Saturday, July 26, 2008

Book Review: Swift and Sure

Swift and Sure: Bringing Certainty and Finality to Criminal Punishment by Judge William J. Cornelius, Bridge Street Books, 1997, O.P.

There is a myth about our country circulating mainly in conservative circles that we are a good, solid, can-do type of nation. We see a problem, and by-gum, we fix it. Well, our crime problem has been spiraling out of control for years, and by-gum, we haven’t done a thing to fix it.

Judge Cornelius starts his excellent book by citing the terrible crime statistics that show the United States to be the most violent, crime-ridden nation in the world. And we are, so the good Judge says, because American justice is neither swift nor sure. If justice were swift and sure, we would not have the crime rates we have.

The Judge tells us why abolishing parole, probation, and early release programs could serve as a vital deterrent to crime. He also is against concurrent sentences, the exclusionary law, and Miranda rights. His case for repealing the exclusionary rule is excellent. I wish more Americans knew just how damaging the exclusionary law is. It has no constitutional or moral basis. In fact it is completely immoral. The law punishes the victim of a crime for the alleged procedural errors of police officers. No other nation has such a ridiculous law, which is no doubt one of the major reasons why no other nation has such high crime rates as we do.

Cornelius also shows us how ridiculous the insanity plea has become. If someone was ever upset in their past, they can claim that the recollection of that past made them “temporarily insane.” And if the jury doesn’t like the victim (as in the Bobbit case), the guilty party will go free. Cornelius recommends we go back to the old English common law of insanity, which would result in a virtual elimination of the temporary insanity plea.

There is chapter after chapter of sound advice in this book. The chapter on revamping our juvenile system, for instance, is quite good. We currently live under a system where juveniles can kill with impunity, and unfortunately, they know it and are killing at growing rates.

Judge Cornelius’ positions are, in my judgment, unassailable. His is right. His advice is sound. The only weakness in the book lies in the question Judge Cornelius doesn’t ask: If he and any person with a modicum of common sense can see that the Judge’s reforms are necessary, why then can’t the reforms be implemented? The answer takes one into the religious realm where practical men do not want to go. Doesn’t there have to be some metaphysical belief that justice and truth are important in order for high-salaried bureaucrats to be inspired to change a system that is making them rich? In other words, in the absence of a Christian conscience, why should defense attorneys, who make their living getting hoodlums off the hook by catching police in procedural errors, give a particular damn about the fact that child molesters and murderers go unpunished? And likewise, why should policemen, in the absence of a Christian conscience, go after violent black criminals when to do so means loss of employment and at least five years in jail?

Respect for the law is a virtue when a nation’s laws have a Christian basis. But when the law is used to serve the Prince of Darkness, Christian men should defy it. On every issue – legalized abortion, the barbarian invasion, black crime, the state takes a position in favor of Satan and against the Europeans of the old stock.

Regimes that have instituted the law of Satan are not toppled overnight. But Christian men committed to counterrevolution have wrought wonders in the past. Our ancestors, such as William Tell and Nathan Bedford Forrest, are quite rightly revered. But shouldn’t we also seek to emulate them?
‘Away to the hills, to the caves, to the rocks—
Ere I own an usurper, I’ll couch with the fox,
And tremble, false Whigs, in the midst of your glee,
You have not seen the last of my bonnet and me!’

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