The Criminal Justice System: A Biblical Repair
Posted by John Hitchcock on 2012/02/19
Dana Pico and I are both Christian Conservatives. Dana Pico is a Catholic adherent, while I am … not. But we both believe in Tough Love.
There is a reason why Liberals and “victims” of Tough Love despise Tough Love. And the reason is purely emotional and purely devoid of logic. Many “victims” of Tough Love, after they grow up and become responsible, become adherents of Tough Love. And there is a very clear reason: it works.
As I stated, Dana Pico is a Catholic adherent and I’m not. That difference is key from the starting gate.
While Catholics, like Dana Pico, are wholly against Capital Punishment, and Tough Love adherent Catholics like Dana Pico are fully in favor of Life without Parole, I am dead-set against Life sentences. If anyone has done something so heinous as to deserve to spend the rest of his life behind bars, that person has done something so heinous as to have his life legally truncated. Period. And the philosophical argument I’m giving has no room for the legalistic expense of arguing such a case. If my position were codified in any manner, much of that expense would evaporate into the oblivion to which it belongs.
I’m also against giving someone years or months or whatever behind bars for theft, burglary, possession of stolen property, burglary tools, etc, which all fall under the category of Theft. But I am not for giving them a free pass, either. Nor am I for accepting “extenuating circumstances” which are always a weak sympathy ploy which should be rejected out of hand.
Murder, rape, kidnapping
This would include terrorism, attempted murder (and robbery by gunpoint is attempted murder in my book), attempted rape, attempted kidnapping, but would exclude the accidental deaths called vehicular homicide where drugs and alcohol are not involved, but a lack of control (usually shown by a lack of experience behind the wheel) is the contributing factor.
Time behind bars:
Any sentence that doesn’t require Death, that cannot be financially paid, until such a time as the financial pay-off is met
This would include everything else. Steal a 1,400 dollar TV and pay the victim 5,600 dollars in return. Period. End of story. Whatever you steal, you pay the victim four times its purchase price. If your wife and kids starve because you lose that money, that’s on you, and not on anyone else. (It’s partially on your wife because she consented to live with the criminal you are, but it’s ultimately on you.) Steal a 50,000 dollar car and can’t pay for it? Go to jail until your family and/or friends pay the 200,000 dollar (plus the cost of incarcerating you) penalty. If you never get out of jail, that isn’t a Life Sentence; that’s your family not covering for your sorry butt.
For those who think the Death Penalty is not a reliable deterrent, answer me this: How many people who have served out their Death Penalty sentence have ever committed another crime? Beyond that, if the Death Penalty were more actively carried out, criminals would be that much more careful not to do that which could get them dead. I have read on more than one occasion that violent crimes drop off in the immediate aftermath of someone being executed for a violent crime.
For those who think it’s terrible to “punish the wife and kids” for a crime the man committed, consider the social ostracization of criminals that would result. And consider the resultant lowering of criminal activities that would result from the ostracization. Pariahs don’t survive well within a culture, thus few people want to become pariahs. And the result would necessarily be a drastic drop-off in crime over the long term.
There is no societal “lose” here. Short-term pain (innoculation) leads to long-term health, and a drastic reduction in crime. Tough Love, while declared “hateful” by Liberals and the “victims” of Tough Love, proves to be the exact opposite as people learn to be wholly responsible for their own actions. In short, they grow up and become mature adults, instead of “blame others always” “helpless” children.
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