Monday, December 15, 2008



Do you notice that society is becoming less tolerant? That punishments and penalties are becoming harsher and more stringent? In the US, some States have adopted the so-called "Three Strikes and you're out!" law. When a convicted felon -- who has been punished and has served time in prison -- is charged with a third felony crime -- no matter how minor this third crime is -- like say, stealing a slice of pepperoni pizza from a group of children, on the third sentencing, he is going to get 25 years to life in prison.

When a society is intolerant, doesn't that mean that it has already lost patience with people who are not following the norm?

This intolerance is not just in the justice and criminal systems. But it is also prevalent in the private sector. It is also, being applied in the education, sports and all other sectors of society. In most K-12 schools in the US, the "one strike and you're out" rule are now becoming the norm.

Society are now more concern and give importance to rules, more than to human concerns. Forgetting totally, that these rules were supposedly formulated to benefit the human being. Take for example, that high school student who was barred from attending his graduation ball party right there at the ball entrance, because he was dressed as a girl. This was his only chance to be part of this very important and traditional event -- to be happy and to enjoy the great occasion with his friends, but instead, he is forever scarred from this experience. This young boy IS that human being.

Why is it that a young black man caught stealing a pack cigarettes and some bottles of beer for his third felony conviction can get a life sentence, while a financial magnate who run away with 50 billion dollars -- some of these from pension funds of old people are not even brought to court to face charges?


Some unusual scenarios have arisen, particularly in California — the state punishes shoplifting and similar crimes involving over $500 in property as felony petty theft if the person who committed the crime has a prior conviction for any form of theft, including robbery or burglary. As a result, some defendants have been given sentences of 25 years to life in prison for such crimes as shoplifting golf clubs (Gary Ewing, previous strikes for burglary and robbery with a knife), nine videotapes (Leandro Andrade, received double sentence of 25 year-to-life for 2 counts of shoplifting), or, along with a violent assault, a slice of pepperoni pizza from a group of children (Jerry Dewayne Williams, four previous non-violent felonies, sentence later reduced to six years).

In one particularly notorious case, Kevin Weber was sentenced to 26 years to life for the crime of stealing four chocolate chip cookies (previous strikes of burglary and assault with a deadly weapon).[9] --