If there is one issue in the United States that seems even more divisive than gun control and abortion, it seems to be whether or not the death penalty is a suitable punishment for wrongdoers. Yet, it is also the arena of major cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, we have protests against applying the death penalty to men who may have been sentenced or convicted based on racial prejudice (or even just wrongly convicted in general). On the other hand, we have screeching demands for the immediate execution and/or torture of those who have been involved in incidents of racism. There’s one defining factor behind all this: passion.
Passion and all the vested interests can completely flip someone’s view of the death penalty. But here’s the thing: Historically, the death penalty has been applied far more rampantly, and yet it rarely involved the passion, persuasion, or ideology of those calling for it.
In Ancient Greece, around the 7th century B.C., lived a man named Draco; he’s the first Lawgiver for whom we have records. During that era, basic laws were not codified in a constitution; they were essentially oral traditions, often based on prior blood feuds. What Draco did was write them down and apply a series of punishments for crimes.
He set up this legal system during the 39th Olympiad, about 622-621 B.C.
There are two reasons we know of this today: first, the severity of the punishments he prescribed, and, second, the establishment of a system that allowed people to appeal to a council if they believed the laws were applied unjustly. Is it any coincidence that Draco’s image holds a prominent place in the U.S. Supreme Court library?
Yet, it is certainly the punishments that have echoed through the ages. You see, Draco saw fit to punish pretty much all crimes with the death penalty. From what we would today consider petty crimes, such as stealing a cabbage, all the way to murder, the laws he codified demanded that the guilty party be executed.
The Greek historian Plutarch wrote of Draco and his merciless laws:
“It was a lot for himself, when asked why he had fixed the punishment of death for most offenses, answered that he considered these lesser crimes to deserve it, and he had no greater punishment for more important ones.”
It is from his very name, Draco, that we still retain the term Draconian to describe unjustly harsh punishments or laws.
This severity, despite the linguistic holdover, didn’t last long. In fact, in the early 6th century B.C., the punishments were almost entirely repealed by Solon, arguably the father of Athenian democracy. All except the penalty for murder.
We look around today, and what we see is arbitrary demands for punishment. For example, in the wake of the two mass shootings — one in El Paso, TX, and one in Dayton, OH — we had President Trump calling for the death penalty and much of the left NOT opposing it. Yet, the same more liberal guys and gals have gone on record talking about how the death penalty is unjust. Why the discordance?
It seems that perhaps moralism — false, forced, or otherwise — is taking the front seat in this debate. Because at least one of the shooters’ motivations contained a racial element, the supposedly morally superior left-leaners have no issues asking for that murderer to be strung up. How is it that the motivation for a crime has become more important than the crime itself?
Let’s look at the U.K. for a moment. The United Kingdom has the oldest continuous parliamentary system in the world. In fact, it’s known as the Mother of all Parliaments. The British constitution is not written in a single document but rather is a collection of precedents and laws that together make — what some believe to be — the most fair and judicious legal system in the world.
But let’s have a look at how imperfect moralizing has played out in reality. I want to describe two cases to you that took place between 2014 and 2016, and then let you decide to which you would apply the harsher punishment.
In the first case, a man left a bacon sandwich outside a mosque. In the second, an Islamic teacher repeatedly molested an 11-year-old girl while teaching her the Koran. One of these men received a year in prison (and was found dead in his cell after six months), and the other was not imprisoned because (according to the judge) his wife would struggle if he was away because of her lack of English-language skills.
I’ll let you figure out which crime was deemed more worthy of punishment in the eyes of British law. This was a case of applying the law differently due to the brute evil that masks itself as a politically correct culture.
But let’s look back to Draco: Was his codification of the law really just blind justice as he no doubt intended? Well, no. You see, the law, for some crimes, was applied differently depending on the status of the individual. If an individual owed money to a person of a higher position, the debtor would be forced into slavery. However, if the person owing money was of a higher status, the sentence was far more lenient. This shows the division in how the law was applied to those of status.
We have another modern example of this discrepancy in oh-so-tolerant modern Britain.
A pro-Brexit demonstrator was dragged through the courts for calling a member of Parliament a Nazi and a traitor. The unlucky individual finally received a suspended sentence, which will hang over his head for a long, long time. Yet, the leading left/liberal U.K. newspaper, The Guardian, ran a headline: Would Nigel Farage be Hitler or Stalin in Brexit ‘non-aggression pact’?
Members of Parliament, politicians, and journalists who do not support Brexit have called those who voted for Brexit Nazis, racists, even “murderers” for supporting a democratic vote. Yet they faced no censure.
It seems apparent that the new morality that overrides hundreds of years of law, constitutions, and plain decency has been scrapped in favor of a venomous globalism that seeks to impose a new cultural regime on the free people of the world.
Draco was not right. He was too harsh, and he applied the law unfairly for those in positions of power. And these modern politicians, they are not right, either. They seek to punish crimes differently based upon a new code of P.C. honor that ensures they appear morally righteous and virtuous. They care not that people are being imprisoned unfairly; they care not for their supposed virtue. Just look at Kamala Harris seeking to be a judicial reform V.P. despite sending hundreds to prison when she was the attorney general of California. They are vampires that seek to suck the lifeblood out of society.
Lady Justice was once famed for being blind; it was this level playing field that allowed people to trust that society’s laws were fair. But she is blind no longer, and perhaps she never was. Maybe she was always just tricking us, peeking out from underneath her blindfold.
Read more from Mark Angelides.
Liberty Nation Today:
BREAKING: McCarthy Speakership Falls - The Office of Speaker of the House is now vacant. - Read Now!
NASA’s Climate Change Metrics Need Fixing - Loving your lawn comes with an expensive but unseen cost. - Read Now!
Matt Gaetz Makes His Move on McCarthy - The House begins a precarious game. - Read Now!
Trump Defiant in New York Fraud Trial - The former president makes his Manhattan appearance a campaign stop. - Read Now!
Hunter Biden to Face the Music on Gun Charges - A bid for preferential treatment was shot down by the judge. - Read Now!