Michael, Patrick, and Dominic are three theorists having a conversation as they drink some coffee. The three are old-time friends who occasionally meet to discuss the challenges they face in their society. Old is gold and being the old theorists they are, they believe they know what is best for the younger generation. However, despite their immense wisdom, they do not necessarily agree with each other and sometimes they end up antagonizing each other. They sit in the corner, the usual place they meet as they order coffee.
Patrick: (shaking hands). My fellow friends, I am happy to be here. How are you?
Dominic: Patrick my dear friend, you have no idea how glad we were to receive your invitation.
Michael: (placing a packet of cigar on the table). Gentlemen, it is always a pleasure to be in your midst. Being in your presence is always humbling. The common interest we share in criminology has kept us together for all these years. I kindly ask that we to maintain the tradition and respect other opinions. I believe this discussion will be fruitful as always and that by the time we depart, we will have come up with a solution to this menacing problem.
Patrick: Your wisdom is astounding. Everyone person’s opinion counts and it is this diversity that keeps us together. I called this meeting because I heard on the news that there is a creation of programs. The programs are to be initiated as alternative means of combating drug offences instead of imprisonment.
Dominic: Oh yes, that was a shocking announcement. Crime has over the years proved to be indispensable. To some extent, I believe crime is a necessity in the society so that the legal systems can evolve. Otherwise, we would still be living under the old legal rules that existed centuries ago.
Patrick: Yes my brother, crime is a normal occurrence in the society. In fact, since time in memorial, crime has been in existence; however, I do not agree that crime is necessary in the society. Therefore, we should try and bring a solution forth on eradicating it by all means and not advocating for it.
Michael: (lighting a cigar). That may be the case, but we need to realize that a crime occurs as a result of man’s aspiration to excel above the others. Everyone has needs; the difference arises in how we meet them. In most cases, the needs surpass the resources that are available, and this is what causes other people to indulge in crime.
Patrick: (explaining further). By the way, once these children get convicted, the authorities just lock them up. No body takes time to offer them drug rehabilitation. They come out and go looking for this very drug that they were in for. The legal system tends to lie emphasize on the crime committed rather than the criminal who committed it. This should not be the case. There is no way we can eradicate crime unless we reach out to helping the criminals themselves.
Dominic: (sipping coffee) I agree. However, if crime is to be considered a disorder, what then is its cure. The only solution is punishment. People need rules and regulations to govern them. Otherwise, the whole world would be chaotic.
Michael: I agree; criminals deserve no mercy. They live their lives causing others pain and suffering. They are savages and should be treated with the same animosity they treat their society.
Patrick: (interrupting Michael) No! No! These rules are too harsh to the poor children. All they need is someone to listen to them and then help them.
Michael: These criminals are not human. Anybody who commits a crime is a savage animal. They require a harsh system that will make them conform to the set regulations in the community. Why should they be treated leniently?
Patrick: Criminals might behave like savages, but that does not make them animals. They are still human although their nature is complex. This is because needs have to be met with means in order to maintain equilibrium in the society.
Michael; (puffing the cigar) People who commit crimes are not human. Criminals possess some distinct animal characteristics that help them to cope in their activities.
Dominic: (shaking his head in disagreement) Classifying criminals as savage animals is not proper. God created them as human, and we should never take Gods place and refer to them as animals.
Michael: The difference between man and animal is that God gave man a brain to comprehend the surrounding he lived in. If someone cannot abide by the regulations set like every other human, then why should they be considered human in the first place? They are animals because they behave like them.
Patrick: All I’m trying to say is that the sentences dished out to drug users do not suit the crime. Drug users do not harm anyone, unlike an armed robber. Why then does the justice system give them long sentences while other serious offenders end up with less?
Michael: (nodding) I agree every crime should be given a punishment that is its equivalent. The least possible punishment should be meted out to a crime that is equal to the magnitude of the crime committed. This is the only way justice can be fairly implemented.
Patrick: Take America, for example, they have already begun implementing this new alternative for imprisoning drug offenders. Why is it so hard for us to follow suit?
Dominic: Yes, Americans have. However, this does not mean that they have wholly abandoned their legal system. It is my opinion that the law cannot be fixed. This is because, different situations call for different measures. Drug traffickers ought to be killed. I wish all countries would adopt Chinas policy of executing the drug traffickers.
Michael: Death sentence is surely not the best solution as people forget about death easily thus it is not a long term solution. The action needed against the drug traffickers should be a long term lesson that will not be easily forgotten by the general public.
Dominic: Discipline cannot be of significant value especially when those subjected to it consider discipline to be unjust.
Michael: (tapping Dominic in agreement) Oh yes, drug offenders are the worst criminals ever. They should be treated like criminals and dealt with according to the laws and statutes of the country.
Patrick: Mr. Michael, if we are willing to offer lighter punishment, why then do not we agree on the rehabilitation theory I have been telling you? Criminals need help. They are victims of circumstances that are in their environment. Perhaps, if given a chance, they can reform. The saddest thing is that the prison system does not have equipments to assist drug addicts who are in prison. Addicts, therefore, undergo withdrawal pain when locked up. However, this pain is not sufficient for them to get rehabilitated.
Dominic: Yes, it is terribly sad to imagine that drug addicts suffer so much in prison yet only a small percentage of them reform. In order to eliminate drug use, the effort must start from the root which in this case is the home.
Michael: I maintain that we should make examples out of these offenders.
Patrick: You cannot train man like an animal. After all, the two are hugely different in their existence. A man has his own independent thoughts, and this is what distinguishes them, unlike animals, human beings know when they are breaking the rules. However, the punishment meted out should be done with the intention of helping the criminals to get better not making them worse. (All the men laugh)
Michael: (looking at his watch) I think that is right. Gentlemen I think we should be going, it is getting late.
Dominic: Mr. Michael, you are advocating for mercy when these people are slowly destroying our community. How will this help us to eradicate this menace?
Michael: (placing an empty cup on the table.) I’m not advocating for mercy, what I advocate for is that there should be a clear method of linking justice to punishment.
Patrick: Your suggestion is ok, but not without faults. For example, your method will cost the civilians hefty amount of cash to maintain the criminals behind bars. Much as, it will eradicate drug use the society will suffer.
Michael: (putting some papers in his bug) In that case, then I think its best to create a connection between punishment and crime. Every crime should have its own punishment and punishment should be meted with immediate effect.
Dominic: (standing and pushing the chair) I do not think discipline can be maintained by use of force. Discipline can only be achieved when everyone agrees voluntarily to abide by the rules.
Michael: (as he walks to the counter to pay the bill). Too many opinions we can not get a single solution to this problem. Let us go discussing the issue.
Patrick: Do you mind a ride?
(The play ends as all of them walk of the coffee shop arguing. This is there usual way when they meet.)