Former NFL receiver Chad Johnson AKA Chad Ochocinco AKA Chad Johnson was sentenced to 30 days in jail for apparently slapping his attorney on the butt for helping him avoid jail time with a plea deal in a Florida courtroom. However, when everyone in the court room started laughing the judge took offense, accused Mr. Johnson of not taking the proceedings seriously, nullified the plea agreement and sent Mr. Johnson off to jail for 30 days.
Apparently last August, Johnson pleaded no contest to a domestic violence charge after he allegedly head-butted his then-wife during an argument, then in May Johnson was arrested for failing to meet with his probation officer, which led to his courtroom appearance this June.
Now, I do not advocate domestic violence nor do I think it should be taken lightly and certainly avoiding one’s probation officer is not an action that I would recommend…but wouldn’t a nation that already spends over 40 thousand dollars apiece per year on the incarceration of over 2.2 million citizens be doing itself and its fiscal health a favor by trying to help keep citizens out of jail rather than in? .
It is said that Draco was the first legislator of Athens in Ancient Greece…and that he replaced the prevailing system of oral law and blood feud with a written code to be enforced only by a court. Unfortunately Draco’s laws were particularly harsh and often unfair. However, under Draco’s laws The death penalty was the punishment for even minor offences and when asked about this he supposedly replied “that he considered these lesser crimes to deserve it, and he had no greater punishment for more important ones.” So death was the order of the day.
But I certainly don’t advocate the death penalty for our prison overflow. It’s too expensive for one thing, cruel and unusual for another and too Draconian even for the 21st century…But Why do we need so many prisons and prisoners in the United States in the first place? Why is punishment becoming our national pastime? Isn’t this too draconian too…especially for the U.S. (of all countries) here in the 21st century?
And now that we have the NSA listening in on anything and everything and anybody and everybody where are we going to go from here?
Why not just fine people who break laws…nice big hefty fines? Let’s just send them home so they can go back to work and then garnish their paychecks. Make them take out a nice hefty government loan at a lofty percentage rate…like we do with our law abiding students…or force them to use a high interest government credit card…like most of us do with our regular bank credit cards… or make them pay a special criminal tax rate…or something along those lines.
We could fine the NFL for not teaching Chad Whatshisname the meaning of respect while cavorting around NFL endzones in disrespect of NFL law. How about garnishing one of Dick Cheney’s hefty paychecks for bringing back the draconian practice of water boarding? Or a special tax on President Bush for not finding that evidence that sent us to war for 10 years and 3 trillion dollars. Or taxing President Obama at an especially high rate for all of those draconian killer drones that he likes to use so much.
I’m just saying…couldn’t we use the money more than we can use the prisoners? Let’s start fining our lawbreakers and wrongdoers and use the money to pay down our debts. The Schadenfreude that comes from our draconian application of punishment for our criminals may make us feel good but it doesn’t pay any bills…it just creates a great big pile of new ones…which I believe will just bury us all in the end…which I suppose would probably make Draco proud.