Sunday, December 15th 2013
Nelson Mandela was buried in his hometown of Qumu, South Africa, today. In his 95-year-long life he had spent almost a third of that time, incarcerated for fighting for the right to live in decency and settle on his ancestral soil like everybody else, regardless of the colour of skin.
The reason that I’m mentioning this great man, is that if you were to ask the average American m/f what he or she believe that Mr. Mandela would regard the most important teaching of his life, the overwhelming majority would say; “the art of forgiveness”.
Now, If you were to ask the same average American what he or she believe that Jesus Christ would regard his most important teaching, hopefully they would say; “The art of forgiveness.” Atleast, that is what Jesus Christ himself preached in “The Sermon on the Mount”.
PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH
Now, let’s for arguments sake state that the average American agree that forgiveness is a focal point of the teaching of Jesus Christ and that Americans generally is seeing themselves as Christian people, God fearing good people, pious and devoted to the teaching of Jesus Christ. If that is the case why does Section 228 (the Capital punishment) of the criminal and penal code of the federal government of The United States of America continue the be in use to this day?
With the use of the Capital Punishment, the United States can in effect be compared to nations such as DPRK, Iran, Saudi Arabia and China. Hardly the most distinguished bundle of countries to appear with.
Isn’t it about time that we abolish every single trace of this vengeful way in which we punish in the judicial system?
REHABILITATION, NOT REVENGE
Punishment should, without exception, focus on rehabilitation of the individual inmate, with respect to his or her expected future contribution to society, and not as it is too often the case today, with focus revolving around revenge.
It’s much more rewarding for the inmate aswell as for the society in general, when an inmate uses his or her incarceration time to better themselves education-wise or the like.
The punishment is the actual time sentenced and should not been viewed as an effort to make the incarceration time as intolerable as possible for the convict. Naturally, we must not lose focus on the victims, but even the victims are – like our society in general – better of with inmates that will not reoffend and thus not create future victims.
IF WE ACT LIKE THEM WE BECOME THEM
The previous is naturally aimed at people that has been sentenced to terms that will allow them to one day be released. The inmates that have been sentenced to death should in my opinion, without exceptions, have their sentences commuted to life without parole but even those offenders should have something meaningful to occupy their days with.
We shouldn’t punish to break people, but rather punish with the aim of making them better people regardless of the crime for which they have been sent to prison in the first place.
A few thoughts, that I sincerely hope will grow in the hearts and minds of every single, individual, American. Happy Holidays.
“Live, as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn, as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi.