Jim Black seeks unique punishment

Jim Black doesn't want to go to jail. What person in their right mind would?

In a last effort attempt to stay out of jail - or to see a reduced sentence - Black has offered a business proposal to the courts. Basically, he's saying he can better serve the community by offering free eye care to poor children than he can rotting in a jail cell.

Personally, I have no problem with this....except for one itty bitty little thing. It isn't a punishment.

I think it would be great if non-violent offenders could offer a service that would help society in exchange for a reduced sentence. I'm just not so sure I can agree with wiping out an entire jail term.

The great thing about this is that North Carolina is set up for just this sort of idea. It's called work release and North Carolina's work release program, which was implemented in 1957, was the first one in the nation.

Granted, Black wants to work for free and work release is intended for folks taking a salary so they can pay taxes and pay for their room and board. I'm sure the good people at the MCSO Work Release and Restitution Center could work things out for Mr. Black.

Here's my proposal: Black serves at least one year behind bars in the work release program and then serves the remainder of his sentence helping poor kids see better.

What do you think? More or less time in jail?

Comments

I fully realize that he might be serving his time in a different

jail/prison facility than Meck Co Jail or Charlotte correctional facility, but these programs are available all over the state. I assumed he would be serving close to home.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Do the political crime! Do the time!

What do you think? More or less time in jail?* BM

Only after 70% of our state prisoners who were charge with NON violent. drug offenses be release first.

Stop supporting the Prison fascist industrial complex!

I Agree with Your Post in its Entirety -

except ....

if that should be offered to him it should be offered to everyone and it isn't.

And no, he shouldn't be first.

Scooter Libby aside and all that....

Damn, Jim. Just can't stay away from those backroom deals, can you?

YMMV

Good analysis.

Not sure what I think yet, though I generally agree that we grossly under-use the talents of people in jails. Maybe he could set up a clinic in an RV (Eye Mobile) with its home base at Central Prison.

Read the work release stories (just google NC work release)

I found figures from 1998 and there were something around 3+ million work hours through the program. For the non-Jim Black types, these are permanent jobs, so these men and women have something waiting for them once their time is served. I realize we hear more about the success stories through government press releases, which is where I read some of these stories, but it is a program available to and intended for the non-Jim Blacks of the system.

In a 1999 release they told the story about a man who took a jail transfer to have access to a training program in HVAC repair and then transferred back (I believe) to work a full-time job through work release.

I wonder what the recidivism rate is on these folks.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I'm pretty sure the prison in Hillsborough

used to do work release to local restaurants. But, I think someone walked away from the job and, at least for awhile, they had suspended the program.
The website still says

Inmates work in a number of jobs. They may be assigned to Department of Transportation road crews, Highway Litter Crew, Community Work Program or work under contract for local government agencies. Inmates may also be assigned to Unit jobs such as: maintenance, kitchen, yard, clotheshouse, library, etc. Inmates may participate in work release, leaving the prison for the part of the day to work for a business in the community. Study Release is available at UNC-Chapel Hill. Inmates are strongly encouraged to participate in substance abuse treatment programs.

Nice that we let them be study subjects.

John Edwards is great!
- Sam Spencer, BlueNC, 7/3/07

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

I agree with Unique.

He needs to do some hard time. Maybe not the maximum, but more than a year. And since he was tried in federal court on a federal crime, he will be going to federal prison, not a state or county facility.

He violated our trust, just like the Republicans who behaved in similar ways, and he should be punished for it, just like them. Let us not be accused of hypocrisy, of making excuses for one of our own.

This is a little different

This is a little different than Work Release. Betsy noted that he would be working for free. But his work would also be for a public benefit (moreso than the link to the guys working as a chef in a restaurant and an air conditioner repairman). So, no, it isn't severe punishment (although it is punishment). But it is restitution.

I don't think it's hypocritical for us to like aspects of this suggested business plan. Let's not forget many of ourviews on the criminal justice system... don't many D's think it should be (especially for violent offenders) less punitive, more rehabilitive and providing restitution to those harmed? And it should prevent future occurrences of the same act.

First, he resigned and is no longer in a position of power. (So the act cannot be committed again.) Second, he plead guilty. And he also took $25,000 and is offering to "repay" the community more than $500,000. I'm no Jim Black apologist, but I think it's more important to clean House of immoral legislators and remove them from positions of public trust than to lock up 71-year-old men who are nonviolent offenders.

I'm not sure if I think he should have prison time, or how much. But I do think that he should be allowed to substitute a valuable contribution of his work and unique skills for at least some of his time. ("Celebrities" get this treatment all the time by offering to do public service ads.) I liked what someone on the Under the Dome blog suggested though -- this shouldn't be from the comfort of his own home in Mecklenburg Co., but in the poorest counties in the state, under house arrest, at his own expense.

One Little Mistake

don't many D's think it should be (especially for non-violent offenders) less punitive, more rehabilitive and providing restitution to those harmed?

For very violent offenders and the criminally deranged - rehabilitation is unlikely. It could happen...but I'd say, 'No', Democrats don't advocate rehab and restitution for violent offenders.

You left out the non in your post.

YMMV

Oof.

Thanks. Yes, NON violent.

I have a better idea

Prisons are overcrowded but we still have people like Black floating around.
Kids need eye care.

I say we get Universal Health Care AND lock Jim Black up for a long time. Problem solved.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

How about he provides eye care for the juvenile offenders

in NC's system?

While he's serving his time in jail, of course.

Or offer to serve his federal time taking care of soldier's eye care needs in Iraq.

I like

The first part. I am sure there are plenty of criminals in jail who could use an eye exam.

I would say we should send Bill Frist to Iraq, but he can probably heal just by watching it on TV.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Iraq.

Now, there is an idea. We're letting criminals into the army, so send him to Iraq. Just like in the old days.

John Edwards is great!
- Sam Spencer, BlueNC, 7/3/07

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Well, then -

My son and I both need eye exams AND glasses. And we can't afford either one.

I want some of that action.

Because my fucking TRICARE doesn't cover it.

'poor' my butt.

There are a whole lot of people in America and North Carolina who are poor but aren't 'poor enough' to "qualify".

Screw that. I'm tired of being left out while 'playas' like Jim Black scoot off scot-free.

You dig me on that?

You know

You really should learn to express yourself and not hold back. :)

I Know

it's difficult calling myself a wordsmith when I don't have a good grasp of language.

::::removes tongue from cheek::::

i hear ya

the people who are in the toughest place in our country are those that are above the "poverty line" but just by a little.

Too poor to afford anything, too "rich" to get help. Talk about punishing work.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

Nice idea

however, Jim Black will probably be out before we ever see an effective Universal Health Care program fully implemented.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Thanks, Betsy

I needed more good news this morning.

(but hey - it's not your fault - you've been paying attention)

le sigh.

I'm sorry.....

I'm usually the one looking on the bright side.

Hey...but if they put Jim Black at FCI Butner - Low or Medium Security, he'll be close enough to take care of you and your son.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Speaker of the Halfway House

Will it stop at his optometric skills? Will he abuse the system to become Speaker of the Halfway House?

 
Stop the NC Association of Realtors
Polluting our State Legislature with money.

Crack Up - Thanks

Speaker of the Halfway House.

LOL! OMG. hahahahahaha......oh no....I woke up the kid.....

"geez, mom"

Does he remember

how to use those skills? When was the last time he looked deeply into someone's eyes?

Lovex7

both

Hi,
Yeah I would like to mirror several other comments. I think he should go to jail, and he ought to be given a job doing eye exams in the prison system.
1) I think we need to distance ourselves for the culture-of-corruption crowd. He was given a high office and privilege and he used it in a perverse manner. Dude should do some time.
2) What he does should not be his decision. He gave up that right when he started taking bribes. However, we should be able to leverage that. If he doesn't want to do that he can serve every minute of his jail time, No probation or parole because NOT helping with the optometric needs of the prison population is not 'good behavior.'
Sorry Jim, you have to earn your way back. Find that hard to deal with? Maybe that would be good grounds to move Black into a correctional facility with more violent felons? I feel certain we can work something out.

I Like the Way You Think -

Illicitizen.

What he does should not be his decision. He gave up that right when he started taking bribes. .....Sorry Jim, you have to earn your way back. Find that hard to deal with?

Choices have consequences as some are wont to say.

Yes?

ETA: Now if he had been a Republican - it might be a different story. Democrats punish their criminals; Rethuglicans reward them. Therein lies the difference.

Let's see if he changes affiliation when he gets out, shall we?

More on Black

Just got this from an email. No time to find the link to the Charlotte Observer.

Former House Speaker Jim Black accepted a $500,000 check from a lobbyist in 2000, deposited the check into his campaign account and then misrepresented the transaction as a personal loan, federal prosecutors say.

The potentially damaging revelation was disclosed for the first time in court papers filed Monday.
Prosecutors argue Black's actions broke N.C. campaign finance laws, though they don't specify which ones. The laws limit contributions to candidates to $4,000 per election and require strict reporting of contributions and loans, including loan sources.

::

The revelation by prosecutors is "eye-popping," said Joe Sinsheimer, a former Democratic campaign consultant who once ran a Web site calling for Black's resignation.

"It's more shocking evidence of the pay-to-play empire that Jim Black built while House speaker, and it's a powerful argument that Jim Black deserves prison time," Sinsheimer said. "Just think about what he would owe that lobbyist."
The lobbyist involved has not been identified.

We need a new description for Joe S. . . . he's way more than a former campaign consultant. He's the only watchdog still awake in the kennel. Good for Joe for staying plugged in and on top of things.

All the stuff before this was chicken feed.

...and I'm talking dollar amounts - not actions. Uh...eye-popping is certainly an understatement. I want to know who the lobbyist is. Might just be two people who need some jail time.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

On that lobbyist

Judging from the amount of money involved, I'd think it had to be one of the more marginal lobbyists. I don't see Don Beason, Zebulon Alley or Roger Bone needing to drop $500,000 to get their points across.

From Black's history, you could guess chiropractors, but I don't think they'd have an easy time rounding up half a million dollars. Could it be the video poker industry that's the source here? If you look at their connections to the federal investigation into state corruption and Black, I don't think it's too far out of the realm of possibility. And I don't think they'd have a hard time finding $500,000 in cash to dole out.

--Gideon

I was thinking either video poker

or something to do with the lottery

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Interest Groups

The lottery certainly could have had something to do with it. But I think that's almost too obvious for what is becoming a rapidly evolving picture of legislative corruption.

Kevin Geddings has already taken it for lottery interests. I think whoever did this one is from another interest group.

--Gideon

Will that be a cashier check Jim?

Former House Speaker Jim Black accepted a $500,000 check from a lobbyist in 2000, deposited the check into his campaign account and then misrepresented the transaction as a personal loan, federal prosecutors say.* A

Now we are talking about real money for once.

The lobbyist involved has not been identified.*A

The feds know! And so does the lobbyist if he has not already left the country 6 months ago.

Update

I've heard speculation that he's dead and was a video poker lobbyist.

--Gideon

Speculation

Laura Leslie says speculation is that it was Linwood Mercer, who died under unusual circumstances in Las Vegas in 2002. He was a lobbyist for the video poker industry.

You Know What That Usually Means,

Don't You?

unusual circumstances

+

Las Vegas

=

********

dangerous

Uninformed speculation like this is very dangerous. You don't know what you're talking about. Have you read the PSR or anything filed by either the US Attorney or Jim Black? If not, you shouldn't be speculating about stuff like this.

"85% of Republicans are Democrats who don't know what's going on." -Robert Kennedy, Jr.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

I'm Not Speculating About a Damn Thing

I never heard of the guy before today and I couldn't care less.

But I do know the dynamics of Vegas. So should you.

Speculation

I wouldn't call this uninformed speculation.

--Gideon

I've heard other good possibilities mentioned ...

... and they're ones that I won't repeat. If it's one of those names, then the pay-to-play system is embedded, and it's not going to be pretty.

--Gideon

I Have to Tell You This -

Whenever I see the Headline Title for this entry, I see:

Jim Black seeks Unique's punishment

I promise to be fair and just but ... Jim, I have to tell you, I will be fair and just.

Sorry - subliminals at work obviously. ;)

Funny b/c I thought of you when I wrote it

That word will never be the same for me. :)

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Jim Black's headed to jail.

This just in

Former state House Speaker Jim Black, once one of the most powerful men in North Carolina government, was sentenced to more than five years in prison Wednesday for illegally taking cash from chiropractors.

Larry Kissell is MY Congressman

I believe he will be eligible for parole in 21 months

So, he probably (ya, never know these days) will spend more than a year but less than two....

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

As Long as He Doesn't Do a

Paris Hilton long weekend.

Any restitution with those chips?

$50,000



Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

10% ?

or is the bondsman that gets 10%.

I get those confused.

I don't know....

I just read in the paper that $50,000 was his fine

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Well....not reading it right

I used, this and this found here at the DOJ, Bureau of Prisons site. The computation of sentence has to be the most convoluted mish mash of computations I've read. The first section figures parole, so that one must be outdated, but that's the one I was using.

So, it looks like Black will probably serve a longer sentence than many violent offenders.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Well, that's not right -

So, it looks like Black will probably serve a longer sentence than many violent offenders.

I don't know... rape, murder, and torture seem much worse than betraying the People's trust ... but who the heck can tell anymore?

Fair & Just, anyone?

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