MY LIFETIME FOCUS REMAINS THE HUMANITIES. AFTER MANY YEARS OF ACADEMIC WRITING AND A TWO-YEAR LAYOFF FROM BLOGGING, I HAVE RE-KINDLED MY INTEREST IN THE NONFICTION GENRE. I ENJOY POSTING A GREAT DEAL ABOUT THE HUMAN CONDITION FROM MY PERSPECTIVE AND WELCOME ALL COMMENTS FROM READERS.
By now, everyone has heard about the three kidnapped girls
rescued today after ten years in captivity.
As you know, we will now get inundated with ridiculous
opinions about the handling of the matter, the rights of the offenders, the
trial of the case, and the appropriate sentencing. I know this is not my home
planet, so I thought I would share how they handle it on IO, my domicile, and one
of Jupiter’s moons.
Several millennia ago, in order to form a more perfect union
than the rest of the universe, the folks on IO established what they called a
Constitution. The document set forth the supreme laws of our culture, and the
people agreed to actually adhere to it. In fact, that’s why our society endured
for several millennia.
In any event, the Founders of IO added Amendments to their
Constitution they called A Bill of Rights, and the citizens of the moon
followed those provisions as well. Here is how this case would be handled on my
planet, applying the law as written:
Amendment 4: This
provision guarantees that the people of IO will be free from “unreasonable searches and seizures.” No problem in
this case, because when the victim escapes and tells the authorities what
happened, resulting in the freeing of other victims, the subsequent searches
Amendment 5: This
provision assures the people of IO that in accordance with due process of law,
the charges would be sent to a Grand Jury, one time, and the offender shall not
“be compelled in any criminal case
to be a witness against himself” - Period!
Amendment 6: On
IO, unlike most other societies in the universe, “the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and
public trial, by an impartial jury.” This process would take six months, not
four years because there are no Bulls on IO to drop their manure into our legal
The accused is also informed of the charges filed, which takes five
minutes on IO, and has a right to confront the witnesses against him at trial. The
accused does not have the right to take the deposition of the arresting police
officers over the course of five years to determine whether the cops ever did
anything in high school with a member of the opposite sex in the back seat of a
Chevy, because the arresting officers did not commit the crime.
And here is the “Biggy,”
as they call it on IO: The accused is entitled “to have the assistance of
counsel for his defense.” On my planet, that is not interpreted as a Dream Team
compiled for the sole purpose of circumventing justice, permitting monsters to
continue to prey upon society, while the taxpayers pay millions of dollars
countering spurious defenses such as “My client ate too many Twinkies,” or “My
client suffered from Urban Stress Syndrome.”
Following the trial in accordance with the Constitution, if
the defendant is found guilty, the lawyers on IO have a tough job. You see, if
the offenders actually kidnapped those girls and held them against their will
for ten years, they will never again see Mother Jupiter. The decision to be
argued by reasonable people on IO is whether the guilty parties are imprisoned
for life or are executed for their crimes. On IO, life in prison means a criminal
goes to prison for life. It does not mean seven years or finding Jesus in his
cell, whichever comes first. Also, execution means terminating the criminal’s life, not providing him
with room and board in isolation for fifteen to twenty years. The Death Penalty,
indeed, is a tough question for the people of IO to resolve. They do it by
popular vote, instead of the political whim of a judge or prosecutor.
I am not suggesting that IO is perfect. I do suggest,
however, that their system is far better than that under which the offenders in
today’s kidnapping case will meet justice. Then again, on Earth, they have Bulls.