If I were in charge. . . . Part 2
Society as a whole cares way too much about the well-being of people who don't really deserve it. Now, I'm not talking about celebrities, Iraqis or third-world orphans. I'm talking about criminals, in particular the ones who aren't that good at it, and get caught. Why should the scum of society be guaranteed three hots and a cot while homeless people starve? Don't misunderstand; I'm not all for homeless people. I mean let's face it; almost anyone can get a job, unless they're schizophrenic or something. Then I might feel bad enough for them to help them out. I think if a prison holds 300 inmates, they should cook up 300 meals, and then force the prisoners to watch as they ship in 300 homeless people to eat it.
This is a little off topic though. This bit of philosophy is not about the treatment of prisoners, (at least not directly). This is my solution to over-population of prisons. I wouldn't really change much in terms of the way the courts are run at present. If you break the law and are found guilty by a jury of your peers, then you get whatever punishment the judge hands down to you. What I would change is this: If you are found guilty on three or more separate counts, whatever they may be, you die. Well, not quite that fast. After your third guilty verdict, you go before a panel of judges, alone, and plead your case as to why you are a useful member of society and should not be put to death. If the panel agrees that you are contributing something worthwhile, then you serve your time and go about your way. If they find that you are a life-sucking parasite of humanity, you die. And none of this sitting-on-death-row-for-forty-odd-years-until-you-die-of-old-age-anyway crap, you die there, that day. If I were completely heartless, the method of execution would be guillotine, because the overhead and upkeep are virtually nil. Unfortunately people have this psychological problem with killing people and can't handle a couple of night terrors. So my solution is to have two opaque syringes. One filled with anesthetic, one filled with air. Give the drugs to one person and send him in to administer it. Then send in Mr. embolism to finish the job, and don't tell them who went in first. Actually, anesthetic is expensive. I don't care if the soon-to-be-deceased dies painfully. Fill the syringes with air and. . . , not air. Come to think of it, syringes are pretty darn pricy too, especially opaque ones. Let's go back to the guillotine, and have two levers on it, one real and one fake. Yeah, that works.
Now of course there would be some exceptions to the rule. For example, if you rape somebody, you're dead, no questions. No one has the same DNA, so we know it was you. And if the person accusing you is lying, well they'll have to live with your death. Go haunt them or something.
Second exception: vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. If you get drunk, then drive and end up killing someone, you don't really deserve anyone's pity. Actually no, if you get caught driving drunk at all I'm going to kill you. No one should drink and drive, period. Maybe if it were a capital crime, people would take it more seriously. Give those S.O.B.'s a "slash on the wrist", if you get my drift.
Lastly, I realize that kids are pretty stupid for the most part. I was one not to long ago, I know. I say, keep the whole juvenile penal code the way it is. But be warned, when you hit 18, you're already working with one strike against you.
So there you go, a solution to over-crowded jails, government spending and a generally over-populated planet.