Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Will the ideologues despise Rauner for his actions on juvenile parole measure?

I have taken more than my fair share of pot-shots at Gov. Bruce Rauner and his ideologically-tinged attempts to tie the budgetary negotiating process up with his fight against organized labor and unions.

RAUNER: Not a complete ideologue
Yet I have to confess that I don’t view the man as a complete hard case when it comes to politically partisan measures – how else to explain the fact that Rauner gave his approval to a measure that will greatly offend the “law and order” types who want to think they’re giving us the ultimate in criminal justice.

USUALLY BECAUSE THEY get themselves off on the idea of being in a position of authority and being able to impose their will on someone else.

So I wonder how many enemies Rauner will make out of people who have been giving him their political support because they see his anti-labor measures as being a political pot-shot against Chicago.

For the record, Rauner signed into law on Monday a measure that – beginning Jan. 1 – repeals the Illinois laws that made for mandatory prison terms of life-without-parole of people under 18.

State Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, who sponsored this measure, said he wanted for judges to have flexibility in determining sentences for young people who commit adult-sized crimes.

THAT IS ACTUALLY an alien concept to many of the ideologues who like to screech and scream “law and order” – they call for the mandatory sentences that in real-life circumstances often do not apply.

It also helped the cause of doing away with this particular “mandatory” law that the Supreme Court of the United States ruled three years ago that the idea of a life-without-parole for a teenager was an inherently unconstitutional concept.

It is nice to see that Rauner had the sense to go along with this measure – rather than letting himself by influenced by certain types of people in our society who have no sense of compassion.

Restore Justice Illinois officials issued their own statement saying the new law acknowledges fundamental development differences between children and adults, and is a first step toward addressing issues faced by young people when they wind up in the criminal justice system.

I CAN ALREADY envision the responses I will get from some people – anonymous e-mails from people telling me I’m soft and don’t appreciate the idea of ‘rule of law’ and the idea of people being responsible for their actions.

Which is a batch of nonsense. If anything, some people are too hard-headed in their refusal to think that they should probably never be put in a position of authority.

Or else we all lose out!

In my time as a reporter-type person, I have encountered enough court cases and judges to realize that the reason we give some respect to the legal profession is that we need someone with knowledge who can make judgment calls.

PERHAPS I HAVE faith in judges and their ability to make a decision based on the specific circumstances of any case. I feel like imposing mandatory sentencing rules in general is meant to take away that authority – usually by narrow-minded politicos with their own social agendas to pursue.

Let’s give Rauner a moment of praise for this action, which may make up in some minds for the fact that Rauner recently gave his approval to another new law making it illegal to hunt bobcats in Illinois.

Or before we go back to blasting him for his inability to work WITH the state Legislature’s leadership in putting together a budget for the fiscal year that already is three weeks old.
Where he deserves just as much blame as da Dems for that failure!


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