Saturday, January 14, 2006

Justice of Brian

Roger Ailes was a bit confused by a lesser Cornerite named John J. Miller who suggested that it’s “probably a much bigger problem” that guilty people in prison claim to be innocent when they’re not; compared with innocent people who go to prison.  And I’ll admit that I was a bit confused at first myself.  Frankly, I couldn’t figure out how it was any problem at all what a guilty person was claiming, as long as they’re being punished.  Yet Miller is telling us that it might be a “much bigger problem”.  But then it came to me, and now I’m a believer.

You see, Miller is obviously expressing a preference for the Honor System of justice, whereby people simply proclaim their guilt or innocence, and we base our punishment or lack thereof on that proclamation.  I think the Romans used such a system, according to a Monty Python docudrama I once saw regarding a contemporary of Jesus, named Brian.  I'm sure that's where Miller got the idea.  So the "much bigger problem" is that we can't trust people to proclaim their guilt, as too many of them say they're innocent when they’re not.  And so we have these expensive trials just to separate the honest folks from the fibbers; and because of that, we sometimes get the good ones by accident.

And so it combines both the problem of innocents getting imprisoned, along with the expense of learning the difference.  But if the guilty would just fess-up to their crime to begin with, we could spare both problems.  So that’s why this is much bigger than the single problem of the innocents being imprisoned.  Could you honestly suggest that our current system is better than Miller’s Honor System?

Of course, this is only an issue if you’ve got that whole “justice” hang-up, and prefer to separate the guilty from the innocent.  For me, accusations should be good enough and we should just be sending them all up the river.  But I’ve yet to convince a majority of Americans of this, so I guess that Miller’s system is the next best thing.

On a side note, do you ever wonder if these lesser known Cornerites are simply trying to out-wingnut each other, in order to gain the notoriety of the Goldbergs and Tierneys?  Appealing to the lunatic fringe is often a good way to get a bigger audience, even if it is just an audience of lunatics.  It’s all about finding the right niche, and I suspect that this Miller guy is slowly stumbling onto his.

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