Governments escalate all things and bring them to a head compulsively unable to let anything go, well that is unless you are well funded with the right connections. Due process not only serves as a right, but also a way to make sure most situations are carried out to their ultimate end – even if all reasonable good is ignored while usually making any given situation far worse than if government had never inserted themselves into the process.
Government should always seek out to do the least amount of harm and the greatest amount of good, but in Orwellian fashion “good” can be manipulated. Government may say it’s good to throw a pot smoker in jail for 20 years on mandatory sentencing because it “helps” the evil addict get off the evil drugs. To those invested in Twilight Zone twists on language words are purely subjective, and not subjective so much as there to be spun for their own convenience.
So what is it to say the least amount of harm? Harm should be termed as a loss of individual equality, liberty, and any form of government interference. From here we may further define these terms, however this becomes an etymological maze at some point, not to mention a tangent.
The least amount of harm includes spiritual, emotional, and physical. Even if someone has broken rules they must be treated as a human with dignity no matter how angry we as a society may be – this is called being an enlightened society, which is wiser and more controlled than any one person within it. We don’t let lawbreakers continue to harm, but we try to understand them, and help right a bad situation best we can. This may prompt throngs of eye rolls from the tough love crowd who claim to understand deviant nature, and will espouse notions that anything less than a brutal eye for an eye mentality is the only option, but this has never not backfired. We are sophisticated in the art of ignorance and forget that the system we created may have toxic implications.
It’s important to note these criminals with exception to the truly mentally incapacitated are what the system(people are forced to be a part of) and genetics has created. They were never given a choice, and due to experiences and genetics they had a reaction in the system, which in turn caused a reaction we regard as a crime. Our handling of the crime is a choice. We have choice in a society that a person committing a crime in a life situation likely didn’t have or did not see.
The least amount of harm means that seeking maximum sentences never happens. A maximum sentence in a case like Jeffrey Dahmer may occur through reasoned debate, but it should never be sought. Instead of judges touting records that are “tough on crime” they should be seen by the public as dim witted aristocracy shuffling lost people through a broken system with maximum impunity and ignorance.
The least amount of harm means we take care of people, not because their actions dictate it, but because they are human beings just like us. We must actively seek to make our society better, to set an example of kindness and wisdom for the population to follow. Through a mantra of the least amount of harm we can find creative alternatives to psycho-daddy type punishments where the victims are given a chance to heal, where the perpetrator is given a chance to redeem, and where our society moves forward out of the dark ages.