Just Desserts

Topics: Crime, Prison, Penology Pages: 3 (895 words) Published: January 12, 2008
Just Deserts
The very meaning of "just deserts" means just that; a reward or punishment in turn for a deed good or bad. In this response, the criminal acts and the punishment, or lack of is what the discussion will be about. For centuries there have been criminals and when caught, these criminals have had some form of punishment. As the world has progressed, in many countries the punishment no longer fits the crime. "Upon a pillory - that al the world may see, a just desert for such impiety."( www.phrases.org.uk) This is an old English phrase, origin unknown, from around 1599.

Just desserts means a person receive reasonable consequences for your actions. Is our justice system set up to give reasonable consequences? It depends on the crime, in some states a drug dealer gets more time in prison than does a child molester or rapist. Just desert in this case should be that the sex offenders be sterilized then spend the next 50 years in the shoe with a 400 pound homosexual predator.

What must be considered is whose motivation is it to punish those who break the law. I for one can understand the need to punish someone for their actions but what if the individual is mentally challenged and not aware of the repercussions of his or her actions? This is a small percentage of offenders, but if the person is clinically proven incompetent should the punishment fit the crime? That is a hard call to make and I would be hard pressed to make a decision in a case like that. The death penalty is the only penalty for any person who willfully takes the life of any other human being. There are those that oppose the death penalty, and in very few cases of mental illness I can see their point. Amnesty International is one of those organizations who coddle serious offenders like murderers and sexual predators, this is some of their rhetoric: "Horace Dinkins Jr. was electrocuted in Alabama on July 14, 1989. He had an IQ of 69". (Carmichael,1996) What is not stated is who gave...
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