I do not believe in sentencing people to serve out the rest of their natural life without possibility of parole. My position does not take into account any supposed cruel and unusual punishment (those two work together, not separately). My position is more criminal-law hard-line in combination with cost to the taxpayers.
I am also not in favor of jailing shop-lifters and many other theft-criminals. But I am in favor of jailing illegal drug users and pushers and producers.
Have I gotten your attention yet?
I believe anyone who committed a crime egregious enough to warrant spending the rest of his or her life in prison has committed a crime egregious enough to warrant having his or her life truncated. Commute all life sentences to death sentences and install an express lane, as “Tater Salad” called the Texas system. For those who don’t believe the death penalty is a deterrent, tell me how many who have completed their death sentence who have gone on to commit more crimes. And for those who would argue life in prison is a greater punishment, Heaven and Hell do indeed exist. And Hell is far worse than any torture conceived by man, let alone the three squares and a cot prison offers.
I believe, also, that shop-lifters and other thieves should be forced to pay four times the value of the object(s) stolen to the person who owns the item, plus reasonable court costs. And if that leaves a family destitute, that is the fault of the criminal and not of the State. Don’t cry to me if your spouse loses everything your family owns because your spouse got caught stealing something. That’s your spouse’s fault, and possibly yours if you knew your spouse was involved in criminal activity.
And if the thief doesn’t own enough to cover the repayment cost, take absolutely everything the thief owns and sentence the thief to a prison sentence for the rest due. That prison sentence would be based on 40-hour work-weeks at minimum wage (and no, no weekends off or time off for good behavior). Get rid of the prisoner-to-B.A. programs. Get rid of the 97 pound prisoner to 200 pound body builder programs. Get rid of all that rot.