Thursday, October 27, 2005
Hats off to Congress, the House of Representatives has conceived an idea that is worthy of kudos. To be more precise revived is a better word. It isn’t a new idea; in fact it is quite old. It is that of second chances.
While their concept is indeed praiseworthy, the House’s application leaves much to be desired. In fact it is probably unconstitutional and definitely immoral. Secretly attached to the House version of the bill that updates the Patriot Act is a little codicil that allows the government extra chances to implement the death penalty. If after a guilty verdict in a trial that allows the death penalty the jury is not unanimous in prohibiting it, the new law would allow the government to convene another sentencing jury to try again. So even if the vote was 11-1 in favor of life in prison the prosecution could still try for the death penalty by empanelling a new jury in the sentencing aspect of the case.
Despite the fact that this particular way of implementing the idea is cruel and inhuman the concept of second chances should not be discarded. Off hand I can immediately think of one instance where it would be of great benefit to the nation. Congress should vote to put it in use for all Federal and Congressional elections. The way to do this would be to add the category (candidate) ‘None of the above’ for every Federal and Congressional office being contested. If ‘none of the above’ received more votes than any candidate then a new election with all new candidates would have to be held. If this law were already in place just think how much better off we would be today.
Now there are those who say that this would not guarantee a better set of candidates. I agree, but does anyone think that they could possibly be any worse.
The Bush Credo - No Sacrifice Is Too Great For Others To Make.
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