The Death Penalty a Defence

Appendix II 

REFORMED CRIMINAL POLICY 

 

Present criminal policy in The European Union 

For the one who wish to work in favor of the reintroduction of the capital punishment in a country it is natural to, at the same time, question the "humane criminal care policy" that today is about to swallow the "just and righteous criminal policy." 

The "humane criminal care policy" is mostly concerned with the wellbeing of the criminal, to see to it that he is rehabilitated. It does not take much consideration of justice, the punishment as such, or the victim and his value as a human being, and it does not take much consideration of the common sense of justice. 

Some of the fruits of the "humane criminal care policy" we can see in today’s prisons, which are more and more beginning to look like motels. The only major difference is that the prison keeps some doors locked. 

The "humane criminal care" philosophy as applied today is commonly offensive and unacceptable. All the EU Member States have adopted this new criminal philosophy. In EU there is no talk today of justice or punishments when it comes to criminal policy. 

When EU describe its historical battle against the death penalty and its new criminal policy it is tones like these that is heard: "... maintaining capital punishment would not fit the philosophy of rehabilitation pursued in the criminal justice systems of all EU Member States and according to which one of the penological aims of penalties is that of rehabilitating or resocialising the offender ... Maintaining the death penalty would ... bring to light undesirable expiatory features of criminal law. Accordingly, major reform initiatives were carried out, restructuring the criminal sanctions so as to make them more conducive mainly to the rationale of social rehabilitation and reintegration of the offender in the community, simultaneously taking into account the need to ensure the protection of society and to prevent crime, rather than punish it ... As to long-term imprisonment, the present criminal policy in the EU Member States clearly shows a decreasing trust in the resocialising effect of long prison sentences and is moving towards keeping imprisonment to an absolute minimum." EU Memorandum on the Death Penalty, Feb 25, 2000. 

A rather new invention 

This ideology that has as a purpose to see the convicted reinstated and rehabilitated, and – as the idea is – to see they one day as reborn running out like calves on a pasture, happy and nice to everyone, is in a historic perspective a rather new human invention. It is an ideological experiment that probably never have had the support of the majority of the people. We do not believe that the people want the criminal – he who robs, rapes, abuses and kills us – first and foremost to receive the good lollipop of rehabilitation as a sanction. 

We are getting a more and more perverted judicial system if this ideology is allowed to rule, this ideology that says that the milder we treat the criminal the more of a humane judicial system we have. 

When the violent criminal faces the judge the first question should not be: "How can we help and rehabilitate this poor fellow?" The question must once again be: "How can justice be served?" 

One who speaks of humanity towards them who have commited horrible crimes perverts the concept of humanity. It is not the practiser of evil crimes who shall be meet by humanity, but the victims of crime. The perpetrators shall instead be meet by indignation from the righteous society manifested in punishment in due proportion to the evil crimes. It is not humanity when the state governed by law is treating the violent criminals and murderers well, it is unrighteousness, injustice and a depreciation of the victims of crime and the ordinary man. 

A development that must be turned 

That violent criminals and murderers not only are allowed to keep their lives but are met with more and more respect and care means that the State sides with the dark forces in the world. This development must be turned, because when we focus on the victims of crime we see that this trend only leads to a dehumanization of man and a degrading of the human value. This development must, in the light of history, be placed within a darkened parenthesis. A parenthesis that, against the will of the people, had as its object to give the violent criminal and the murderer more and more warm hugs. A parenthesis that meant that one abandoned the eternal and ancient principles of morality and immorality, and of right and wrong. 

The sun of justice is beginning to descend behind the horizon of criminal policy. We live in a time of twilight. The situation today could somewhat be described as the growing friendship between the criminal and the state governed by law. Their common enemy is the common sense of justice, in other words the people’s opinion. People want longer and more severe punishments and many want to use the death penalty. But neither the state governed by law (especially in Western Europe) nor the violent criminal wants any of that. The state governed by law is therefore making an effort to protect the criminal from the will of the people. But would it not be more natural for the state governed by law to be the friend of the people and abandon its growing friendship with the criminal? 

A reformed criminal policy would not lead to the good society. But a criminal policy where justice comes before care would contribute to a safer and more righteous society. Most importantly the citizens will then feel that justice is being honored and respected. And the victims of crime would have a greater value and be focused on. More would also be deterred from committing crimes. And the professional criminals who today constantly are in and out from prisons would not have time to cause as much damage and pain. 

Concerning the victims of crime 

In Chapter 2 (argument 2) we saw that the human value of the victim is in relation to what punishment the violent criminal or murderer receives. But the human value is just as much in relation to the treatment the authority shows its afflicted citizens. We are then forced to see that a person who today is afflicted by a violent criminal is violated three times. First, he is violated by the criminal. Then he is violated by the State that gives the perpetrator a gentle punishment. And then he is violated because of the low compensation and the insufficient care that he receives. The human value and dignity of the victim must therefore be reestablished. Concrete and radical reforms are needed; reforms aimed directly at the victims of crime. 

HUMAN CARE OF THE RELEASED 

In the right context "humane criminal care policy" is of course something good and it lets the State step a few steps up the ladder of civilization. But since this ideology is fairly new on the historical stage it has had as a consequence that the state governed by law has failed to understand how to handle it within the framework of criminal policy. Unfortunately there was a fateful mistake made when those who were responsible more or less kicked justice out and let in the "humane criminal care policy". 

"Humane criminal care policy" will always be a lethal enemy of justice, and vice versa. These two are like oil and water and can never mix. But separate from each other they both fill an irreplaceable function. 

The constant war that has existed between the supporters of the "humane criminal care policy" and the supporters of "justice" must stop. The good path is not black or white. Both parties have ways of thinking that is rightly and both need to give mutual acknowledgment of each other. 

Justice is what must be prioritized and made clear after a verdict, and this is through a punishment. Thereafter comes humanity and that through care. Justice must come first, closely followed by the "humane criminal care". First criminal justice, then criminal care. If the guilty criminal is insane, then care is the only possible verdict. (Exceptions from readjustment and rehabilitation are only those who have been sentence to death or lifetime without parole.) 

No criminal policy or legal theory that excludes care, rehabilitation and readjustment can be accepted. "Humane criminal care" is a beautiful formulation. To be humane is very simply to be good. To be good is to have a warm and tender heart for our fellow human being – who ever it may be. Without goodness there is no existence of a humane society but only a cold and hard society of retribution. A good humane care of the released is therefore an essential part in the striving after the good society. A warm and good humane care of the released also has as a good fruit the lesser extent of relapse crimes. This humane care for the released prisoner must be more extensive and efficient in comparison to how it is within the prison walls today. No released prisoner should be left to his own destiny in the cold winds that blow outside the prison walls, but he should be taken care of and given individual suitable care and rehabilitation. As soon as a person is released he has the right to be met with respect. Every citizen is morally responsible to greet the released person with open and welcoming arms into a warm fellowship without prejudice. A released person is to be viewed as much "non-guilty" as the most irreproachable citizen is. Now it can no longer be about punishment, but only about a loving meeting in exactly the way the individual person needs. The society has a responsibility to see to it that the released person’s soul and body is cared for and healed. These are high ideals and they will cost, but the society must seriously strive towards this goal. Man is worth it and human dignity demands it.

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