Tuesday, January 16, 2007

"Bike Path" Suspect in Custody

It's not truly a Southern Tier story, but news out of Buffalo is that a person has been detained in connection with the well-publicized attacks.

To take the opportunity to ponder for a moment, what do you do with a convict (assuming this is the guy and he's found guilty) in middle to late-middle age? Do you put him in the pen with 18, 22, 28 year old toughs? Does he spend the rest of his life in solitary? Once he's locked up, what about when he needs a hip replacement in ten years, angioplasty in fifteen or develops dementia in 30?

There's certainly a strong emotional and economic argument behind a "lock them up and throw away the key" sort of mentality. However, the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment alone would seem to indicate you can't deny necessary medical care solely because someone is a prisoner. So, if he's too infirm to repeat at 75, do you cut him loose so it's a Medicaid issue and not coming out of the prison budget?

There aren't answers, as far as I'm concerned, but only an infinite array of increasingly complicated questions filled with shades of grey.


Anonymous Jenny McCann said...

I don't know that I care what they do with him, once he is convicted, if he is the rapist/murderer. I believe in our rights and our Constitution. Yet, why does a person convicted of heinous crimes deserve better than his victims?

I don't mean to go all Old Testament on the world, and forget the lessons of the New Testament. At least I can take solice in the fact that I am neither God nor Jesus, but a human who was given free will. Sometimes the free will in me cries out, "fry that SOB, fry him!"

12:26 PM  

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