Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Law And Order

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.

14 comments:

Edge said...

Ok, why did you write this? I mean this is a topic I not only have to answer to but post myself although not as eloquently as you or the Celine Dion song I'm listening to right now.

Used to we executed our criminal. They were convicted and sentenced and hung in the same day usually. No cost no fuss no mess. There was no long term sentence. You payed resitution or were kicked out or hung.

This did a couple of things. 1) It meeted swift punishment. 2) It was a major deterent to crime as stealing = death 3) the little known fact is it kept the gene pool shallow crime wise.

Now we give them cable, room and board and an education. Then they leave and committ more crimes and are more educated on crime from being around other criminals. It's like criminal college.

I'm for thinning the gene pool method.

~Jef

Jen said...

I am for making a stand.

Do it, dont do it..BUT decide and then stick to it.

No one wants to have to be the one to pull the trigger. But If you choose that as your solution to the problem, then dont be afraid to carry it out.

END OF STORY.

Adrian said...

JEN: I disagree with the "nobody wants to pull the trigger" comment.

Give me American citizenship and I will GLADLY slaughter every last criminal and illegal immigrant... FOR FREE!! : )

But you are right- somewhere along the way, "human rights campaigners" and "liberal-hippie muppets" have managed to weasel their way into the system and give these animals a means to evade punishment.

In fact, add THEM to my "TO DO" list. And then find me a WHOOOOOOOOLE lotta ammo.

Jen said...

Adrian
American Citizenship? Not a problem....put a ring on this finger and we can make it happen.

Opps did I say that out loud?
(that was shameless I know)
*grin*

When you become Supreme Commander of the World..you can gather up all the "campaigners, hippie muppets and assorted weasels" of the world and take care of business once and for all.

TO DO LIST
Check..
Check..

exMI said...

The problem with prison overcrowding isn't teh realtivly few folks on death row. (although I too think waiting 30 years for a sentence to be carried out is ridiculous) The problem is all of these damn foolish laws that keep getting passed making more things illegal (check into the drug war some time)and then passing three strikes/two strikeslaws and mandatory sentences. You start ending up with alot of people in prison for life. For relativly stupid things.

Jen said...

exmi
Ok whats the answer then? Do we make laws that say..If you do this..this will happen to you no matter what.

For example stealing.. Is the person who steals to feed himself or his family...worse.. than the person who steals for drugs or greed? Is stealing stealing regardless of the reason or circumtance?

And if we do make special conditions based on the motives or situation behind the crime..then what does that say to the criminal..Is it telling them that you can break the law as long as you have a good enough reason? At that point what is your detourant?

Do we just legalize everything we dont feel like procecuting..such as drugs and prostitution...Are they really victimless crimes?

What is the answer here?

Hulabelly said...

I don't think there should be television in the cells.

Call me a softy or what you will, but here's what I think. There are two types of people who go to prison. Evil soulless people, and people who just made poor choices. If I had a prison, I would have a giant library, and classes so people could get an education. Whether it's a GED, Bachelors or Associate's degree. I would have counseling to help people deal with rage, depression, and help them function with people better, to help them make better choices. There would not be TV, their would be books, and if they were well behaved, they could see a movie. Let's not make prison a hotel, but a place where we help people who've made poor choices, make better ones.

Now for the evil soulless people. Don't kill these people.. That's too easy. That's letting them off easy. THESE are the people who deserve to be in a small dark cell with no windows, all alone. They get their meals through a small hole, and must wear underwear that's one size too small...Let them live forever alone until they're dead.
Or shoot the F*ckers. Whatever. =o)

Joshua said...

Jen, there are no solutions. There are only trade-offs. The truth is that for our system to operate, innocent people will be convicted and killed. That's the bottom line. It sucks, but so do this busted rat-hole we call a world. Leave it to the crack-smoking, utopian, delusional, liberal, felch-pumps to insist otherwise. You always lose some wheat in the chaff. There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs.

Rat In A Cage said...

Since Texas is the #1 Killer of people, here is the link to their Death Row Statistics".

3 Strike Laws have driven up the populations of the incarcerated exponentially.

You rednecks & your meth labs don't help either.

Also, isn't there still the white slave trade thing down south?

Jen said...

joshua
You are right. It is a trade off. Everything in life is a trade off and a choice.

The problem I have with the trade offs in our system is that more often than not..the trade offs are in favor of the criminal and not the victim.


rat in a cage
I cant lump myself into the redneck catagory. To be honest Im not tough enough for that life.

But maybe if there were alittle more down home deliverance type justice..we wouldnt be talking about 3 strikes, meth labs, or white slavery.

Do you hear banjos?


hulabelly

I dont have a problem teaching others..giving them a skill.

Orr..maybe its not about skills or jobs or being educated. Maybe its purely a lack of morals or values.

Maybe its the degradation of our society. Where no one is held accountable for their actions..Where we dumb down to keep from hurting Jr's tender little feelings. Where we sue over kids playing dodge ball. Where its now against the law to pray.

Adrian said...

The bullet works out better (and cheaper) than ANY rehab.

A dead criminal cant make any more "mistakes". Ever. And that makes me feel a WHOLE lot better than knowing that some scum bag commits a crime and scores three square meals a day AND an education at the taxpayers expense.

SOUTH AFRICA is held at ransom by these savages and the only way to sort it out is kill every last one of them.

Jen said...

Adrian
I have to say there is something to your ideas. I suppose if you told someone if they commited a crime that the end result would be a swift and sure death sentence....
Maybe that would make them think twice before breaking the law.

And if it didnt make them think before acting....I guess it would be a mistake they would make only once.

exMI said...

Ummm speaking as someone who has made the mistake and been in jail I must say I rather disagree with Adrian on this issue.

Unfortunetly Jen, there are very few good answers to your questions. A good fair judicial system wtih smart reasonable logical judges would be the best but mistakes will always be made. One way or another.

Adrian said...

EXMI: Sorry bud! Meant to say dangerous criminal types (rapists, murderers, child molesters, etc.) should be shot.

Petty criminals can build new roads and make license plates for a while... : )