Saturday, May 02, 2009
I have a question.
Friends of ours were convicted of running a pot growing farmlet (in their basement). Their "punishment" really amazed me. The court went to great lengths to create an imprisonment schedule that allowed one or the other parent to keep the family's (non drug) business going and raise their kids.
What did this accomplish? Two decent folks were punished mildly for violating a taboo, likely their businees is now handled by some scuz.
It seems to me that there is a large list of "crimes" where we have no sensible "punishment."
Martha Stewart emerge from brief detainment wealthy and, in her case, with great publicity.
Prostitution: A night in jail does what?
Who has been punished for ordering Abu Gahreib? How much money has Ollie North made BECAUSE if his conviction?
The punishment for the Watergate affair was ?
Why not impose labelling on offenders? Imagine bigamists sentenced by having a scarlet letter B on their foreheads and ID cards? Politicians who take bribes would be sentenced by the scarlet P. Martha would get to wear a dollar sign between her brows. Colson would get the ignoble five pointed star with a line through it. Antisemites get to sport the scarlet mogen david, etc.
The presence of a new minority, the labeled, would force society to define WHY we are punishing people rather than figure out the cheapest way to put Martha Stewart up in a hotel for a few months. I sduspect she would rather spend time in McNeil Island then wear the sacrletyt dollar for ten years.
Labelling has one additional benefit, those who agree with the convicted, could voluntarily assume the label! I wonder how many MJ users or just supporters of legalization, would adopt the Marijuana Tattoo as a form of protest?
Posted by SM Schwartz at 11:33 AM