Getting tough with repeat offenders


Hazel McCallion Senior Public School
Mississauga, Ontario

By Elaine Dufoe, Grade 8


Who knew that the safest country in the world could have such a pathetic justice system. It seems as though the law is more interested in the welfare of criminals than their victims. Repeat offenders are an example of how the law, which is suppose to protect the community, is worried about giving killers and rapists a second chance, and a third, and so on.

When will the justice system wake up and realize that if they are not willing to toughen up and give criminals a real lesson about right and wrong that we don’t stand a chance of remaining the safest country in the world?

If a criminal, and one convicted of murder in particular, comes out of jail and commits a felony again, what does that tell you? What it should tell you is that prison wasn't enough of a consequence for him. And frankly, I wouldn't blame him. I'd love not to work, watch TV and hang around all day. Have three square meals a day and go shopping at Christmas time.

If you send this guy to prison again, so what? He'll get to live off the government and the tax payer for a few more years. If you put him there for life, in the case of murders, he might change. But even if he doesn’t, it won't matter because he'll be away, away from where he can savagely murder or commit any other crime.

Some people might argue against this by saying that there is no proof that the repeat offender will commit another crime. Very true. But is it worth it? Is it worth risking a young innocent's life for a former murderer's third chance? And even if the repeat offender doesn't kill again, he has killed in the past and should have got a life sentence the first time.

The Charter of Rights says that everyone has the right to life and liberty. But people should treat others the way they would want to be treated. If you had two chances and blew them by taking or damaging a life, your liberty should be gone. Besides, whose freedom is more important any way -- a little boy’s, let's say, or a murderer's? The Charter of Rights should only apply to those who respect it.

No one really knows what a killer is thinking. They may say they'll never kill again but how good is a murderer's word? There are so many cases of repeat offenders that it shouldn't even be a question if they should be put in jail for life or not. Spending the rest of their days in prison is the only way to make sure repeat offenders will never strike again.


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