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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Lady Justice's new first name...

Caprice I've noted before the observation by Jerry Pournelle and many others that we no longer live in a nation governed by the rule of law but a nation of selective inforcement of law, governed by the carpricious whim of bureaucrats and vindictive or fief-building carrerists in law enforcement; and that instead of a republic, we now are ruled by political elites and a (no longer truly) federal bureaucracy that creates "a multitude of New Offices" and sends "swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out [our] substance." (ref: Declaration of Independence). All this is a large part of why citizens seem to have little respect for laws (citizens? say rather, subjects... *sigh*). There are many more reasons, of course. Felony inflation—fill in a pothole (that some enviro wacko claims is a "wetlands) and commit a felony. *sheesh!* Land-grabbing by municipalities for business interests—take from the "poor" and give to the rich: the motto of modern "liberal" government. Rule by judicial fiat. But I'd like to deal with criminal justice from a differnt angle, very briefly. Punishment of crime. Dan, over at Riehl World View (and in the article from there published in the Blogger News Network) spurred some thought about this issue. PLEASE NOTE: Dan didn't say anything like what I say below. What I propose below is simply a kinda riff on a very minor sub-point of a peripheral comment. his article is serious in a way this is not (although I am serious, just differently so). If a crime is truly a crime, lets make some distinctions and use some common sense in applying justice, shall we? People who commit violent crimes—aggravated assault/battery, robbery, rape, murder, for example—get put in prison and what? They are essentially in grad school for criminals, because they'll "serve" some time while getting advanced coursework in mayhem and then be released to commit more murder and mayhem--"better" murder and mayhem!. Not smart. And not fair to their victims past and future. Isn't the primary purpose of government to protect good citizens from such as these? What could be better? Gee, I don't know... I'd opt for "an eye for an eye" in cases of violent crime. Beat someone up, get beaten... until you learn that you're going to get beaten worse than you dish out. Kill someone? Obvious. Be killed. Robbery might be a lil iffy. Two crimes in one, as it were. Threaten with bodily harm and take a piece of someone's life (that's what your property is, you know: you paid in time and effort off the time alloted you to live for what someone steals from you), get caused bodily harm and be required to pay back more--say seven times as much, as in biblical times?--than you forcefully stole. Drunk drivers? An easy one. Catch 'em drunk? Hand 'em a bottle of their fav poison. Disable their brakes. Clear all traffic from a very steep and dangerous mountain road. Send 'em home via that route. The liklihood of them driving while drunk and needlessly endangering others' lives again will be moot in short order. Buh-bye! (Yeh, I have no compassion for drunk drivers. None. At. All.) Theft by non-violent means could be more justly punished by forcing the thief to repay double what they stole. Plus interest, at 7 points above prime. At least. Bring harm to another—physical or monetary—be required to "pay back" more than the harm you caused. That's not just punishment but justice. (My position on how to deal with monsters such as child abusers and many activist judges stands: state-sanctioned very public deaths by very monstrous means would seem best. This is too wimpy by far for child molesters/murderers, but at least Iran is on the right track.) That would cover the bulk of crime. It could also provide some serious relief from having to house, clothe, feed and guard so many in prisons. Indeed, we could just limit the number in prisons to anyone who wants to be a congresscritter and be much better off, more than likely... *heh*