If you’re a liberal couched in the modern methods of “punishment” in this
country, prepare to be offended.
WND linked to a story on Friday about a Yemeni father who had been
convicted of brutally threatening his 12-year-old daughter with a knife and
then raping her. Three courts,
including the Yemeni Supreme Court, upheld this animal’s conviction, and
then sentenced him to death — by public stoning.
He was buried up to his shoulders in the ground, leaving only his head
visible. And for the next four hours, about 100 people — including women —
stoned him until he died.
Brutal? No question about it, but was it more brutal than his crime?
Yemenis didn’t think so.
I’m no fan of the death penalty, though I used to be. I just don’t
believe killing somebody because they murdered somebody else — despite my
natural urges to exact vengeance for heinous crimes — is God’s wish.
Naturally I support the right to defend yourself and the right to defend
your country; that’s not hypocritical to me because those are actions
dictated by survival, not vengeance.
Anyway, what I do support — and what I’d love to see more of in this
country — are very public displays of punishment that would include canings,
whippings, and maybe even the “removal” of certain appendages for certain
kinds of crimes.
Furthermore, I’d love to see more “Southern” kinds of punishment — chain
gangs, for example — gracing our lovely litter-filled, overgrown, and
polluted highways and byways.
I’m sure we could find enough “talented” lawyers and sympathetic judges
to deem such punishments legal, despite the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition
against “cruel and unusual punishment.” Why? Think about it — we had a
Supreme Court that found a constitutional right to abortion when none
existed; why couldn’t these same anointed jurists find the constitutional
“right” to mete out these kinds of punishments?
Or are Americans satisfied with the way their court systems handle
Remember a few back when the vaunted “three strikes and you’re out” laws
went on the books in various states? I remember thinking how much it
bothered me that we, as a free people, were so willing to give criminal
miscreants and people destined to destroy civil society three chances to
“shape up or ship out.”
To me, that is “cruel and unusual punishment” — for civil society.
Why should law-abiding people have to tolerate such abuse — especially
when criminal offenders who have repeatedly demonstrated their intolerance
for our rules of behavior give that abuse?
Why should law-abiding people ever have to worry about a cowardly rapist
who cannot “get over” his penchant to hurt women getting back into society
Why should people who murder somebody ever be let out?
And why shouldn’t these people be punished publicly? Because it “offends”
Well, did you ever think it may “offend” criminals — or would-be
criminals — just as much? I have thought about it, and I believe it could
work and work well.
Consider a young person whom a parent has caught with goods stolen from a
store. When faced with that dilemma, parents usually handle it “in-house”
because they don’t want their neighbors and friends or anyone else finding
out that they have a child who is a thief.
On the other hand, I’ve known parents who, upon being faced with the same
dilemma, have marched their kids up to the store where they had stolen those
goods and forced their kids to confront the manager of that store and
apologize. While “in-house” punishments, which can be lame, often do little
to deter future thefts, those kids who have been embarrassed by being forced
to confront those they have harmed most often end their fledgling criminal
careers on the spot.
The same is true for nations like Yemen who still believe — and use — the
public forum to punish their criminals. They know that kind of very public
display discourages others from breaking the rules much more than punishing
somebody in private and then, eventually, letting them back into the same
society they terrorized or traumatized.
There have been many crime-fighting initiatives proposed for the past 10
years in this country — most having to do with limiting access to guns. But
few of them have proven successful because we’re still wedded to the notion
of “non-offensive” punishment.
We need to get over our reluctance to punish in public if we really want
to do anything to reduce the hundreds of thousands of life-sucking crimes
committed in this country every year. We already know that most of them are
committed by repeat offenders; why else would we have concocted such a silly
thing as “three strikes and you’re out?”
How about, “One strike and you’re out — out in the city square
getting caned, whipped, or picking up trash wearing chains, that is.”