Posts Tagged ‘death penalty

There’s been much controversy lately in my country of residence on whether childer abusers should be given the death penalty or at least life sentences.

In all honesty, although I’ve read a lot about the subject, mainly how it’s handled in the U.S., I can’t help but think that these are both alternatives our justice system should take into account, even though the death penalty and life sentences are forbidden by the nation’s constitution. I guess it is more a political issue than an ethical one, and that is the main problem.

The thing is, when you have a child of your own, every single crime where a child was the victim, or whenever a child is abused or mistreated becomes a personal matter, as if it the victim had been your own child.

Now, there has been a lot of opposition claiming that these abusers and criminals have the right to become productive members of society once they’ve done the time and “rehabilitate”.  However, most specialists agree that because a vast majority of child abusers have an underlying psychological disorder, they are not able to truly rehabilitate. If this is correct, then how are we expected to just sit and watch them re-insert themselves into society, knowing all the while that they can – and will – relapse into their old behavior?

Most importantly, are justice systems around the globe really taking this matter seriously (enough) to tackle the issue as they should and defining punishments that are equivalent to the crime committed? As I said, the country where I live has forbidden both the death penalty and life sentences, so what exactly does that leave us?

In my country of residence, the scariest monster imaginable, the most terrible child molester that ever lived, is currently serving a 40-year sentence, after having been found guilty of the rape, torture and murder of 168 children (it is even said that there are a lot more victims we don’t know about…). Twenty four years were knocked down from his sentence right then and there for cooperating with the authorities. If we do the math, the guy is paying approximately 6-7 weeks per victim. However, good behavior (can an animal really behave properly?) has helped him reduce the time to approximately 35 days per victim. As if that weren’t enough, our Penal Code provides that after 3/5 of the sentence have been served, the inmate may be released. This means that upon completion of 14 years of prison, this pathetic excuse of a human being gets to walk the streets and breathe the free air like any one else.

A 40-year sentence, in my opinion, was hardly enough to start with in this case, and yet, if someone doesn’t come up with some way to retain him, he’ll be free. Honestly, is this fair? Who is going to protect our children once this monster gets out? The worst part is, after having seeing him on the TV, he seems completely remorseless, all smiles and jokes, oblivious of the fact that he has inflicted so much pain on so many.  He is the closest I’ve seen to a real-life Hannibal Lecter (without the refinement). He even says that since he has seen the error of his ways, he wants to open an institution to work in pro of the children. I almost fainted when I heard him say that.

And this guy is just one example. What is going to happen to so many out there who continue to victimize children and get to do it over and over again, all in the name of a justice system (and human rights defenders who claim to be defending the rights of the criminals, but are really nothing more than politicians trying to get their name in the headlines)  that insists that people have the right to rehabilitate and regain their freedom. That we must defend the human rights of all citizens. Well, I ask the honorable members of Congress who make the laws (not only here but everywhere), what about the human rights of these children? Just because they are gone their rights ceased to exist? Don’t their families also have rights? How about the rest of us? Don’t we have the right to be protected?

Now, the death penalty is too broad a subject to discuss. However, I will say that it is tricky, because as technological breakthroughs occur more frequently, there are now new and improved ways to analyze evidence that weren’t available before. This means that some people who had been convicted years ago for a crime have been proven innocent at some point because there was no way of knowing then what we know now as a result of the tools that are available to us today.

I’m not aware how many times this has occurred, but still, taking a person’s life away only to realize years later that he/she was innocent is a crime in itself. And how can the state repair the damage?

Now, if the person is serving a life sentence, at least that person gets to be vindicated in life and live the remainder of his/her days freely.

The life sentence also guarantees that the person will be locked up for as long as he/she lives and that’s that. No mitigating circumstances, no “discounts” on time served. If our dear legislators are so fearful of the death penalty for their own political reasons, then maybe they should choose life sentences for certain types of crimes. That way, whatever these criminals do, they’ll never get the chance to hurt anyone ever again, which, I assume, is part of the purpose of sending someone away for life.

I wonder if our lawmakers have ever thought about the creep I described before, what it would be like if he was released and chose to live somewhere near them. What if he moved to their neighbourhood,  or packed their groceries at the super, or visited the library. Honestly, would any of them be able to sleep at night? As a parent, I can say, without a doubt, that they would probably never leave their children out of their sight ever again, for fear of that psycho and would probably move as far away possible  from him.

So, unless our dear representatives take a good look into their hearts and take a stand on the issue, these monsters will continue to crawl our streets and keep committing the atrocities they commit against those who need the most protection: our children.  And the cycle will continue to repeat itself until members of Congress commit, fully and wholeheartedly, to do their job as they should, instead of trying to gain votes for the next election.

As for me, although I’m convinced that anyone who chooses to harm a child deserves nothing more than a horrible, slow death, I’m well aware that 2 wrongs don’t make one right, mainly because if one day it is discovered that the accused was innocent, there is no taking back that wrongful death.

A life sentence in isolation should do it. And when I say isolation, I mean complete isolation: no access to the media or to other people; just the bare minimum to get through each day. These people should be given the rest of their days to think about what they did, in the hopes they’ll eventually feel remorse and guilt, and be able to prepare themselves for a solitary death, whenever that day comes.



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