I’ve noticed that when speaking of murder and the application of the death penalty the Old Testament guide words are “an eye for an eye…” Regardless of your position on this subject I think we can all agree that the sentiment is generally not applied throughout the rest of the American justice system. I would even go as far as to say that it’s not even actually applied in those middle eastern countries where we are told you can lose a hand for stealing a loaf of bread. To me an eye for an eye means reciprocity, the reestablishment of balance and order as well as the punishment of the transgressor. In other words, I deserve compensatory damages and punitive damages. In still other words, if you steal my stuff – I want my stuff back and it should cost you.
It is annoying to me that if a person commits a crime against me (in this case property crime for arguments sake) not only do I not get my stuff back but I also have to ante up a portion of room and board for that person for the duration of their incarceration. Additionally we as a state are left without the benefit of the criminal’s share of GDP (taxes, fees, and labor). And I have to go and buy new stuff!!
So here is how I see it.
You steal my Pinto you owe me a Camry
You steal my K-Mart Walkman you owe me an i-Pod
You steal my taxes you owe me work on roads and bridges
You damage my environment you work for the Forestry Department
You steal my retirement you buy me groceries and medicine and housing
You steal my life you support my family
Further, all this is to be done while paying for rent, food, utilities child support and taxes.
Obviously violent criminals would still have to be segregated but all the same rules would apply.
In this case “an eye for an eye” would actually resemble Justice