Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Conservative View: The Mark Of A Society

The Conservative View of the week, by Adair County Commissioner Russell Turner.
The Conservative View
by Russell Turner

The Mark Of A Society

I once heard a man say that you can tell a lot about the integrity of a person by how he treats someone who has nothing to offer him. It is sad when a society does not take the time to watch out for each other. We need to remember that none of us will ever get to the point where we don’t have to rely upon someone else at some point in our lives. When I was a child in Sunday school I remember the story of the GOOD SAMARITAN, the Samaritan helped a man who had been beaten and robbed even though the beaten man had nothing of value left to repay the act of kindness. Over the past few years I have noticed a problem that appears to be growing; it is the increased frequency of child molestation.

I know that humans for thousands of years have committed crimes against each other but instead of evolving to a point where we are a kinder and gentler species, we seem to be going the other way. We owe our children much; they will be the ones who will be in control when we adults cannot take care of ourselves anymore. At that time we will be relying upon their kindness and compassion. There are a couple of bills that will be introduced in the upcoming session of the Oklahoma State legislature. State Rep. Rex Duncan plans to file legislation that will allow child molesters to face life in prison without parole or even the death penalty. The proposal comes after the recent arrest of Marcus Berry, a two-time convicted sex offender who kidnapped a two-year-old girl from her front yard in Tulsa. Although Berry was convicted in 1986 and again in 1993 when he was sentenced to 30 years in prison, he served less than 13 years of that sentence before being released. Under current law, a child molester can face a sentence of 25 years to life for a first offense. Duncan’s legislation will increase the penalty to include a maximum sentence of life without parole. His legislation will also allow the death penalty to be considered for those convicted of a second offense.

Another State Representative, John Trebilcock will author a bill patterned after a Kansas law where convicted sex offenders could be involuntarily committed to a mental institution after completing their prison sentence. If we Americans don’t start taking the crime of child abuse seriously we will no longer be a great society.

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