“The contagion of crime is like that of the plague. Criminals collected together corrupt each other. They are worse than ever when, at the termination of their punishment, they return to society.” Napoleon Bonaparte
“To reject the law is to praise the wicked; to obey the law is to fight them.” Proverbs 28:4 NLT
I have given thought to the idea of a series with this title for some time now. My thoughts centered on the notion that I would try to accomplish several different purposes as it progressed.
The first purpose would be to demonstrate, through various collected newspaper clippings and magazine articles, a disparity in sentencing for crimes in this country that is just too pronounced to ignore.
The second would be to raise awareness as to alternatives to incarceration that are available now and would be more effective, less costly, and less destructive to the family as a whole than incarceration, for it is important to note that the collateral damage to families that is a component of incarceration is beyond calculation.
This last purpose would be to establish how incarceration has – in the last 30 years – evolved into nothing other than legal slave-trading in the 21st century, and how – while the cost to the taxpayer to support these intentionally draconian, and lobbied, prison terms continue to skyrocket – individuals and secret companies continue to pocket astronomical profits in ways that should be considered unethical at best, and illegal at worst.
Let me first say that I am not an advocate of lawlessness nor am I a coddler of criminals. I believe we must be a nation of laws, that people should be expected to abide by those laws and – if they choose not to – there must be consequences.
Individuals must stand up and take responsibility for their own actions. A growing part of the societal problem we face is that we have allowed ourselves to always seek excuses for our behavior, or sought out someone else to blame.
While supportive of me and certainly well intentioned – to say nothing or appreciated – the reader’s recent comments that I was too hard on myself and that the internet – as the devils playground – was to blame are way off mark.
In fact, this entire world is the devil’s playground, but simply because that is the case doesn’t mean that we have to succumb to all of the temptations placed before us.
The simple fact of the matter is that it was a lack of character and a life of living contrary to God’s basic laws of morality, decency, and respect that enabled me, over time, to descend lower and lower morality to the point where I was willing to romp in the devil’s playground.
Once someone has broken the laws of this nation, what should be done with them? That is one of the questions we will look at. Mind you, this is not a series about “sex offenses” exclusively, although they will certainly be included.
Rather, I hope that what is ultimately written – and read – here will help people see how ridiculously ineffective, immoral, immature, wasteful and self-serving our approach to problem solving is.
Perhaps some younger, sharper, more focused minds than mine will grasp a thread of truth from my ramblings and gather enough of that thread to weave a tapestry of insight into the fact that not only is the ruling class of this generation leaving them with the enormous burden of an incomprehensible and inexcusable government debt, but we are also locking people away for such lengths of time as to make them – upon their release – their problem as loser.
It is not only unfair, it is not necessary, and the unequal treatment of criminals can only serve to point out that something is certainly wrong and in need of repair.
Next time, we will begin by looking at disparity in sentencing and we will look at specific cases.
As an example, I will leave you with these two cases to ponder- one state, one federal.
Perhaps someone out there can tell me the thought process behind it all.
The State Case
On February 14, 2011, Beverly Hill, defense attorney Michael H. Inman pleaded no contest (same as guilty) to a felony charge of trying to smuggle 14.25 grams (1/2 ounce) of heroin into a Los Angeles County Jail where he was visiting two incarcerated clients.
The Federal Case
In Boise, Idaho a Florida man – Jeffrey Dickman pleaded guilty to a charge of guiding a deer hunt in Southeaster Idaho without a license and illegally shipping deer meat across state lines.
-The Heroin smuggler was sentenced to 120 days in jail and 3 years probation. He could get out in 60 days.
-The deer meat smuggler was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison. (Supervised release unspecified) He will have to serve 15 months.
Hmmm. . .