Look Out Old Draco Is Back

11 Jun

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.

4 Responses to “Look Out Old Draco Is Back”

  1. RAB June 11, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    In our society it seems that money is the only thing that matters anymore, so making some money for the People (aka government coffers) and at the same time taking some money away from the bad people (aka criminals, no matter what color the collar) is definitely WIN-WIN!

  2. A Voice June 11, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    The United States is really remarkable in its rhetoric, in both where it lay and to what extent.

    This country is supposed to be a meritocracy, yet even the most cursory glances demonstrate how untrue any such statement happens to be. Notions of starting over, second chances, are also to be wholly abandoned despite them being touted…but, then again, perhaps you only get to start over if your mistake is as inane as accidentally drawing an extra letter from the bag in Scrabble and not telling anyone. Yet another is the importance of education when our governmental leaders act and legislate as though it is of less importance than naming a Post Office in the name of a late senator.

    This country needs to be ideologically torn down and rebuilt. The image we project to other countries, the image we project to our own citizens…it’s appalling.

  3. W E Patterson June 12, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

    While I find Chad Johnson’s courtroom antics childish and disrespectful, it seems that the laughter brought about by the fanny whack (that Johnson bestowed upon his male attorney), was what really pissed off Judge Kathleen McHugh. If that is the case, there were many participants in that courtroom dis’ – some of them members of law enforcement, who seemed to be laughing right along with everyone else. To me it seems like the outburst was what caused the Judge to do a turnabout on Ochocinco’s plea deal and sentence him to 30 days in the can (30 days he is unlikely to serve). In any case maybe Chad can use the ‘down-time’ to reflect on the fact that it is not a good idea to lay his hands on another person (male, or female) when appearing before a judge whose specialty is hearing domestic abuse cases.

  4. avwalters June 12, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    Great post. A lovely frolic in ancient history–combined with an interesting commentary on the nature of punishment. In this country, though, if the courts don’t teach you manners, who will?

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