CAUTION: if you are "faint of heart" or a "Bleeding Heart Liberal" or can't handle any blood, guts, and gore - then, DON'T READ THIS - OK? "To be fore-warned is to be fore-armed!"
While it was written almost ten years ago, I have not changed my stance regarding Capital Punishment. In fact, in light of the INCREASED crime statistics, the absolute FAILURE of the so-called "War on Drugs", the true stories of our children being MURDERED for their jackets or other clothing, the guns and drugs in our schools, and last but not LEAST - the terrorists' attack of 9-1-1 - I believe it is more DIRELY NEEDED THAN EVER !
"HOW I'D FIX THE WORLD"
By: Thomas K. Hyland, Jr.
One must recognize from the "git-go" that there never was, nor ever will be an absolute Utopian, perfect place to live. That is merely because of the existence of mankind, along with all of its frailties, greed, and over-indulgences. Be that as it may, at least let us pursue a place of relative safety, peace, and daily normalcy.
First of all, we need to fix the United States. If we wish to be a world leader, and expect everyone to follow our example, we must "set our own house in order"; otherwise our bad example stands out like a "sore thumb".
Guns do not commit crimes ... criminals do !
Gun control is not the answer; swift and severe punishment forthe commission of a crime is the only absolute deterrent. Capital punishment for a capital crime should be a universal, National dictate. Period! Different rules in different states, interpreted differently, by different Judges, resulting in different penalties is simply confusing, inefficient and preposterous... and guess what? The criminals know this, and use it to their own advantage. Even if the perpetrator of a capital crime was unaware of these inequities within the "system"; some slick, unethical lawyer would be the first in line to tell the criminal, as well as the first "bleeding-heart-liberal" to protect the rights of the "scum", by looking for some stupid "technicality" to put this animal back on the streets ... to rape, kill, or maim again.
"To Hell with the victim of the crime, and his or her family, and
all of their innocent suffering, unnecessary expense, loss of income, grief, and genuine horror... let's protect the rights of the rabid animal who caused the problem, and blame everything on Society, and background, and a whole lot of other "hogwash"!
My recommendation in this event is very simple, if the defending attorney is somehow able to "plea bargain" a sentence down from death, to life imprisonment (with 90 % off for good behavior); then, the attorney must go to jail also, and be the roommate of his (her) ex-client. One could not help but wonder how long said attorney would actually live thereafter. But, there is a good side to this scenario, perhaps the next attorney who defends this "slime-ball" murderer (the second time, for murdering his firstdefense attorney) will think twice about making any "deals", huh?
Next, how about a "free" all-expense-paid one-week vacation for each and every: Senator, Congressman/woman, Judge, Governor, Mayor, City and County Council person, Attorney, Bishop, Priest, Reverend, Preacher, and all other "Do-gooders"? Yes, free! One solid week, in jail: incognito, with no special privileges, just like an undercover secret agent. Then, see if any of the enlightened survivors have had a change of heart regarding the "poor miscreants"... I'll bet we would see some rapid philosophic modifications afterwards.
Another vastly important thing... there should no longer be any such plea as: not guilty by reason of insanity... instead, it would be: guilty by reason of insanity. This more clearly explains "why" the crime was committed; rather than trying to "excuse" it, as if it never happened in the first place.
If, on a purely physical plane, one human being definitely caused the loss of life of another human being, and it is proven "beyond a shadow of reasonable doubt": then the killer is physically responsible, the victim is definitely dead, and the only question is: what level of punishment should be doled out, based on thegiven circumstances of the case?
If a person with a prior arrest record of driving a vehicle "while intoxicated", did not receive a stiff enough penalty the first time, and then does it again; only this time causes the death of a completely innocent family of four, are the victims any less dead ... just because it was not pre-meditated?
Should the first Judge who showed "leniency" share any of the guilt and responsibility ? Should he be hung, right alongside of the drunk driver? If so, there would not be a whole "helluva" lot of judiciary leniency, the next time around, would there?
The finite details could be easily spelled out very clearly, so that distinctions could be made between the levels of crime, and then be matched by the levels of punishment. If we wish to differentiate between types of killing, such as: First, Second, and Third Degree murders, versus Manslaughter, and Self-defense, that's fine; but, let there be no doubt whatsoever...
A. For conviction of Pre-meditated murder = DEATH !
I don't care how, why, or wherefore: lethal injection, gas chamber, guillotine, hanging, firing squad, stoning, drawn-and-
quartered ... the point is ... punishment should be done one way, everywhere, universally, and swiftly...no appeals, no delays, no"bull-crap". After all, the victims rights were violated, they had: no choice, no appeals, no chance, no representation... therefore, Justice will be both blind and swift...PERIOD!
Consider if you will, the following scenario:
An armed man murders an unarmed man on National television, witnessed literally, by millions. He is instantly captured, and then, many months later, goes to trial. Millions of dollars of taxpayers' money is spent for his defense, more millions are spent dragging out the postponements, and finally conducting the trial. He is found guilty, and receives a jail sentence. More thousands of dollars of our money is spent, each and every year, for his: food, clothing, shelter, medical and educational expenses, not to mention costs of security guards, administra- tion, and processing appeals.
Now let's further complicate the issue... suppose this murderer, was not even a United States citizen. Why in God's name, should he have access to the same "rights and privileges"? Had he been guilty of the same offense in the country of his origin, he would have been be-headed in less than one week! Sound improbable? Does anyone remember Robert Kennedy and Sirhan Sirhan? We are still paying our money out to support this animal!
Now, that was a really "special" case, you might think; so let's consider another, less prominent, but constantly repeating scenario. A murderer has taken the life of an innocent victim, has been tried, found guilty, and merely sentenced to some ridiculous, but specified jail term. Besides the possibility of him (or her) maybe "rotting" and dying in jail, what other higherprobabilities are there?
This convicted murderer has nothing at all to lose, therefore he (she) might: kill another inmate, kill a guard, cause a riot, kill a hostage, escape ... and while free, kill another innocent victim; as well as the Presiding Judge, or the Prosecuting Attorney, or some of the eye-witnesses, or even some of the members of the jury panel ! Gee, that is really a smart system for "Protecting" Society-at-large, is it not ?
B. For other heinous offenses, like: other levels of Murder,
Rape, Kidnaping, Incest, Child Abuse, and whatever
other offense Society should choose to specify here
Same kind, type, place, and timing as decided in A. above. These "animals" are no different, and deserve the same fate. The point is for Society to have: the absolute guaranteed assurance that the convicted offender will never ever be able to perpetrate another crime against another living human being. PERIOD!
Absolutely no Judge should have any power to change or modify any of these sentences. The purpose of the Judge is solely to preside over the trial to interpret and conduct the Law. He or she should not have any jurisdiction whatsoever, over determining guilt (the Jury does this), nor determination of the method of punishment (the Law would stipulate this clearly).
Again, Society has an enormous abundance of educated "Word- smiths", quite capable of sitting down, and clearly defining specific circumstances, under which specific punishments will be given. Once the Laws are changed, and enacted, these mostimportant rules of Society would then be taught to every livinghuman being. There would then be no such thing as: "second offenders" or "third offenders"...if a person commits a specified crime, and is found guilty by a "Jury of his peers"...HE DIES! PERIOD!
C. For conviction of other specified offenses, like:
Illegal Drug Trafficking, Espionage, Terrorism, Plotting to violently overthrow the Government,
and other similar serious offenses = DEATH!
There would no longer be a need to worry about "drug users", if they used drugs, got "high" and never bothered or hurt anyone, who cares...? If they overdose and die... tough! If they do, however, commit a serious crime, while under the influence, it shall not be an acceptable defense... if found guilty...they die!
But, you may say: these penalties are so harsh, perhaps inhumane, totally un-Christian ... need we be so severe? Just look at the statistics on crime, and then tell me about the harshness. Suppose the victim was: your daughter or wife, or your son or husband... then, and only then, people are not so "namby-pamby".
Just for one moment, consider that almost Utopian place, as mentioned in the outset, where: There is no "Murderer's Row",
no "Lifers", no need to be scared to death when walking down the street, no constant bombardment on every newscast about CRIME (in fact, positive stories about "good" things happening might even be broadcasted), no need to worry about what kind of weapon you must purchase in order to defend your home against an intruder,
maybe even reduced taxes (because of lower expenses of incarcer- ation) ... and so on...
A "PIPE DREAM"? Maybe. However, I can guarantee you one thing,
at least Society will have a very strong deterrent in place, and every prior murderer will never have the opportunity to harm another innocent victim... every uncontrollable, undisciplined "hot-head" who picks up a knife, or gun, or brick will know ahead of time exactly what the consequences will be ... DEATH!
Oh, I just had an afterthought! Just think for a moment about all of those thousands upon thousands, or probably millions uponmillions, perhaps even billions upon billions of DOLLARS, that would no longer be spent on supporting the rabid scum of Society, could it be put to better use?
For starters, how about feeding the starving children of the world? ...SOMALIA...ETHIOPIA...BOSNIA...even...APPALACHIA. Next,
we could feed the starving adults, then we could send them seeds to plant, so they could grow their own crops. Then we would probably still have enough left over to send them some tractors and gasoline, in order that they could reap what they have sown.
Now, honestly ... are these sufficiently worthy humanitarian reasons to justify the taking of lives of the aforementioned:
murderers, psychopaths, maimers, kidnappers, espionage agents, traitors, terrorists, rapers, drunkards, drug abusers, child abusers; and last but not least, another category of slime that
I failed to mention earlier, the EMBEZZLERS?
These "low-life" creeps covertly steal the life-blood of honest people, who have worked hard and somehow managed to save some money. Then, later, after such heinous scandals as the Savingsand Loan type are discovered, the victims either completely lose their life savings, or are forced to wait for inordinate lengths of time, doing without, until "the Government" finally gets around to doing anything about it. Then, to "add insult to injury" omniscient "Big Brother" sends the convicted felon away to a posh "Country Club" for a quiet little vacation, and when he or she gets out, merely goes somewhere else to live happily ever, .... on the misappropriated funds. How delightful!
Not in my system, they wouldn't!!! How about a very simple rule, like: if you rob, steal, embezzle, con, or in any other manner, take money or property that does not belong to you, in the amount of $1,000.00 or more, and are caught, tried, and convicted ... YOU DIE! PERIOD! END OF STORY! Remember the "good old days" way out West, when your only means of transportation was your trusted steed (horse)? When a horse-thief was captured, he was summarily and immediately hung on the nearest tree! Why not the same penalty for auto theft?
In closing, there remains one final quandary... just how would we ever be able to change the laws, and institute such a system?Face it, do you really believe in your "heart of hearts" that every crooked politician, lawyer, and judge is going to be "champing at the bit" to have themselves brought to justice, and then summarily executed? Not hardly!
The only way something like this could ever occur, would be a two-fold process. Namely, every American citizen would have to write letters, demanding that the issue of Capital Punishment be entered on the next National ballot, as a Referendum, for all voters to access. Next, it would require a stipulation of a pre- determined date in the future for the laws to take effect.
This would basically exclude "criminals" from receiving the death penalty, for crimes committed prior to the specified date; however, they would still be subject to prosecution under the current laws. While this would certainly not exonerate anyone from prior felonies committed, it would lay the foundation for all future potential felons to seriously contemplate the results of their actions.
D-E-A-T-H has a certain final ring attached to the word, which nothing else under the sun could ever achieve. It clearly announces to the criminal elements, as well as the world-at-large
that: WE AMERICANS MEAN BUSINESS... ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
In fact, considering how the national media is so pre-occupied with bombarding our living rooms every day and night with VIOLENCE, pray tell what could they possibly do, to maintain their imagined ratings? YEP!...you got it!...nationally televised ... E-X-E-C-U-T-I-O-N-S !
Wouldn't the big network execs have a ball with this? They would be scrambling with one another: to get the "exclusives", running both pre- and post- execution "gory-stories" of who-dunnit-to- whom ... with all the whys and wherefores, giving odds on who would last longer than whom when the "switches" are pulled, and then, finally dazzling us with their blow-by-blow non-descriptdescriptions of the "LIVE" coverage of whats-not-really-happening at this particular moment.
Author's Note: Amazingly enough, less than six months after I wrote this article in 1993, there actually was a Nationally televised execution ... how prophetic! Maybe truth is stranger than fiction, after all!
Finally, let us not be remiss in mentioning all of us "ghouls" who would be "glued" to our couches, munching popcorn, and not unlike the infamous Roman circuses of old, impatiently awaiting to cheer the gladiators, or the lions, or maybe even on occasion
... the poor Christians! Who knows... maybe if this "fad" caught on, we could save some electricity and/or poisonous gas, and merely let the "scum" battle each other ... to the death! That, my friends, would certainly keep all the "bookmakers" happy, huh?
As the Bible says, in Leviticus:
"An eye for an eye ... a tooth for a tooth."
It works for me!
© December 22, 1993
By: Thomas K. Hyland, Jr.
Reader Reviews for
"How I'd Fix The World"
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|Reviewed by Logan Pile (Reader)
|I cannot express how much I understand your logic. But you are totally misdirected and you are misrepresenting the ideals of the Bible. The Bible changed this idea, the eye for an eye thing in th New Testament. Furthermore, capital punishment, the killing of murderers is not only ineffective to stopping crime it is immopral as well. You had yet to mention the prejudices in the judicial system, or the unwavering failure the eath penalty represents when it is introduced broadly into society, such as in India in the 1970's.
Good purpose, bad idea.
|Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor (Reader)
|Okay...give everybody a gun.
Common sense is not a strong suit in the human condition. You are presuming/assuming people have it. The world would never recover if true.
|Reviewed by Mel Decker (Reader)
|Every time I hear some one say. Look what the Bible says; An eye, for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. That would fix the situation! I puke! God who fully understood the sinful nature of his creations. Actually instructed leaders of that era to kill the entire population of some cities. He knew that even with our sinful natures. Our basic lust for survival would cloud our decisions. Furthermore anytime the taking of another life was ordered. It was done by the will of GOD not "a jury of his peers". I think god, who is all knowing and all powerful is the ONLY enitiy with the power of life and death.
I have read the Bible from old testament to new testament. I have read many times in the old testament when God instructed certain people to kill other people. Never have I read that he discussed HIS decision with anyone!
To counter one bible phrase with another. We move to the time Jesus was at the end of the street talking with the crowd. The adultress was chased by the mob in front of him. They felt they were right in what they were about to do. What did Jesus say to them? Which ever one of you is without sin. Be the FIRST one to throw the stone.
I don't believe emotion has a place in law enforcement. Whether it be God's law or man's. And I have yet to meet a person who feels no emotion to some of the things that go on in the world today. So none of the people I know could really be fair and impartial in handing out a death sentence.
THANK YOU ,MEL
|Reviewed by Nickolaus Pacione
|Heheeheeheeh, I like this. This would piss off a few liberals.|
|Reviewed by Leland Waldrip
|Sounds right to me, Tom, except that the Justice System, in addition to protecting criminals at times, seems to have a penchant for railroading the innocent. Perhaps if criminals were all smokers (ref. your piece on new lepers) the problem would be solved. Good writing.|