Tuesday, May 31, 2011

There is no Place for Prisons in the Model Hebrew Republic

(photo by Valerie Everett)

by Randy Pope
Modest Clothing Distributors

The news is constantly filled with reports of prison overpopulation. Due to tightening budgets cities like Akron must find ways to decrease their prison population. In 2010 Akron spent approximately $260,000 on reentry programs in an effort to relieve government of the responsibility of supporting so many prisoners. These reentry grants, as well as the normal costs for housing prisoners is money collected from Akron taxpayers. There must be a better way to deal with crime. 
The justice system is the name society gives to the system used to deal with criminals. What is just about the method used in Akron today? Justice is an appropriate payment, or in this case punishment, for something. If one of the ladies at church accidentally breaks one of your casserole dishes, you may choose to “pardon” her, and not require payment for your dish. That is a choice you are free to make. But, assume for a moment that this woman gives you a paper bowl out of the church cabinet, which was purchased with tithe money that you provided, in an attempt to “make things right.” Has justice really been served by this gesture? Yet that is an exact parallel to the modern “justice” system in Akron
A thief may be apprehended, and sentenced to prison for his actions. The stolen money or items may never be returned to the victim of the robbery. Then, on top of that, society adds another victim to the crime when the taxpayer is forced to pay to house and feed the perpetrator in prison, not to mention all of the other perks prisoners receive. Then consider the practice of imprisoning a murderer for life. That is equivalent to giving the victim a styrofoam bowl to replace her casserole dish. Do you really think that satisfies the requirements of justice?

Many will not care whether justice is satisfied or not. None of what follows will matter to them. There is a society that models true justice. It is found in the Hebrew Republic of the Old Testament. Crimes that violate the image of God, like murder and adultery require death to satisfy justice. Crimes that violate property require restitution. This pattern satisfies justice for the victims of crime, and does not create a second victim by requiring taxpayers to care for criminals for long periods of time (ie. the life of the prisoner). 
Finally, there is a principle in the law of the Hebrew republic akin to the “three strikes and you're out” laws that are being passed in many states in the United States. The habitual criminal under Hebrew law was also to be executed. If many (the burden of proof in the Hebrew system of justice is high to avoid executing innocent men) violent criminals are executed upon conviction, and non-violent, repeat criminals are executed, the burden of a large criminal population is drastically decreased. 

There is a better way to deal with the criminal element in society. People will have to get over their hatred of everything Biblical. It is the Hebrew Republic of the Old testament that truly satisfies justice, and protects the rest of society from evil doers.
This article was originally posted at Examiner.com

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