know............................................... 16%

     
  • U.S. Senate

    Q24: If the election for the U.S. Senate were held today and the candidates were: [ROTATE] Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse and Republican Robert Flanders - for whom would you vote?           

    Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat........ 54%

    Robert Flanders, a Republican............. 32%

    Don't know.......................................... 14%

     
  • Schools

    Q25: If there was an election today, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $250 million in financing supported general obligation bonds to repair Rhode Island's deteriorating school buildings and bring them up to minimum standards called "warm, safe and dry"?

    Net: Approve...................................... 74%

    Definitely approve............................... 36%

    Probably approve................................ 38%
     

    Net: Reject......................................... 17%

    Probably reject....................................   9%

    Definitely reject....................................   7%


    Don't know..........................................   9%

     
  • PawSox

    Q26: The Rhode Island General Assembly is in the process of negotiating a $40 million public financing deal with the Pawtucket Red Sox for a new stadium, hoping to bring a vote before the House and Senate this summer.  

    In general, do you favor or oppose the use of public funds to help finance a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox?
     

    Net: Favor.......................................... 33%

    Strongly favor...................................... 13%

    Somewhat favor.................................. 21%
     

    Net: Oppose....................................... 59%

    Somewhat oppose.............................. 21%

    Strongly oppose.................................. 38%
     

    Don't know..........................................   8%

     
  • Fane Tower

    Q27: The City of Providence and the state of Rhode Island are considering a proposal by New York developer Jason Fane to build a 46-story luxury residence tower in Providence, next to a public riverfront park.  The developer will invest $250 to $300 million of his own funds.  The project is called the Hope Point Tower, it would be 170-feet taller than the Superman building and would require waiving height restrictions and the use of state tax credits.

    In general, do you favor or oppose development of the Hope Point Tower?

     

    Net: Favor.......................................... 39%

    Strongly favor...................................... 13%

    Somewhat favor.................................. 27%


    Net: Oppose....................................... 50%

    Somewhat oppose.............................. 23%

    Strongly oppose.................................. 27%


    Don't know.......................................... 11%

     
  • Elorza/Traffic Cameras

    Q28: How would you rate the job that Mayor Jorge Elorza has done managing issues related to speed cameras in Providence?

    Net: Excellent/Good.......................... 26%

    Excellent.............................................   6%

    Good................................................... 20%

    Net: Fair/Poor.................................... 74%

    Fair...................................................... 29%

    Poor.................................................... 45%

     
  • Q29: Since it was launched in 2016, UHIP -- the Rhode Island program designed to improve customer service for those who receive federal benefits -- has run into significant problems, including long lines, cost overruns, lost applications, over- and under-charging of patients and families.   

    Based on what you know at this time, what percent of 
    blame for this do you assign to:
     

    Deloitte, the consulting company who
    produced the system........................... 53.3%

    Governor Gina Raimondo, who has
    been governor since the system
    launch in September 2016................... 47.1%

     
  • NIMBYism

    Q30: Presently, there are local groups opposing the development of a natural gas facility in Burrillville, solar projects in Exeter, a LNG facility in Providence and wind projects in North Kingstown. 
    Some people say that it is important for local groups to play a role in opposition 
    of projects like these that could be dangerous or harmful to citizens; 

    Others say that local groups have gone too far to the detriment of the state’s long-term energy needs. 

    Which statement comes closer to your own view?

     

    Local groups play an important role...... 46%

    Local groups have gone too far............. 31%

    Not sure................................................. 24%

     
  • Corruption

    Q31: Compared to other states, do you think there is:

    More political corruption in RI................. 63%

    Less political corruption in RI................   7%

    About the same level as other states..... 30%
     

     
  • Income

    Q32: The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS.  Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).  

    $50,000 or less.................................... 33%

    More $50,000 but less than $75,000..... 18%

    More $75,000 but less than $100,000... 16%

    More $100,000 but less than $150,000. 13%

    $150,000 or more................................ 10%

    Don't know/refused.............................. 10%

     
  • Ethnicity

    Q33: What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?  

    Net: White, Non-Hispanic..................... 82%

    Black or African American....................   6%

    Latino/Hispanic....................................   5%

    Other....................................................   7%

     

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