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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Alba: Society control and death penalty

YOU would know my toddler is wide awake when you see a messy floor in our small living area. He would do everything to get anything within his grasp to satisfy his inquisitiveness. Toys and scraps of paper; getting things wet would be a common day for this little guy.

Sometimes, my reaction would be to get angry, a normal reaction for a single mom like me. To get ideas on disciplining toddlers, I have taken to reading a lot, from how to discipline toddlers to anger management issues.

When toddlers commit mistakes, "disciplining" them always follows. Spanking, being put in a "naughty chair" or with being made to "face the wall" are common modes of punishment. There was an even more extreme punishment I saw on a video where a dad punished his daughter by letting her wear an inmate’s orange uniform to give his daughter a taste of prison.

The government wants to prevent crime by scaring potential criminals with death penalty. There is always a compelling reason behind every criminal act. While the death penalty may be considered a deterrent so people in this good country would think twice before committing a crime, it cannot give justice to everyone.

Let us consider the fact that the justice system in the Philippines is very congested, resolving cases that would take years, decades even. Some also claim that judgment by a court only favors the rich and the powerful. While the rich pays cash or check, the poor pays with their lives maybe, as what others say.

This perception do not really describe the whole justice system. But this affects the judiciary.

Worse, what would happen if a judge convicts an innocent man and gives him the death penalty? Even if a conviction of a criminal act is based on proving guilt beyond reasonable doubt, there is still that small margin of error.

There is much that this government is doing that is actually stirring our morality and even our fundamental human right – to live freely. I hope the people of this good country think a lot about what this government plans to do in the next years.

I hope the next steps would not intrude on our civil and constitutional rights.

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