The Rights of the Guilty

September 23rd, 2022 by admin Leave a reply »

When philosophers and social critics speak of justice, there is always a great emphasis spoken about protecting the public by imprisoning those who pose a harm to the public. Then, with observations upon the mechanics of society, these philosophers sought out not only to defend the public, but to defend those accused by the public. To simply imprison a man or woman on a crime was not enough. Individuals who have been accused of crimes must be allowed to face their accusers. Before anyone is imprisoned, they must be convicted by a jury of peers, based on evidence. Every person is innocent until proven guilty, and the idea of “guilt until proven innocent” is a cruel, foolish idea that must be disbanded altogether. These basic premises have been created to defend those who are accused, the public, the society, and, in general, those who are innocent and deserving of protection. All so often, there is a defense of the rights of the innocent, whether it is the public or the unproven accused. What, however, often seems lacking from these theories of justice are the rights of the guilty.

I have heard so many stories of people who allow their darkest memories to overtake their compassions. I have heard confessions of men and women who allowed their passions to become sick and twisted before they became humane and kind. “Those men who are guilty of rape,Guest Posting” I have heard, “Should be tortured. They should have their testicles removed and they should be murdered, and then brought back to life to be killed again.” I have heard such cruel stories of torture, brutality, and inhumanity that should be, or was, given to the guilty. Passionate mothers speaking about the potential brutalities that should be given to pedophiles. Impassionate conservatives speaking about the long and violent prison sentences that should be given to drug dealers and users. When a person has their son, daughter, spouse, lover, mother, or father murdered, they sometimes make a plea that the guilty should be tortured to death — while other times, their passion is expressed in a beautiful manner, and they make plea of society to be just, generous, and fair. When I speak of the rights of the guilty, I am not talking about those wrongly convicted of guilt, or those potentially convicted on unfair grounds. I am speaking of those who have, by all our understanding and reasoning, committed the crimes that they did — the truly guilty. It is within this essay that I shall make an attempt to defend the rights of those who have broken our laws.

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