Pubdate: Sat, 23 Aug 2003
Source: Beaufort Gazette, The (SC)
Copyright: 2003 The Beaufort Gazette
Author: Terry Taylor
Bookmark: (Incarceration)


Officials everywhere are concerned about the growing prison population and
lack of jail space. I would like to propose a just and feasible solution.
There are three categories of people in prison: Those who have violated
another person, those who have violated another person's property and those
who have done neither.

In America, each person has the right to his own life and his own property.
Rightfully, it is a crime if another person violates either of those rights.

Robbing a man of his property or taking him hostage are clear violations,
whether done in a violent or "non-violent" manner.

If a man has neither violated a person or his property, he has committed no

Yet our prisons are full of American citizens who possessed something that
was politically incorrect or did something that was religiously incorrect or
stepped on something that was environmentally incorrect.

These inmates, to America's shame, are political prisoners. They have harmed
no person or his property. If they were released, they would pose no threat
to the individuals that make up our society.

As Americans, we each get to choose how to live our lives, and we recognize
the right of others to do the same. We do not have to agree or disagree with
the majority or the political/religious "in" group, or the cultural fads of
the times in order to preserve our rights.

To honor this fact, we should delay no longer the release of our political
prisoners and the eradication of victimless crime laws. By doing this, we
can achieve both justice for innocent prisoners and more than enough space
for the true criminals of our society.

Terry Taylor,

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