In the old days, when someone killed someone else, they were either hanged, shot, or acquitted. There was none of this business of keeping people in jail for years and years on end, or for the rest of their lives. We have gotten to a point, where we incarcerate millions and millions of people perpetually. I’m not against the death penalty. I believe it would be more humane to execute someone by firing squad than to keep them in a cage like an animal for years on end. This is torture, I believe. And it’s a huge burden on the taxpayers.
At some point we need to radically alter our criminal justice system. Maybe when we reach the point that more people are in prison than who are paying the taxes and footing the jail bill we will come to our senses. We are to the point now where just about every thing you can think of is illegal. Then, once we brand someone a felon, they no longer can get a job, they no longer have the right to defend themselves with firearms, and so on and so forth. So even after people do their time and serve their debt to society, we keep kicking them in the rear, insulting them, allowing society to disrespect them, and we prevent them from earning their own way through the rest of their lives.
There is a saying in criminal defense: we are protecting those who have fallen short of perfection from the wrath of those who believe they have attained it. If Jesus were alive now, who would need his help? I think he would be helping those who are persecuted. Who is more persecuted – at least in the U.S. – more than those who are incarcerated or awaiting trial on criminal charges? Jesus would surely defend those being persecuted – i.e., “charged” – by others; those who have their integrity, their liberty, and their humanity stripped from them.
– John H. Bryan, West Virginia Attorney.