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Jake George

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Crime and Punishment
by Jake George   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Posted: Wednesday, February 01, 2006

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My thoughts on changes in crime and punishment in america

Crime and punishment in Florida: Years past if you committed a crime, you would be tracked down by the police, charged, tried, sentenced or acquitted. If you committed a Capital crime you were liable to receive the death penalty. The public knew this as did the criminal element. People left their doors unlocked and their keys in the car. They stopped to talk to a stranger on their street to see if they needed help, they slept well at night.

Slowly the police started to lose their ability to do their jobs effectively. Arrest a bad guy and the court let them out of jail early because of overcrowding. Arrest the bad guy again and the police are accused of profiling or prejudice. Often on the second arrest the person is sent to jail once again only to be released early for overcrowding. The public sees the same criminal element in their neighborhood again and knows the police cannot keep them out of jail. So the doors become locked, keys pulled from car ignitions. People retreat to their locked homes and the neighborhood slowly turns over to the criminal element.

If you were driving and a police officer turned on his lights and siren you pulled over. End of story. You did not run or try to escape the police. Now the police attempt to pull over a car and the driver runs. The police give chase and are accused of causing a possible public hazard. Many police forces are now directed to stop a high speed chase and let the person get away in the interest of public safety. The criminal element knows if they are wanted for a crime, they can simply drive away at a high speed and the police will stop the chase. Was the interest of public safety met by letting a potential criminal get away? If you run from the cops expect to be pursued, prosecuted and spend time in jail. We cannot keep letting criminals escape because they may cause an accident. Chase them down and arrest them.

If you point a gun at a police officer, expect to be shot, injured or killed. A police office has only a split second to make a determination to shoot or not. We now have children committing murder. A child with a gun can kill an officer just as well as an adult. Point a gun at an officer, expect to die. Yet we see police who shoot in self defense and they are tried in criminal courts or civil courts for violating the shooter’s civil rights. What of the rights of the officer to be allowed to go home at the end of his day to his family. You commit a crime with a gun expect to be killed as a result. End of story.

A convicted murderer just had his execution stayed because it may be “cruel and unusual punishment.” The convicted murderer drowned a woman in a bath tub. Did she have the right to ask the killer to consider if drowning was a cruel and or unusual way to die? Did she have the chance to have lawyers fight for her life (free of cost, at the tax payer’s expense) to see if killing her by drowning was cruel or unusual? Did the victim have a chance to have a last meal of her choice and meet with her family and friends before the killer took her to the bathroom and killed her? No, her life was ended by a criminal who knew he could have many years of life even if he was convicted to try to live to an old age. The victim’s family had no chance to say good by, to prepare for the end. No chance to obtain closure with the victim. That was robbed from them as well.

We have laws for a reason. Let’s enforce them and let the people have their neighborhoods back. Victims have rights too; let’s not forget them before we become victims ourselves.

Web Site: The Mystical Indian

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Reviewed by Sandy Knauer 2/1/2006
Very well written. I agree with this in principle, but have mixed feelings in practice. I have often defended the role of the police officer in debates and individual officers through protest. However, I've personally experienced a couple of situations where the police officer absolutely did not offer what we have a right to expect. I think until we find a system for weeding out bad cops, lying attornies, and corrupt systems (and that seems impossible to do in any profession), we must keep an open mind. Especially when capital punishment or life and death situations are involved.
Reviewed by Chrissy McVay 2/1/2006
I agree. We are tying our officer's hands because they must now worry about lawsuits, etc. It was a tough enough job before. I also can't help thinking that someone who is avoiding being pulled over might have kidnapped a child or killed someone, how terrible to think they might get away because the police can't pursue them aggressively...
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