Coach Dave Daubenmire
March 17, 2011
I guess it is time for me to come clean. I pray that the confession I am about to make does not impact the way folks look at me.
Even though I have done my best to make amends for my past behavior I cannot escape the reality of what I have done. I hope that you will not stop reading my weekly commentaries merely because I have spoken the truth.
I am an un-convicted felon.
Although I have never been caught, charged, and found guilty by a jury of my peers, the truth remains I am a felon. I just have never been convicted of it.
Here is a list of felonies. Take a peek and see if you too, are guilty of having participated in one of these “criminal acts.” With the way the laws are written can you say for sure that you have not committed a felony in the past ten years?
Without going into the gory details let me assure you that over the raucous life I lived before I came to know Jesus, I regularly participated in activities that could have landed me behind bars for a period of time. Many were done “in fun”, and most while I was serving the King of Beers, but they were felonies none-the-less.
I am not proud of it, but I am not ashamed to admit that in my life guided by pagan-morality I was willing to do anything that I thought I could get away with. We used to joke, especially in my college days, that we didn’t “have morals, merely standards.”
Yep, although I am not proud to include it on my resume’, I am an un-convicted felon. Am I any less guilty than those who have been convicted in a court of law?
You may think it odd that I would even write about this, but I think it is important for us to be aware of what is really going on around us.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
matter what your opinion may be, abortion is murder. If we are to believe
the statistics, 50% of those sitting in the pews have participated in
taking the life of an innocent unborn baby.
Murder is a felony…punishable by death.
Stalking can be a felony as well, along with tax evasion, drug possession, sharing pornography, shop-lifting, vandalism, embezzlement, public intoxication…I won’t tell you which one’s, but in my life I am guilty of more than one on the list. Getting away with it does not make me any less guilty.
Our criminal justice system is broken because it does not produce justice. In fact, that is not even its goal. The criminal non-justice system has become an industry designed to enrich those who benefit off of the “prosecution of crime.” Judges, lawyers, prisons, and those ancillary people who provide court services do not benefit when a justice system produces justice. They only benefit from creating crimes, and catching, prosecuting, fining, incarcerating, and “rehabilitating” those who commit them.
Even proving your innocence is expensive. Most times it is cheaper to “cop a plea” than to fight it. What good does it do you to be found innocent if you lost your house proving it? Shouldn’t the prosecutor have to re-pay the accused if guilt was not established?
In today’s America you are only one miss-step away from being classified as a “convicted felon.” Crime is big business, and although we are told that “crime does not pay”, the nation is full of those who make a living off of those who “violate the law.”
There are over 4,000 federal crimes, and many times that number of “regulations” that carry criminal penalties, let alone state and local statutes. God only came up with ten, and Jesus later whittled it down to two. I guess the Holy Trinity didn’t need the cash flow.
In the recent election one of the candidates for “prosecuting attorney” in our county ran radio ads stating that if he was elected he would make sure that “criminals went to jail.” It never entered his mind that that was not what his job was designed to do. The role of the prosecution is to make sure justice is served…not to make sure more Americans go to jail.
“And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” -Isaiah 59
its most basic form, justice is required when a crime has been committed.
The purpose of justice is to make the injured party whole. A system
of restitution is by its very nature punishment.
The most effective form of restitution is for the offender to repay (make whole) the one who has been offended. It makes the offender have a greater empathy for the one he offended when he is required to dig into his own pocket and pay for the consequences of his behavior.
Without restitution, justice cannot be served. In our criminal justice system restitution is paid to the government. A thousand dollar fine and six-months in jail does nothing to make the victim whole. It does, however, encourage the government to look for more criminals. The chance of justice winnows when the government has a financial interest in the outcome of the trial.
As the economy has gotten tougher I have noticed our local “police” spending more and more time hiding in the shadows with their radar gun blazing. I guess they are working to raise revenue without raising taxes. Creating criminals is a great way to guarantee revenue flows. They call it “protecting and serving”…protecting and serving whom?
America has the largest prison population in the world yet crime continues to increase. One adult out of every 31 Americans is under some type of “government supervision.” Our criminal justice system is not designed to re-habilitate, it is designed to punish. Our prisons are full of those who have been found guilty of victimless crime. But victimless crime is an oxymoron.
In order for there to be a crime there must be a victim. Government cannot be a victim, especially when government profits from crime. Most of those locked up in prison are not scary thugs and pose no threat to their fellow citizens. But incarceration is job security for the ever-growing leviathan of government. There is no such thing as a “debt to society”. Society cannot be a victim.
Let me ask you a question. How does a victim ever get repaid if the one who victimized him is sentenced to jail? Only the criminal justice system profits from incarceration. The victim’s reward is paying higher taxes for locking up the one who victimized him.
Here is the logic:
teach you a lesson. We are going to throw you in jail and make the person
you violated pay to keep you there. Come to think of it, we will force
your family onto government assistance because you will not be able
to earn a living. In addition, we are going to take you from your children
so that they can depend on children services to watch out for them,
and classify you as a felon so that you will never be able to get a
decent job if you ever do get out of jail. Now that should make your
victim feel better!”
“The founders viewed the criminal sanction as a last resort, reserved for serious offences, clearly defined, so ordinary citizens would know whether they were violating the law. Yet over the last 40 years, an unholy alliance of big-business-hating liberals and tough-on-crime conservatives has made criminalisation the first line of attack,” writes Gene Healy, a libertarian scholar. “You can serve federal time for interstate transport of water hyacinths, trafficking in unlicensed dentures, or misappropriating the likeness of Woodsy Owl.”
Crimes are to government what sins are to God. But the manner in which we handle “secular sins” is far different from the way Jesus handled sins of the soul.
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Today, a secular sin follows you forever. The “background check” is today’s version of the scarlet letter. You do the crime, and you do the time, but your “debt to society” is never forgotten.
Jesus taught sin, conviction, restitution, and redemption. Sins of the soul can be forgiven. Secular sins never are.
Follow the money. Criminal justice is big business.
“There oughta be a law against it!”
Watch what you say. There soon will be.
We’re all criminals now.
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