Is 24 years enough?

October 28th, 2006

I’m sitting in Caribou Coffee Shop in Lake Geneva on a beautiful Saturday afternoon (I love free wireless internet in coffee shops). While surfing the Internet, I found an interesting article I thought I’d blog about.

The article I linked above focuses on Jeffrey Skilling, one of the executives of Enron. Recall Enron at one time was a top 10 company in the US and worth billions. However, some time ago, the company went bankrupt and lost approximately 1 billion in retirement assets for all its employees. Imagine you work all your life at a company only to lose your retirement a couple of years from retirement because a couple of executives “cook the books.”

Both Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling had been in trial for some time although Lay’s trial was dismissed, as he died of a major heart attack (now that sucks for the victims). Skilling was only recently found guilty of 18 counts of white collar crime (i think it was fraud-type charges). So what do you think, did the punishment fit the crime?

Maybe Prison isn’t that bad…

October 22nd, 2006

Good morning. It’s a really nasty Sunday morning here in the Bay. It’s cold, rainy and windy. I can take (and actually enjoy) the cold, but rain sucks. And wind just makes outdoor activity impossible.

I found a short interesting article this morning on CNN’s website. The article tells of a 59-year old man who has apparently twice rejected being paroled in Germany. Yes, you heard me correctly. German officials have twice offered him parole and he has twice (presently and back in 1992) refused. Apparently, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to Life in Prison (with the possibility of parole). He’s spent 34 years locked up. What’s up with that? Maybe prison life isn’t that bad…what do you think?

Is there an inmate for you?

October 15th, 2006

So, I’m sitting here in “The Bay” on Sunday just chillin with the familiy and watching the New Orlean Saints beat the Ealgles. Wouldn’t it be neat to see the Saints win the Super Bowl this year?

Anyway, back to the blog. I found this interesting website on the Internet that allow users to connect with female prisoners. Click HERE to check it out.

What do you think of this idea? I must admit I’m not sure how I feel about it. Let me know.

Another Saturday Chat…

October 7th, 2006

Good morning! We finally have a Saturday filled with blue skies and nice temperatures-yes. My wife and I (and our mutts) are going to UWW to watch some sporting events this afternoon. We plan to take in some men’s’ lacrosse and women’s’ tennis. I used to play a mean game of tennis many years (and pounds) ago. I still hit the ball ’round, but at a much slower pace and with a bit less consistency. Anyway, enough about me…

More school violence, what’s up with that? This has really been a bad couple of weeks for our educational institutions, hasn’t it? I read an article this week (about 3pages) that I think is appropriate for our blog. Click here to read it.

The Amish are an interesting people. In my humble opinion, their culture provides one with some interesting lessons for life. Much of our society reacts with hate to crime. Communities tend to uncoil with questions of mistakes and negligence that result in finger-pointing campaigns, more police officers, metal detectors, etc. I wonder if all this helps.

Don’t misunderstand I might very well be one of those persons spewing hate if my children had been executed. And I certainly have no way of comparing the emotional loss these individuals are going through. Still, we do choose the emotional reactions we have and this article brings to light a unique and less often seen reaction of forgiveness and love for fellow man-even the perpetrators.

I’d urge you to read this article, as it really contains some alternative concepts for criminal justice values. Most of society will write this off as another quirky trait of a society that is simply out of touch with reality. As a sociologist, I believe this type of attitude is severely short-sided and wrong-headed. We will talk about a concept in the coming days (restorative justice and peacemaking criminology) that addresses some of these reactions. Anyway, what do you think?

It’s Saturday evening, check out this additional story about the Amish by clicking here