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Can you believe that there are actually people out there who want to portray him as a victim? It's about time we put things right for the real victims of crime.

Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but given our scant attention to victims' rights, sometimes they're better off if the criminal is never caught in the first place. At least that way they only get fucked around once.

Maybe the problem is, we're a culture already saturated with victimization. We're all so loud, shrill, and adept at playing the victim in inconsequential situations that an actual bonafide victim stands about as much a chance of being noticed as an unemployed guy with a laptop and a goatee at a Starbucks.

The sheer volume of cases presently deluging the courts pretty much guarantees that no matter how heinous the crime, its victims are faceless entities, mere numbers on a court docket who are accorded all the dignity of a ring girl at a cockfight.

The entire legal system is bent on ensuring the rights of the accused. Victims couldn't wield any less power if they were the California electrical grid. The disparity between the victim's and the criminal's rights is most obvious when it comes to representation. Criminals who can't afford a lawyer get one appointed to them by the court, while victims who cant afford one are relegated to hiring the cycloptic paralegal who advertises during "Mama's Family."

In order to avoid creating vigilantes, society takes the right of retribution for a crime away from the victim and makes it a matter for "the people." Of course, in America this means the solemn burden of justice is in the hands of the same "people" who created the Chia Pet, order the "Backyard Wrestling" tapes, and have demanded 7 distinct flavors of Corn-Nuts.

Come on, there's gotta be a way to protect the rights of victims as well as the accused. For example, victims should have a right to know when the animal who attacked them is going to get out of jail. They shouldn't have to read about it in the papers, or find out their assailant took tax-payer-financed computer courses in prison and has just been hired as their boss.

And how about white collar criminals who bilk people out of their life savings and are then given a slap on the wrist-sentenced to house arrest? The solution is simple: Sentence them to house arrest in their victim's house. Trust me, they'll be beggin' for prison.

As for paying restitution... Well, many criminals don't have any money. What they do have is unlimited time and limited space. I think they should have to spend their entire sentence pedaling a stationary bike in their cell that generates electricity and sends it to the homes of their victims. Take a big chunk out of those monthly utility bills.

And I can't believe that there is any argument against rules requiring convicted child molesters to announce their presence in neighborhoods. Hey, fuck that. I think they should have to wear bells on their shoes and a bright yellow windbreaker that says, "I am a convicted child molester" on the back. But I do have a solution that should make everybody happy: Let's force paroled child molesters to live in the same neighborhoods where all the ACLU attorneys live.

In the case of physical assault, the victim should have the right to choose his assailant's cellmate. If done properly, this one easy step could serve the dual purpose of making the victim feel empowered, and the criminal feel victimized. Or, at the very least, sore.

In our increasingly vengeful society, guaranteeing crime victims their rights is not just desirable. It's essential. It channels that need for vengeance away from chaos and into socially acceptable expression. But if we continue to push victims around, they may one day feel as if they have no choice but to take back their rights in the only way they've seen work: by becoming defendants themselves.

Yes, we are all innocent until proven guilty, but when a self-confessed monster like Timothy McVeigh can stall his execution because of a few misplaced boxes of documents that only show how much more guilty he is, we need to hustle his ass up onto that gurney faster than the time it will take for his scumbag lawyers to sign their upcoming book deal.

I endorse the execution of McVeigh. But every now and then I feel a pang of guilt, thinking, "Could he suffer more?" In my fantasy, we get a Port-A-John that's brimming with shit, lock him in it, and put the whole thing on a pickup truck driving slowly cross-country on badly paved roads.

Some anti-death penalty advocates say that McVeigh's execution won't bring closure to the survivors of the bombing. Maybe not, but it will bring closure to McVeigh's eyes, and frankly, that's all I need right now.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


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