Saturday, October 11, 2008

ARE YOU FOR OR AGAINST THE CHILDREN?

CONSIDERED OPINION

By : Mrs. Mary Ann Scrimp-Johnstone, Chairperson, The Decapitation and Dismemberment Association for Child Molesters; Mother of Three

I believe the children are our future. Let them live and let them lead the way.

Do you believe in the children? If you don’t, you should. The children represent our future as a Nation. The children represent all that is good and pure in our society. Innocence lives in the children. And it is our duty to protect that innocence.

Lawmakers understand that we must protect our children in order to protect ourselves. We salute lawmakers who pass laws intended to protect children, even if those laws impact our freedoms as adults. For example, we are willing to restrict our internet usage, speech rights, alcohol consumption and personal expressive conduct if those restrictions are intended to protect our children’s welfare. We are willing to trust the government as long as the government explains that it wants to protect children. Children need our help. And we are prepared to make sacrifices for them.

Despite our willingness to make sacrifices for children, there are those in our society who aim to exploit and injure children. Child molesters abound. These monsters actually take sexual pleasure in touching innocent children. They care nothing for children’s innocence. They only care about their base, perverted lusts. When these monsters touch children, they damage them for life. A molested child may never reach his full potential as an adult, making it impossible for that child to fully contribute to society. To that extent, child molesters touch us all. They wage war on our society.

Child molesters are the worst of the worst. They may not take life, but they warp lives, all for transitory carnal pleasure. Child molesters arouse our deepest outrage as a society. Yet the law prescribes comparatively light penalties for these grave transgressions. Child molesters no longer face the death penalty, and in some cases receive nothing but “probation” and “community psychological treatment” as punishment. At the least, these monsters must register with a central State database as sex offenders. They must tell authorities where they live, whether they intend to move and whether they are employed. They must regularly check in with State authorities and provide current photographs. In turn, these State authorities publish this information on public websites to warn law-abiding citizens and to protect our children.

These measures are insufficient. Although we disagree with the Supreme Court’s recent ruling banning States from executing child molesters, we believe there are adequate alternative methods to express our outrage as a society against these monsters. Dismemberment, for example, is not execution. When child molesters check in for their monthly meeting with State authorities, we can saw off a finger, beginning with the right pinky. At each successive meeting, we will take off another finger, working left toward the left pinky. After the child molester’s fingers are gone, we will begin cutting off his toes, beginning with the right pinky toe. We should follow the same procedure until each molesting toe is gone. Consistent with local child molester reporting statutes, the entire dismemberment procedure should take no longer than 20 months.

Dismemberment performs several essential penal functions that ultimately protect children. First, it prevents child molesters from touching children in the future. A person commonly “touches” another with his hands and fingers. By removing the molester’s fingers, he is incapacitated from touching more children. By removing his toes, the molester is disqualified from resorting to using alternate appendages to commit abuse. Second, dismemberment is a sufficiently painful corporal penalty. The parents of child victims deserve to see molesters in pain. After all, these monsters inflicted unimaginable pain on both the child and his parents. It is only right that the molester, too, should writhe in agony. Third, dismemberment reinforces the sex offender database’s identification function. When citizens begin seeing more and more fingerless and toeless men, they will know that they are child molesters. The penalty will act as a modern-day “scarlet letter” that displays the molester for all to see. This not only acts as punishment for the individual molester, but it also warns potential molesters what fate awaits them should they dare to touch a child. Lastly, it is only just that molesters bear perpetual social scorn in public.

Some may say that dismemberment is unduly cruel. Cruelty is in the eye of the beholder, but one thing is certain: The children must be protected. As a society, we must weigh means against ends. Defending our children is the most compelling goal imaginable. To that extent, virtually any means are authorized to achieve it. We already tolerate abridgments on our constitutional liberties in order to protect children. Should we then shrink from inflicting pain on criminals for the same purpose? Certainly restricting our own freedoms is more significant than hurting a convicted felon.

From a legal perspective, dismemberment for child molesters is not “cruel and unusual punishment” under the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We fully agree with the Supreme Court’s analysis that a State-ordered punishment is not “cruel and unusual” unless it is motivated by a desire to inflict excessive pain. We are the first to say that we are not motivated by a desire to inflict pain on the molester. Our sole motivation is to protect our children. Thus—from a legal perspective—dismemberment is not cruel and unusual. We are simply following the Supreme Court’s wise verbal formulation.

At the end of the day, we must ask ourselves: “Are we for or against the children?” We indicate our worth as citizens when we answer this question. There is only one correct answer: We must be for the children. We must not shrink from any means necessary to ensure that our children lead safe, happy lives. Dismembering molesters may appear “cruel,” but are we not entitled to protect our children? When we consider the advantages to be gained from dismembering convicted molesters, the answer is obviously “yes.” By touching a child, a molester cedes his right to invoke our society’s compassion. We must not even begin to show understanding to molesters. Because when the children prevail, so do we. Let us do what we must to defend our posterity.

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