I love my country. I really do. Despite the monumental idiocies the culture has spawned and the hideous atrocities we have committed as a nation, I still have patriotism in my heart. We started out pretty well, I think. The Founding Fathers were brainy folks. But enough of that. The point of this post is not to gush about Independence Day and the Revolutionary War; rather, it is to say that, although I believe our nation is on the whole a great one, it does have some serious problems. And the problem I want to address is this: I hate our legal system.
Hate it. There’s no justice. Everybody pretends that once a criminal is convicted in court he receives his just desserts. He’ll spend a few months or years in prison if he stole something, or if he murdered someone, maybe he’ll get life.
And if he was particularly brutal, perhaps he’d even get two life sentences without even the possibility of parole! Is there anyone else here who feels that this is a completely hideous lack of justice? This sort of thing makes me so angry. Who designed this corrupt system, anyway? And what exactly had he been drinking? I don’t understand it. What earthly reason is there for refraining from hanging a murderer? There isn’t one; nothing rational, anyway. Some will perhaps babble some nonsense about “second chances” and “he just made some bad choices.” Well, you’re darn right he made some bad choices! And what exactly is meant by “second chances”? What exactly do you want to give a murderer a second chance to do? Kill someone else? I really do not care that some people leave prison as milder and more law-abiding individuals. The life of a murderer and whether or not it is a pleasant one is of no consequence to me. What does matter is justice. And there is no justice to be found in committing a murderer to prison for a mere twelve years or even his whole life.
In Biblical law, there is no prison. If you killed someone, you would lose your own life. No exceptions, no second chances. Cast the evil from among you, says the Lord. Why do we, as Americans, not cast the evil from among us? Why do we prefer to cuddle it close to our bosoms and feed it chocolates? It’s not right.
One of the worst things about this system is the effects on the victims or their families. Think of the mother whose son was shot to death by gangsters simply because they wanted a laugh. Or what about the man whose daughter was slain by her psychotic boyfriend? When you think of the nightmare these people are living, what it must be like to wake up every morning and realize that someone you loved is gone forever because a murderer took his life… Do you think they are satisfied to know that the man who pulled the trigger is sitting in a cushy jail cell somewhere? I hate the fact that we offer no justice to these grieving friends and family members. Somebody slaughtered their loved ones, and all we can say is that he will spend the rest of his life in jail? That’s not enough. I want to watch him die. I want to see the look on his face as he hears his sentence read, as he realizes that he will end his life kicking and gasping for air. I want the families of murder victims to know that the devil who killed their child is a dead man himself.
It’s not wrong to desire these things. God Himself designed a system in which restitution was to be made by thieves and killers would lose their own lives.
The death penalty was reinstated in the state of Colorado in 1975. Guess how many people have since been executed? There have been 6,387 murder cases since that time in our state. How many of those people do you think actually had justice administered to them? One man. One. Man. has been executed by the state in thirty-five years. What about the other 6,386? They quietly serve their time in a comfortable place which is staffed by people who offer them warm food and adequate exercise daily. And meanwhile the grieving families do their best to convince themselves that this is justice.
It is not, and it will never be anything more than a paltry excuse for it. I don’t understand how things got this way in the first place. But there it is, I suppose. I hate it. If I had one wish in this world, it would be to fix the legal system so that all criminals got what they deserved.
But there is actually some comfort in this black darkness of injustice. And that is this: Vengeance belongs to the Lord. It doesn’t matter if all these murderers elude the death penalty for eighty years and end their lives as happy and contented old men. They think they have beaten the system, but they are so dead wrong. They may not answer for their crimes in this life, but there will quite literally be hell to pay in the next. So instead of being enraged at the shocking injustices perpetrated by the crooked legal system, I need to take the two other options. The first is to have faith that God will do as He says. If He says there will be justice, there will be. I just have to wait longer than I like to see it. And the second option is to try to change the system myself. I have absolutely no clue how I am going to do this, but I suppose something will come up.
And that’s all I have to say about that…..— Forrest Gump