One scene hangs in my head and prompted this blog entry. A crime had been committed, a crime that warranted punishment, public punishment. The offender was tied to a whipping post and whipped nearly to death. Did it fit the crime? Debatable ! Was it harsh? Yes ! Was it effective? YES !
People in the crowd, young and old alike were horrified. Adults turned and walked away with children in tow. What they had witnessed will burn images into their memories. They witnessed the consequences of breaking the law. The lesson learned here was clear, you will be punished, and severely. This horrific exhibition was meant as a deterrent and it worked.
Here and now, society is hell bent on criminal rights, leaving victims and potential victims at greater risk. Victims never forgotten by those closest to them, but, quickly forgotten by society. Criminal advocates turn offenders into victims by sharing stories of mistreatment of prisoners. These stories most often exclude or minimize the victim and the crime that put them in prison in the first place. How about the stories of how victims were mistreated?
The innocent victims continue to be mistreated when justice is removed. Victims didn’t get the fair trial, appeals, FREE food, room and board, clothing, medical insurance, dental coverage, college education…..etc. I call these, “benefits of being an inmate”. Wouldn’t these benefits better serve the homeless or veterans or simply people that can’t afford them? Instead, we award these benefits to those who have no respect for law, or those who enforce it. In some cases, life in prison is better than the life they led outside. Remember when prison meant, bread and water in a cold dark cell? Now some inmates have internet access !
If sentencing continues to minimize breaking the law, the rate at which it’s broken will rise. For various reasons our nation’s youth is becoming more and more violent, and things need to change. Deter them, let them know the seriousness of their actions and that there will be consequences…harsh consequences. If you hand down a punishment, you must uphold it. The minute you ease up, they take advantage of you and justice is gone. Justice that had once been served…….gone!
Victim’s rights and justice must prevail, advocate for the innocent, not the guilty.
I know my fight will never bring Beth back, but, it will keep her in my thoughts and in my heart.
Author: Big brother to Beth Brodie, Sean Aylward is a regular everyday guy trying to right a wrong. Bringing victim’s voices back to a world hell bent on criminal rights