Friday, July 29

American Vengeance VS. Norwegian Justice

Once upon a time when Puritan colonists came to this country, they decided the prisons back home in England were cruel pits. They would have a new kind of imprisonment called a penitentiary where criminals would go to do "penance" i.e. think about their crimes and atone for them. They would be humane and lenient.

Well that's all very nice but it was quickly forgotten and replaced with vindictive punishment because it made us feel morally superior and satisfied our anger. They don't do that in Norway and it has the Righteous Americans in a froth. How dare they treat those criminals like, like well people!? Everyone knows the only way to stop people from committing crimes is the threat of incarceration- except it doesn't. The death penalty -for instance is an excellent deterrent to murder-except it isn't. No one in the penal system in this country believes in the concept of rehabilitation -once a criminal always a criminal. They don't deserve a second chance.

For those foaming at the mouth that the terrorist-er excuse me extremist, will get out in 21 years after serving time in a cushy country club- he will not, the parole board can extend his time indefinitely and likely will. A cage- no matter how gilded- is still a prison. Next to exile, denying freedom to someone is the harshest judgement we can give -even to a monster.

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