If I had my way, the state of Illinois would return the death penalty immediately and applied as swiftly as the crime that caused it to be invoked. The same DNA that was used to free innocent people can be the DNA that can convict guilty people. So I don’t want to hear anything about innocence since we now have modern technology to deal with that.

 A current crime that was sickening to see is the shooting of Dakota Earley in the Lincoln Park area. Dakota was the young man whose shooting was captured on home surveillance. A car makes a turn and a young thug gets out the passenger side, hiding next to a building’s brick wall, to pounce upon the victim as he walks down the street. A struggle ensues and Dakota is shot several times. The thug’s partner gets out of the driver’s side and comes up and shoots Dakota too. As of this writing, Dakota is still fighting for his life. But where is the call to find those two criminals who purposely sought out a victim? Where are the people in the Black community who know who those two criminals are and should be willing to drop a dime on them?

I realize that most Black parents have a talk with their sons about possible encounters they might have with the police. But where’s the same talk to tell their sons not to become criminals? Those who purposely drive to probably a different neighborhood with the sole intention of looking for somebody to rob is a sad commentary on both the individual who did it and whoever birthed and raised them!

Black people fought hard in the ’60s and ’70s to not have Black people labeled as the face of crime. Back then, our numbers committing crime were not at the level they are today. Sadly, we seem to have raised a generation of young people who have no problem being a criminal and committing crimes. Instead of emphasizing education as the sole solution to eliminating poverty, many prefer the fast money that comes with taking a gun and holding it to someone’s head as they take their property.

If this state cannot return to using the death penalty, then we need to make a deal with the other 49 states to do a prisoner exchange. That means those who are found guilty in Illinois will not be housed here. They might end up in Iowa, or Idaho, or locked up in Montana. Relatives can’t see them easily and they won’t be together with their homies. Because right now, our criminal element accepts going to prison like they were going off to a college campus. Prison is the higher education location for them.

And lastly, we need to re-open Tamms Prison. These folks who are out there taking, or nearly taking, other people’s lives, need to be locked up 23 hours a day with no communication. There are prisoners who can be rehabilitated and those who can’t. When you have a crime like what happened to Dakota, when those individuals are caught and found guilty, they should be locked up and the key thrown away! Only when their butts face the same sort of devastating consequence that they give to their victims, can we then accomplish the goal.