On a political level, I’m not confident that or how much Republican judges are superior to Democrat judges. It depends on the political issue. And I’m not sure what to think about the difference between them (if there is any) when it comes to sentencing non-violent drug offenders.
But if you are the victim of a crime, and want justice imposed on the criminal who hurt you, I am pretty sure that you want God to make sure the criminal ends up in a Republican courtroom.
Last week, in a long essay that wasn’t about politics at all, the victim of a rape confirmed my instincts. Authoress, Kathleen Hale wrote a piece entitled “Prey.” It was how she was sexually assaulted and what she did about it. I read it all but I read it fast—perhaps too fast to appreciate it as much as I should. I would imagine it was a hard piece to write. It made me want to read at least one of her books…
But the relevant portion of her essay to this post covers how she got an education in crime and punishment and liberalism and conservatism.
I felt optimistic because Melinda had told me the judge was left-leaning. As a college student, I naively correlated liberalism with intelligence and empathy, because at the time I paid no taxes and only associated my politics with gay rights, women’s rights, human rights. I thought any judge who voted Democrat would side with the victims—not yet realizing that in a country where the imprisoned population is predominantly made up of poor people, black people, and the mentally ill, criminals are also victims. Hence, liberalism in the courtroom hinges first and foremost on second chances for the guilty.
Which, though Hale doesn’t spell it out, means a real denial of the basic right to justice on the part of the victims.
She recalls standing at the sentencing of another perpetrator before the same judge who would sentence the man who raped her (not for rape, which had not yet gone to trial, but for other crimes). The criminal had gone hunting trick-or-treating kids on Halloween night with a BB gun.
…one of the kid’s parents stood up and read a statement for the judge about how their eight-year-old had a BB pellet lodged near his heart that couldn’t be removed or he would die.
“There’s a chance it will slowly travel through his body and kill him anyway,” the father said, fingers clasping his wife’s, the printed statement shaking in his other hand.
The judge wasn’t paying attention. She gave the guilty man probation so quickly it was clear she’d made her decision even before putting on her robe. She explained that he’d had no priors, as if the BB thing had been a fluke.
Her rapist, Duncan Purdy, was up next for sentencing. He was accused and found guilty of running a brothel, using foreign women who feared deportation.
The judge pushed a lock of hair behind her ear. She explained to the courtroom that, due to Duncan Purdy’s previous crimes—which I learned ranged from drug possession to armed robbery—she planned to be slightly tougher on him than she had been on the poacher.
She sentenced him to two years and one day. After that, I stopped casually picking phone arguments with my mom about Fox News and actually prayed, almost every single night, that the judge at Jillian’s trial would be a Republican.
Jillian was another woman who had been sexually assaulted by Duncan in the same way that she had been assaulted.
But she knows in her bones that conservatism delivers justice while liberalism makes victims suffer. It is a message we need to use.