Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. (Ecclesiastes 8:11)
I love the Holy Scriptures, don’t you? I mean, God’s Word seems to have an answer for every situation we may go through in our everyday lives (it is GOD’S Word). In the above verse, the term evil work can be translated to mean crime. Although the US rates pretty low on the list of violent countries, the presence of crime is still a major blight in our land. Everyday, news stories lead off with the latest crimes committed locally and, if the crime is big enough, some may even see national exposure. Billions of dollars have been spent (at taxpayers’ expense, by the way) on prisons and ways to keep crime at a minimum in any given area. Still, crime goes up in one area while it goes down in another. I would like to put in my two cents worth of advice on how to deal with the problem; and I don’t believe it’s all that outrageous, either.
Let me start off by saying that no one would want me to be in charge of criminal justice because my personal philosophy about criminals is that they belong either in jail or the grave. I am a big fan of the death penalty, limited appeals, and limited plea bargains. If the crime is serious enough, I am also against setting bail. This is all my opinion, of course, so my beliefs about crime and punishment are open to debate. However, there is one point that is not debatable: All criminals should be punished.
Allow me to explain the Vincent E Brown System of Crime and Punishment (VEBSCAP).
As the above scripture says, crime needs to be punished speedily. One thing that fries my bacon is hearing a high-profile case being dragged out for months and even years as these kinds of cases seem to take a life of their own, becoming the topic of discussion around the water cooler (OJ Simpson comes to mind). Certain cases go through appeal after appeal; a hung jury here, a mistrial there. In my opinion, it is the victims of crime and society in general that comes out on the short end. The criminals get three meals a day, time for recreation, and free healthcare, all while housed in pristine, state of the art facilities. There are even laws that state the prisons should provide exercise equipment and things like frisbees on prison grounds. I even heard one case in which a prisoner sued his prison because his cookie was broken (http://www.lectlaw.com/files/fun30.htm)! With VEBSCAP in place, incidents like this will be a thing of the past.
First of all, I would treat criminals just like they are: criminals. Their days of victimizing the innocent will end on the day they are arrested. I would make it so once an evildoer gets his first taste of imprisonment, when he gets out (or, if he gets out), he will make sure he will never return. Prison should be as much of an unpleasant experience as possible. If one ever takes a trip to Durham, NC, he will see that one of the finest buildings in the downtown area is the prison. It is a tall, grand, bleach white building that belies the fact that it houses some of the worst offenders in Durham County. VEBSCAP would see to it that such a building would house an art museum, an aquarium, or an observatory. As for the inmates? There are acres of woods in the surrounding areas that would be great places to set up prison camps. Hey, if the taxpayers are going to pay for this then I think they should pay for something that will make the prisoners as miserable as possible. I am a BIG fan of Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff, Joe Arpaio. A lot of what he does raises the dander on a lot of peoples’ heads, but he believes criminals should be treated as such (altogether now: That’s the sound of the man, working on the chain gang!)
If a prisoner is discovered trying to escape, he would be shot on sight, no question. I also believe prisoners should serve their entire sentences. Parole, you say? I tell you what, you can be eligible for parole when your sentence is finished, if ever. If you do manage to escape and you are later caught, you have just won your chance to life in prison. So, if you are serving a five-year sentence for, let’s say, dragging your neighbor’s cat behind your car speeding at 50 miles an hour and you escape and are caught, don’t make plans to live anywhere else.
I think the penalties should fit the crime and should be unbearably stiff:
Bank robbery: 25 years mandatory
Shoplifting: 10 years mandatory
Hit-and-run: 20 years mandatory
Arson: Life mandatory
Complaining about your mother’s meatloaf: 35 years mandatory (just kidding)
I can go on and on (feel free to ask me what I feel about specific crimes). I forget how much is spent per year to keep a criminal in prison but I know it is significantly higher than what we pay for a child to go to school. With this in mind, why don’t we feed the prisoners the lunches that schools feed to the students and let the children have what the prisoners eat (who wants chicken nuggets?). That’s fair, isn’t it? Then if a child wants to complain about a broken cookie, the teacher can get him another one.
If we are going to house prisoners in a building, it shouldn’t be in a lavish building with all the luxuries of home. Personally, I like the camp thing myself, kind of like the prison camp in the movie Holes, but for adults. I would even have the inmates travel to a certain area and dig a five-foot deep hole everyday, although I think the venomous lizards would be a bit much (no, I don’t).
Now I would like to talk about the most controversial aspect of crime and punishment: The Death PENALTY! BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!! There are a lot of people who think the death penalty is evil and that it is cruel and unusual punishment. However, people who are against it fail to use the same argument against a criminal that executed the most heinous crimes against his victims. We here at VEBSCAP would see to it that the death penalty is totally reformed. First of all, death row would be totally eliminated. Second, certain methods of execution will be brought back into play while others will be done away with. The proceeding is a list of the offenses that VEBSCAP deems worthy of the death penalty: murder (be it of a police officer, government official, or regular citizen), treason, and child molestation. Once it is determined beyond the shadow of a doubt that the accused is worthy of death, I wouldn’t give him longer than a week to live. I’ll give him enough time to make things right with God, talk to his loved ones, and come up with a menu for his final meal (school lunches?). While he’s in the VEBSCAP version of death row, I’ll have a flat panel TV mounted on the wall in such a way he can’t remove it. Three times a day, he will have to endure the torture of watching how he will die. When his week is up (Appeals? Are you crazy?), he’ll be led to a prison van where other death row inmates are awaiting their fates. They’ll be driven to a public area (Downtown Durham’s Five Points area would be a great spot) where the devices of their executions will await them: gallows, gas chamber, electric chair, piranha pit, lion cage, whatever. Notice I didn’t mention lethal injection; it doesn’t carry much of an impact in my book. Crowds would be invited to watch as ten cold-blooded murderers meet their just ends. Moreover, they would be encouraged to bring their children to watch, as well. If we can let them go to the movies and watch a Rated-R movie when they’re under-aged, then watching a person die for his crimes should be no problem. Right before the execution, the executioner would declare “This is what happens to those who dare go against the law!” Three minutes later, it would be all over.
For the child molesters, I would do a little something extra before their execution. I would wrap a strip or two of bacon around the offending body part while the prisoner is restrained and then invite a starving German shepherd (preferably, one with a history of mental illness) into the room to spend some personal time with the offender.
What I have described above may sound cruel and, admittedly, some of it is designed for humor. However, who would disagree with me that if the above methods were applied that crime would fall so fast that the resulting earthquake would measure 7.9 on the Richter Scale?
If VEBSCAP were in place decades ago, Tookie Williams would not have been on death row for twenty-four years. That is crazy, asinine, and obtuse (check your nearest thesaurus for more descriptions) in every way. Ted Bundy was on death row for 12 years before his execution.
I would still implement the justice system and everyone would get a free trial but the criminals won’t get the free passes of parole, probation, or stay of execution. I would greatly limit the appeals process and fire any judges who don’t comply with the justice system; and lawyers? Nevermind…
My point is if we want to see a reduction in crime, we need to get tough about it. I am not so naive, however, to believe crime will totally disappear, but it will suffer a severe reduction.
Now, if you will excuse me, I need to write a letter of complaint to the makers of Chips Ahoy so they can explain to me why there are so many broken cookies in my package.
Have a good day and I’ll see you on the rebound.