Thursday, July 26, 2007

Moby #2

“2 It horrifies me that we allow prisoners to be treated so poorly. If someone is found guilty of committing a crime then we as a society have given ourselves the right to punish them by locking them up. But we also acknowledge that even someone convicted of committing a crime retains some basic civil rights. Unfortunately our prisons (especially here in the U.S.) are places where people’s basic rights are trampled on pretty much as a matter of course. Prisoners shouldn’t have to fear rape, abuse & murder while they’re incarcerated. A civilized nation should concern itself with protecting and maintaining the rights of all of its citizens, be they prisoners or not. A prisoner should be able to pay their debt to society with ample, constitutionally guaranteed, protection from harm. And while I’m getting worked up about the rights of prisoners, let me take a minute to point our the utter absurdity of consensual crimes in a supposedly free society. How can we justify locking people up for committing actions that have no demonstrable repercussions to anyone else? If someone’s actions compromise the rights or will of another individual, then fine, punish them. But if someone’s actions don’t affect anyone other than the person committing the actions, then what business is it of the state’s? I’m specifically referring to drug use. I don’t use drugs, and I think that drugs can be terribly destructive and dangerous, but I don’t see how the state can arrest an adult for doing something to their own body. An enlightened state should warn its citizens about dangerous activities, but it shouldn’t be allowed to lock people up for doing things to themselves. I do not want any government making decisions regarding what I can put in to or do to my body. An individual’s own body is not the jurisdiction for the state. Although we may find suicide, drug use, abortion, self-mutilation, etc, abhorrent, we cannot as an enlightened society make criminals of people that do these things to themselves, so long as their actions don’t compromise our rights. Because we find something distasteful is not justification enough for us to deem it criminal.”

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