Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Vigilante Justice

Boy do I LOVE the movie Batman, I mean the police can't handle the criminals that are taking over the city so a masked avenger decides to take matters into his own hands and rid the streets of these scum. But that's make believe and in the real world we cannot have a sophisticated self policing society. So here are my latest top three moral dilemmas and why they have been brought to life.

1.) Vigilante Justice - A 16 year old girl in Colorado was being sexually abused by a man for 3 years. He was being brought up on charges because she came forward, but instead she shot and killed him. She was just released with two years of probation because of the evidence they found on the man's computer that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he had been abusing her.
~While I can't say I wouldn't have pulled the trigger or better yet if that young girl was Austin they wouldn't have found his body...but I can't condone vigilante justice. At what point is something so heinous that someone else can take it into their own hands? To me it sounds more like we are opening ourselves up for the "well the guy cut me off in traffic so I shot him" defenses.

2.) Freedom of Speech - Both Josh and J have been commenting on this, where the bottom feeders of the world standing behind a false belief in God picket at soldiers and miners funerals.
~ I hate their message and I hate that they can use something like religious belief to justify what they do to a grieving family, but what do we lose as a "free" country by telling them you can't say things that are mean only nice things. I do however feel that their right to say what they want has to stop at my right to listen to what I want, and in the case of an outdoor funeral where the grave is...well...set in stone, they can't violate my rights to a peaceful service.

3.) Last but not least - The Death Penalty - Some states have instituted the death penalty for sexual offenders if they have been caught and tried twice.
~ Do I believe that sexual predators deserve to breath But again I cannot stand behind the eye for an eye in a civilized society mantra. It's like the mom sitting at the dinner table that sees her child hit her other child and then smacks the first in the back of the head stating "we don't hit". But I also don't want to have a $45,000 a year prison sentence given out for the rest of their lives to someone who again does not deserve to be breathing air.

Ahhhhh, here are the debates I have in my head - at least this week.


Josh said...

Now this is a PARTY!


1) Agreed. Vigilante justice sounds good on paper (or in a movie), but is, in my mind, a step backwards in the evolution of society.
2) You already know where I stand on this :)
3) The Death Penalty. Now we're getting into some serious stuff. Try as I might to justify it, I feel like the death penalty is a hold-over from a time when we delivered justice based on gut reaction. Its really the same emotions/thoughts that led to lynching. Granted, we're saying these people are a danger to society, and are likely to harm someone again. However, just choosing to end their life still feels wrong. We're saying that this person is invalid as part of our society. Kill them. When do we start letting that logic apply to other invalid people: Handicapped...Elderly...Immigrant... While that logic isn't perfect, it's the kind of thing we (as a civilization) are capable of. We don't always follow logic...

Although, like you said, if it were MY daughter...

Crystal said...

On another note with the death penalty...I read a study in Colorado that was brought up because they were attempting to get rid of death row all together. If I remember it correctly I don't believe we have actually put anyone to death in 20 years, but we do in fact have people wrapped up in appeals on death row. The price of running these appeals and keeping them in the death row cells is astronomical. So if we don't actually use the little room at the end of the hallway...why keep them waiting? Put them in solitary confinement.

jlynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jlynn said...

Well, I think we all know that the prison system in this country needs a little work. There is no reason in the world for that much money to still be pouring in to institutions that clearly aren't running efficiently. Are they run by FEMA? This is why I believe that the prison system should probably be privatized. I read something somewhere (it was probably on that said the privatized prisons in this country operate for about half to a third of the cost of state prisons. You know why? Because at the end of the day it's a business and they want to make money.

Personally I feel like the death penalty is antiquated and for me if I got life in prison I might prefer death, but I don't like people telling me what to do. I do believe with all the advancements in DNA and forensics and the cases that have been overturned due to these new techniques that it is too big of a risk to use the death penalty. If one innocent person dies it's one too many.

I think I might be starting to sound like too much of a hippie so I'm going to stop now... go back up to the top of my comment and read the part where I say "Yay, capitalism" in not so many words.