Monday, July 31, 2006

Creative Sentencing

I recently read a news article about a handful of judges throughout the country who have dragged out some common sense and are handing out punishments that fit the crime. For instance: a woman who pretended to be a Hurricane Katrina victim in order to get free rent, sentenced to clean houses. The article went on to say that Judges are skittish about doing this because of criticism from the public. The general population is most comfortable with seeing criminals, so matter how minor their crime, warehoused in prison. No matter how much it costs them.

I find this public attitude very frustrating. We have staggering numbers of repeat offenders, proving that prison doesn't work. Anyone that has raised kids knows that grounding doesn't work. Incarceration at any level is nothing more than a temporary fix. Murderers, rapists, the extremely violent - they belong in prison. But so many other criminals would actually be rehabilitated with a different kind of punishment.

When my kids were young, there was a pack of teenagers who cut all the Christmas lights on our street as a prank. My kids were little and this scared and upset them. The boys were caught and punished, I think they had to write an essay to the judge or something. The following Halloween the same group broke every jack-o-lantern on the street. Hmmm... I guess they didn't learn much from that essay. For cutting Christmas lights I think the punishment should have been to replace and hang every string plus some hours volunteering at a soup kitchen. At the time I wanted them assigned to community service- at my house. I had this really nasty garage that could have used the attention of such ambitious young men.

The judicial system isn't the only thing broken around here. When the illegals were picketing, and all of Washington was worrying about who would do those menial jobs the illegal aliens do if they should all go home, I wanted to scream at the TV. When did we become such a mamby-pamby, woosy, prima donna society? And if we have so many jobs that no American will do, why do we still have welfare? I have a simple plan for fixing just this type of thing:

Step 1: Deport all illegal aliens. This will free up a bunch of jobs.
Step 2: Institute a country wide flat tax in lieu of the federal income tax in place now. This will result in the loss of many IRS jobs, those people can go fill the spots once filled by the illegal aliens.

The added bonus to this plan is that a flat tax would generate enough money to pay off the national debt in very short order. Seems simple enough to me.

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