“We must stop being the stupid party,” said Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal in remarks this week to the Republican National Committee. I guess it takes a while for the sensibilities and moderation of party leaders to filter down to Montana. Our own crackpot GOP legislator, Jerry O’neil (R-Columbia Falls) plans to introduce his bill to revive the cat o’ nine tails into the Montana justice system.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Corporal punishment in lieu of incarceration. (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a person convicted of any offense by a court in this state, whether a misdemeanor or felony, may during a sentencing hearing as provided in 46-18-115 bargain with the court for the imposition of corporal punishment in lieu of or to reduce the term of any sentence of incarceration available to the court for imposition.
(2) The court and the person convicted of an offense shall negotiate the exact nature of the corporal punishment to be imposed, which must be commensurate with the severity, nature, and degree of the harm caused by the offender. If the court and the offender cannot agree on the exact nature of the corporal punishment to be imposed, the court shall impose a sentence as provided in 46-18-201.
(3) The imposition of a sentence under this section must be carried out by the sheriff of the county in which the crime occurred if the sentence for corporal punishment reduced or eliminated the term of incarceration in the county jail or by the department of corrections if the sentence reduced or eliminated the term of incarceration in the state prison. Any imposition of sentence pursuant to this section must be carried out within a reasonable time.
(4) For purposes of this section, “corporal punishment” means the infliction of physical pain on a defendant to carry out the sentence negotiated between the judge and the defendant.
Representative O’neil began taking heat even before the legislature convened for his demand that the state pay him in gold coin, because the U.S. Treasury is controlled by a Muslin extremist who will destroy the value of paper money. He has also introduced a resolution to force the U.S. to modify the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution because he has found “the current allotment of power to the United States Congress that allows the Congress to regulate intrastate commerce to be overly broad and overreaching.”
On the moderate side, his new bill actually does actually allow defendants to “negotiate” for the severity of their punishment and even though the last incident of lawful corporal punishment in the U.S. occurred in 1952, it’s not like spanking as punishment is unheard of;
Corporal punishment remains a common form of criminal punishment in several countries including Singapore, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen and Nigeria. For example, media reported on Monday that the Iranian state amputated the fingers on the right hand of a convicted thief. Corporal punishment remains on the books in several other countries including Barbados, Botswana, Brunei, Swaziland, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, and Zimbabwe.
I’m not sure if amputation as punishment is covered in Mr. O’neil’s bill.