Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Soft-headed on crime

It must first be said that some debts to society cannot be paid; there is no way to right certain wrongs. Sentencing someone to years in prison or even putting them to death does not repair the damage to society or to individuals of certain crimes. No matter what society does to some criminals for their anti-social behavior, the criminal act is not made right by the sentence the criminal receives. The mindless murder of an innocent victim is one of them.

The murderer has taken the life of a person who has done nothing to deserve it, yet goes on living, while the victim is gone, likely in a terrifying and brutal way. The victim will never be able to know the joy of a full life, of a long-term relationship with a husband or wife, or children, or his family and friends. The victim’s family and friends are deprived of the relationship with that person for years to come. The injustice and unfairness of this situation is palpable, it is enormous, and it cannot be reconciled.

The injustice is compounded, furthermore, when the criminal is brought to justice, for unlike his victim the murderer is fairly judged before sentence is passed, and he has numerous and substantial constitutional protections to make certain he is not unfairly treated. In America the guilty are considered innocent until proved guilty in a court of law. Their victims have no such rights or procedures; the murderer is judge and jury.

Worse yet, and contrary to reason, in many states the sub-human being who has willfully taken the life of an innocent person has his own life protected by law. It is considered cruel and unusual for society to exact on a murderer the penalty the murderer has exacted from his victim. Society is thus condemned to keep him alive at taxpayer cost for decades, despite his horrendously anti-social and brutal behavior. Despite the pain and agony his victim and their family and friends suffered because of his evil act, the murderer gets to live, has to live. Living in prison may not be a bed of roses (or it may not be so bad), but it is nonetheless a bed, food, shelter … and life.

All too often after serving his time, the murderer is returned to society to live the life he chooses, good or bad. Most often, the life he chooses is a bad one, given that prison does not rehabilitate, and that these vile creatures may be beyond rehabilitation. He has the opportunity to marry or resume a previous relationship, have children or continue with his family, and draw breath for as long as he lives thereafter. The murderer gets all the things he has brutally and senselessly denied his victim(s).

What is the solution? There is no way to right the wrong, as previously stated. Yet one of two things ought to occur for every murder of an innocent person. 1) The murderer ought to be painfully put to death after a relatively short time, and during the waiting period his life ought to be hell on Earth. 2) The murderer ought to spend the rest of his life living in horrid conditions, given only the bare necessities of life. Perhaps he ought to be incarcerated on an abandoned prison island with other scum like him, to kill or be killed, perhaps then having some sense of the horrors to which he subjected his victim to.

Is this justice? It is as close as we can come to it.

1 comment:

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