This is what I was talking about.

Discussion in '2006 Archive' started by Pastor Larry, Oct 28, 2006.

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  1. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    This week, on a thread on Skilling's prison sentence, I commented that it was unfortunate that we had such misplaced values, as illustrated by Skillings sentence when compared to those of murderers, drug dealers, rapists, and child molesters. I was attacked by some (who apparently failed to actually read the comments) about being uncaring and unconcerned. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

    Here is my concern: Immigrant who drove wrong way gets 13 years in fatal DWI crash

    Here is a guy, illegal and drunk, who takes a life and gets half the time of Skilling who took nobody's life.

    This is what is wrong in our society. We too often value money a whole lot more than we value life. We see it in the decision to abort babies because they will inconvenience our lifestyle and cost money. We see it in the decision to support or allow abortion because it will cost campaign contributions and votes. We see it in our responses to prison sentences.

    Those harmed by Skilling's apparent crimes will still see their children everyday. They will watch them grow up, marry, and have children. The family of Min Chang will not. And in 13 years, Jorge will have his life and freedom back, after living on the backs of American taxpayers.

    He was deported 17 times between 1996 and 2000, and kept coming back. We need tougher laws, and tougher judges.

    (And remember, I am not saying Skilling should have less. I am saying Jorge should have more. He should be put to death for willfullly taking another life. But I would be satisfied with a life sentence at hard labor.)
     
    #1 Pastor Larry, Oct 28, 2006
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  2. saturneptune

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    The differences in sentences is a function of the different state laws. Kentucky is under no obligation to follow the guidelines of Michigan, and vice versa. It is comparing apples or oranges. Then there are fedreal charges which has a different set of standards. If you think there is an unfairness in Michigan's laws, then you can lobby your lawmakers to change the law, or vote them out. Short of that, you could move to a state with more strict sentences than Michigan for a given crime, which I am going to guess is most of them to the south and west.
     
  3. Daisy

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    Nothing in the linked article said that Soto "wilfully" took Chang's life; it appears to be a drunken accident. The drunkeness and the driving were wilful, but it doesn't appear that the death was.

    This actually reflects a good change in our society - twenty years ago, being impaired by alcohol was considered a legitimate excuse for vehicular manslaughter. Thirteen years may not seem like a lot, but it's not nothing.
     
  4. Not_hard_to_find

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    Daisy and I agree on this one -- it's a comparison of apples and oranges. Skillings continued multiple wilful acts intended to specifically defraud. Soto wilfully acted, too, but with no intention to take another's life. Both were convicted under current law and sentenced.

    If the law or the sentence appears incorrect, there are processes in place to change them. Work to do so.
     
  5. El_Guero

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    good post!

     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    He willfully drank and got behind a car and that means whatever happens was willful. I can't see anyway to mitigate that. When you act irresponsibly, you are willfully choosing whatever consequences come. The fact that you did not intend to does not mean you were unwilling. Had he been unwilling, he would never have gotten behind the will. There is no excuse for this. Thirteen is not nothing, to be sure. But it is paltry in the face of an 18 year old that did not live to be 19.

    I realize different states have different laws. My point is not about state laws, but about relative values that we place on crimes.

    It is true that this is apples and oranges. What this drunk driver did was infinitely worse than what Skillings did. But he will be free in 13 years. Skillings will have another 12. And Chang will still be dead.
     
  7. El_Guero

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    True . . . but, they didn't charge him or miliken for all of the people that commit suicide or die from diseases that they cannot afford to have doctors fix . . .

    . . . so, while I agree that his sentence for vehicular murder is light - I must disagree with skillings sentence being enough to make up for the calamity that he caused.
     
  8. Rufus_1611

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    The entire system is wicked as I can not find a Biblical argument for incarceration for any crime. In my opinion, it should not come as a surprise that the sentencing is wicked when the very foundation is wicked.
     
  9. Not_hard_to_find

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    Stoning, yes; incarceration, no?
     
  10. Rufus_1611

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    Biblical...
    1 - Cities of Refuge
    2 - Restitution
    3 - Corporal Punishment
    4 - Capital Punishment

    ExtraBiblical...
    1 - Incarceration
     
  11. Pastor Larry

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    Under the law, you can't charge someone with that. You can't even show that it actually happened anyway. But if people committed suicide, that is a tragedy. I don't know of any who did. But even at that, it underlines my original point that we are way too concerned about money. It is sad that someone has such a low view of life that they would take it for money, whether in crime against someone else, or their own life. Isn't life more important than money?

    I don't think sentences are about making up for anything. They are not about restitution or reclamation. They are to be about retribution.

    And having said that, again, remember that I am not saying Skilling should get less.

    Eternity in hell is a biblical basis for incarceration. They will never be paroled or pardoned from there.

    Seriously, this is silly. There is no biblical argument for the internet or fora such as this. But that doesn't make them wicked. Furthermore, the existence of punishment for crime is clear in Scripture.
     
    #11 Pastor Larry, Oct 28, 2006
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  12. El_Guero

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    gotta love biblical versus non-biblical . . . guess we gotta get rid of car, tv's, planes, fish tanks, and probably clothes . . . go back to fig leaves and lion skins . . .
     
  13. Rufus_1611

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    I would equate Hell as being a spiritual death penalty rather than eternal incarceration.

    Rude.

    Certainly punishment for crime is clear in scripture. What is also clear is what that punishment should be. When we comply with God's commands we are walking righteously, things that are outside of His commands are wicked. Save for awaiting trial, there is no argument for incarceration. However, you're a pastor, perhaps you would do me the favor of starting a thread (so we don't hijack this one) explaining all of the scripture commanding that we incarcerate criminals?
     
  14. Rufus_1611

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    We're talking about crime and punishment, topics that are well within the realm of Biblical instruction.
     
  15. Daisy

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    No, it doesn't. It means criminal neglect, that he set up conditions and allowed it to happen, caused it to happen, but didn't mean for it to happen. It's not a minor point.

    No, I think there should be a distinction between what he did and those who deliberately run someone over or deliberately cause a fatal crash. I really believe the punishment should be harsher for those who intend to kill.

    And it's an interesting, valid point.

    Skillings' sentence will probably be lessened. He was convicted under a new law that is still being sorted out.
     
  16. Terry_Herrington

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    Biblical...
    1 - spoiled meat
    2 - candles
    3 - unbearable heat
    4 - donkeys

    ExtraBiblical...
    1 - refrigeration
    2 - electic lights
    3 - air conditioning
    4 - automobiles
     
  17. Pastor Larry

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    Of course you would since it helps your position. But they are already spiritually dead. They are born that way. Usually, incarcerated is when you are locked up in a place of punishment for crimes you have done. That is exactly what hell is.
    No, not really.

    It is clear what the punishment should be in Israel under the Law. We are not in Israel, and we are not under the Law.

    That would be a short thread since there is none. Perhaps you can start one explaining all the Scripture commanding you to be against incarceration? (Then you can see how silly this line of argument is, theologically and biblically). You do a great many things that God did not command, like participate in an internet forum. For you to be against incarceration because "God did't command it" makes no sense. I thought you were kidding when you said this originally. It appears that you are not.

    God has left certain things up to people and nations. Some punishments and the way they are carried out is one of them. We are commanded to pursue capital punishment for murder. Other things show the principle of just retribution and repayment. But the specifics are not commanded. Therefore, to practice something that God has no spoken about is perfectly legitimate.
     
    #17 Pastor Larry, Oct 29, 2006
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  18. Pastor Larry

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    I don’t think “meaning for it to happen” is the key here. He did not mean for it not to happen. He willfully and intentionally placed other people in harm’s way, and the actions were willful and intentional.

    If this were truly an accident, I agree. But when you impair yourself and blow a 24, and then get behind the wheel, that is intentionally putting others in danger.

    I think one of the main things is the relative value of life. In the abortion debate, we are quick to point out that abortion is not okay in cases of rape or incest. A person does not deserve to die because their dad was a bad man. The same principle is true here. Chang’s death is not less of a murder because it the driver was impaired. He knew or should have known that what he did woul lead to what happened. And he did nothing to prevent it. That seems willful to me.

    It will be interesting to see what happens.
     
  19. Pipedude

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    Rufus has a point, and y'all are totally overlooking it. Crime and punishment are, indeed, scriptural topics. God's law proceeded from his character. There is much to learn from the OT. To pooh-pooh Rufus's claim is intellectually illegitimate.

    Imprisoning a person is not some modern insight into sociological wisdom. Men have always known how imprison others. Yet, for some reason, God never told Israel to use such measures against the perennial problem of crime in society. (Holding a man until punishment could be meted out, which did occur in Scripture, is another matter.)

    It is a dispute for another thread, but it is a dispute all the same. For you to ridicule his point as though that were all you had to offer says a lot for the strength of Rufus's position.
     
  20. saturneptune

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    Pastor Larry,
    If you are going to compare two criminal cases that show an obvious injustice, why not use the same court, or at least the same state laws?
     
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