Man Bites Dog

Maybe you saw this headline earlier this year, “Man Gets 15 Years After Trying to Break Into Jail.”

Yes, you read it right, “break into jail.”  If you don’t believe me, you can read it here.

Dude was on probation for manslaughter, but three days after being released returns to jail and begs deputies to take him back into the jail because he feared retaliation from the victim’s family.  When he was refused entry he tried to reenter the jail by climbing a 12-foot high fence.  He was caught, convicted of trespassing and resisting an officer and was sentenced to 15 years for violating his probation.  It goes without saying this was probably the stiffest sentence ever given to anyone for attempting to break back into jail.

This story strikes me as odd, which, according to G.K. Chesterton, is a good thing since “…oddities only strike ordinary people.  Odditities do not strike odd people.”  This story also strikes me as interesting because it never could have happened under Old Testament law.  Here’s why.

First, there were no jails or prisons under the Old Testament law. It’s true.  It’s not because there weren’t criminals.  It’s just that criminals were required to make restitution or were sold into bond service to pay restitution (to the victim, not to the State), or, if the victim did not choose a ransom or ransom was not available under the law and it was a capital crime, they were given the ultimate earthly punishment.

Second, the Lord anticipated the situation encountered by our jailbreaker and set up cities of refuge for those guilty of manslaughter so they could avoid victims’ vengeful relatives who might have thoughts of helping the manslayer into the grave. See Numbers 35:9-12.

So what is the point?  I don’t know.  I’m just saying, it strikes me as odd. GS

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