Up Down Bleem, Thoughts on American Justice
Posted by pdxpogo 10 years ago
moved from comment stream to my journal  
It is a lot of people. Some may just need a bullet to the back of the head. Others need to have their peepee whacked. Others were smokin a bowl minding their own business and got popped. Why are they in jail?  
Thing is what does it say about the system when we have this many of us locked up? Believe me if the "rules" were applied fairly there would be a hell of a lot more of us behind bars. It just seems to me there has to be a better way than putting people away to the tune of $30K a year.  
We have arguments about whether it is better to lock someone up rather than use DNA evidence to prove their innocence. They were caught, tried, convicted end of story... all appeals exhausted. The need for revenge trumps reason. I guess you gotta draw the line somewhere.  
Death penalty should be enforced by interested parties, with ball peen hammers, in a locked room. You have 30 minutes with the perp, get to it. Just be damned certain you have the right person otherwise all the ball peen hammerers get their own visit to the aggrieved party room. I will not deny anyone the right of vengeance but I will not have the dirty work done for you. Nor will I put down a human being like a sick animal, if the deed needs to be done it should be done with a cost to those that seek vengeance I have no doubt some will gladly pay others may reconsider.  
You have addicts in jail. Why? Treat them, dry them out, get em some training, get em working, and get them paying taxes. Otherwise give em some really good shit and let them OD. You can try and fix em but they really need to fix themselves. Seriously it is my experience that an addict will do anything for their high, that means they will even act normal to get their fix. Just put them in a maintenance program with a reliable source of a cheap high and they will be happy to do anything you ask of them. Clearly cheaper to medicate junkies than to lock them up or have them running around stealing crap to support their high because our prohibition based society creates an overpriced black market for them to deal with. Eliminate prohibition it costs much more than the alternative. This is a fact. The morality of altered states is an interesting debate, but one that we as a society pay too much for when we can debate for free.  
When you deal with the truly evil bastids, the addicts and the sex offenders, you are left with the ignorants and the crazies.  
Some people are so unable to learn to cope with this society that they need special handling. This will always be the case in a society defined by bell curves. Does warehousing them make sense? Terminally dumb/insane may be the verdict, sterilise them don't let them reproduce because dumbness and insanity does have a genetic component. Unfortunately as our society has progressed we have made it easier and easier for bad genes to propagate. Educate if possible otherwise let them know that being criminally stupid/insane has a price, this is where I support a three strikes law, none that currently exist are what I am thinking.  
I do mean terminally stupid/insane here folks we should not warehouse idiots. Where we can treat insanity we must. Therapy and medication for those that need it and respond. Where we can educate we will, but the adage you can lead a horse to water needs to be kept in mind. Insane is defined as doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. It isn't easy to pin down. I understand it is a slippery slope but some actions are just plain bat shit crazy and we need protection from this type of actor. I am not addressing harmless delusions of any stripe everyone should be allowed to have those, that is freedom. People can believe in what ever they care to and act on such beliefs up to and til it becomes a mess we have to clean up. There is no law against stupidity, hate, and obsession, you are free to be as crazy as you want to be just don't make a mess we need to clean up.  
If you are going to demand that people act responsibly you need to see to it that they have a chance to do so. Our institutions of education need to teach the difference between being a member of the society and the unfettered pursuit of happiness. They are not mutually exclusive but they often diverge. It may take time to educate some people but they do need to understand that criminal behavior is not acceptable. We give them education and a fresh start as in go and sin no more. We do it twice. The third time is the charm so to speak. If we make an honest effort to educate and provide a path to success and the individual persists in self gratification and destructive behaviors they get to realize the ramifications of those choices.  
If we had a place of exile I'd understand offering the person a choice of exile or a bullet but where on earth is there a place to put these self involved idiots? Used to be the US or Australia (apologies to the Amerinds and Abos). Sorry we don't have a land other than Antarctica that fits the bill these days. So we can't inflict the stupid on any civilized landmass so bullet to the back of the head. If your life is so bad that you cause us to sit up and take notice THREE times well it is time you let us get on with our lives. Back on the wheel of life for you, better luck next time.  
It is Darwinian one can always hold out hope but the fact remains that society can only do so much.  
We do need a safe haven for those seeking to do better and learn, we should provide that. In this society with our command of technology we should be able to give everyone that cannot find a purpose on their own, something to do that allows them a chance to be a member of the society. At the same time we need to stress that unacceptable behaviors have ultimate consequences. Our laws need to reflect this we have thousands of rules with "appropriate" consequences, I do not see it working so well.  
If someone makes a mess they should clean it up. If they can't clean it up by themselves (using family & friends) and society has to clean up the mess after them, that would be a strike.  
Offenders would be given time to clean up their messes, the act of cleaning up the mess is the punishment so to speak. If the mess is cleaned up to a satisfactory end the strike is erased. This doesn't mean you can pay for your mistakes with money and or influence. It means you haven't been put on notice YET. We learn from our mistakes.  
Some messes cannot be cleaned up. Some messes are accidents there is still room for jurisprudence. Parties however should not seek to avoid blame. Actions have consequence. Accept that you may have had a role in a mess and that society has to clean up after you. That is a strike. It is a bummer but you learn, grow and we move on together. We will see that you are schooled in the ways of your error. We love you and value you as a member of society everyone can make a mistake. Many of us will be lucky to live our lives without a strike.  
Strike Two is a serious offense. It may be a mess that came out of left field with no intent on your part to mess up. OK we will examine this mess to the nth degree, we will further educate you and leave you with the knowledge that one must be extra careful in living in a society that is tolerant but practical. We explain to you and ourselves that something happened somewhere through the choices you have made to put you in grave danger as in danger of the grave. This assignment of strike two will not be easily arrived at as a society we call strike two as a last resort to protect ourselves. We want you to succeed we need you on the team. At this point a sober player may want to sit on the bench for a while, we can let you do that. We prefer that you do, hopefully at some point you will understand the error of your ways and seek another swing. This on the bench time is pretty much voluntary, you will labor for your room and board as you take a time out. You will have a structured supportive existence while you recover your senses. Convince us you are contrite and understand you are marked for organ donation. You can get back in the game. In times past our society supported large numbers of communities given over to contemplation. I don't think it is a bad idea. Doesn't have to be religious just a place for people to take time out, do the simple work of moving through a ritual paying their way through honest labor. I think many folk could benefit from having such a place to retreat to.  
Strike three is moving beyond coincidence into a pattern. The universe just might have a hard on for you. What are we supposed to do as a society? If you refuse to play by the rules you can't play. We made the rules to keep the game safe and fun. We tried not to make arbitrary rules and allow everyone as much freedom as possible, but we can't let every whim and fantasy be realized if they harm others or cause enough havoc in society that we are now faced with a third mess to cleanup. There is no appeal it is just the law. We will not give you a loaded gun or a cup of hemlock you could have taken that route at any point up to strike three. Now you are an object lesson for the rest of us.  
Your story will be told, we will try and understand how you arrived at this point and how we now have to act to protect ourselves. You will be executed and this execution will be public, hopefully it will be instructive. You will be an organ donor not a total waste of our efforts to help you be a welcome productive member of the body politic.  
Does society reach a point where individuals lose their value? Can we make and maintain a place for misfits or do we simply let the individual opt out and cease to worry about them (aka a bullet to the back of the head)? Where does punishment end and redemption begin?  
Seems to me there has to be a better way to deal with what ails us.