Monday, January 4, 2010

Paying Ones Debt To Society

Let us say that a guy named Huey did some five finger purchasing or some other asocial offense, was soon nabbed for jaywalking, and then convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony for the non jaywalking offense, sent up the river (if that expression is still in current use) and did hard time while maintaining a clean jailhouse record and not abused too much to satisfy the romantic needs of his 2,000 fellow inmates. He might have disagreed with the "too much" statement but that was the judgment of the officers. Huey was ultimately released, found out his wife divorced him, took his kids and blew town. Huey re-entered society on a greyhound bus to nowhere.

The question looms: As society, are we even? Did the penalty fit the crime or should society extract a penalty way larger than the crime? Do we take an eye for an eye, or because it is someone else and not us, not our family, do we take a life for an eye and a life for a tooth?

We know that the "perp" is an ex con for life. He is in the computers forever, and will probably be discovered given a background check, he has no second amendment rights, may not vote as I understand it, is on other lists forever, is eliminated from an overwhelming number of jobs, often loses his family. If this person was an illegal alien, he probably would never get a green card. In some cases, he would be hounded out of his residence. He may be rounded up with the usual suspects for like crimes, and who knows what would happen if just pulled over for being 10 miles over the speed limit.

In our country, a person who made a mistake will often pay 100 times greater than the mistake they made and it is no wonder they often find their way back in the slammer. It seems so unfair, even if understandable. And what if Huey is innocent? Unfair by a factor of ten.

Tell me different, O reader, tell me different.

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