Just another Lottery...
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©1997 Warren P. Harris
Warning This article rated Non-PC for original thinking -- Liberals and the 'Easily-Offended' should depart with great haste and read no further!
Am I the only one who thinks it's thoroughly ridiculous to house and care for violent criminals? Go ahead, speak up, now. I can hear you breathing so I know there are at least a few of you out there who feel the same way. The problem is that you're not opening up your mouths and letting your feelings be known, so we all get to suffer the consequences of our own silence.
It's not news that criminals have more rights than law-abiding citizens. This is a trend that has been a long time in the making. Heaven forbid you should kill one of them while defending your family or property. But better you should kill one than merely wound the creep. The ensuing court case would most likely leave you destitute and homeless, if not imprisoned yourself. It's happened before and will continue until we do something to reverse this asinine trend. Perspective alert: Law abiding citizens should have rights. Violent criminals should not. Let's put our house back in order while we've still got a house.
OK, let's look at some of the facts here.
1) At last count we have 490 convicts on death row here in 'The Golden State' of California. These are not petty criminals, pests or cleverly deceptive Income Tax evaders. We're talking about violent criminals. The operative word here being violent, you know? Clear enough? People that rape, murder and commit various other violent acts of mayhem -- and have been found guilty of these crimes by our system of justice (don't get me started on that one -- it's another whole topic of its own).
2) The current figures indicate that it costs $44,000.00 per year to house each one of these societal misfits.
3) Like it or not, the California government has decided in favor of the death penalty.
4) Given the current state of affairs, anyone convicted of any crime is entitled to appeal this conviction by a jury of his/her peers until very nearly the end of time -- or at least until I'm tired of hearing about it. Factoring the appeals process in, the average cost to the judicial system of keeping these overgrown, violent problem children off our streets and out of our homes goes well beyond burdensome and all the way to hysterical at an alarming pace. In point of fact, it costs us literally millions more in appeals per inmate during the course of their incarceration.
Given items 1 and 2 above, we (that's you, me and everyone else we know who pays state taxes) are paying roughly 21.5 Million Dollars per year solely because our system of justice dispenses very little, if any, actual justice. It dispenses a lot of 'law', but that also is a discussion for another time. This not insignificant sum does not include the staggering cost of appeal after appeal after appeal... ad nauseum (see item 4) -- only the cost of 'room and board', so-to-speak. Most people I know could live fairly well on $44,000.00 per year -- or at least 'make do' -- or at least supplement their incomes nicely.
Being what I consider to be a solution-oriented type of guy and not wanting to just complain and whine about the problem (OK, I do like to whine occasionally but I think I've done enough of that for now.), I've come up with what I think is an excellent solution -- the Death Row Lottery!
Who is this nut and what on Earth is he talking about? Wait just a minute now! I'm not your average Filbert, Walnut or even a Macadamia. I'm a Solution nut and I've got a solution for you. Actually a fairly simple little solution to a growing problem, and here's how I see it working...
Given our current crop of ne'er-do-wells, we determine whether or not we should extinguish one per month, one per week, two per week, etc. Once this determination is made we establish a State-wide lottery for that interval. Currently we've got enough 'resources' to justify one per week with plenty of replacements ready to 'sign up', I'm sure.
That's right, we Nuke 'em, carrying out the sentence mandated by a court of law and a jury of their peers. Stop that gasping and whining right now! Last time I checked they weren't handing out the death penalty for parking violations (at least not in most of the cities I've parked in). And even if we happen to nuke the occasional 'innocent', I say it's worth the price. Let them sort it out with their Maker. We're not dealing with a bunch of Boy Scouts here, so let's just think of this as disposing of 'toxic waste'.
Here's the scenario:
1) On January 1, we open the lottery for criminal # 165840 (I don't know, it just sounded good when I wrote this)..
2) Everyone who wants to see criminal # 165840 receive swift punishment and wants a shot (no pun intended) at being part of the solution instead of part of the problem buys a lottery ticket (or a bunch of lottery tickets depending on how solution-oriented he/she is) for one dollar each.
3) At the end of the week, a publicly televised drawing is held to determine the winner (we already know who the loser will be). We also draw a runner-up in case the winner doesn't or can't show up in time.
4) After the winner is announced, he or she has 24 hours to claim his/her prize. 'And just what is that prize?' you may ask. Among other things, the opportunity to personally execute the 'criminal of the week', that's what -- or pawn the task off on The State for immediate processing! No more of this 'appeal' nonsense -- or waiting for 'the other shoe to drop' -- just get it over with and carry out the sentence -- today. What a concept!
You heard me correctly. The winner gets to personally execute the particular felon who just 'lost' the lottery -- and the method is their choice -- a quick and efficient point-blank 9 millimeter wound to the forehead (generally quite effective); a 'hunting expedition' in a controlled environment; poison gas; lethal injection; explosion; hit-and-run, whatever. But the 'sentence' must be carried out immediately and the 'winner' may determine whether or not to allow media coverage. Granted, a televised execution may not be pretty, but it just might act as a deterrent to budding criminals with similar interests -- or maybe not. Either way we have one less social misfit to support. Disposal methods might have to be limited somewhat to exclude some of the more unpleasant medieval approaches employed centuries ago -- or maybe not -- might just depend on the crime if you know what I mean -- and I think you do.
Sounds too cruel, you say? Too barbaric perhaps? Maybe so, but is the current state of affairs acceptable or functional? I say 'No, it's not.' Our society has become so 'civilized', so 'concerned' that we've sacrificed our civilization to the animals and social predators. We've become so concerned about what a bad upbringing the poor devils may have had, contributing to their anti-social behavior, we've lost sight of the fact that they behave like animals. Worse, in fact than any of the animal kingdom if you stop and think about it. Animals only kill for food or survival. You don't see rape, murder or mayhem among the 'lower' animals on this planet, only among Homo Sapiens.
But what are the advantages of this -- and is this the only thing the 'winner' gets for their dollar? No Sirree, it's not the only thing they get. There's much more on the plate than just some personal satisfaction. Here's the beauty of the plan -- it's a win-win-win-lose proposition.
(Win) The 'winner' gets to not only personally execute the 'loser' (some of our more radical residents would gladly settle for this compensation alone), but also receives a one-time payment of $44,000.00 -- the amount it would normally cost us to house our now ex-guest-of-the-state for just one year.
(Win) Every year after this, the State now saves $44,000.00 (and remember, we save this much every time we 'dispose' of another predator). The more we lose, the more we save, so-to-speak. Who knows, we might eventually even see a State Income Tax reduction... well, maybe.
(Win) All of the funds generated by the lottery that do not go to administrative costs are disbursed to the families of the victim(s). Granted, this will not bring back their loved ones, but will at least dispense some modicum of justice. And they'll probably sleep a lot better at night just knowing the person responsible for their misery is gone for good.
(Lose) What about the 'lose' part? The criminal is toast. What more need I say?
We've all heard the expression 'The inmates are running the asylum.' Well, I'm here to tell you it's true. The inmates are running the asylum , and I'm not particularly happy with the results. Our current policy does nothing to actually solve the problem, it merely 'warehouses' the problem -- expensively. Let's do something about it and stop complaining. Then maybe we can tackle this little 'justice' situation...