Friday, October 12, 2007

Sweet Land of Prisons as Far as One Can See

Because the Supreme Court has refused to enforce its own freedom of speech cases regarding allegations of disorderly conduct, a person can, in fact, if not in theory, be arrested merely for questioning treatment by officials or police officers. Disorderly conduct is the criminal version of crossing the center line; cops use it whenever they want to arrest someone and they have no other justification.

While this woman's behavior was seemingly worse and may actually have crossed the line, the basic precept is still the same. The United States is a country that imprisons people first and asks questions later. We are the world leader in imprisonment, putting people behind bars at a rate that not even Sadam or the Kremlin ever approached. The U.S. holds the record both in terms of per capita imprisonment, as well as total people in prison.

So forgive me if I don't wait with breathless anticipation for the Court's next decision on burning the flag, while thousands of Americans rot away unjustly in jail. While I might not burn it myself, it is hard for me to make a convincing argument as to why someone else shouldn't.

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