Thursday, March 31, 2005

He shoulda killed someone ...

SAN JOSE, Calif. - An animal rights activist was arrested on a domestic terrorism charge after seven years on the run in connection with the release of thousands of minks from commercial farms.
Peter Daniel Young, 27, could face life in prison if convicted of all charges, including conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce and animal enterprise terrorism, according to court papers.
Dayum ... life in prison for releasing 1000's of minks .. If he had killed someone, he could have gotten off with 10 years. It is stories like this that give fodder to the opponents of the criminal justice system. I have to agree that the justice system does need some remodeling. Murderers and drug dealers are on the streets again in 7 years, while a mink liberator faces life in prison. This does seem rather topsy-turvy.
One of the things that the nay-sayers need to realize is that when we encroach on the rights of criminals, we encroach on the rights of every individual.

In Sweden, one can be taken into custody by the police and held for 48 hours without charges being filed or explanation given. I, for one, do not want to see that here in the US. I like the accountability to which the police must answer. I know there are extreme cases that grab the headlines and are manipulted by the media to give a kiltered view of the truth. I know there are loopholes which criminals use to stay one step ahead of incarceration.

This goes back to one of my beliefs about 'truth'. Truth is truth is truth. If something is a truth, then it is true all the time.

There are conditional truths. I can say that the sky is blue and that is the truth based on the condition of the sky. It is not true if it is night. It is not true if it is gray with clouds. So, while it is a truth that the sky is blue, it is a conditional truth. There are more conditional truths than we could ever count. The key, is to recognize the conditional truth and to be able to separate it from the absolute truth.

An absolute truth is true, regardless of the situation or who is involved. It can be applied unilaterally. If we really think about it, absolute truths are rare in our lives, but they do exist. The Bible tells us that the 'love of money is the root of all evil." This is a truth. Ecclesiastes tells us that 'whoever loves money never has enough."This truth can be applied unilaterally. To say, however, that riches are evil, is a conditional truth. Not everyone with money is bad.

We go through our days spouting out nuggets of knowledge. Some of these are misconceptions. Some are learned lies. Some are self made fabrications. Some are opinions. There is nothing wrong with these things until we try to apply the 'truth' label to them.
That being said, we must understand that the criminal justice system is not about absolute truths. Laws are stretched. Laws are bent a long time before they are broken. I think of the courts system as a fluid thing. It flows. Mostly it flows around the lawyers trying to erect dams in front of their clients to keep them out of the water. Justice is conditional. The idea of justice is noble. The administration of justice is flawed.

Still, this system beats all the others in the world.

So, lock the 'mink-inator' for life and turn some of the murderers and drug dealers free after 7 to 10 years.

No comments: