Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Is there a place to work off a debt to society?

Observer reporters David Ingram and Gary Wright told readers Tuesday how former House Speaker Jim Black proposes to serve his sentence on charges related to accepting illegal gratuities and bribery in order to stay in power in Raleigh. If you missed it, here’s a link.
While many readers were rejecting the proposal to provide optometry services as a way to avoid real punishment for fostering the state’s worst political scandal, the idea of community service for nonviolent crimes is not a new one. The question has always been whether such a sentence is tough enough for a major crime. First thing Tuesday, the phones in Raleigh were ringing off the hook, and some of the suggestions were probably not quite serious.
One caller suggested that Black consider offering his services in Darfur, where genocide and starvation are capturing the news. Other suggested locales were Iraq, where Sunni and Shiite Muslims are engaged in their own war on one another and on the American and United Nations’ presence there, the Gaza Strip and Kosovo.
What do you think? Is there any place in this state or elsewhere, where a convicted felon could or should work off his debt to society by providing professional medical services instead of serving in prison?

16 comments:

MrAfternoon said...

why should someone who can offer professional services such as medical attention be afforded this option, while someone with a 'blue collar' job not be offered the same option? If anyone with no political clout were arrested for the same crimes as Mr. Black, no such considerations would be given.

Mr. Black is a criminal who didn't take advantage of paying his debt to society forward by being an upstanding and honest politician (before his legal woes), so he must now pay his debt retroactively. I will be interested to see if Mr. Black is still so generous to offer his pro-bono services after his term has been served.

JAT said...

Jack:

Couples things - Do convicted felons typically kept their state medical licenses?

Do community service deals deserve to go to felons who do live up to their plea deals to provide testimony on co-conspirators still at-large?

Can... whoops! -- nevermind. Here's another $500,000 bribe Jim Black accepted.

Seriously, we're in the middle of nothing less than a gut check for men of conscience in NC.

First check, ARE there any men of conscience in this state?

It is an open question given the criminals still on the loose.

Clayj said...

Jim Black is a politician who abused his position and corrupted the system to an extent that seems unimaginable. It doesn't matter if his crime was nonviolent, or if no one "got hurt"... because we ALL got hurt as a result of his actions.

Nothing less than hard prison time is acceptable for a politician who abuses the public trust in this way. He should consider himself fortunate that we are not in Roman times... back then, a corrupt politician was sewn into a bag with a wild animal and then thrown into the nearest river.

1pistolcat said...

Since he blocked the vote to prohibit driver's licenses for illegal aliens, he should give them all free eye exams and then drive the bus back and forth to Mexico to take them home. He might be safer in prison.

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JIM BLACK WAS WILLING TO MAKE IT LAW THAT CHILDREN BE REQUIRED TO TAKE AN EYE TEST...WHICH WOULD OF LINED HIS POCKETS ALSO .. BUT THEN SUDDENLY HE WAS WILLING TO JUST GIVE THESE EYE TESTS AWAY TO STAY OUT OF JAIL??? HE WAS JUST GRASPING AT STRAWS WHEN HIS LIFE WAS ABOUT TO GO TO THE POKEY..DOES HE THINK THE WHOLE WORLD IS WRONG BUT HIM AND HIS GOOD OLE BOYS??WAS GLAD TO SEE THAT THE JUDGE IN THIS CASE COULD NOT BE BOUGHT...HEY THERE IS STILL JUSTICE FOR THE PEOPLE OF N.C.LETS HOPE THIS SENDS OUT A MESSAGE TO ALL THE CROOKED POLITICIANS THAT ARE STILL WAITING TO GET CAUGHT WITH THEIR IN THE COOKIE JAR...NOW FOR THE LONG RIDE TO THE POKEY THAT DAY IS GONNA BE A HAPPY DAY FOR ALOT OF PEOPLE..

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