Should Convicted Felons Receive Victim Compensation Cash? Question of the Day

(courtesy theinquisitr.com)

“Most vexing, advocates say, is that state laws that govern compensation programs can ultimately exclude people at the highest risk of being shot, Elizabeth Van Brocklin writes at thetrace.org. “While black men disproportionately experience violence, they are also more likely than whites to have been convicted of a felony, which in some states can disqualify people from receiving funds.” That’s racist! Or is it? More to the point . . .

is it right to withhold victim compensation cash from convicted felons? Ohio, Florida, Kansas, Missouri and Pennsylvania won’t pay out to felons who’ve been shot. Does that make sense to you?

And while we’re at it, how do you feel about your tax dollars being paid out to crime victims, generally?

comments

  1. avatar pwrserge says:

    It is not my job to pay for the actions of criminals. That’s what we have a legal system for. No government handouts, to anyone.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “No government handouts, to anyone.”

      ‘Handouts’ aren’t limited to cash.

      Enjoy the aerobic exercise walking to work.

      See where that line of logic leads? 🙂

      The slope be slippery…

      1. avatar Hank says:

        The slope can slip in the other direction too, where everyone’s getting a hand out 🤢.

        Well, except people who are self sustaining, that is.

      2. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

        Hiding the cost of a commodity from the consumer by subsidizing it has more and greater negative consequences than positive ones. Take you’re fuel example, if the consumer had to pay full price for it their decisions about it would be more rational. You wouldn’t have so many living 40 miles from work and driving inefficient vehicles. The tax payers are paying it for it anyway so it is ridiculous to say that they couldn’t afford the cost of fuel if it was un-subsidized. Subsidies hide the critical price information from the people making the decisions in an economy.

      3. avatar RocketScientist says:

        I’m not 100% sure what your point is… are you referring to roads? If so, toll roads exist, and are much easier to administer with current technology. If I could only pay for the wear and tear I put on the roads I actually drive, that would be AWESOME. Instead of paying for a massive gov’t bureaucracy to (ineficciently) administer the spending of my own money to pay for raods that I likely won’t ever end up using (anyone remember the bridge to nowhere?). If roads were run by a private company, they’d only go through the hassle of putting them in where there was enough demand to justify the expense. If you live in bumfuck nowhere and want a nice paved road to your front door, why should a thousand people who will never use it pay for your road? If you’re talking about subsidies/handouts paid to oil/gas companies that allow for low fuel prices, then you’re an idiot. You know where the money for those subsidies comes from? From me (and you and everyone else). We are ALREADY paying the elevated price for the fuel, its just that some of it gets taken from us under threat of prison on tax-day, gets run through a massive gov’t administration (paying for all those salaries) and only THEN gets paid to the oil and gas companies. If you eliminated all those subsidies, you’d have lower overall costs (no need to support the gov’t middlemen), and sure the price you pay at the pump would go up (but your taxes would go down by more) and you’d be able to adjust your own behavior to account for your desire to spend your own money. There’s literally no system I can think of except maybe national defense and other similar ventures where there is any benefit to having my money go through a massive, inefficient gov’t bureaucracy so that THEY can spend it on things i need, vs me just keeping it and spending it myself as i see fit. The only argument that can be made in favor of it is a socialist one, ie taxation and gov’t subsidies allow the gov’t to provide services to people that can;t afford it on their own. And personally I find using threat of violence (ie men with guns coming to put you in jail if you continually refuse to pay taxes) to take my money and give it to other people to be morally reprehensible and akin to theft. If you are okay with that, then there’s really no point in continuing the conversation.

        1. avatar Chief Master says:

          Preach it, Bastiat.

        2. avatar Rusty Chains says:

          By only paying for the roads as you use them you are asking for the government to monitor every trip you make, the exact route, and every stop you make and for how long!

          Do you need me to explain just how little privacy that would leave you? Be very careful what you ask for, because you might just get it, to the sorrow of us all.

        3. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

          All of the way to Rothbard really.

        4. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

          Rusty chains, RocketScientist doesn’t want the federal government involved in roads, he said maybe national defense and similar ventures only. He is not inconsistent or unaware of the problem you bring up. He appears to be a subscriber to the Austrian School of economics. Read Murray Rothbard if you want the book(s) version. Or read Friedrich Hayek at the very least, Hayek is a much easier read even if he doesn’t go as far as Rothbard.

        5. avatar Rusty Chains says:

          Vic I am a fan of the Austrian school of economics. But whether it is Big Brother or Google spying on me I shudder to think about the amount of data we give up so easily. My employment history with some of the largest computer companies, and seeing some of the things that Watson can do with big data makes me very uneasy about who has access to my data and what they might do with it, or to whom they may market it.

        6. avatar RocketScientist says:

          Rusty chains, you missed my entire point. I’m trying to take the government out of the equation completely. I’d ask the PRIVATE COMPANY that built and operates the roads to monitor and charge me for that service, just like private companies do for every other service they provide. And the beauty of that system is, if you don’t want that company to know your activity, you can VOLUNTARILY not participate. With the government, you do not have a choice. Whether you want to or not, you’re paying for it, and whether you want to or not, they’re spying on you (seriously, they’re doing it to all of us right now). Sure it would be an inconvenience, as you’d have to find a different route to work, or use a competitors roads, maybe one where they just charged you a flat rate and didn’t track you movements, or similar. And if it turned out more people liked that flat rate system, you can bet your ass all the companies would switch to it due to market pressures. But again, it’d be voluntary. you can control how you spend your own money, what kind of organizations it goes to, and the consequences to your life of those voluntary interactions. None of that is possible with the government.

      4. avatar pwrserge says:

        I already walk to work. Down both flights of stairs to my office.

        1. avatar Klause Von Schmitto says:

          Start charging yourself a toll at both landings and at the end of the year take the proceeds and buy yourself a gun.

        2. avatar pwrserge says:

          Or I could just go and buy a gun…
          Unlike most people my age in my tax bracket, I don’t set money on fire for fun.
          I bought the largest house I could practically need rather than the largest house I could afford.
          I don’t drive a $100k Porsche.
          etc…
          That’s one of the up-sides of the combination of my job, lifestyle, and personal philosophy. Money becomes largely a way to keep score in a game I have no interest in playing.

      5. avatar Aaron says:

        what are you smoking? there is no logical equivalency between funding public infrastructure – IOW, upkeep of the “commons” – and stealing taxpayer money to give to the victims of criminals.

  2. avatar Gralnok says:

    So there are states that will pay out to felons after they get what’s coming to them when they are gangbangin? Or am did I misread something again?

  3. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    Open and shut. No taxpayer handouts to victims, regardless of race, criminal background, or anything. Let them sue their attackers for damages on their own like everyone else.

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      Blood from a turnip.
      These programs were imposed on the public because the taxpayer pile o’cash is infinite and will never diminish.
      🤠

      1. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

        Eventually, you run out of other people’s money.

        The real reason this is foisted on the public is because the public won’t notice and won’t care. It’s just another line item on a budget nobody reads. Even so, millions and millions of dollars in a government budget only means a few nickels and dimes per household, which isn’t worth taking to the streets over.

        1. avatar Klause Von Schmitto says:

          Thanks Margaret!

  4. avatar Hank says:

    No. Victims should collect compensation from the perpetrators that harmed them, or (ideally) their perpetrators estate.

    1. avatar Klause Von Schmitto says:

      “….their perpetrators estate”

      Woohoo! Sounds good to me!

      I haven’t seen a whole kilo since the early 80’s.

    2. avatar 2004done says:

      Hank (ideally collect from perp’s estate): What a kind way of putting it! Thanks for the classy response that means what I wanted to say.

  5. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Yet another example of “victim” being employment status.

    I have grown old.

  6. avatar jwm says:

    If everybody carried a gun 24/7 there’d be fewer victims to worry about.

    1. avatar AFGus says:

      Amen to that!

      1. avatar LaughingStockLottAndHisIgnorantDishonestAcolytes says:

        AFGus it is appropriate that you said amen to jwmTheMoralCowards false claim, because for dishonest dunces like you this claim is an article of faith, the documented reality(see below) doesnt matter to you.
        You and Jonathan-Houston should take a break from fellating your hero John Laughing Stock Liar Lott and look at the evidence

    2. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      I can’t argue against that, because it’s true, but there are additional factors, too. Most violent crime is lifestyle related, one way or another. A substantial percentage of homicide victims themselves have criminal records. They chose to live the life, and it’s a dangerous one.

      Other people have invited people into their lives who are violent. For example, the majority of female homicide victims are killed by a familiy member, usually an intimate partner. These are decisions people make, not random misfortune hurled down from the universe. So those numbers really shouldn’t be extrapolated and applied to the population as a whole.

      None of this is intended to blame the victim, of course. It’s just a matter of explaining part of what’s going on out there. You can carry a self-defense firearm, and you should, reduce your probability of being the victim of violent crime, but be aware that there are many daily decisions one can make to opt out of the equation almost entirely.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        I do blame the victim. If you make stupid decisions that result in you being the “victim”, you’re still responsible for making stupid decisions.

        1. avatar Klause Von Schmitto says:

          And you Sir, win the internets for the whole week!

    3. avatar LaughingStockLottAndHisIgnorantDishonestAcolytes says:

      jwm the moral coward and disseminator of bullsheet, your hero John Lott is a documented serial liar, repeatedly misrepresenting and misinterpreting his stats, repeatedly making errors(ie lying) in coding in favor of his delusion, even creating a fake online account posing as one of his students to defend his delusion and market his bullsheet book More Guns, Less Crime (the source of your indisputably false claim)

      This is why Lott is no longer in academia but instead associated with a right-wing(ie dishonest/bullsheet) think tank whose board includes lunatic imbecile Ted Nugent!

      More Guns, Less Crime has been critiqued by countless legitimate academics( ie those who dont constantly lie about their stats and dont lie about what their stats indicate, nor do they create fake online accounts to advocate for themselves) who detail Lotts ludicrously faulty analysis and lies including repeatedly changing his story about faulty data and getting caught trying to backdate changes made to that data.

      Lotts fake scholarship was decisively debunked by the National Research Council( again these are legitimate academics who do not lie and misinterpret their statsabout their which demostrated that Lotts fake evidence does not indicate that right-to-carry laws did not decrease crime.

      Lotts lies are too numerous to catalougue, so Ill leave you with this whooper:

      “”Most of the academic work out there finds that increases in concealed handgun permits, increases in gun ownership, generally is associated with reduced crime.”

      In fact only 9% of criminal justice academics publishing in peer-reviewed journals( again these are not fakes/liars who make up stats and lie about what they mean and create fake online accounts to perpetuate these lies) agree with Lotts bullsheet.

      So theres the documented reality, Ill leave you to continue ignoring facts not in harmony with your delusions…
      but really Lott is a laughing stock, even among many of your moron buddies

  7. avatar ironicatbest says:

    The article is confusing. No felon should be compensated for being injured while commiting any crime. Once they pay their dues they should have equal rights.Can a felon draw Social Security , SSI,or EU benefits while incarcerated,,,NO, once they are released they should be able to resume their benefits. But you don’t get paid if I have to shoot you.

    1. avatar Marty says:

      Nope. Once they do the time they still don’t get certain benefits such as the right to own or possess firearms and the right to vote (in most states).

    2. avatar Defens says:

      How many criminals pay into SS, EU, or SSI with their ill-gotten gains? If they don’t pay into the programs, they shouldn’t be getting anything out. This is notwithstanding the concept of paying into programs with illegally obtained funds.

      1. avatar Red in CO says:

        Quite a few, actually. There’s no shortage of convicts who have day jobs, either after release or even during the commission of their crimes. Outside of small time gang-bangers in inner cities, even career criminals generally have legitimate day jobs.

    3. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      I see the confusing part. What this article refers to are state crime victim assistance programs, which can help pay for medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages, and more, if you are an eligible crime victim. They’re not talking about assistance to criminals who are themselves injured in the course of committing a crime.

      If you’re just a crime victim, you may be eligible for assistance. However, among the disqualifying elements is being a convicted fellon, from some other unrelated crime that you committed in the past.

      That’s part of what they’re complaining about. These people are crime victims who should be entitled to the assistance, but because blacks are more l likely than whites to be felons, blacks are less likely to receive the assistance.

  8. avatar AFGus says:

    Absolutely not! They can go after the perpetrators or the perps estate if they are no longer breathing. Taxpayers should not be filling that bill.

  9. avatar Southern Cross says:

    NO! And HELL NO!

    If you are conducting activities outside of the law, you deserve no protections or compensations under the law.

    So no suing the victim for injuries or emotional distress incurred while assaulting, robbing, etc. And no community compensation either.

  10. avatar Silentbrick says:

    We should expand the death penalty and switch to using the gas chamber and flooding it with pure N2. Much cheaper. Then perpetrators can be used as organ donors. It’s simply recycling. And if convicted criminals can’t pay court awarded damages, sell their organs to raise the money. Jail isn’t punishment. It’s time to bring back actual punishment.

    No mercy for vermin.

    1. avatar Casey says:

      You’re a real freak. I like hanging out with you. 🙂

      The hodgepodge of secret, expensive, and not-so-effective drugs used for lethal injection has always been an example of government waste that just infuriates me. We have about a bajillion ways to kill a person who can’t fight back, ranging from a heavy rock to a .22LR round to inert gasses to the contents of the local drug dealer’s pockets.

      But people will talk about how hard it is to get the mixtures right and how hard it is to source the drugs and how expensive it is to administer.

      Considering how many people die accidentally from carbon monoxide poisoning, you’d think someone could figure out poorly ventilated room + combustion heater = problem solved. And it won’t even be cruel and inhumane.

      1. avatar 2004done says:

        Casey: I’ve heard tell, like almost ALL things gov’t, ALL the over-spending of OUR TAX-$$$$$ is just a way to re-pay political debts. So, expen$$$$ive and exacting regulations that profit select individuals/ companies/ policies as a reward, would appear to include “drugs of humane death for inhumane killers.” But I can’t believe that happens here, could I?

  11. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Our job as citizens is to establish justice (preamble, U.S. Constitution). Pursuant to that, we pay for police, prosecutors, public defenders, judges, court clerks, court buildings, jails and prisons.

    All that is quite expensive, and that is enough.

  12. avatar TroutsBane says:

    Compensation from whom exactly. South vs. Maryland (1855) determined that the state is not responsible for individual safety.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Off point. Let’s put it this way. You are a hooker, been jailed a few times, but then a “john” turns out to be a homicidal maniac who kidnaps and rapes you, and beats you nearly to death. You are by any measure a victim. You do not have health insurance. You can’t work for months. Are you saying that you should be denied any form of victim compensation? Or let’s say you are a gangbanger, but you are now 35, just released from prison, and want to go straight. But some other banger sees you as a threat and pops your ass, even though you are not committing, nor intending to commit, any crime. No compensation again? Or a white collar criminal, convicted of felony fraud, gets shot by a robber in an armed robbery at the local corner store. Are you saying that if someone has a felony record and gets injured by an intentional criminal act, we should just leave them there in the street to bleed out unless they have insurance?

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        Yes… Bad decisions have consequences. Welcome to reality.

      2. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

        Regardless of your criminal history, it is not my responsibility to compensate you because you were the victim of a crime. How am I, or a hundred million other taxpayers, even remotely involved in your misfortune?

        A cold snap burst my neighbor’s pipes. Is that my responsibility to pay for now, too? You swerved to avoid hitting a cat, and instead ran into a tree. File a claim with the state treasury to compensate you? There is no connection between the person responsible for the injury/damage and the person you would place on the hook (the taxpayers) to pay for it. You just want some big, nameless, faceless entity to make everything all better. That’s childish thinking.

        As for your last example about bleeding out, that’s one of the more stupid things I’ve seen written in here in a while. For starters, that’s not even an applicable example. We’re talking about cash payments made to crime victims to cover their medical expenses, funerals, even their lost wages and more. That’s an after-the-fact, state-run program, with some federal funding, and completely different from the on-the-scene provision of emergency medical care.

        Public and private hospitals alike are prohibited by law from denying a patient care in an emergency. The Emergency Medical and Treatment Labor Act (EMTLA) passed by Congress in 1986 explicitly forbids the denial of care to indigent or uninsured patients based on a lack of ability to pay. It also prohibits unnecessary transfers while care is being administered and prohibits the suspension of care once it is initiated, provisions that prevent dumping patients who cannot pay on other hospitals. The treatment of indigent and uninsured patients is a huge financial drain upon the health system, especially in areas where no public hospitals are available.

        So stay on topic, don’t mive tge goal post, and don’t introduce extraneous material, especially rhetoric.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          It is only “stupid” if you fail to consider the consequences of Trout’s absolute refusal to allow for a “safety net.” If you are not going to pay for their medical expenses when they are uninsured, why bother taking them to the hospital? Why should the hospital bear the expense of treating them when there is no one to pay for it? And you know what, hospitals CAN’T refuse medical care BECAUSE THE STATE JUMPS IN AND PAYS FOR IT! Maybe not at the rate the hospital would like, but the state–you and me–pays. Or did you conveniently forget that part.

          I didn’t “move the goal posts,” Trout did, and I responded that. Context is everything.
          Moreover, I am pointing out the absolute hypocrisy of all of the posters here who would deny any sort of compensation to someone who has been the victim of a violent crime “simply because” that person happens to have a criminal history, yet in the same breath vehemently advocate that once the sentence is served, the slate is clean, and (ex) felons should be returned to their former citizen status with the right to vote and the the right to keep and bear arms. Now I agree that persons injured while committing a felon are not victims, and they should not be entitled to recover from any victim compensation law. But of course, that wasn’t really the question initially presented, but it was the shark everyone happily jumped. And by the way, if that criminal happens to get shot while committing a violent crime, guess who gets to pay his medical bills? (Uh, yeah, that would be us.)

          And to all you naysayers out there, the whole purpose of victim compensation funds is the recognition that the majority of violent criminals do not, and likely will never have, a pot to piss in. Second, these funds are hardly a lucrative way to make money. What they pay is a pittance of the value of the injury, loss of life, loss of income, etc. It is a safety net intended to protect victims who would otherwise fall on hard times through no fault of their own. Get a clue.

        2. avatar pwrserge says:

          If you fall “on hard times” there is always a “fault of your own” component. You obviously failed to plan and prepare for contingencies. That failure has consequences.

      3. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        Mark,
        You sir, are off point. This is not about medical care. Even if you’re a banger who gets shot in the course of banging, you will be transported to a hospital and patched up, courtesy of the American taxpayer.

        This is about MONETARY compensation for crime victims.

      4. avatar Aaron says:

        and these are my problem because…….?

      5. avatar TroutsBane says:

        A charitable fund to help those with injury is laudable, but I cannot say the same for a government entitlement for compensation of an injury done in the persuit of crime. I do not advocate letting them die but the cost of aid should be added to their debt to society for having committed crimes. By transfering the cost of a crime from the criminal to the citizenry we punish those who have in fact been wronged. Unless, of course, you believe society is to blame for individual criminal acts?

        1. avatar TroutsBane says:

          As for people who are the victims of crimes I do think there is a fine line between how far the state should go. I do not think the government can be held culpable for individual safety. It is not their job to protect individual citizens and it would be totally unrealistic to expect every injury to be met with compensation. If however an individual state created a fund to help those in need ( and was not opposed by its citizens) I would not be against contributing; provided it is not a government entitlement.

        2. avatar TroutsBane says:

          Note: If it was not clear, I do not think ex- felons who are actual victims of violent crimes should be separated from the aid given to other victims.

        3. avatar TroutsBane says:

          Edit: felons also should be eligible for aid if they are victims. Fu¢k this comment chain is a mess (It is late and I am tired).

  13. avatar former water walker says:

    Depends on whether it’s a BS felony or a violent one. Guys get felonies for burning brush. Or on the word of a vengeful ex-wife…

  14. avatar What I Know says:

    Missouri only goes to VICTIM ONLY!

    Yes it is not for a person convicted of a felony, or happened during a felony act.

    Yes it does because a person would just get themselves shot to get paid.

    Then they would run out money from the abuse of the system,
    and ruin a good thing for the rest of the people out there.

    Mo will try to do and get form criminal
    acts committed by a convicted a person in this state.

    Mo will take all the money a convict has, while they are
    in jail and the pen. even it they have a job in the pen.
    still all the money they have.

    When a convict gets out of jail or pen, the state will take,
    at least half of everything, the convict makes, even tax refund,
    till they pay there restitution off.

    They will keep the convict on probation, until all money is paid off.

    Criminals that just go to jail, still have to restitution
    at pay restitution for the crimes done to all involved
    even property damage.

    Mo will put the criminals on probation and is forced to
    pay restitution, and they take at least half of everything
    they make,every month, till its paid off

    Mo will even take tax refunds to pay restitution.

    Mo will even make convicts pay a fee to
    Victim Compensation fund sometimes if there
    is no or dead Victim of a crime, like a DWI or such.

  15. avatar Ralph says:

    Just as soon as felons personally make full and complete restitution to their victims, they can recover all their rights. Until then, fark ’em.

    1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      Not all, by a long shot, felons harmed anyone.

  16. avatar Don says:

    Victims are entitled to compensation for damages and the guilty parties who caused the damage are responsible for restitution. In some states funds are established to pay victims when the perpetrators are deemed indigent. These are usually partial payment, not at all making them whole. A convicted felon who is also a victim could end up entitled to such a payment but if that person also owed restitution the payment should be garnished and forwarded to the “victims victim.” Garnishment is a common practice and is used to recover federal monies like tax returns, insurance payments and inheritance and transfers those monies over to victims.

  17. avatar tinhats says:

    I honestly never quite understood why the (federal) government compensated victims of 911. Sad, tragic, criminal – but why does the government pay the victims?

    1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      The common excuse I hear is ‘to prevent the involved airlines from being sued out of business’. I don’t think it should have been done either. Several of the pockets around the tragedy were deep enough that they were all going to get sued because the families and law firms know that juries want to help people who have suffered regardless of the sued’s culpability.

  18. avatar rt66paul says:

    If the state helps victims of violent crime to get back on their feet, any real victim of a violent crime should be able to apply for this “help”.
    I am not saying that the state $ is a good idea, but if you live there, you should be able to receive it(prove that you are a victim first). Ex-felons are targets of other felons just because they needed help to survive prison, they have very little help from LE, if they are trying to go straight, they have little personal protection(it is illegal for felons to have guns and many other martial arts equipment).
    Many ex-felons have no job and no life, they live in homeless camps or on the street, they can become victims of random violence any time they go to sleep.

  19. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    Convicted felons should be barred from any and all public support or benefits…period,.,,

    1. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      Even if that felony was something like possession of a firearm with out a permit?

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