January 26, 2011

Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 20

Hatched by Dafydd

We now come to what I consider to be the most profoundly transformative three amendments to the United States Constituion: the "Civil Rights" amendments.

I'm going to take these one at a time, as each contains at least one point of interest...

~

The Civil Rights Amendments -- abolition of slavery

Amendment 13 - Slavery Abolished. Ratified 12/6/1865.

1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Note that the amendment does not, in fact, ban slavery! It only bans it for innocents who have not been "duly convicted" of a crime; but that means the Constitution contemplates that Congress or state legislatures may enact criminal statutes that include, as a possible penalty, impressing the perpetrator into either involuntary servitude or even chattel slavery itself.

I'm sure that many judges would declare that to be "cruel and unusual punishment;" though of course we've had chain gangs for eons, and we still have prisoner "work details" in nearly all states. But consider this as a deterrent to crime: Suppose a standard punishment for theft or fraud included involuntary indentured servitude; that is, working for a fixed term at the direction of, and for the benefit of, the criminal's victims? That way, a convict could truly "pay his debt to society."

Something to think about, eh?

All verses in the Lizardian Constitutional Collection:

  1. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 1 (Preamble)
  2. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 2 (Congress; House, part I)
  3. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 3 (House, part II)
  4. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 4 (Senate, part I)
  5. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 5 (Senate, part II)
  6. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 6 (General congressional admin stuff)
  7. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 7 (Legislative process and enumerated powers)
  8. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 8 (Limitations)
  9. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 9 (The prez -- who does he think he is?)
  10. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 10 (What would a president do?)
  11. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 11 (Judiciary)
  12. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 12 (States, part I)
  13. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 13 (States, part 2)
  14. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 14 (Amendment; supreme law of the land)
  15. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 15 (Ratification rules and signers)
  16. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 16 (Amendments: Bill of Rights, Amendments 1-4)
  17. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 17 (Bill of Rights -- Courtroom Amendments 5-8)
  18. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 18 (Bill of Last Rights 9 and 10)
  19. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 19 (Amendments: Suing other states, president vs. vice president)
  20. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 20 (Amendments: Abolition of slavery)
  21. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 21 (Amendments: States prohibited from infringing rights)
  22. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 22 (Amendments: Racial voting rights)
  23. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 23 (Amendments: Wilsonian-Progressivism I)
  24. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 24 (Amendments: Wilsonian-Progressivism II)
  25. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 25 (Amendments: Rooseveltian amendments)
  26. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 26 (Amendments: Camelot amendments)
  27. Let's Read the Constitution Day! - verse 27 (Amendments: Panacea amendments)

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, January 26, 2011, at the time of 12:00 AM

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Comments

The following hissed in response by: snochasr

Hear! Hear! If only "justice" included "recompense" we would have a better justice system. As it stands now, bleeding hearts have made prison almost preferable to the harsh realities for some people. No more cable TV and 3 squares, unless you work for it.

The above hissed in response by: snochasr [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 26, 2011 6:26 AM

The following hissed in response by: GW

Outside of the criminal context, it is of note that the SCT has held that neither the draft nor community service as a requirement for high school graduation violate the 13th Amendment. Lincoln pushed for this Amendment but was assassinated several months before it was adopted.

The above hissed in response by: GW [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 26, 2011 12:06 PM

The following hissed in response by: LarryD

I think that the set of criminals who would be deterred by the threat of being made to work is fairly large. Probably mostly petty criminals, but even so...

The above hissed in response by: LarryD [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 27, 2011 5:52 AM

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