Okay- I'm going to reveal a secret desire here. Are you ready?
I've always wanted to be a judge...sorry if that was a letdown.
And if your first thought when you hear the word judge is Simon C. (the C is because I can't remember his last name, and I don't watch TV myself) on American Idol, you seriously need to try reading a book for a change. Ouch...I may have just lost you.
And I don't want to be a judge so I can reign with fiery justice and send hardened criminals to locked cells and then throw away the keys. Well...not ONLY that.
The real reason is that I find the whole crime and punishment (I could call it the legal system, but it just doesn't sound as interesting) quite fascinating. Especially as you study it from the early years down through the present.
And I want to say here: Our American Justice system may have it's flaws, but I believe it's still the best in the world.
I have to admit that some far off countries justice systems have a certain appeal to me. They would never take a convicted child rapist and murderer and wonder whether he should get life or death (which of course means he will be breathing air for many years still because of appeals). They wouldn't stand outside with posters protesting (I know...freedom of speech) when his turn came to get a lethal injection that might give him momentary discomfort (versus extreme terror) when his time came. No... he would have a short walk to meet his maker. They might even skip the walk.
But then side-by-side with that case, you might find the case of the young boy who stole a small item. Of course, stealing is wrong. But to take that young boy and put his hand literally that stole under the wheel of a car, and to run over it as punishment; obviously that is a flawed system. Who could do such a thing, and then go about their daily business? I know the pictures from this true story are etched in my mind. Those pictures that were taken by those who punished him as a record of his punishment.
Are there innocent people in prison? I think there probably are. DNA evidence has proved it to be so. And DNA evidence will also help to prevent such cases as this in the future.
But I would never allow myself to rally behind or pity prison inhabitants as a whole for that reason. Most are there for exactly what they have been tried and convicted of. I have to admit part of what interests me in the whole crime/punishment department is the psychology of it all. That a person could do cruel, harmful things to another human being, a crime for which there is indisputable evidence, and then look you in the face and say they didn't do it. Where is their conscience in all of that?
And in all my reading of it, with the many explanations given by various professionals, I still cannot accept that there are some who have no conscience. I believe it, but I just can't quite accept it.
Would you believe I actually was going to write about a particular case, but got side-tracked?
So this will be Part 1...
Part 2 coming soon;)