Judge Not?

“Judge not, lest you be judged.” It’s an often-misunderstood Bible verse used to excuse unacceptable conduct — to justify looking away from evil — the “Hear no evil, see no evil” head-in-the-sand platitude. This quote actually tells us to get our lives in order before figuratively casting stones. It does not say, “Don’t cast stones.” It does not mean, “Don’t judge bad behavior.” It means get your house in order, then learn the facts and follow the law.

But what if it is your duty to judge; your business to make decisions about the lives of others? Plenty of individuals in the U.S. are paid to pass judgment. About 51,200 people are employed as some type of judge — from local traffic court magistrate to Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Wikipedia says there are 3,300 federal judges alone, each earning $200,000-$260,000 a year.

Except, perhaps, for a few locals, every judge has a law degree. So (51,200) x (7 years of college each) = 358,400 years of higher education! So why can’t they do their job?

Just this month, Alexander Bonds, 34, approached a police car in the Bronx, pulled out a revolver and shot officer Miosotis Familia, 48, in the head, killing her instantly. It could have been you. Bonds had six prior arrests, including the brass knuckles beatdown of a police officer. Between 2013 and 2015, he received five summons — public urination, fare-beating, possession of an open alcohol container — and was on parole. Bonds served “nearly seven years of an eight-year sentence” for armed robbery. Two other officers shot Bonds dead, an inevitable outcome for this low-life.

This January in Illinois, Zakkary Yarber, 22, of Newton, was charged with criminal sexual assault, using force, and criminal sexual abuse with the use of force. It could have been your daughter. He apparently raped a 16-year-old while he was on parole. Yarber held the girl on the ground, placed his arm over her mouth and then raped her. He had previously been sentenced to two years in prison for obstructing justice.

In November 2012, repeat convicted criminal and registered violent sex offender Jim Moore, 36, raped a 6-year old girl in Tennessee. On parole, he was still wearing an ankle monitor from previous sex offenses when he was caught. It could have been your child. Convicted of child rape and aggravated sexual battery, Moore was sentenced to 40 years. He still faced criminal charges for violating the lifetime community supervision requirements from his previous convictions since he was living in a residence with minor children who were not his own. In 2008, Moore had pleaded guilty to attempted aggravated rape involving a 16-year-old girl and attempted rape of a child involving a 12-year-old girl. He served part of an eight-year sentence and was paroled in 2012. Moore also had a 2001 conviction in Kansas for aggravated indecent liberties with a child.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 68 percent of 405,000 prisoners released in 30 states in 2005 were arrested for a new crime within three years of their release from prison; 77 percent were arrested within five years. Often, their crimes continued while inside the prisons.

Is the U.S. criminal justice system rigged by liberal judges who feel more compassion for criminals than for victims? Do criminals “earn” release because they are poor or had a troubled childhood or were picked on at school or grew up with poor self-esteem … or any other ignorant wedge of pop-psychology? Is there a pattern here? This column isn’t about rape and murder. It’s about judges who don’t do their job and a system designed to afford more protection to the “alleged” perpetrator than it gives to the “actual” victim.

Based on a survey of Federal criminals, the Bureau of Justice Statistics concludes that the worse the crime and the heavier the sentence, the less time a criminal will serve. Criminals sentenced one to five years for minor thuggeries serve just 70 percent of their time. Hardened, violent criminals sentenced to 15-20 years serve only 40 percent.

So the guy who breaks into your house and steals everything and is by some miracle apprehended and sentenced is back on your block before your insurance company actually helps you.

The guy who attacks your wife, holds you at gunpoint on a street-corner while he does something vile … he’ll either beat the charge or will be out of prison long before your family can recover.

I don’t know if America is going to hell literally or figuratively, but if our judges don’t start working on our behalf we’re soon going to be outgunned. Visions of the future in movies like Blade Runner and in books like Ready Player One will seem tame. Judge not? Gimme a break. Carry now and carry often because you and you alone can judge and protect your family.