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GTASAddict

Is lifelong imprisonment inhumane?

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gangster2332

inhumane? it depends.

 

i woud say people should get back what they did.

 

if they raped somebody they should be raped by somebody else (it happens in some countries) if somebody has murdered, he shoud be chained to a wall and then fed arsenicum so he dies slowly

 

BUT if someone has been caught stealing i would say they only should get a fine or comunity service.

in my country most people only steal because they dont hav money and need to eat

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sivispacem

i woud say people should get back what they did.

And exactly how does that benefit wider society?

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Zook

 

 

He/she is dead. If that happened to me, I'd want the killer dead.

So would I. That's why we do not let the victims or the family members of the victims have a say in the punishment given to the offenders. Emotions have no place in discussions about punishment, or in any debate really, they make us irrational.

 

You say "you should" a lot but you never really justify why you believe that and no one is saying there is no consequences, but if someone can be rehabilitated why shouldn't they be released so they can contribute to society again?

 

That's just not true, though. Victims and family members of victims routinely have a say in the punishment for offenders. Either informally through making their feelings known to the prosecutor, or formally through testifying at the trial of the defendant. There are tons of cases of victims' family members saying they don't want the death penalty for the perpetrator, just as there are cases of victims' families fighting for the prosecutor to pursue the death penalty. Then you've got some who give mercy to the perpetrator which has a significant effect on what the prosecutors pursue, from murders to muggings to car thefts to identity theft, etc.

 

This idea that emotion and the opinions of those affected shouldn't have any bearing on criminal law is sort of silly. Whether you like it or not, criminal law is, and has been throughout history, primarily focused in retribution.

 

I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I just don't think it should. My point still stands making judgements and decisions using emotion or letting them influence the decision making process makes it irrational. And I'm not saying I'm perfect and don't use emotions, or if its possible to totally remove them, but you should attempt to reduce it's influence as much as you can.

 

I don't see why it's silly? Criminal law should be created and geared towards what's best for society. You haven't said it explicitly but do you think victims should have a say? And if so are emotional arguments valid in other areas of policy not just criminal law and justice?

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RedDagger

i woud say people should get back what they did.

(...)

 

murder

chained to a wall and then fed arsenicum so he dies slowly

It's this kind of thing that makes it seem like less "get what you deserve" and more "twisted sense of justice". Those two things are not the same, but I can't see any reason to "get back at them" in the first place, echoing sivispacem.

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Kafonix

Especially since there still are false convictions, and regular humans being tortured and forced to suffer a horrible death is just inhumane.

 

Even if the convicted criminal is someone who has been proven to have commited 390 murders, nobody deserves torture or death penalty.

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Not A Nice Person

It depend, If that person took a life, they need their life taken even though I don't believe in revenge, if it was up to me I'd send every serial killer, pedophile, and mass rapist to a island designed for them only.

 

Especially since there still are false convictions, and regular humans being tortured and forced to suffer a horrible death is just inhumane.

 

Even if the convicted criminal is someone who has been proven to have commited 390 murders, nobody deserves torture or death penalty.

It's okay for that person to murder/torture/rape 390 people, but inhumane for them to give them the death penalty? I don't understand. False convictions are another thing.

Edited by Sayuri

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RedDagger

It depend, If that person took a life, they need their life taken even though I don't believe in revenge,

It's easy enough saying that everyone who takes a life should be killed, but what about the times when it'd be "justified"? It obviously has to be justified sometimes, because otherwise you wouldn't be killing the killers. And if it isn't for revenge, what's it for? It doesn't seem like a particularly helpful thing to do, unless you're assuming that everyone who commits murder will commit another bad crime if they're left alive, which...yeah...

 

if it was up to me I'd send every serial killer, pedophile, and mass rapist to a island designed for them only.

What's the point of sending (only specific) lawbreakers to an island? It just seems like a knee-jerk reaction with no thought as to what the purpose is and what effect it would have - the kind of hyperbolic thing someone says when they see a news headline about some serial killer being caught. Plus, I'm probably just arguing semantics here, but just throwing paedophiles onto an island with the others seems like a complete misunderstanding of what a paedophile is.

 

It's okay for that person to murder/torture/rape 390 people, but inhumane for them to give them the death penalty? I don't understand. False convictions are another thing.

He's not saying it's okay for someone to murder/torture/rape, you're putting words in his mouth. All he said is that nobody deserves to be killed, which is a pretty easy-to-understand viewpoint.

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sivispacem

"Deserve" is a subjective personal opinion. What's difficult to dispute is the fact that the death penalty achieves no objective societal good. It has no positive contribution to humanity. For that reason, all else aside, it should be treated as archaic and idiotic.

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Fonz

The notion of retributive justice is obsolete and useless. Since it's both cheaper and more useful for the wider society if the individual is rehabilitated, what is the point of executing them? All for some twisted form of revenge? It's especially laughable when you realize that the death penalty, presumably a way to "send a message" to would-be criminals out there, isn't even an effective deterrent of crime.

Take the recidivism rate of a country like Norway, which has abolished the death penalty and actually works to rehabilitate people and reintegrate them... Now have a look at the USA's awesome recidivism rate and how the death penalty is really helping it... well, that and generally treating prisoners like garbage:
http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rprts05p0510.pdf

Pfft, the death penalty is effective as hell!

Now the other argument is usually the taxpayer's money, but, funnily, that doesn't hold water either: http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penalty (it's even more expensive than lifelong imprisonment, which, IMO, is useless as well)

So yeah, there are no actual arguments in favor of capital punishment, aside from petty appeals to emotion or some archaic form of "justice". Considering it's both cheaper and more beneficial to everyone if people are rehabilitated rather than executed, that should be enough to abandon the death penalty, even disregarding the fact that it's absolutely repulsive and has no place in the 21st Century.

Edited by Black_MiD

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Dingdongs

 


(it's even more expensive than lifelong imprisonment, which, IMO, is useless as well)

That's not true, though. There's plenty of people out there who cannot be rehabilitated and need to be locked down for life. Serial killers, terrorists, even some other types of criminals who have been in and out of prison and continue to reoffend. As for the death penalty, I'm not a fan of it but I won't be complaining about it/standing up for the people who get sentenced to it.

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Fonz

 

 

(it's even more expensive than lifelong imprisonment, which, IMO, is useless as well)

That's not true, though. There's plenty of people out there who cannot be rehabilitated and need to be locked down for life.

Well, yeah, I should have been more clear there. I meant that if people can be rehabilitated, which I'm guessing is the majority of the cases, that should be the main focus, rather than some form of retribution that serves no purpose. If they're absolutely incurable, so to speak, then of course they should be kept away for public safety, although I'm not sure how frequent that type of thing is.

 

As for the death penalty, I'm not a fan of it but I won't be complaining about it/standing up for the people who get sentenced to it.

I understand what you mean, but why? If these people can be reintegrated, which is considerably more beneficial, why will you not complain? It's basically a person being killed for no reason other than to satisfy an irrational, archaic notion of justice.

Edited by Black_MiD

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Dingdongs

 

 

Well, yeah, I should have been more clear there. I meant that if people can be rehabilitated, which I'm guessing is the majority of the cases, that should be the main focus, rather than some form of retribution that serves no purpose. If they're absolutely incurable, so to speak, then of course they should be kept away for public safety, although I'm not sure how frequent that type of thing is.

It's more frequent than you'd think. I agree with rehabilitation over retribution, but I would implore you to take a trip around an American prison/jail and tell me that the vast majority of the inmates are just poor souls that can be rehabilitated. It's simply not the case. Sure, you could argue that due to recidivism and the like that's what made them the way they are, but that isn't true for all of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I understand what you mean, but why? If these people can be reintegrated, which is considerably more beneficial, why will you not complain? It's basically a person being killed for no reason other than to satisfy an irrational, archaic notion of justice. As for the death penalty, I'm not a fan of it but I won't be complaining about it/standing up for the people who get sentenced to it.

In the case of people sentenced to the death penalty, these are the worst of the worst. People that can't be rehabilitated. The only other choice is to lock them down for life. I don't like the death penalty and I don't support its implementation because I see it as embarrassing on the world stage and I see it as ineffective. But I could give a flying sh*t about a terrorist or a serial killer/mass murderer that gets the needle.

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Fonz
In the case of people sentenced to the death penalty, these are the worst of the worst. People that can't be rehabilitated. The only other choice is to lock them down for life. I don't like the death penalty and I don't support its implementation because I see it as embarrassing on the world stage and I see it as ineffective. But I could give a flying sh*t about a terrorist or a serial killer/mass murderer that gets the needle.

 

 

I don't know, there are a lot of examples of people being wrongly condemned, plus I struggle to believe that some of the people committing capital offenses couldn't be rehabilitated. I mean, I don't know that a specific effort has been made in that direction at all. Surely this type of thing happens in Norway as well, yet their recidivism rate is much lower, along with other benefits of their work towards reintegration. It doesn't really seem like there's an initiative being taken with the objective of rehabilitation of the individual.

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undertaker fan

Tbh, people saying that lifelone imprisonment is inhumane, are actually themselves doing inhumane by keeping dangerous criminals loose which get out of jail (if lifetime jail is stopped) can do bad things again if they have done very big crimes like killing many people as many as 200-300 or terrorizing people etc which cannot be rehabilitated. Injustice is also a problem but its wrong to stop the lifetime sentence and even the death sentence which many people proposed.

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sivispacem

Tbh, people saying that lifelone imprisonment is inhumane, are actually themselves doing inhumane by keeping dangerous criminals loose which get out of jail

They're not mutually exclusive though. It's as if you think people who are against life sentences want to see dangerous criminals released when in reality pretty much all of is support indeterminate sentences- IE the ability to keep someone imprisoned for as long as it takes for them to be rehabilitated. In these situations some people might be imprisoned for life, but they haven't been given life sentences as there's always a possibility of release.

 

Basically what nations like Norway do.

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Fonz

its wrong to stop the lifetime sentence and even the death sentence which many people proposed.

To add to what Sivis said above, how exactly is opposing either of those things wrong, particularly the death penalty? It achieves nothing and has no place in the 21st Century. It's repulsive, costly, ineffective in deterring crime and downright useless. If you can come up with an argument in favour of it that isn't just an appeal to emotion or obsolete "justice", please share.

 

Life sentences are basically a low-effort option that just stops short of actual execution. Try to rehabilitate the individual and, if it doesn't work out, it doesn't, but at least we tried, rather than arbitrarily deciding this person was somehow incurable and being done with it.

Edited by Black_MiD

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marco6158

Personally I think that lifelong imprisonment is fair.

 

If I look at italians laws, I can just think about how stupid italians governors are. There are so many laws that some of them contradict each other, in various situations, from laws about politicians to laws about "bad behavior". Law here is pretty unfair for me.

 

If I consider that a man was jailed for extortion and various things related to drugs and prostitutes for 13 years (he didn't kill anyone) and some bastards that killed someone initially gets lifetime imprisonment and after a few years, let's say ten, get out of the prison for good conduct is just unfair. Just think about those people whom son got killed by an idiot and this said idiot is free like if nothing happened just after a few years.

 

It happened too many times here. You can understand how screwed up is law here if I tell you these things. I even tell you that if you kill someone while driving a car after using drugs or alcool you don't even get arrested for murder, they just took away your licence and you have to pay a fine, as this for now, is not considered murder, while for me they should get a lot of years in prison, because let's be serious, this is murder.

 

So yeah for me lifetime imprisonment is fine, pity that it almost doesn't exist here.

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sivispacem

I think that's more a testament to how endemically corrupt modern Italian society has been than an actual argument in favour of lifelong imprisonment.

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Dingdongs

 

In the case of people sentenced to the death penalty, these are the worst of the worst. People that can't be rehabilitated. The only other choice is to lock them down for life. I don't like the death penalty and I don't support its implementation because I see it as embarrassing on the world stage and I see it as ineffective. But I could give a flying sh*t about a terrorist or a serial killer/mass murderer that gets the needle.

 

 

I don't know, there are a lot of examples of people being wrongly condemned, plus I struggle to believe that some of the people committing capital offenses couldn't be rehabilitated. I mean, I don't know that a specific effort has been made in that direction at all. Surely this type of thing happens in Norway as well, yet their recidivism rate is much lower, along with other benefits of their work towards reintegration. It doesn't really seem like there's an initiative being taken with the objective of rehabilitation of the individual.

 

There really aren't that many examples of people wrongfully condemned to justify doing away with lifetime imprisonment. To justify doing away with the death penalty, there sure is.

 

A capital offense would mean murder 1, treason, and acts of terrorism. Murder 1 would be a murder that is premeditated and planned. Somebody who carries that type of a crime out is not an individual that can be rehabilitated. I love your continued pointing to Norway but they are not a relevant comparison. They don't have anywhere near the level of societal violence America has. And in fact, there are serious talks of reforming their penal system to be more punitive since, for example, the terrorist who killed the students at the camp can technically get out after serving 15-20 years. I'm all for rehabilitating people up to 2nd degree murder. But the system shouldn't waste its time on premeditated murderers and terrorists.

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Fonz

There really aren't that many examples of people wrongfully condemned to justify doing away with lifetime imprisonment. To justify doing away with the death penalty, there sure is.

The problem is justifying life sentences in the first place and I see no valid justification for it. It's just an offhand way of discarding the problem and not bothering with rehabilitation. The standard procedure should be continual attempt at treatment, not a sentence set in stone. If the individual responds positively to the attempts at rehabilitation, release them (book regular evaluations, of course, for safety), if not and there's absolutely no way of doing it, then there's that. But at least try, that's what I'm advocating.

 

A capital offense would mean murder 1, treason, and acts of terrorism. Murder 1 would be a murder that is premeditated and planned. Somebody who carries that type of a crime out is not an individual that can be rehabilitated.

According to whom, though? And it's not like an effort is being made at all, at any rate. The severity of an offense doesn't really dictate a priori whether the offender can be rehabilitated; thorough evaluation and attempts at actual treatment do, depending on their success.

 

I love your continued pointing to Norway but they are not a relevant comparison. They don't have anywhere near the level of societal violence America has.

Yes, that's precisely why I'm pointing to them. You're correct that there isn't the same amount of societal violence, but there are various reasons for that, most of which boil down to Norway clearly doing something better than the US (or, to be fair, better than most other countries). That just indicates that there's a lot to be learned from them. Their recidivism rate is much better than the US's, which is, in and of itself, a fairly good indicator that their method is better.

Edited by Black_MiD

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slimeball supreme

Well, it's better than the death penalty.

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GTA_stu

I don't understand why everyone even needs to be rehabilitated. What benefit does it exactly bring to society to have murderers "rehabilitated"? Sure it's more useful, financially speaking, to have someone working and paying taxes instead of being locked up and being a financial burden on the state. But that benefit is so incredibly negligible, that the cost aspect is totally irrelevant. What matters most is what is right. And unless there are mitigating circumstances which lessen the crime, then I don't see how it's right to allow a cold blooded murderer to have a happy free life outside of prison. Their victim won't get that chance, why should they? If you want to talk about valuing life, then that lessens the value of the victim's life. It says that you can take someone else's life away, and take them from their loved ones and friends, and that as long as you say you're sorry and promise not to do it again, that you'll be let off with only spending a fifth/quarter/third/half of your life behind bars. I don't see how that can be considered fair justice.

 

Not everyone deserves a second chance. Some crimes are too serious and too heinous, and cause too much damage and suffering that allowing the criminal to be set free diminishes the crime they committed. Punishment and retribution are not archaic or old fashioned. They make up a very important part of justice, and are still used in every single criminal justice system in the world. Even those that heavily favour rehabilitation still believe in punishment. Even if it is not the focus, it isn't absent. If there was a magic pill which a murderer could take, and he'd be immediately rehabilitated and remorseful and guaranteed not to reoffend, do you really think it would be fair to release him after 1 day?

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El Dildo

that's more or less what I was trying to address in the first couple of pages of this topic.

somewhere along the way, I think the meaning of 'lifelong imprisonment' became a little lost.

 

are we not talking about sentencing guidelines?

the concept of a 'lifetime' sentence would be inhumane in principle but it's a necessary reality of life.

 

lifelong imprisonment is only inhumane in the abstract sense, as some kind of standardized sentence, like the 3-Strike Laws some states use to throw people behind bars FOREVER after x-number of offenses REGARDLESS of the offense in question. that is supremely inhumane and I don't see how anyone could argue otherwise. that being said, lifelong imprisonment is not inhumane if that's what you deserve. I mean it should be pretty simple, should it not? no one deserves life in prison unless it's what they deserve. if an offender cannot show or otherwise prove that time served has yielded positive/lasting change and personal reformation, then the offender should remain in prison. if that term ends up being their entire life then too bad, I guess they should've gotten their act together or else they truly were not meant to be a part of normal society.

 

the penal system should be about rehabilitation where possible and it should be about keeping people off the streets where necessary. there's no arbitrary point at which a psychopath should be released back into the public just because "oh, well, lifelong imprisonment is inhumane and all that jazz...." sometimes a psycho is a psycho is a psycho and they really need to stay in their padded cell, I'm sorry. this life of puppy dogs and lazy Summer afternoons just isn't meant for them.

 

I dislike the concept of lifelong imprisonment.

but I accept that - unless medical science makes some HUGE leaps and bounds very soon - we don't really have a choice in certain cases.

Edited by El Diablo

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Fonz

I don't understand why everyone even needs to be rehabilitated. What benefit does it exactly bring to society to have murderers "rehabilitated"? Sure it's more useful, financially speaking, to have someone working and paying taxes instead of being locked up and being a financial burden on the state. But that benefit is so incredibly negligible, that the cost aspect is totally irrelevant.

Regardless of how trivially small it is, it's still more productive and beneficial than having them imprisoned for life if treatment is possible.

 

What matters most is what is right. And unless there are mitigating circumstances which lessen the crime, then I don't see how it's right to allow a cold blooded murderer to have a happy free life outside of prison. Their victim won't get that chance, why should they? If you want to talk about valuing life, then that lessens the value of the victim's life. It says that you can take someone else's life away, and take them from their loved ones and friends, and that as long as you say you're sorry and promise not to do it again, that you'll be let off with only spending a fifth/quarter/third/half of your life behind bars.

This argument doesn't really work, though. Capital punishment or a life sentence won't value the victim's life, either, and I don't see how releasing a murderer lessens the victim's life at all. How exactly does someone being locked up for life or executed benefit anyone, if that person can be reintegrated? Not to mention it's a giant appeal to emotion anyhow. It's not really about saying you're sorry, it's actual rehabilitation with regular evaluations for safety.

 

 

Not everyone deserves a second chance. Some crimes are too serious and too heinous, and cause too much damage and suffering that allowing the criminal to be set free diminishes the crime they committed

 

According to whom? Nobody is benefiting from that. Outside of the whims of a few people close to the victim, which are driven by emotion, there's nothing in the way of rational justifications for that notion. Plus, executing a person or imprisoning them for life "just because" isn't attacking the actual factors that made their crimes a reality. Nor is it deterring crime at all, funnily enough.

 

 

Punishment and retribution are not archaic or old fashioned.

 

Punishment for a greater, useful end? No, no it isn't. Punishment for its own sake, on the other hand, is an absolutely useless and barbaric practice. Plus, we know, factually, that it achieves nothing and that other countries who aren't using such barbaric methods have gotten much better results, as shown by their statistics. The death penalty, particularly, is ineffective and costly, which, alone, should be enough to eschew the prospect, even disregarding the morally repulsive nature of it.

 

 

If there was a magic pill which a murderer could take, and he'd be immediately rehabilitated and remorseful and guaranteed not to reoffend, do you really think it would be fair to release him after 1 day?

 

The concept of fairness being introduced here is an appeal to emotion, though, which, coupled with the lack of an absolute morality, gets us nowhere. But to answer the question, yes, I think, if that person were guaranteed not to reoffend at all, releasing them to a normal life would be the proper act.

Edited by Black_MiD

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sivispacem

I don't understand why everyone even needs to be rehabilitated. What benefit does it exactly bring to society to have murderers "rehabilitated"?

Surely a society is more representative, cohesive and humane if it makes efforts to rehabilitate criminals and reintegrate then back into society? I could turn the question on its head and ask what objective harm it does to do so.

 

What matters most is what is right. And unless there are mitigating circumstances which lessen the crime, then I don't see how it's right to allow a cold blooded murderer to have a happy free life outside of prison.

Which is fair enough, but you must acknowledge that at the end of the day this is simply a personal statement on a subjective moral matter? I mean, your objection here boils down to nothing more than an emotional response- because that's all that really objectively defines right and wrong. Again, I could employ similar logic and point out that, regardless of the severity of their crime, criminals deserve at least the opportunity to truly repay their debt to society through their post crime actions, as surely the embracing of a second chance and a willing contribution is a far better legacy go leave the victim and their family than the needless waste of two lives?

 

If you want to talk about valuing life, then that lessens the value of the victim's life.

This is, in my opinion, complete hogwash. How does effectively ending two lives value life more than one being ended and the other being given an opportunity to make something worthwhile of theirs? It's objectively complete nonsense to suggest the former somehow has a greater respect for life.

 

that as long as you say you're sorry and promise not to do it again, that you'll be let off

If this is a genuine representation of what you think non retributive justice systems look like, it goes a great way to explaining why you seem to have such issues understanding them. I'd do some reading if I were you.

 

You also seem to have an issue confusing perceived fairness with objective good. "It's not fair" isn't a counterargument of any real traction once you become an adult.

 

Not everyone deserves a second chance.

Why not? Even if this statement were true, which is debatable in the extreme, whose place is it to judge if and when this time comes? I'd argue that's reserved for those technically qualified to make those judgements based on empiricism, which precludes victims or other emotionally involved parties.

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Dingdongs
The problem is justifying life sentences in the first place and I see no valid justification for it. It's just an offhand way of discarding the problem and not bothering with rehabilitation. The standard procedure should be continual attempt at treatment, not a sentence set in stone. If the individual responds positively to the attempts at rehabilitation, release them (book regular evaluations, of course, for safety), if not and there's absolutely no way of doing it, then there's that. But at least try, that's what I'm advocating.

I'm sorry but I just can't agree with you here. I don't know if you've ever toured an American prison or seen the type of people locked up inside of them, but if you're seriously going to tell me that people convicted of premeditated murder or acts of terror can be rehabilitated, I would wager that you have a naive view on who is locked up. I've toured Sing Sing and a federal prison as well as an immigration detention facility that houses pretty much anything from an illegal alien blowing a red light to illegals who have 30 bodies on them. Great amount of those folks are not people who can be reintegrated with ease. Instead of working with the therapists/social workers/trying to better themselves they are more focused on stabbing one another and slinging feces at the guards.

 

 

 

According to whom, though? And it's not like an effort is being made at all, at any rate. The severity of an offense doesn't really dictate a priori whether the offender can be rehabilitated; thorough evaluation and attempts at actual treatment do, depending on their success.
According to pretty much every criminologist from the most liberal to the most conservative. When you look at serial killers, people who carry out premeditated murders, people who are terrorists, generally there is underlying sociopathy and even some biological/genetic issues wrong with them that predispose them to such acts. I cannot see how any reasonable person would argue for the rehabilitation and reentry into society of serial killers, premeditated murderers, human sex traffickers, and terrorists. Again, I believe that rehabilitating anyone else is great and should be tried. But there are different types of crime and different types of people. When you have a crime with a serious, inhuman motive behind it, like trafficking children for sex, serial killing, that person is not going to be fixed with some therapy sessions while they're locked down. They may, however, be smart enough to convince the therapists (who want to believe what they do works) that they are better, then get out and reoffend.

 

 

 

Yes, that's precisely why I'm pointing to them. You're correct that there isn't the same amount of societal violence, but there are various reasons for that, most of which boil down to Norway clearly doing something better than the US (or, to be fair, better than most other countries). That just indicates that there's a lot to be learned from them. Their recidivism rate is much better than the US's, which is, in and of itself, a fairly good indicator that their method is better.

Again, they are different societies with different people and different culture. You can't simply import the Norwegian system to the US and expect it to fix our problems. American society is significantly more violent and dangerous than pretty much any other Western nation. That means that the people are more violent and the crimes committed here more violent, and thus the response to such felonies is going to differ significantly from a Scandinavian country where violence is basically unheard of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surely a society is more representative, cohesive and humane if it makes efforts to rehabilitate criminals and reintegrate then back into society? I could turn the question on its head and ask what objective harm it does to do so.
How about to the families of the victims who were affected by the crimes? Serial rapists/killers being rehabilitated and released after 4 years? I know you go on and on about the law not being about emotions, but you have to at least consider that when discussing policy. The law itself has been and continues to be grounded in moral belief. Malum in se crimes are what they are for a reason. There's a difference between rehabilitating a drug dealer, someone who committed manslaughter or a heat of the moment murder, and somebody who deliberately carried out murders, rapes, or trafficked children and women sexually.

 

 

 

 

Once again, not everything in the world needs to be based off of empiricism. Why not? Even if this statement were true, which is debatable in the extreme, whose place is it to judge if and when this time comes? I'd argue that's reserved for those technically qualified to make those judgements based on empiricism, which precludes victims or other emotionally involved parties.

 

Edited by Irviding

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Fonz

 

 

I cannot see how any reasonable person would argue for the rehabilitation and reentry into society of serial killers, premeditated murderers, human sex traffickers, and terrorists

Why? If rehabilitation is possible, and considering that's the more beneficial act, why not do it and release them to a normal life? If someone can be recuperated, it's pointless to keep them in any longer than necessary. Why would you oppose their reintegration in the case of successful rehabilitation? I can understand and agree with the concerns about these individuals potentially causing mayhem, but I don't see why you'd be against the prospect of a safe reentry whenever possible.

 

When you have a crime with a serious, inhuman motive behind it, like trafficking children for sex, serial killing, that person is not going to be fixed with some therapy sessions while they're locked down. They may, however, be smart enough to convince the therapists (who want to believe what they do works) that they are better, then get out and reoffend.

Well, in those particular cases I'm inclined to agree, but I'm not sure about your assessment your terrorists. I realize it's a broad term anyhow, but it seems entirely feasible to apply counter-radicalization measures with some degree of effectiveness. Otherwise, we seem to be agreeing on most accounts—what I'm espousing is a process geared toward rehabilitation more than punishment for its own sake. Outside of that, I do concede the point about sociopathy-driven crimes not being an easy fix by any means, of course (if they can be treated at all).

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GTA_stu

You guys made a lot of points so I'm not going to address them all one by one, but I'll try address the main argument. If there's something important I haven't touched on then let me know.

 

With regards to the way a certain sentence affects the value we put on "life", I think you have to consider where, and on who, that value of life falls on first of all. You guys seem to put it on the criminal. In other words, valuing the existence of the murderer shows we value all life, and value the idea of life in general. Because what better way to show how valuable we think life is, than to have a person who committed a terrible crime be redeemed and lead a positive existence. Their life is preserved and given a new chance. It's an action in favour of the abstract idea of life, because instead of 2 lives essentially being lost, we have 1 being repaired and reborn.

 

Here's my issue with that: it says that all life is precious, and that human life has some sort of innate sacred quality which is applied to all individuals at all times, regardless of their actions or behaviour. The problem is that that is a subjective and emotional opinion, but you seem to think it's somehow a rational fact. You seem to think you're acting on some sort of informed, scientific, objective and rational basis. But you're not. You'll try and back that up by pointing to Scandinavia and their crime rates and reoffending rates, but when you're talking specifically about life and murder it's not as simple as that. Because it's such a unique and unparalleled crime. Rehabilitation in the criminal justice system is one argument, and one which most people largely support, rehabilitation and appropriate sentences for murderers is another argument entirely and you can't hide behind supposed Scandinavian enlightenment to act like your position is a rational one and say everyone else is irrational and therefore their arguments are flawed.

 

I don't think all life is precious at all, or that life in the abstract sense is always worth preserving or championing. There are some individuals who committ terrible actions, and by doing so they diminish the value of their life. They do it to their own lives, so if when they are sentenced to death or to life in prison, it is not society or any collective that has ended their life or confined it, it is they who have done it to themselves. We don't bare that burden, they do.

 

I don't think it's right to put emphasis on some abstract notion of life, in that all life is worthy, I think it's right to put it on the actual notion of life, that is the importance of the life of the innocent victim who's life was invaluable. The person who's existence was ended. It is an incredibly serious action to take an innocent life away, there is nothing more absolute. As such it requires an equally serious and absolute response. That means death, or life imprisonment. I think anything less takes away the severity of the crime. You shouldn't in this case put some abstract idea above the life of an innocent person and make their existence irrelevant.

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Fonz

 

 

it says that all life is precious, and that human life has some sort of innate sacred quality which is applied to all individuals at all times, regardless of their actions or behaviour. The problem is that that is a subjective and emotional opinion, but you seem to think it's somehow a rational fact.

I wouldn't necessarily espouse that view, no. I tend not to think about it in terms of sanctity or anything of the sort, but rather on, let's say, utilitarian grounds. I realize "utilitarian" sounds cold or dehumanizing, but I think you know what I mean by it. In that sense, there's really not much about it that could be construed as emotional, I'd say. I can't speak for Sivis, of course, but what I gather is that he just picked up on your previous conception of the value of life and used that as a counter.

The Scandinavian model was intended as more of an indication of a factually more effective method focusing on rehabilitation. The whole deal with the recidivism rate, regardless of Scandinavian statistics, is still not really speaking very well for the US or the death penalty as a whole. Even if you forgo the comparison and look at the US by itself, the conclusion that the death penalty is not working at all is fairly clear-cut.

 

There are some individuals who committ terrible actions, and by doing so they diminish the value of their life

This is the notion I have issues with. How exactly do you quantify this type of value? Or how do we account for its existence at all? It just seems terribly arbitrary. The problem here is the same one i pointed out in the other post—it's working to find objectivity in a model that is in itself subjective. On purely empirical grounds, there's nothing to support this view.

 

 

 

It is an incredibly serious action to take an innocent life away, there is nothing more absolute. As such it requires an equally serious and absolute response. That means death, or life imprisonment. I think anything less takes away the severity of the crime

But how exactly does the wider community benefit from that? If anything, it's depriving society of one more contributor for no good reason. As for the victim, it's tragic that they've been robbed of their own life, really, but killing someone else for it won't affect them or the value of their existence in any conceivable way. In fact, I think the idea that not barbarically executing a killer makes their victim's life irrelevant is somewhat reductive and insulting to the person who died; that notion is unwittingly asserting that the actual life they led was trivial and that petty retribution is the only thing salvaging their legacy. The only thing capital punishment will do is cost a good deal of money, while doing nothing to actually deter crime or the factors that incite it—it's costly and ineffective.

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make total destroy

Prison in general is inhumane, and we should be actively working towards it's abolition. While prisons are to exist, their primary social function should be to rehabilitate criminals, both for their sake, and our own. It's secondary function should be to isolate those who may pose a danger to others for as long as they can be perceived as a threat. It's emphasis should not be punishment or retribution, as neither do anything to combat future crimes.

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