Blog Prompt: Controversial Issues

Wed 7/23 Blog Prompt

Light-hearted or serious, take a “controversial” issue and argue your point of view. Extra points if you argue both sides!

There are several controversial issues I could take a stand on, such as Gay rights, Abortion (any kind), and even parenting.  But though I have strong beliefs about all of the above, those are not the issues I want to talk about today.  Today I want to talk about our justice system. 
I can’t argue about the fact that we need to have a justice system in place because we most definitely do.  I also can’t argue that the justice system does good for our community because, again, it does.  However, I can say that it does make mistakes.
If you were to tell me that someone who does wrong deserves to be punished, I would agree.  If you were to tell me that someone who does something stupid deserves to be punished, in MOST cases I would agree.  However, there are times when the justice system takes it too far.
For instance, I know of someone who sat in jail for almost a week because he got pulled over for expired registration, and in the course of searching the car, the police found a pipe used for smoking speed.  Now having never done drugs, I don’t really know what this looks like, and I didn’t even know you smoked speed??  But that’s neither here nor there.  In any case, that would have only been a fine, except when they ran this person’s name through the system, they found a bench warrant, so they arrested him.
Now, the bench warrant was for something that had taken place 4 years prior and ALL steps had been taken to complete the required tasks, but some paperwork never got turned in.  So, there were a few stupid things done here by the person in reference:
1. He didn’t pay his car registration.
2. He put a stupid pipe in his car that he never should have had in the first place.
3. He didn’t turn in his paperwork like he should have.
But do any of these things really warrant him sitting in jail for almost a week?   This man is a responsible member of society.  He just did something stupid.  He found the pipe in some wires given to him by a friend, and instead of throwing it away he put it in his car.  Stupid?  Yes.  A crime?  I don’t think so.  He does not do drugs personally, his drug test was clear, and he had never had anything like this on his record in the past, so he should have just received the fine and been done.  After going to court he was going to be given a choice of taking a class or going to jail for 60 days.  Not much of a choice if you ask me.  For the bench warrant, which is what he was arrested for, he has to do community service…for not turning in a piece of paper??? 
Now…I’m not saying he shouldn’t have consequences for his stupid actions, but it just seems that this is going a bit far.  This man’s job was jeopordized for such little things.  I certainly don’t think any of these require someone to sit in jail for a week, away from his wife and kids who had no idea what was going on because it came as a shock.  It just seems so pointless.  Of course, one could say that he got what he deserved because he was the one who made bad choices, and they’d be right, but I just don’t know if we can truly call this “justice” due to how extreme it seemed to be.

***NOTE*** Many details are not explained here that would further add to my argument, but I did not feel comfortable posting those details in my blog.

1 Comment

  1. Glynis said,

    July 23, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    It seems to me that common sense has gone the way of feathered hats or powdered wigs. All we can do is make sure that we each do the right things and keep our voices heard when it comes time to nominate and elect judges. Great, thought-provoking post!

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