I read the short article the other day about the 59 year old inmate who refused the offer to be let out of jail. This was a German man who had been convicted of murder in 1972 and has spent the last 34 years in jail. He was sentenced to life imprisonment...and apparently is taking that job seriously. This is the second time he's been given the chance to walk out of prison and he's declined.
I cant speak about the German prison system. I know very little about how they do things there. But it has brought up some issues I do have with the way that we do things in this country. And I'm pretty sure some of my views wont be too popular..but bear with me anyway.
First, I live in the south...and around here prisons pop up faster than weeds in a vegetable garden. I live in a very rural and some what economically depressed area. And judging by the number of prisons springing up lately, I guess somebody thinks that not only do we have the room for prisons..but that they would be of great benefit to the economy here! I think NOT.
Right now we seem to be building prisons fast and furiously. All the time we hear complaints about how we have prison over crowding..and have a need for even more prisons. I cant help asking myself: "WHY?"
Is it because we just have a society now that is now more corrupt and therefore more people who are breaking the law? Or is it that when we can catch a criminal..and sentence him, but we cant seem to follow through with punisment?
Are our laws and the punishments for breaking those laws insuffient to detour crime?
So I wanna know....Just how many men do we have at present sitting on death row in this country? And how many years have they been in this holding pattern of waiting for their sentence to be carried out? How long do we continue to let someone appeal and appeal before we say enough is enough?
YES, I realize that nobody wants to run the risk of convicting an innocent person. I also will admit our system is flawed and occasionally I'm sure that's exactly what happens. But I would also be willing to bet that the vast majority of people currently taking up residence in our prisons probably belong there. And yes, I will even go one step further and say that most sentenced to death..probably deserve that too.
I'm not here trying to debate the morality or validity of capital punishment. But I do think that if you create a law that says if you commit this crime, are convicted.. and this is your punishment...then that punishment should be carried out. Otherwise, whats the point?
So do we change the laws?....Change our system of how these laws are enforced? Truthfully, I don't know. But I DO know that its not enough to talk the talk...YOU have to be willing to stand up and then take action too.
If you cant...then remove the law or step aside and let others step up who can.