Quantcast
Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
    1. Welcome to GTAForums!

    1. Red Dead Redemption 2

      1. Gameplay
      2. Missions
      3. Help & Support
    2. Red Dead Online

      1. Gameplay
      2. Find Lobbies & Outlaws
      3. Help & Support
    1. Crews & Posses

      1. Recruitment
    2. Events

    1. GTA Online

      1. Arena War
      2. After Hours
      3. Find Lobbies & Players
      4. Guides & Strategies
      5. Vehicles
      6. Content Creator
      7. Help & Support
    2. Grand Theft Auto Series

    3. GTA Next

    4. GTA V

      1. PC
      2. Guides & Strategies
      3. Help & Support
    5. GTA IV

      1. Episodes from Liberty City
      2. Multiplayer
      3. Guides & Strategies
      4. Help & Support
      5. GTA Mods
    6. GTA Chinatown Wars

    7. GTA Vice City Stories

    8. GTA Liberty City Stories

    9. GTA San Andreas

      1. Guides & Strategies
      2. Help & Support
      3. GTA Mods
    10. GTA Vice City

      1. Guides & Strategies
      2. Help & Support
      3. GTA Mods
    11. GTA III

      1. Guides & Strategies
      2. Help & Support
      3. GTA Mods
    12. Top Down Games

      1. GTA Advance
      2. GTA 2
      3. GTA
    13. Wiki

      1. Merchandising
    1. GTA Modding

      1. GTA V
      2. GTA IV
      3. GTA III, VC & SA
      4. Tutorials
    2. Mod Showroom

      1. Scripts & Plugins
      2. Maps
      3. Total Conversions
      4. Vehicles
      5. Textures
      6. Characters
      7. Tools
      8. Other
      9. Workshop
    3. Featured Mods

      1. DYOM
      2. OpenIV
      3. GTA: Underground
      4. GTA: Liberty City
      5. GTA: State of Liberty
    1. Red Dead Redemption

    2. Rockstar Games

    1. Off-Topic

      1. General Chat
      2. Gaming
      3. Technology
      4. Programming
      5. Movies & TV
      6. Music
      7. Sports
      8. Vehicles
    2. Expression

      1. Graphics / Visual Arts
      2. GFX Requests & Tutorials
      3. Writers' Discussion
      4. Debates & Discussion
    1. News

    2. Forum Support

    3. Site Suggestions

GTASAddict

Is lifelong imprisonment inhumane?

Recommended Posts

sivispacem

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.

This doesn't really ring true. If we assume some kind of intrinsic value to life or at least a voluntary desire to protect it which is pretty much inarguably ingrained into society, which I supposed is what we're saying by talking of it being objectively preferable to give people an opportunity to effectively save themselves through redeeming actions, then logically all life has to have the same value, entirely independent of any action or other factors.

 

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.

Why? If your counterargument to empirically supported rehabilitative justice is the vapid notion of some crimes somehow being unique and unparalleled without any empirical justification, I don't really think it constituted much of one.

 

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.

Well, you sort of can on the basis of the variety of empirical factors. There's no rationality to retribution justice because its driven entirely by emotion. I honestly struggle how you fail to see the rationality in rehabilitative justice but given that you seem to think that retribution is both logical and reasonable when it isn't really either...

 

I don't think all life is precious at all, or that life in the abstract sense is always worth preserving or championing.

Quite aside from drawing all sorts of conclusions about you from statements like this, the notion that life has no intrinsic value and is not in and if itself worth preserving is a rather dangerous slippery slope. It's also a bit of a contradiction, as surely it's this very factor which makes murder so reprehensible in the first place? It's no so much a question of life having some kind of abstract value anyway, but simply a case of equality where individuals are judged solely on the quality of their actions and not on the notion that these actions somehow reduce their value as humans. More personally, I don't think anyone has the right to judge the comparative value of the lives of others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Raavi

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.

 

It's not necessarily that the concept of imprisonment is inhumane, this very much depend on the circumstances of incarceration. It's that it's inefficient and illogical for most but a few crimes. The "punishment" ideally should serve society, imprisonment only costs society and the notion of having it serve as a deterrent is hopelessly obsolete. Should, which is the operating word here because all this is pure idealism. In the short run I'd be very happy to see initiatives to do away with moronic sentencing guidelines and improve the lives of inmates, rather than actively cut back on whatever perceived "luxury" there is left. I've repeated this ad nauseam but incarceration is the punishment, prison should solely serve as a place for rehabilitation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dingdongs
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.

We keep going in circles here... people who carry out crimes with zero regard to human life are already sociopathic and do not and should not belong in society. And yes, "emotion" is part of it. It's not only how the victim and their families would feel if say, members of a human sex trafficking ring who raped and tortured girls as young as 7 get out after 5 years of "rehabilitation"... it's sickening to the rest of society as well. Do you really think that people who are engaged in lifelong, grievious and vile criminal activity can be seriously rehabilitated? There's a difference between rehabilitating a guy who accidentally killed somebody feloniously due to anger or whatever and somebody who goes out and targets and cuts up his victims then rapes their dead bodies.

 

 

 

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).

Counter-radicalization methods on people who do not actually carry out acts of terror, sure. Once you fire that gun, flip that switch, etc. you've gone beyond any "rehabilitation". You're right that terrorism is a broad term. Some kid who gets radicalized off the internet and doesn't actually carry out acts of terror can sure be rehabilitated. But actual terrorists who have murdered scores of people? No f*cking way.

 

 

sivis-

 

 

Well, you sort of can on the basis of the variety of empirical factors. There's no rationality to retribution justice because its driven entirely by emotion. I honestly struggle how you fail to see the rationality in rehabilitative justice but given that you seem to think that retribution is both logical and reasonable when it isn't really either...

As I said on the last page, not every law is based off empirical factors. We need to look to morals when making laws as well. There's no empirical justification for why 40 year olds shouldn't able to have sexual relationships with 14 year olds, but we still prohibit it. Malum in se crimes have been the fabric of the criminal penal system for a very long time.

 

 

Edited by Irviding

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sivispacem

As I said on the last page, not every law is based off empirical factors.

And more often than not, those that aren't are either pointless, unnecessarily restrictive or intentionally vague.

 

There's no empirical justification for why 40 year olds shouldn't able to have sexual relationships with 14 year olds

...I can think of several.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
El Dildo

oh snap are we going to start arguing about pedophilia again?

that never gets old.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RedDagger

(...)and do not and should not belong in society. And yes, "emotion" is part of it. It's not only how the victim and their families would feel if say, members of a human sex trafficking ring who raped and tortured girls as young as 7 get out after 5 years of "rehabilitation"... it's sickening to the rest of society as well. Do you really think that people who are engaged in lifelong, grievious and vile criminal activity can be seriously rehabilitated? There's a difference between rehabilitating a guy who accidentally killed somebody feloniously due to anger or whatever and somebody who goes out and targets and cuts up his victims then rapes their dead bodies.

The way I always hear it, is that if they truly can't be rehabilitated then they simply stay there just like a prison sentence, except with better conditions - if the problem is that deep-rooted then they're fairly unlikely to be released sharpish.

 

But then again it doesn't make any sense to treat different crimes differently - just because some crime is some arbitrary level of "bad" higher than another, it seems to defeat the point of rehabilitation if they stay locked up just because some people who wouldn't be affected would be upset otherwise. And you can say it's sickening to society, but next week they'll be sickened to the core about someone's wig - there really wouldn't be that many people who'd actually be affected, and their emotions shouldn't be playing that big part in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dingdongs
...I can think of several.

 

Like what? Other than the fact that society simply recognizes such a relationship to be "wrong".

 

 

 

 

 

And more often than not, those that aren't are either pointless, unnecessarily restrictive or intentionally vague.

Which laws exactly? Look, I'm all for changing the criminal justice system and working to lower the amount of people imprisoned going forward, focus more on rehabilitating people convicted of most crimes, but this notion that we shouldy focus on rehabilitation for people who commit grievous felonies is simply not something myself nor I believe most people can get behind. Empirically is it better to rehabilitate somebody who rapes and murders people for 10 years so they can go back into society and pay their taxes/bills? Sure. Is it right? Absolutely not.

 

 

 

The way I always hear it, is that if they truly can't be rehabilitated then they simply stay there just like a prison sentence, except with better conditions - if the problem is that deep-rooted then they're fairly unlikely to be released sharpish.

But then again it doesn't make any sense to treat different crimes differently - just because some crime is some arbitrary level of "bad" higher than another, it seems to defeat the point of rehabilitation if they stay locked up just because some people who wouldn't be affected would be upset otherwise. And you can say it's sickening to society, but next week they'll be sickened to the core about someone's wig - there really wouldn't be that many people who'd actually be affected, and their emotions shouldn't be playing that big part in it.

People are sickened more over a wig than the fact that close to 50,000 women and children are sexually trafficked into the US and doped up on meth and forced to work 22 hours a day as a piece of meat? I would really doubt that. The types of human beings that can do that type of stuff are not people who 1) can be rehabilitated and 2) are worth even trying. Child rapists/murderers, serial killers, are you all seriously arguing that these people should be rehabilitated and let back into society after what? 3 years of "intensive therapy and workshops"?

Edited by Irviding

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sivispacem

Like what? Other than the fact that society simply recognizes such a relationship to be "wrong".

There's the question of whether, generally speaking, people of 14 are mature enough to make decisions on the subject of sex. The reason age of consent laws exist is to establish a very rough and arbitrary point (required as case-by-case law in unworkable) at which point individuals are deemed to be responsible enough to make those decisions. It's a protection from objectivy demonstrable possible psychological and physical harm.

 

Which laws exactly?

Those that spring immediately to mind are- basically everything to do with computer crime, local laws against loitering, prostitution, possession and use of drug offences, disorderly conduct offences and the suchlike.

 

Is it right? Absolutely not.

 

Here we go again. Personal emotional views should have no place in justice. The very notion of "right" in this context is so subjective it is basically pointless. You ask me "is it right" and my response would be "yes".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dingdongs

 

 

There's the question of whether, generally speaking, people of 14 are mature enough to make decisions on the subject of sex. The reason age of consent laws exist is to establish a very rough and arbitrary point (required as case-by-case law in unworkable) at which point individuals are deemed to be responsible enough to make those decisions. It's a protection from objectivy demonstrable possible psychological and physical harm.

But why do we draw that line in the sand? Because we view it as wrong. We look at emotional contexts to make many laws, that's the point I'm trying to make here. The idea that every single law is invalid and silly if it doesn't have a basis in empiricism is just counter to hundreds of years of established common law jurisprudence. You can make a case that pretty much any law has a grounding in some emotional belief as well as a faint empirical one.

 

 

 

 

Those that spring immediately to mind are- basically everything to do with computer crime, local laws against loitering, prostitution, possession and use of drug offences, disorderly conduct offences and the suchlike.

So you believe those laws are wrong, or just that they are not grounded in empiricism? I can find you scores of empirical data on the validity and success of discon laws, loitering laws, etc. But once again, we as a society look to a lot of these laws and come to a common agreement that you know what, X is wrong and Y is right. It's wrong to go up to someone's coffin in the middle of a funeral and start screaming during the service, that's felony discon in many states. Is there any empirical reason why that should be illegal? All it does is hurt peoples' feelings, they should get over it right?


 

 

Here we go again. Personal emotional views should have no place in justice. The very notion of "right" in this context is so subjective it is basically pointless. You ask me "is it right" and my response would be "yes".

No it's not that subjective though. Society has come together and agreed on these things. With the exception of stuff like possession of marijuana or prostitution, the vast, vast majority believes that most criminal laws we have right now are there for good reasons, the ones that are "empirical" and the ones that are "emotional" Furthermore, victims having a say in the choice of charges/sentence has been a concept in common law for a very, long time. And more often than not, victims and their families argue for leniency in non-grievous cases. I don't understand why emotion doesn't belong in lawmaking. That's literally what a malum in se crime is.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sivispacem

But why do we draw that line in the sand? Because we view it as wrong.

No, we draw that line in the sand because of the perceived objective harm to wider society that not drawing the line causes. It's perceived as wrong because it's demonstrably harmful, not vice versa.

 

We look at emotional contexts to make many laws

And I'm questioning the value of doing so.

 

So you believe those laws are wrong, or just that they are not grounded in empiricism?

I'd argue the former because of the latter.

 

I can find you scores of empirical data on the validity and success of discon laws, loitering laws, etc

Can you? How exactly do you measure the empirical validity and positive social impact of a loitering law? If you're finding and convicting people on other offences that were detected only because a loitering law permitted an otherwise illegal stop and search, you can't really pretend it's the law itself that's of benefit to society.

 

All it does is hurt peoples' feelings, they should get over it right?

Subjective harm can still be demonstrably harmful.

 

No it's not that subjective though. Society has come together and agreed on these things.

Well for the most part it sort of hasn't. Most people are too ignorant to do anything other than follow whichever point of view has the most financial backers, and even disregarding that the very fact that many societies disagree on these points demonstrates their total lack of universality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GTA_stu

 

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.

1. 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

2. 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

3. 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.

 

 

1. Well my point was to challenge the idea that my side of the argument is emotional and therefore somehow flawed, and that yours is entirely unemotional and is objectively right. I think that's totally not the case at all. We are talking about morality at the end of the day, and there is no objectively correct stance. I don't even understand why Norway having low recidivism rates is relevant. The question isn't whether rehabilitating murderers works, since it obviously does, the question is whether they deserve the right to a rehabilitated life after taking someone elses.

 

The death penalty/life incarceration does work though. It is designed to kill people who have committed terrible crimes, or keep them locked up until they die, because that is deemed the morally correct thing to do. It does that very well. In what way is it a failure? It does exactly what it's supposed to do in pretty much every case, other than when someone escapes. Rehabilitating murderers actually fails much more often than the death penalty/life incarceration does, because you do get people who are released and then kill another person or persons. And it's not exactly that rare.

 

People make the argument that you shouldn't have the death penalty in case an innocent person is killed. Yet supposedly rehabilitated murderers get released and kill innocent people, and it happens far more frequently than innocent people getting sentenced to death does. If you don't want to take the chance that an innocent person gets killed by the death penalty or gets locked up for life, then why take the chance with rehabilitation, especially since there's a higher chance of it happening with rehabilitation.

 

2. It's not arbitrary though, because you only have it for specific crimes, which are defined under the law. You only incarcerate someone for life if they've committed murder. That's the opposite of arbitrary.

 

3. Why does it have to benefit the wider community? There are plenty of examples where you do what is right for a specific person or certain individuals, and not the whole collective of society. We spend a relatively large amount on looking after the severely disabled even though they contribute nothing to society. We spend disproportionately large sums on search and rescue operations for missing children. Not every single thing has to be utalitarian and be a net benefit to everyone. And again, the cost of imprisoning murderers is irrelevant anyways. Some things are more important than money, I'd like to think we'd do what is right, not what is cheapest. The cost is negligible in this case anyways.

 

Actually the value of a person's existence can be reflected in the consequences their murder will face. Forget rehabilitation for a second and consider only punishment, or even still considering rehabilitation works too. By being incredibly lenient and only imprisoning someone for 3 weeks for killing someone, you are definitely sending out the message that the life they took away wasn't really important. Because that's nothing. If someone killed your mum/dad/brother/sister in cold blood, wouldn't you feel that the state didn't really care about them if the killer faced virtually no consequences for their actions? The punishment fitting the crime, or proportionality, is quite a basic part of justice. Without it there is no justice for those involved, at least for the vast majority of people. It's got nothing to do with salvaging their legacy through retribution, it's about proportionality and fairness.

Edited by GTA_stu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GTA_stu

Sorry for the double post but it was necessary given the device I'm using, plus it probably looks less messy this way.

 

 

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.

1. This doesn't really ring true. If we assume some kind of intrinsic value to life or at least a voluntary desire to protect it which is pretty much inarguably ingrained into society, which I supposed is what we're saying by talking of it being objectively preferable to give people an opportunity to effectively save themselves through redeeming actions, then logically all life has to have the same value, entirely independent of any action or other factors.

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.

2. Why? If your counterargument to empirically supported rehabilitative justice is the vapid notion of some crimes somehow being unique and unparalleled without any empirical justification, I don't really think it constituted much of one.

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.

3. Well, you sort of can on the basis of the variety of empirical factors. There's no rationality to retribution justice because its driven entirely by emotion. I honestly struggle how you fail to see the rationality in rehabilitative justice but given that you seem to think that retribution is both logical and reasonable when it isn't really either...

I don't think all life is precious at all, or that life in the abstract sense is always worth preserving or championing.

4. Quite aside from drawing all sorts of conclusions about you from statements like this, the notion that life has no intrinsic value and is not in and if itself worth preserving is a rather dangerous slippery slope. It's also a bit of a contradiction, as surely it's this very factor which makes murder so reprehensible in the first place? It's no so much a question of life having some kind of abstract value anyway, but simply a case of equality where individuals are judged solely on the quality of their actions and not on the notion that these actions somehow reduce their value as humans. More personally, I don't think anyone has the right to judge the comparative value of the lives of others.

 

1. Is it inarguably ingrained into society though? To simply protect "life"? I don't think it is. I think it's only ingrained to protect life we deem valuable, which doesn't mean every single human being. I think most people do value different people's lives differently. Loved ones and friends generally come first, then the common citizen, and then people who we think are dangerous to society, like paedophiles and murderers, come last. There's probably some other groups you could include, and it's not the same for everyone, but generally you do have different values you can attribute to different people and different groups of people. It actually makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint that we don't value all human lives the same, and attribute less value to a human who is dangerous and harmful. If it is ingrained to protect "life", then we would devalue threats to it wouldn't we? And threats can certainly come from other humans.

 

2. Rehabilitation is only "empirically supported" in the sense that it is proven to work though. It isn't empirically proven to be morally right, because it can't be. And emperical evidence that murder is unique? I mean I think taking a life away is pretty unique, at least as far as different actions and crimes can be. It's certainly quite particular and special, as deemed by the collective consciousness of humans, apart from psychopaths maybe. That's why murder in most societies and cultures, is regarded as one of the worst crimes and usually the worst crime, and is given the most severe punishment.

 

3. How is it driven entirely by emotion? I genuinely don't understand that whatsoever. Every single country in the world practices retributive justice, even Scandinavian countries. Retributive justice is a part of rehabilitation. You would not be able to rehabilitate most people who commit crimes without a certain degree of punishment. Not to mention vigilantism would be through the roof because justice for the overwhelmingly vast majority of people, perhaps not robots like you, but for most people, involves proportionate and responsible punishment, administered by a neutral 3rd party, usually the state, for most crimes committed against a person. You do realise you can punish someone and also at the same time try to help them right? It's not one or the other. It's a perfectly reasonable and rational expectation that someone is punished, in one way or another, if they've done you wrong. You can rehabilitate them at the same time.

 

4. Oh I'm a bad person because I don't think all life has to be preserved? Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought you were fairly right wing when it comes to matters of defence. You're certainly not a pacifist are you? So you agree that sometimes it's right and/or necessary to kill? I don't think life has no intrinsic value, I think that not all life has intrinsic value. Nobody has the right to judge the value of other people's lives? So what about soldiers or drone operators? That's exactly what they do, they make decisions about whether someone lives or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fonz
The death penalty/life incarceration does work though. It is designed to kill people who have committed terrible crimes, or keep them locked up until they die, because that is deemed the morally correct thing to do. It does that very well. In what way is it a failure?

It doesn't address the social factors (depending on the crime) that made it possible, it doesn't deter crime in any way, doesn't benefit anyone at all, doesn't even "send a message", as it were, recidivism rates being empirical proof of this. Who says it's the morally correct thing to do? As you said, it's a highly subjective matter—that's why we turn to factual, objective data to help us decide what the better alternative is, and it has been shown that it is rehabilitation. Capital punishment accomplishes nothing, irrespective of its morality or lack thereof. You say it achieves its objective, i.e. killing a criminal, but that objective is pretty indisputably useless for the reasons I listed. It is a failure in every way.

 

 

If you don't want to take the chance that an innocent person gets killed by the death penalty or gets locked up for life, then why take the chance with rehabilitation, especially since there's a higher chance of it happening with rehabilitation.

Hypothetically, yes. However, statistics prove otherwise. The death penalty gets rid of a specific offender and does nothing to deter crime. The rehabilitative system is actually addressing the problems and doing a much better job at it, with the recidivism rates to show for it. A thorough analysis of further crime statistics will quickly disproves the other statement ("Rehabilitating murderers actually fails much more often than the death penalty/life incarceration does, because you do get people who are released and then kill another person or persons. And it's not exactly that rare.").

[As an aside: one of the terms you're setting here is that the death penalty is succeeding because it's effectively killing criminals, but the usefulness or actual benefit of this achievement is nil, making the whole comparison crumble]

 

 

It's not arbitrary though, because you only have it for specific crimes, which are defined under the law. You only incarcerate someone for life if they've committed murder. That's the opposite of arbitrary.

That's not what I said, though. You said certain crimes diminished the value of one's life; my retort was that your notion of the proportion in which certain actions affect the value of one's life is unfounded and arbitrary. Even then, that legislation you mentioned here is still is arbitrary, in the sense that it can't really be rationally legitimized.

 

 

Why does it have to benefit the wider community? There are plenty of examples where you do what is right for a specific person or certain individuals, and not the whole collective of society. We spend a relatively large amount on looking after the severely disabled even though they contribute nothing to society. We spend disproportionately large sums on search and rescue operations for missing children. Not every single thing has to be utalitarian and be a net benefit to everyone. And again, the cost of imprisoning murderers is irrelevant anyways. Some things are more important than money, I'd like to think we'd do what is right, not what is cheapest. The cost is negligible in this case anyways.

 

Taking your example of funding the disabled vs execution: one is an expression of solidarity, while the other is an act of useless barbarism, especially when a much more beneficial action could be taken instead. The former is dealing with an unchangeable condition (most of the time anyway), while the other is simply catering to primitive impulses out of a misguided sense of "justice" in lieu of actually working to fix the problem. Even through your conception, this argument doesn't really work.

 

Another point is that a lot of physically handicapped people can still perform other types of labour—I had a disabled teacher once; the guy who owned the bookstore I went to was in a wheelchair, just as a few examples. On the other hand, when you execute a criminal, you're simply eliminating any chance of a contribution, not dealing with the actual factors and stubbornly persisting on something that has already proven itself to be a failure, rather than learning from other systems that have already shown themselves more effective.

 

You introduce the concept of moral soundness again here. Whether it's right or not is entirely debatable, and that particular debate is unfruitful, since it will simply go around in circles in subjective concepts. That's why I'm pointing to tangible, objective data here, and all of it leads to the inevitable conclusion that capital punishment is unjustifiable through any rational argument.

 

 

Actually the value of a person's existence can be reflected in the consequences their murder will face. Forget rehabilitation for a second and consider only punishment, or even still considering rehabilitation works too. By being incredibly lenient and only imprisoning someone for 3 weeks for killing someone, you are definitely sending out the message that the life they took away wasn't really important

 

Maybe through a merely common sense-oriented analysis, but, as it stands, facts prove that assumption incorrect. The death penalty isn't sending the message that all life is important nor is it dissuading anyone from going out and committing murder and other violent crimes. If it were, there wouldn't be such an atrocious crime rate in the US. On the other hand, the rehabilitative model, which you think is sending a message of leniency, is doing precisely the opposite, again, with the statistics to show for it (of course this is not solely due to the penal model).

 

 

If someone killed your mum/dad/brother/sister in cold blood, wouldn't you feel that the state didn't really care about them if the killer faced virtually no consequences for their actions?

I probably would and that's exactly why my personal opinions, as a close relative, should be disregarded as they would be blinded by emotion, instead of operating on reason. This is an appeal to emotion anyhow. And yes, you can say that emotion plays a part in the current model, but my whole position is one of opposition to the current model; furthermore, that would constitute an appeal to tradition.

 

Again, you mention fairness, which just proves my point: there isn't a single rational argument in favor of the death penalty, which means the whole thing boils down to appeals to emotion. Conversely, all factual data speaks against it.

 

Just to clarify, outside the scope of the death penalty debate, like everyone else, I do attribute value to life. I just refrain, whenever possible, from basing my points on that because it's easily disputable or, at any rate, unprovable, while objective information isn't.

Edited by Black_MiD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sivispacem

1. Is it inarguably ingrained into society though? To simply protect "life"? I don't think it is. I think it's only ingrained to protect life we deem valuable, which doesn't mean every single human being.

...well then it is inarguably ingrained, isn't it? The fact that some societies hold the value if certain individuals over others doesn't actually preclude them from valuing life in an of itself. I think you've at least partly missed the point here; I'm not arguing that societies don't value some lives more than other, I'm arguing that all civilised ones attribute some degree of value to human life which places it above that of other creatures. The protection of life is a fundamental component of social contract theory, delivered by the state in return for citizens sacrificing certain liberties.

 

I think most people do value different people's lives differently.

Of course they do. It doesn't mean that these people should be afforded additional rights based on these subjective and personal assessments of their supposed higher value, does it?

 

Rehabilitation is only "empirically supported" in the sense that it is proven to work though. It isn't empirically proven to be morally right, because it can't be.

I have no idea what you're trying to say here, other than (I assume accidentally) affirming the notion that morality is subjective and personal and therefore of less intrinsuc value in criminal justice than empiricism.

 

And emperical evidence that murder is unique? I mean I think

Let me stop you there, because "I think" doesn't constitute an empirical answer to anything. In case you aren't aware, murder isn't the only criminal act in which one human is directly responsible for the death of another, so it isn't actually unique in that respect. The only thing distinguishing it from significantly lesser offences is intent. It's also worth noting that, objectively, it's one of the most demonstrably harmful crimes so I'm in no way attempting to downplay its significance. Just simply argue against the vapid concept of vaguely nonsensical exceptionism when the only distinction between murder and manslaughter in many nations is whether or not a prosecution can prove beyond reasonable doubt that someone undoubtably meant to kill.

 

Every single country in the world practices retributive justice, even Scandinavian countries. Retributive justice is a part of rehabilitation.

You clearly don't understand what retributive justice actually is. It's very definition is "a system of criminal justice based on the punishment of offenders rather than on rehabilitation." Which clearly isn't a definition which can be applied to Scandinavian countries. You also seem to ignore the fact that isolation and incarceration away from society for a determined period is the punishment aspect of the justice system. In fact you really don't seem to understand any of the basic or fundamental points I or anyone else arguing from a similar perspective has made.

 

4. Oh I'm a bad person because I don't think all life has to be preserved?

...no, the two are certainly correlated but not mutually exclusive. Anyway, at what point did I say or imply you were a bad person? I don't recall ever stating that.

 

So you agree that sometimes it's right and/or necessary to kill?

I don't think it's right and it's often not necessary, but it simply is. War is a fact of humanity and combatants acknowledge a level of personal risk to life by the simple act of joiming an armed force. It is, for people in the developed world, a voluntary choice. Acknowledged risk, tacit agreement, call it what you will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dingdongs
No, we draw that line in the sand because of the perceived objective harm to wider society that not drawing the line causes. It's perceived as wrong because it's demonstrably harmful, not vice versa

And it's demonstrably harmful to the emotional state of the victims and families of those affected by very heinous crimes, as well as those in wider society who live in a state of fear when a dangerous inmate is released. As I said above, I'm not as far on this as others in saying rehabilitation shouldn't be bothered with. I believe it's a great thing and should be the main focus. But it should not be used when you have very heinous acts because yes, emotionally, morally, whatever speaking, those people cannot be rehabilitated and do not deserve it.

 

 

 

 

And I'm questioning the value of doing so.

Then you're questioning the entire fabric of the legal system. The different classes of crimes (felony vs. misdemeanor), different degrees of crimes. are all based on not only "empiricism" but emotion. It's totally arbitrary and not based on any kind of empirical reasoning that we increase the degree of a crime when there is a hate/bias factor in the crime. Empirically, who gives a flying sh*t if it was because the perp was 25 targeting old men who live alone and robbing them? Or if the perp was white and said an epithet of racial slurs and then shot a black man in the head? The perp would still be charged with say, robbery 2 in the first case or murder 2 in the second. However, we see it as "wrong" because someone was targeted based on race/sexual orientation/age, and increase the penalties a degree due to that. Same with different degrees for different sexual violations, I could go on and on here. Your reliance on empiricism is commendable, but it doesn't apply to everything.

 

 

 

Can you? How exactly do you measure the empirical validity and positive social impact of a loitering law? If you're finding and convicting people on other offences that were detected only because a loitering law permitted an otherwise illegal stop and search, you can't really pretend it's the law itself that's of benefit to society.

Quite easily. Based on the lost business to shopkeepers from loiterers, the lower overall crime when we enforce loitering... and that's not just because of stops but because when you enforce loitering laws and take people who are loitering outside of the mix, these are folks who are more likely to perpetrate a worse offense. This has been proven time and time again. Sociologists argue whether broken windows policing is responsible for the crime drop but nobody argues that it doesn't actually work when it's employed.

 

 

Well for the most part it sort of hasn't. Most people are too ignorant to do anything other than follow whichever point of view has the most financial backers, and even disregarding that the very fact that many societies disagree on these points demonstrates their total lack of universality.

What does this have to do with people having views on criminal enforcement and penalties? Poll the populace and ask if they think human sex traffickers and serial killers/terrorists should get rehabilitated and be released after 3-4 years. I doubt those beliefs come from financial backers.

 

Edited by Irviding

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UshaB

Depends on the crime. Depends if they could cause any further harm.

 

It is only inhumane if the person convicted was wrongly sentenced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GTA_stu

 

1. Is it inarguably ingrained into society though? To simply protect "life"? I don't think it is. I think it's only ingrained to protect life we deem valuable, which doesn't mean every single human being.

1. ...well then it is inarguably ingrained, isn't it? The fact that some societies hold the value if certain individuals over others doesn't actually preclude them from valuing life in an of itself. I think you've at least partly missed the point here; I'm not arguing that societies don't value some lives more than other, I'm arguing that all civilised ones attribute some degree of value to human life which places it above that of other creatures. The protection of life is a fundamental component of social contract theory, delivered by the state in return for citizens sacrificing certain liberties.

 

I think most people do value different people's lives differently.

2. Of course they do. It doesn't mean that these people should be afforded additional rights based on these subjective and personal assessments of their supposed higher value, does it?

 

Rehabilitation is only "empirically supported" in the sense that it is proven to work though. It isn't empirically proven to be morally right, because it can't be.

3. I have no idea what you're trying to say here, other than (I assume accidentally) affirming the notion that morality is subjective and personal and therefore of less intrinsuc value in criminal justice than empiricism.

 

And emperical evidence that murder is unique? I mean I think

4. Let me stop you there, because "I think" doesn't constitute an empirical answer to anything. In case you aren't aware, murder isn't the only criminal act in which one human is directly responsible for the death of another, so it isn't actually unique in that respect. The only thing distinguishing it from significantly lesser offences is intent. It's also worth noting that, objectively, it's one of the most demonstrably harmful crimes so I'm in no way attempting to downplay its significance. Just simply argue against the vapid concept of vaguely nonsensical exceptionism when the only distinction between murder and manslaughter in many nations is whether or not a prosecution can prove beyond reasonable doubt that someone undoubtably meant to kill.

 

Every single country in the world practices retributive justice, even Scandinavian countries. Retributive justice is a part of rehabilitation.

5. You clearly don't understand what retributive justice actually is. It's very definition is "a system of criminal justice based on the punishment of offenders rather than on rehabilitation." Which clearly isn't a definition which can be applied to Scandinavian countries. You also seem to ignore the fact that isolation and incarceration away from society for a determined period is the punishment aspect of the justice system. In fact you really don't seem to understand any of the basic or fundamental points I or anyone else arguing from a similar perspective has made.

 

4. Oh I'm a bad person because I don't think all life has to be preserved?

6. ...no, the two are certainly correlated but not mutually exclusive. Anyway, at what point did I say or imply you were a bad person? I don't recall ever stating that.

 

So you agree that sometimes it's right and/or necessary to kill?

7. I don't think it's right and it's often not necessary, but it simply is. War is a fact of humanity and combatants acknowledge a level of personal risk to life by the simple act of joiming an armed force. It is, for people in the developed world, a voluntary choice. Acknowledged risk, tacit agreement, call it what you will.

 

 

1. I don't think any of that disagrees with what I'm saying though. You can value life in the general sense and at the same time not value it in specific cases. And again, no it's not ingrained to protect all life, it is not ingrained to protect every single human's life.

 

2. In most cases, no. In every society though some people's rights are limited depending on their actions.

 

3. Morality being subjective doesn't mean we have to ditch it and just go with whatever option is the most economically beneficial. I think you're also overstating how much supposed empirical "good" rehabilitating murderers actually does, because even that is subjective and not as clear cut as you're making out.

 

4. No, let me stop you. What you've done here is take that completely out of context in an attempt at a gotcha. I gave reasons why murder is unique and unparalleled. You've just quoted the way I initially framed my response. I was essentially saying "this is why I think it is empirically unique" and then I gave my response. I don't know if you're being intentionally petty, or what.

 

Well my point is that murder is exceptional, not merely being responsible for someone's death. Purposefully taking someone's life and intending to do so, is treated as a unique and exceptional crime. I don't see how that's vapid or nonsensical. You even said it's often the main distinction between it and other crimes, and it's a pretty big and important distinction too. That's why you very rarely see the death penalty or life imprisonment for lesser charges, but do for clear intent to murder. We tend to think of it as being unique and exceptional, and treat it as such too.

 

5. Well that's one definition from one source. It certainly can be used in that context, but retributive justice can also be used to mean any sort of sentence that involves a punishment, or where punishment is an aspect. Which is the definition we actually seemed to be using up until that point. Both you and black_mid have in this current discussion train and in others, stated that punishment has no place whatsoever. I even gave that example of the magic 100% guaranteed rehabilitating pill that would allow murderers to be released after 1 day, black_mid said he agreed with it's use. Don't think you responded to that, but you have completely disregarded any notion of punishment and retribution being used in the past, saying it's archaic and achieves nothing and that only rehabilitating criminals/murderers is of concern.

 

6.

I said "I don't think all life is precious at all, or that life in the abstract sense is always worth preserving or championing."

 

Your direct response "Quite aside from drawing all sorts of conclusions about you from statements like this ..."

 

Come on, you can't see why it could seem you were somehow attacking my character or questioning it? I'm not saying you were doing in order to undermine my argument or anything, or committing a fallacy, but I still just thought it was a funny thing to say.

 

7. Right, but ultimately the point is that we do kill when we deem it necessary. It's not even about the killing aspect, because this is also relevant to lifelong imprisonment. My point is when certain individuals are deemed a threat to ourselves, we take measures to neutralise the threat. I don't think rehabilitation is an adequate or appropriate neutralisation for cold blooded murders. Even if you put aside the issue of how to punish a murderer, or the appropriate response of how to deal with the act of murder, there's still the issue of public safety, which should be a priority. Releasing individuals who have killed innocent people, is very dangerous. You cannot be sure they won't do it again. I've made this comparison already but I'll repeat it. One of the biggest arguments against the death penalty is "well what if we convict someone who is innocent" and that is relevant with rehabilitation too. I don't think you've really addressed this point. Why put innocent life at risk, if it's so important? Even if 1 released murderer kills again, that's a huge negative mark against releasing murderers, and is enough to call into question rehabilitation in cases of murder.

Edited by GTA_stu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nick1020

Nah but I do find multiple life sentences or additional years pointless. Like "in addition to your life sentence, I sentence you to an additional 60 years." Like what's the point of that?

Edited by Nick1020

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dingdongs

Nah but I do find multiple life sentences or additional years pointless. Like "in addition to your life sentence, I sentence you to an additional 60 years." Like what's the point of that?

Because each conviction has to have a sentence. If somebody is charged with murder 1 and gets life no parole and also charged with say robbery, assault, rape, whatever else those years will be added on.

 

You see it a lot with possession of child pornography; federal possession charge is a felony that carries a 2 year prison sentence per image so people get sentenced to 1,000+ years sometimes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sivispacem

And it's demonstrably harmful to the emotional state of the victims and families of those affected by very heinous crimes, as well as those in wider society who live in a state of fear when a dangerous inmate is released.

Only in countries that do a sh*t job of rehabilitating offenders. In those nations which actually do it properly, it's simply accepted fact. You can't really use the attitudes of citizens in countries notoriously poor at actually engaging in rehabilitation as an argument against rehabilitation.

 

and do not deserve it.

Again, says whom? I'm happy to listen to the opinions of the expert panels whose job it is to actually decide whether someone has been or even can be recuperated, but people without that knowledge or information waxing lyrical about whether people deserve to be rehabilitated or not just strikes me as ridiculous. Even worse when it's really just their opinion.

 

Then you're questioning the entire fabric of the legal system

What legal system? There isn't some homogeneous international one. You can't really talk about it like it's a monolithic entity. I assume you're primarily referring to the US legal system, in which case my reply is "good".

 

Based on the lost business to shopkeepers from loiterers

That's not really an objective harm that can justify a law, though. By that measure negative reviews should be outlawed.

 

the lower overall crime when we enforce loitering

This is simply confusing correlation with causation. The law doesn't actually affect the overall crime rate, the extra enforcement does. You could use any otherwise pointless law on the statute books as an excuse to get more police on the streets.

 

What does this have to do with people having views on criminal enforcement and penalties?

Because the overwhelming majority of people are simply too ill-informed regarding the subject to do anything more than parrot whatever new tough-on-crime incentive their local MP/favourite political party/newspaper of choice/TV personality (delete as appropriate) has put forward. There's no critical thinking involved.

 

Hence why, particularly in the English speaking world, and overwhelmingly when right leaning governments are in power, we see perceived crime rates rising when actual crime rates fall; increasing support for prison sentences for fairly mundane crimes when they've been shown to actually worsen reoffending rates (even the Law Society came out as saying all prison sentences under 2 years in length are entirely and completely pointless as the lack of rehabilitation support for short term prisoners is so poor that reoffending rates are ridiculous); why you see increasing support for the death penalty in the UK even though both the number of "capital" crimes are falling and the complete lack of tangible positive impact.

 

But what do you expect when a coalition government spends tens of millions of pounds on research led white paper on drug law reform, them throws the whole thing in the bin when it fails to conform to the views of certain parts of the primary party's core leadership and effectively does the exact opposite of all expert advice. If you can't trust lawmakers to actually listen to experts instead of doom-mongering tabloids and the terminally stupid, what chance does your average man on the street have?

 

Poll the populace and ask if they think human sex traffickers and serial killers/terrorists should get rehabilitated and be released

Poll the populace about their views on the technicalities Big Bang, the formation of the universe and the science behind the initial existence of life. Perhaps we can poll them on the comparative benefits of different kinds of intercranial surgery, and the comparative benefits of solid fuel versus liquid fuel rocket technology too? You'll get an answer pool with a similar level of validity because in all these instances the vast majority of people simply lack the qualification to have an opinion worthy of listening to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dingdongs

 

 

Only in countries that do a sh*t job of rehabilitating offenders. In those nations which actually do it properly, it's simply accepted fact. You can't really use the attitudes of citizens in countries notoriously poor at actually engaging in rehabilitation as an argument against rehabilitation.

But I'm not arguing against rehabilitation. I'm arguing in favor of it for anything except very heinous crimes, i.e. murder 1, serial rape/child molestation, human sex trafficking, and a very small few others. Please keep that in mind when making blanket pro-rehabilitation statements in this discussion to me. I'm already convinced.


 


Again, says whom? I'm happy to listen to the opinions of the expert panels whose job it is to actually decide whether someone has been or even can be recuperated, but people without that knowledge or information waxing lyrical about whether people deserve to be rehabilitated or not just strikes me as ridiculous. Even worse when it's really just their opinion.

The opinions of most criminology experts are that people who carry out very heinous crimes usually have a sociopathic or biological distinction that allows such to be done. Think about somebody who trafficks humans sexually, serial kills, carries out mass murders... these are people with no regard for their fellow humans. I'm sure you're aware of that though. I'm not sure we are clear going back and fourth here that I agree with rehabilitation in 95% of cases before the criminal justice system.

 

What legal system? There isn't some homogeneous international one. You can't really talk about it like it's a monolithic entity. I assume you're primarily referring to the US legal system, in which case my reply is "good".

Common law specifically.


 


That's not really an objective harm that can justify a law, though. By that measure negative reviews should be outlawed.

It absolutely is. And no, that is not a relevant comparison. Laws are created to protect peoples' liberty and property. A store is a storeowner's property and his/her livelihood. Loitering hurts storeowners' bottom lines. Therefore, a law is entirely justified to protect that.

 

 

This is simply confusing correlation with causation. The law doesn't actually affect the overall crime rate, the extra enforcement does. You could use any otherwise pointless law on the statute books as an excuse to get more police on the streets.

Sure it does. The law does affect the crime rates. Broken windows policing has had a measurable impact on crime rates. Again, it can be argued if it is the overarching thing responsible for the drop in violent crime (some scholars make a case for abortion coupled with broken windows as being the #1 thing for the lower crime rate interestingly enough). However, it's not disputed that enforcing public order laws has an effect on taking criminals who would perpetrate higher level crimes off the street.

 

 

 

 

Because the overwhelming majority of people are simply too ill-informed regarding the subject to do anything more than parrot whatever new tough-on-crime incentive their local MP/favourite political party/newspaper of choice/TV personality (delete as appropriate) has put forward. There's no critical thinking involved.

Hence why, particularly in the English speaking world, and overwhelmingly when right leaning governments are in power, we see perceived crime rates rising when actual crime rates fall; increasing support for prison sentences for fairly mundane crimes when they've been shown to actually worsen reoffending rates (even the Law Society came out as saying all prison sentences under 2 years in length are entirely and completely pointless as the lack of rehabilitation support for short term prisoners is so poor that reoffending rates are ridiculous); why you see increasing support for the death penalty in the UK even though both the number of "capital" crimes are falling and the complete lack of tangible positive impact.

I agree with all of this. I think that short prison terms coupled with no rehabilitation/education of the offender is one of the worst things you can do for the medium/long term crime rate.

 

 

But what do you expect when a coalition government spends tens of millions of pounds on research led white paper on drug law reform, them throws the whole thing in the bin when it fails to conform to the views of certain parts of the primary party's core leadership and effectively does the exact opposite of all expert advice. If you can't trust lawmakers to actually listen to experts instead of doom-mongering tabloids and the terminally stupid, what chance does your average man on the street have?

Agreed, again though, I'm not talking about disagreeing with rehabilitation overall. Actually, if you look at some polls most Americans of all people believe in rehabilitation for low and medium offenses. A poll here shows that most Texans even believe rehabilitation is preferred for low-mid level offenders.

 

http://www.medicaldaily.com/treatment-vs-punishment-poll-finds-americans-prefer-rehab-over-jail-drug-offenders-274660

http://www.texaspolicy.com/library/docLib/12092013-cd-aas.pdf

 

 

Poll the populace about their views on the technicalities Big Bang, the formation of the universe and the science behind the initial existence of life. Perhaps we can poll them on the comparative benefits of different kinds of intercranial surgery, and the comparative benefits of solid fuel versus liquid fuel rocket technology too? You'll get an answer pool with a similar level of validity because in all these instances the vast majority of people simply lack the qualification to have an opinion worthy of listening to.

I believe that when it comes to deciding how criminals should be dealt with, the public has a valid opinion. After all, why have we used juries for hundreds of years in the common law system? And as the polls I linked above show, people are not as stupid and uneducated as you think with regard to rehabilitation for minor-mid grade offenders.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Typhus

Sadly, imprisonment of any kind is inhumane. Not for the criminal, but the family of the criminal. No thought is ever given to them, is it? And therein lies the problem. We say, as a society, that to lock up a criminal is 'justice' - but how can justice be truly just if, in its application, it harms the innocent?

Case in point, when we hear about a rapist, and their face is plastered everywhere - how do you think life is for the family of the rapist? By sheer ascociation, they themselves will suffer. Is that justice, is that humane in any way? Hell, in my home town, the local paper publishes the exact street they live on. There is literally no thought, none whatsoever, given to the parents, spouse or children of the criminal.

 

All of us, whether we know it or not, enter into a social contract early on. In exchange for servitude, we are offered protection. That's how it works. But what can we say about a society that punishes the innocent and still expects that same servitude?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sivispacem

But I'm not arguing against rehabilitation.

Actually you were (or at least seemed to be) arguing that the fear of offenders being back on the streets was a tabgible reason for arguing against rehabilitating certain criminals. I was simply responding that such fears don't typically exist in nations which actually do rehabilitation properly.

 

The opinions of most criminology experts are that people who carry out very heinous crimes usually have a sociopathic or biological distinction that allows such to be done.

And in the occasions where there are genuine issues which cannot be resolved I wholeheartedly support indefinite detention. But as you yourself say, these aren't uniform, and therefore a policy which assumes they are and that people who commit them cannot possibly be rehabilitated doesn't really make sense. And whose to say that we won't actually be able to "cure" or otherwise effectively treat serious mental illnesses which would typically result in indefinite detention?

 

A store is a storeowner's property and his/her livelihood. Loitering hurts storeowners' bottom lines. Therefore, a law is entirely justified to protect that.

Then exactly how is it any different? You haven't really explained how it's any different here.

 

Sure it does. The law does affect the crime rates. Broken windows policing has had a measurable impact on crime rates.

In and of itself, it really doesn't through. The law has no effect on crime rates; the fact the law is used as a tool for justifying the dispersal of people or the does not defend the validity of the law itself. You could achieve exactly the same effect by just randomly detaining people like you would in a police state.

 

After all, why have we used juries for hundreds of years in the common law system?

Deciding on the guilt of an indvidual is quite different from deciding on a proportionate punishment for the good of wider society.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dingdongs

 

 

Actually you were (or at least seemed to be) arguing that the fear of offenders being back on the streets was a tabgible reason for arguing against rehabilitating certain criminals. I was simply responding that such fears don't typically exist in nations which actually do rehabilitation properly.

Then perhaps you misread/misunderstood what I said. Fear of offenders being back in the streets is a legitimate concern only insofar as offenders who are sociopaths or have a biological disorder that facilitates their offending. I do not fear letting someone who in the heat of the moment kills somebody back into the streets. I do fear letting somebody who sexually abuses and trafficks children as young as 7 and murders those who fail to comply. There's a distinction that I believe I was very clear about - that rehabilitation for brutal, heinous offenses should not be practiced. That includes very few crimes, again I would even want to see murder 2 convicts rehabilitated.


 

 

And in the occasions where there are genuine issues which cannot be resolved I wholeheartedly support indefinite detention. But as you yourself say, these aren't uniform, and therefore a policy which assumes they are and that people who commit them cannot possibly be rehabilitated doesn't really make sense. And whose to say that we won't actually be able to "cure" or otherwise effectively treat serious mental illnesses which would typically result in indefinite detention?

I would hope that someday we could cure those mental illnesses/defects. Furthermore, I believe that if we could do so, we could make everybody happy. If you could show a victim's family that the perpetrator had a mental illness and is now cured and totally functional, I would think you would see a lot more support rather than just "oh they took some classes got a GED and talked to a therapist so they are allowed out in 2 years". As for a policy which says it is uniform, what I'm saying is that anybody who commits murder 1 (premeditated murder), serial kills/rapes, trafficks women/children, or sadistically tortures people is not somebody that can be rehabilitated nor belongs in society. These are people who have severe sociopathy.


 


Then exactly how is it any different? You haven't really explained how it's any different here.

Because writing a review of a store is a perfectly reasonable and valid exercise of a consumer's right to chose his/her own store to shop in and share their experience at said store with others. Standing outside of a store for hours on end intimidating customers with no valid purpose is not. It's really quite clear. I'm not sure what you're trying to argue here.

 

 


In and of itself, it really doesn't through. The law has no effect on crime rates; the fact the law is used as a tool for justifying the dispersal of people or the does not defend the validity of the law itself. You could achieve exactly the same effect by just randomly detaining people like you would in a police state.

You're wrong if you're arguing that enforcing public order crime has no effect on lowering crime rates. I could link you 10 articles right now showing that broken windows public order policing has an effect on wider crime rates but something tells me that's not the point you're trying to make here? In fact I'm quite confused as to what you're arguing...

 


Deciding on the guilt of an indvidual is quite different from deciding on a proportionate punishment for the good of wider society.

It is, but it is the same concept - your peers decide if you are deserving of punishment and have a big say in what that punishment should be. While juries don't sentence people, they are full aware of the sentencing guidelines for the crimes the defendant is charged with.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
El Dildo

Sadly, imprisonment of any kind is inhumane. Not for the criminal, but the family of the criminal. No thought is ever given to them, is it? And therein lies the problem. We say, as a society, that to lock up a criminal is 'justice' - but how can justice be truly just if, in its application, it harms the innocent?

Case in point, when we hear about a rapist, and their face is plastered everywhere - how do you think life is for the family of the rapist? By sheer ascociation, they themselves will suffer. Is that justice, is that humane in any way? Hell, in my home town, the local paper publishes the exact street they live on. There is literally no thought, none whatsoever, given to the parents, spouse or children of the criminal.

 

Typhus I hate to break it to you, but you're talking about something completely different than what the rest of us are talking about. you seem to be upset with journalistic integrity, not the criminal justice system. if the media decides to pick on the family of the rapist that's a separate issue. those are journalistic standards, not criminal justice standards. you're trying to pick a bone with the likes of our TMZ-gotcha-culture.

 

if the family of the guilty person feels guilty by association, that's a societal issue.

it's not like the law requires a newpaper to report on the address of the murderers family; that's something the editor decided to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Clem Fandango

 

Only in countries that do a sh*t job of rehabilitating offenders. In those nations which actually do it properly, it's simply accepted fact. You can't really use the attitudes of citizens in countries notoriously poor at actually engaging in rehabilitation as an argument against rehabilitation.

But I'm not arguing against rehabilitation. I'm arguing in favor of it for anything except very heinous crimes, i.e. murder 1, serial rape/child molestation, human sex trafficking, and a very small few others. Please keep that in mind when making blanket pro-rehabilitation statements in this discussion to me. I'm already convinced.

 

 

 

Again, says whom? I'm happy to listen to the opinions of the expert panels whose job it is to actually decide whether someone has been or even can be recuperated, but people without that knowledge or information waxing lyrical about whether people deserve to be rehabilitated or not just strikes me as ridiculous. Even worse when it's really just their opinion.

The opinions of most criminology experts are that people who carry out very heinous crimes usually have a sociopathic or biological distinction that allows such to be done. Think about somebody who trafficks humans sexually, serial kills, carries out mass murders... these are people with no regard for their fellow humans. I'm sure you're aware of that though. I'm not sure we are clear going back and fourth here that I agree with rehabilitation in 95% of cases before the criminal justice system.

 

What legal system? There isn't some homogeneous international one. You can't really talk about it like it's a monolithic entity. I assume you're primarily referring to the US legal system, in which case my reply is "good".

Common law specifically.

 

 

 

That's not really an objective harm that can justify a law, though. By that measure negative reviews should be outlawed.

It absolutely is. And no, that is not a relevant comparison. Laws are created to protect peoples' liberty and property. A store is a storeowner's property and his/her livelihood. Loitering hurts storeowners' bottom lines. Therefore, a law is entirely justified to protect that.

 

 

 

This is simply confusing correlation with causation. The law doesn't actually affect the overall crime rate, the extra enforcement does. You could use any otherwise pointless law on the statute books as an excuse to get more police on the streets.

Sure it does. The law does affect the crime rates. Broken windows policing has had a measurable impact on crime rates. Again, it can be argued if it is the overarching thing responsible for the drop in violent crime (some scholars make a case for abortion coupled with broken windows as being the #1 thing for the lower crime rate interestingly enough). However, it's not disputed that enforcing public order laws has an effect on taking criminals who would perpetrate higher level crimes off the street.

 

 

 

 

Because the overwhelming majority of people are simply too ill-informed regarding the subject to do anything more than parrot whatever new tough-on-crime incentive their local MP/favourite political party/newspaper of choice/TV personality (delete as appropriate) has put forward. There's no critical thinking involved.

Hence why, particularly in the English speaking world, and overwhelmingly when right leaning governments are in power, we see perceived crime rates rising when actual crime rates fall; increasing support for prison sentences for fairly mundane crimes when they've been shown to actually worsen reoffending rates (even the Law Society came out as saying all prison sentences under 2 years in length are entirely and completely pointless as the lack of rehabilitation support for short term prisoners is so poor that reoffending rates are ridiculous); why you see increasing support for the death penalty in the UK even though both the number of "capital" crimes are falling and the complete lack of tangible positive impact.

I agree with all of this. I think that short prison terms coupled with no rehabilitation/education of the offender is one of the worst things you can do for the medium/long term crime rate.

 

 

But what do you expect when a coalition government spends tens of millions of pounds on research led white paper on drug law reform, them throws the whole thing in the bin when it fails to conform to the views of certain parts of the primary party's core leadership and effectively does the exact opposite of all expert advice. If you can't trust lawmakers to actually listen to experts instead of doom-mongering tabloids and the terminally stupid, what chance does your average man on the street have?

Agreed, again though, I'm not talking about disagreeing with rehabilitation overall. Actually, if you look at some polls most Americans of all people believe in rehabilitation for low and medium offenses. A poll here shows that most Texans even believe rehabilitation is preferred for low-mid level offenders.

 

http://www.medicaldaily.com/treatment-vs-punishment-poll-finds-americans-prefer-rehab-over-jail-drug-offenders-274660

http://www.texaspolicy.com/library/docLib/12092013-cd-aas.pdf

 

 

 

Poll the populace about their views on the technicalities Big Bang, the formation of the universe and the science behind the initial existence of life. Perhaps we can poll them on the comparative benefits of different kinds of intercranial surgery, and the comparative benefits of solid fuel versus liquid fuel rocket technology too? You'll get an answer pool with a similar level of validity because in all these instances the vast majority of people simply lack the qualification to have an opinion worthy of listening to.

I believe that when it comes to deciding how criminals should be dealt with, the public has a valid opinion. After all, why have we used juries for hundreds of years in the common law system? And as the polls I linked above show, people are not as stupid and uneducated as you think with regard to rehabilitation for minor-mid grade offenders.

 

 

 

I'd have to question why murder is so high up there. Soldiers kill in cold blood, I don't mind passing them on the street. Like some kid in a gang, what's the difference between him and someone in the military? They were probably ordered to do it, probably weren't in a position to disobey.

 

Sociopathy just means essentially that you don't feel empathy in a situation where we expect someone to. A debt collector taking a families TV while the children cry isn't expected to feel anything, so he's not a sociopath. It isn't some magic dust in the brain that turns you into a serial killer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Typhus

 

Sadly, imprisonment of any kind is inhumane. Not for the criminal, but the family of the criminal. No thought is ever given to them, is it? And therein lies the problem. We say, as a society, that to lock up a criminal is 'justice' - but how can justice be truly just if, in its application, it harms the innocent?

Case in point, when we hear about a rapist, and their face is plastered everywhere - how do you think life is for the family of the rapist? By sheer ascociation, they themselves will suffer. Is that justice, is that humane in any way? Hell, in my home town, the local paper publishes the exact street they live on. There is literally no thought, none whatsoever, given to the parents, spouse or children of the criminal.

 

Typhus I hate to break it to you, but you're talking about something completely different than what the rest of us are talking about. you seem to be upset with journalistic integrity, not the criminal justice system. if the media decides to pick on the family of the rapist that's a separate issue. those are journalistic standards, not criminal justice standards. you're trying to pick a bone with the likes of our TMZ-gotcha-culture.

 

if the family of the guilty person feels guilty by association, that's a societal issue.

it's not like the law requires a newpaper to report on the address of the murderers family; that's something the editor decided to do.

 

Ah, but it is the criminal justice system I'm talking about, you see. And an ugly truth that we never address: Namely that life imprisonment, and imprisonment in general, victimises the innocent family of the incarcerated criminal.

This, of course, is secondary to all practical considerations. We, as a society, cannot simply 'let them go', and the very idea of rehabilitation is even more odious to me. But, at the same time, we cannot claim any moral superiority as a people, when - in the name of justice - we can tear apart whole families and dishonour their entire name by imprisoning one of their number.

 

The theme of this thread was the morality of lifetime imprisonment. And I'm afraid I must propose that "morality" cannot be considered, because, if it is, we would be morally bound to see the families of criminals as victims, too. And this stance is, for obvious reasons, not palatable to the masses.

I suppose, then, that I would ask why it is necessary to bring issues of morality into it, when so many of us are quite content to behave immorally to someone's son or daughter or husband or wife, and pretend as though they live in a loveless void without friends or family.

Instead of the hand-wringing, we should perhaps simply accept that we are strong and they are weak, and that is the only justification we need. That, at least, would be honest, if distasteful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
El Dildo

Ah, but it is the criminal justice system I'm talking about, you see. And an ugly truth that we never address: Namely that life imprisonment, and imprisonment in general, victimises the innocent family of the incarcerated criminal.

 

 

you're still not talking about the law.

you're talking about society.

 

if someone goes and commits murder and we catch them, there is absolutely not a single shred of legalese that says anything about victimizing their family members (unless the family members were involved as accomplices). it happens sometimes that family members are hounded by the press but it's also fairly rare. the family of the guilty party usually remains anonymous. you're talking about society. you're not talking about the law. your beef is with the Reddit/Twitter/4chan people and related types of exploitative media outlets who go out of their way to manufacture extraneous punishment out of their own misplaced sense of social justice.

 

there's nothing built into the criminal justice code that penalizes family members of murders/rapists.

you're talking about social stigmas, norms, and mores. you're not talking about the law....

Edited by El Diablo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Clem Fandango

Incarceration itself hurts the family. When dad goes to prison there's nobody to teach you to shave or pay rent, is his point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
El Dildo

then daddy should've thought about his family prior to the murdering and raping....

 

sorry I just don't know what kind of point Typhus wants to make.

yeah, it sucks for your family when you go away to prison for life for doing terrible things, but I guess them's the breaks. that's sort of the point of being punished when you f/ck up royally. who should be forced to compensate the family of the serial killer? oh sorry, daddy seems to have lost his day job because we caught him burying people in the attic.

 

Typhus is right.

that sucks for the family members. but what exactly does he propose we do about it??

Edited by El Diablo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • 1 User Currently Viewing
    0 members, 0 Anonymous, 1 Guest

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using GTAForums.com, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.