Question # 4 Overcriminalazation

Please review video Overcriminalization in 60 Seconds

What do you think about the relationship between overcriminalization and the growing prison population in Montgomery County ( Sheriff ) of Texas ( Judges ) or the United States ( Congressmen )? What response
should society have to overcriminalization and prison overcrowding?

Candidate Answer #4  Overcriminalization

“Over criminalization has become a growing problem, not only in our State but in our Republic as a whole. With privatization of some of our prisons, it appears that priorities are more about making money than protection of the people from criminals. We have laws that are unfair and punishments that are far beyond what is needed for certain actions. We have even turned away from the idea of rehabilitation in some cases. In Texas, one of the top jobs in the prison system is to become a barber. Yet you have to get a license to hold the job outside of prison, however, you cannot get a license if you are a felon. We have mandatory punishments that no longer allow the system to view the accused in a case by case bases that would take into account that people sometimes make bad decisions. However, those bad decisions should not ruin the rest of their lives.”

Question #3 Filming the Police

With the advent of smartphones and amateur journalist blogging the filming of public interaction of law enforcement with the public has grown exponentially. The existence of these digital records can have a significant effect, either positive or negative on investigations and conduct of law enforcement as they go about their duties.

One recently proposed bill sought to create a misdemeanor for filming within 25 ft.

Police agencies are responding by drafting new policies that address the legal issues for the public and the members of law enforcement. Recently, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Dept. and Pct 5 Constables Office attended a NPPA Conference in advance of developing a policy for Montgomery County.

As a Lawmaker, Law enforcer or Law Judge,

What elements must a good policy include and what role should the public play in its development and implementation?

Candidate Answer #3 Filming the Police

Law enforcements role is to protect and serve our communities, and should not have a problem with citizens exercising their first amendment right to record officers performing their public duties. The fourteenth amendment protects your right from having your recordings seized without a warrant, and any good policy would ensure our constitutional rights are upheld. The public should always play a significant role in the development and implementation of any policy that can affect the protection of their constitutional rights.

Question #2 The Nature of Law

During Texas 84th legislative session State Representative Mark Keough introduced HB 3184 a bill seeking to import the civil law process of mediation into criminal law. The law applied to some first time misdemeanor and felony offenders. The bill passed though the legislative process but failed to become law on veto by Governor Greg Abbott who stated “Making amends with the victim of a crime does not absolve the criminal of his legal debt to the State.”

Do you agree with the Governor? What is the purpose of law from your point of view as a Legislative/Judicial/ Law Enforcement official? Who is it intended to protect?

What should be the role or effect of private judging companies (such as Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Service) in the judicial or incarceration system?

(answer should be based on elected office sought.)

Candidate Answer #2

No response submitted to this question.

Question #1 Civil Asset Forfeiture.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett said “A generation ago in America, asset forfeiture was limited to wresting ill-gotten gains from violent criminals. Today, it has a distinctive ‘Alice in Wonderland’ flavor, victimizing innocent citizens who’ve done nothing wrong.”

Please reply with your view of the proper application of Civil Asset Forfeiture laws in general in Texas
and explain how your view will affect your policy as an elected official.

Candidate Answer #1

No response submitted to this question.

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