I always find it slightly ironic that at the time of the Founding Fathers, tossing people into the maws of a ponderously slow judicial system and having them rot for extended periods in jail was considered a grave injustice. Although I don’t know if the nasty unhygienic gaols of the colonial period had a rape culture; our modern-day version certainly does. I can only imagine what they’d think of having teenagers placed on “sex offender” lists for necking with their girlfriends and ruining their prospects for life. Back in the day, they had alternative means of solving that problem that didn’t ruin people’s employment prospects forever.
Cruel and unusual, huh.
You know, when I was on a tour of Colonial Williamsburg, the tour guide giving us the low-down on the “jail” said that if you got caught committing petty crime, you’d be branded. If you got caught committing petty crime again, they’d see the brand, and hang you. (I think in England you might have an option to be shipped off to a penal colony instead. Perhaps we need a new version of a penal colony. Surely there’s a suitable island somewhere.)
Stacy McCain every once in a while reminds his readers that serious crimes – like murder – are not generally committed out of the blue. Usually the murderer has a long rap sheet of slowly-escalating criminal behavior.
You know what the proliferation of long rap sheets of slowly-escalating criminal behavior tells us? That our “criminal justice system” is completely broken. Not only is it NOT removing criminals from the streets so that they cannot harm innocent people, it’s not even acting as a deterrent to criminals. I mean, what does it say about a “justice system” when the more contact with it a criminal has, the more likely he is to continue committing (even worse) crime?!