I just finished reading the second book in the Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay and all I can say is.. WOW.
This is some amazing writing. I can’t even begin to describe it to you – all I can say is get the book and savor it for yourself. It is unlike anything I have ever read before. I don’t even know what “genre” one would place these books in. There’s a serial killer which would usually mean the crime fiction area.. but I have never read a crime fiction book that had me laughing out loud so regularly. Seriously laughing out loud.
The best part is that as far as I can see, the book only has one thing in common with season two of the TV show – Doakes is tailing Dexter. The book and the TV series do not collide and implode – they go their own way.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Dexter character and also the Dexter TV series, Dexter is a serial killer who only kills other serial killers. He has a “code” – a set of rules – that he follows when choosing a victim and one of those rules is that he must have actual proof that they are killing people.
But unlike our justice system, he does not follow the rules about how he collects that proof – he breaks into houses if necessary, he does what he needs to do in order to find out the truth to his satisfaction.
For me it raises a series of interesting moral questions that I’m asking myself – and I thought why just ask me, why not ask ya’all too? So every day this week I will be putting a question out there for thought and discussion.
The first question I have is –
What do you think about our justice system?
Here are my thoughts – I think that the justice system (both in Australia and from what I can see in the USA) is bloated, slow and unfair. I think that sentencing is too lenient. I think that unless we have decent mandatory minimum sentences you cannot expect the justice system to be a deterrent. I think that when you have such an abysmal juvenile justice system (where punishment tends to be a slap on the wrist even for unspeakable offences) you cannot expect the justice system to be a deterrent.
I think that judges do not take their responsibilities seriously. They are there to judge the offender for the crime they committed, not to lessen and minimise and try to make excuses for what they have done. They are NOT there to judge the victim – as often happens in rape cases.
As it stands now, kids who find themselves in the justice system early on in life find out that it is a game and they can play it without any real risk to their freedom. Until they are old enough to be sentenced as an Adult, they break the law as much as they want without being too concerned about the consequences. Then, when they are old enough to be sentenced as an adult, they are in the habit of breaking the law and usually not getting caught, so they just keep doing it.
I think you have to teach them the lessons early to avoid problems later. I think harsh sentencing when they are kids would be a better option – but the sentencing should be focused around providing them with role models and discipline and positives rather than negatives. Boot camp always seems to work fairly well but I would like to see some options that give kids a way to express their anger and frustration in other ways – what about art – drama – music camps? I think it is time to get creative in how we solve the problems instead of thinking locking people up is always the way to go.
If a kid has a teacher who believes in them, who inspires them, that can often be the ticket to getting themselves out of a bad situation. We need to provide those inspirational teachers to the kids who most need them.
What are your thoughts on the justice system?
The comments section is open, so let me know what you think! :)