Stop Pampering the Criminals
“My position has nothing to do with a belief in the inherent goodness of human beings. While I think that most of us are trying to live decently, I am under no illusion. Selfish impulses, pride and anger can cause some people to do some very bad things.
“I am really arguing that we need to find solutions that actually reduce crime. Harsher punishment doesn't work. It just gives society some measure of vengeance but will do nothing to make us any safer.
“Rehabilitation, counseling and sometimes prescription drugs do reduce crime. The fact that a life spent as a criminal may turn into a productive and happy life is a bonus that makes it a win-win situation.
“Of course, if one of my children or wife was the victim of a violent crime or rape, I would probably react very emotionally. My concern for the criminal would quickly yield to my need for revenge and I can imagine myself wishing castration or death.”
Now, trying not to take too much hide off my commenter, but not wanting to back away from points that I consider to be important (in other words, Cycles2K, again I ask that you don’t take this personally okay?), I have come to the following opinions:
There is no solution that will reduce crime -- except tougher sentences. What makes anyone think it wouldn't work? We've never tried it, have we?
And I don't equate "tougher" with "harsher," either -- there is a difference between the two. (Side note: I wish, when kids are taught synonyms in school, that they were taught that "similar" does not mean "same!")
And the argument that punishment for a crime is "nothing more than vengeance" is getting old and ready to retire. Of course, it’s vengeance! Problem is, those on the side of “rehabilitation” tend to see it as being a bad thing. I see it as justice. And as for not making us any safer, well, we’re not safe now, so I don’t really see this as a valid point. In order to be “safer,” we’d have to have something to compare with what we have now, and we don’t have it.
If rehabilitation worked, there would be far fewer crimes, especially against property and people -- all the so-called sensitivity training courses and anger management courses are a form of rehabilitation. And they are quite useless, I can tell you from experience. All they accomplish is to provide psycho-charlatans with employment, and throw law-abiding folk into a state of confusion. They make victims feel guilty for being victims -- and that is as much a crime as the original offense.
We are teaching criminals that they have every right to be criminals – and we are actually helping them become – and remain – criminals. And while we’re doing that, we’re also teaching the rest of our citizens to become victims – and to stay that way. Police repeatedly tell citizens not to try to stop criminals, and when a citizen actually takes a successful course of action, the police dissemble, disregard, and warn against doing it again:
“Carlson said the man was arrested after he was "tripped" by an unidentified mall patron.”
Is this an attitude born out of fear of unemployment – that if citizens actually get successful in defending themselves that cops will no longer be needed? We don’t have enough cops as it is, and the ones we do have are underpaid and definitely underappreciated. You’d think the cops would welcome the assistance, but they don’t. They see prepared citizens as a threat of some kind. I think perhaps the cops are being brainwashed as much as the rest of the country. What say you?
One of the things we’re doing wrong is to take an individual crime and apply a group solution. It just doesn’t work. We need to apply the criminal justice system individually.
And here’s a fine example of what happens when we try rehabilitation on a criminal:
“One of the most notorious drunk drivers in the Ottawa area has been found not criminally responsible on his latest impaired driving charges …
“Ten years ago, Brownlee was given a seven-year prison sentence and barred from driving for the rest of his life after he killed an Ottawa woman, Linda Lebreton-Holmes, and her 12-year-old son while driving with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit."
So, did it work? It did not. He’s not only back on the street, behind the wheel of a car -- after being banned for life from driving for killing two people while drunk -- but now he actually has do-gooder counselors and psychiatrists telling us that he can’t be a criminal because he’s not responsible for his actions, anymore.
They are partially correct.
He is not completely responsible for his latest crime.
Our legal system must bear the rest of the burden of blame – and that includes the people who laid the original charge if they in any way, shape, or form, allowed a plea bargain to reduce any sentence he might have otherwise been given. It includes the judge that handed out such a lenient sentence – seven years – for criminally ending the lives of two people, one of which was a twelve-year-old child. It includes the lawmakers that refuse to legislate that human lives taken are not worth the money required to prevent repeat offenders by keeping them behind bars. And it includes the apathetic citizens, who don’t want to be burdened or bothered by the responsibility of seeing that the government actually does what everyone says it should be doing – looking after its citizens. Its law-abiding citizens, that is.
I’m not looking to turn a criminal into a “productive” citizen. I’m not looking for a win-win solution. I’m looking for a way to stop repeat offenders, period. And the best way I can see to accomplish that goal is to put the criminal – especially the violent criminal – behind bars for a long period of time.
Will it stop others from committing crimes? No. Bit it will stop the one who is now sitting in prison, won’t it?
And that’s all I ask.