Crime and Punishment (split from abortions)

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Postby aldimond » Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:18 pm UTC

Tractor wrote:In short, it means I am definatley for the death penalty, as those idiots deserve whatever comes to them. If you do something bad enough that you can get a jury to sentance you to death, you probably deserve it and are not a productive member of society.


I thought this comment was exceptionally callous and had gone for a while without response... even if it means dragging this thread off topic again.

I don't know where you live, but where I live the justice system is not perfectly reliable. I grew up in Illinois, where capital punishment was put on moratorium a few years ago. Leading up to this researchers were finding many instances of irregularities in the trials of people on death row, almost always working against the defendants. And several times these people were discovered to be completely innocent. So not everyone that's sentenced to death has actually done something to deserve it. Some of these people may even be productive members of society. Even if they aren't, well, being non-productive is no reason to be killed in itself.

Furthermore you talk about killing "stupid people", people that aren't "productive member[s] of society" not deserving life, and the idea that anyone that a jury can convict deserves to die. These are linked, I believe. We form a society, in part, to protect people from mob-rule mentalities like these. Juries (in the US at least) don't have sentencing power, largely for this reason.
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Postby Belial » Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:48 pm UTC

Aldimond, thanks for addressing that...I started to try to gather my thoughts to do so myself, and then my brain apparently performed some sort of purge for its own safety, and I forgot that the point was even made.

Honestly, I think a justice system based on vengeance is inherently a stupid idea. We often end up spiting ourselves just to make sure that the "bad guys" suffer adequately. It's foolish, it's expensive, and it benefits no one. Rehabilitation would be a nobler goal, but all efforts at rehab end up getting tainted by the revenge mentality of the current justice system, and then dismissed when they "fail".

Bleh.
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Postby Lani » Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:52 pm UTC

Belial and Aldimond:

Word.
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Postby Tractor » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:41 pm UTC

Let's address this in parts...
aldimond wrote:I don't know where you live, but where I live the justice system is not perfectly reliable. I grew up in Illinois, where capital punishment was put on moratorium a few years ago. Leading up to this researchers were finding many instances of irregularities in the trials of people on death row, almost always working against the defendants. And several times these people were discovered to be completely innocent. So not everyone that's sentenced to death has actually done something to deserve it.


Point taken. I was making the assumption that they were all accurate convictions. I believe my point would stand in an infallible justice system, however that may be the downfall to my entire argument - relying on infallibility.

aldimond wrote:Furthermore you talk about killing "stupid people", people that aren't "productive member[s] of society" not deserving life, and the idea that anyone that a jury can convict deserves to die. These are linked, I believe. We form a society, in part, to protect people from mob-rule mentalities like these. Juries (in the US at least) don't have sentencing power, largely for this reason.


I doubt I can argue this point without digging myself a nice hole, but I'll try anyway. First, while at times I would like to (as I'm sure many of you have) just kill all the stupid and perhaps 'non-productive' people, this is not what I'm advocating (although it may have come off as such, one of the problems with expressing oneself in Haiku). Nor am I saying all convictions = death penalty. There are death penalty worthy convictions though, not that I am well versed enough in law to list them, although murder comes to mind.

As to rehab, while it is a good idea for lesser offences (drugs, traffic violations, etc), there is a point where it just doesn't matter anymore. If you've done something death penalty worthy, forget second chances and rehab. At that point it is not worth the risk of failed rehab.

...I may continue this argument later, once I am home from work...
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Postby Belial » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:00 pm UTC

As to rehab, while it is a good idea for lesser offences (drugs, traffic violations, etc), there is a point where it just doesn't matter anymore. If you've done something death penalty worthy, forget second chances and rehab. At that point it is not worth the risk of failed rehab.


At the point where rehab is probably impossible (and I think you and I would disagree on where that point is), how is life in a psychological hospital with continued efforts at restoring sanity functionally different from an extremely expensive appeals process and a nearly-lifelong wait on death-row?

The only difference I can think of is that the inmate is too comfortable to satisfy someone's base need for vengeance
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Postby shadebug » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:24 pm UTC

personally, i'm against criminal punishment in general. The way i see it everything should function with tort law. Compensation and deprivation of liberty.
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Postby Air Gear » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:26 pm UTC

Tractor wrote:I doubt I can argue this point without digging myself a nice hole, but I'll try anyway. First, while at times I would like to (as I'm sure many of you have) just kill all the stupid and perhaps 'non-productive' people, this is not what I'm advocating (although it may have come off as such, one of the problems with expressing oneself in Haiku). Nor am I saying all convictions = death penalty. There are death penalty worthy convictions though, not that I am well versed enough in law to list them, although murder comes to mind.

As to rehab, while it is a good idea for lesser offences (drugs, traffic violations, etc), there is a point where it just doesn't matter anymore. If you've done something death penalty worthy, forget second chances and rehab. At that point it is not worth the risk of failed rehab.


I'm gonna go with a few major points here...

1) There are crimes a hell of a lot worse than killing people and yet we don't punish those the same way. Consider all the people who are advocating violence out there like those who celebrate the death of Matthew Shepard since it was the death of a gay guy. Let's see...killing somebody...advocating the deaths of millions of people and trying to make political action in that direction...I wonder which is worse? Oh yeah, let's also get to the people who are advocating that anybody who disagrees with The Party is committing treason, a capital offense. Hmm, advocating the deaths of millions again as well as trying to make political action in that direction. Very, very interesting. How about the people who celebrate when there are things like the guy shooting up the Jewish day-care center awhile back since it's...what was the guy's line? "A wake-up call to kill Jews"? The people who go with that...advocating THOSE millions of deaths...man, the list goes on, and I don't even need to bring up things like the people in charge at Union Carbide back in the '80s and...well, verrrrrry interesting.

2) As a corollary to #1, a lot of juries would be perfectly happy to sentence basically anybody to death. I'm not just talking about ideological things, either. I know entirely too many people who would LOVE everything to be punishable by execution.

3) I'm sure you could redefine "rehabilitation" in a very interesting way. I'm sure that certain regiments including sleep deprivation, certain kinds of diets, drugs, and so on could make ANYBODY not EVER want to hurt another person EVER again, but my thought of making somebody productive out of somebody antiproductive most likely wouldn't be accepted...

4) Seriously, if people are out for blood, that sure as hell isn't going to just be in the "justice" system. It's going to enter the mindset in a lot of other ways, and we seriously do not need any more poison in there.

And for the record, with abortion, it's spectacularly overused and I wouldn't mind seeing a bunch of restrictions on it. Thing is, the whole "necessity" case NEEDS to be kept plus the religious right's whole thing...I see that less as anti-abortion and more anti-sex in general since so many of them are ALSO against birth control. Shit, subsidize birth control. Patches? IUD's? Sterilizations? Damn, we'll PAY you to get fixed. Maybe we'll also tie repeated abortions to sterilizations; we'll see...
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Postby Mathmagic » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:29 pm UTC

Tractor wrote:I doubt I can argue this point without digging myself a nice hole, but I'll try anyway. First, while at times I would like to (as I'm sure many of you have) just kill all the stupid and perhaps 'non-productive' people, this is not what I'm advocating (although it may have come off as such, one of the problems with expressing oneself in Haiku). Nor am I saying all convictions = death penalty. There are death penalty worthy convictions though, not that I am well versed enough in law to list them, although murder comes to mind.

As to rehab, while it is a good idea for lesser offences (drugs, traffic violations, etc), there is a point where it just doesn't matter anymore. If you've done something death penalty worthy, forget second chances and rehab. At that point it is not worth the risk of failed rehab.

...I may continue this argument later, once I am home from work...

That's just it though... who REALLY has the right to decide what is grounds for death? What consitutes a death-worthy crime? Pre-meditation? Insanity? A genuine loathing/hating of the victim?

I think the only reason we have (and by "we" I mean society in general) the death penalty is so we save room in the jails; but then again, death row gets pretty crowded as well. :roll:
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Postby Belial » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:32 pm UTC

personally, i'm against criminal punishment in general. The way i see it everything should function with tort law. Compensation and deprivation of liberty.


I'm encountering an embarassing hole in my knowledge base. Can you expand on "tort law"?
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Postby aldimond » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:55 pm UTC

Tort law refers to civil lawsuits rather than criminal trials.

I have not thought about the idea of abolishing the criminal justice system entirely. Just off the top of my head I think that having the prosecution as part of the state, if the prosecution is properly funded and has proper restrictions placed on it, prevents abuses. Then again, there are probably lots of different ways to tort-ize everything. I'd be interested to hear what your idea is.
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Postby no-genius » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:59 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
personally, i'm against criminal punishment in general. The way i see it everything should function with tort law. Compensation and deprivation of liberty.


I'm encountering an embarassing hole in my knowledge base. Can you expand on "tort law"?


like regular law, but tasty!
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Postby ivnja » Tue Jan 30, 2007 11:07 pm UTC

I could completely be missing your point, shadebug, but....how does one go about setting the worth of a life? If you get rid of criminal trials, then this would be something that would come up immediately in the case of a murder. Is one life worth more than another? In earnings terms, yes, but that opens the door for all sorts of sticky situations. Would you be able to get away with killing a homeless, jobless person because they have no income, no net worth? What if you killed someone with a greater net worth? If you had to repay the family and couldn't...what happens?
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Postby Jesse » Tue Jan 30, 2007 11:19 pm UTC

We don't have the death penalty in Britain. Currently we are releasing people and begging judges not to sentence more people to prison, since we've nowhere to put them.

I don't think murdering them is the solution, but I can't honestly see a way out of this barring turning the moon into a second Australia.

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Postby Aoeniac » Tue Jan 30, 2007 11:27 pm UTC

Tort law always involves injury of some sort, with the objective usually being compensation or avoidance of compensation (usually monetary).

I'm willing to assume it is derived from the same root word that torture comes from, having to do with injury.


As far as the death penalty, I guess you could say I'm against it. The idealist in me screams that nobody deserves to die because of their own actions, but is it a better choice to let them rot in prison for the rest of their lives? I mean, we have to pay for the prisons to be built and operated, and being in prison for your entire life only seems better than death when you figure that there's still a slim chance you could be released. Slim.

So does that mean we should just not lock people up? Or at least not lock them up for more than their expected lifetime? I don't really think so. I mean, I can think as idealistically as I want, but I'll never be able to escape the fact that I can't help feeling that my way of life and my values are more important than others, just because logically the values you currently hold are what you hold as the best ones for you or else you would have switched them already.

As outraged as I would be if I was locked up for doing something that seemed perfectly acceptable given my personal values and ideals, I find that most of my values are not in direct conflict with our current justice system (which is why I have never been arrested). So is it okay for me to want to lock other people up for violating my ideals just because my ideals have the system on their side? Idealistically, no, but I find myself saying yes from a practical perspective.

So of course I would be angry if my way of life was violated by criminal activity, even if such activity is only criminal based on my own values which just happen to agree with society and the justice system.

I wouldn't want to admit it, but I feel that if I was placed as a victim in a crime which is normally given the death penalty, I would want to see the criminal die for wronging me. It contradicts my ideals, yes, and some people would see that as my having weak morals, but I get the feeling that I shouldn't feel guilty about this as it's probably a common, if not all-encompasing aspect of humanity.

So basically, what I'm saying is that I am ultimately for incarceration and the death penalty and that I justify my position based on "my humanity". Humans are not perfect any more than we can put our idealism into practice and have it work out without flaw. You could say that I take the easy way out, in that if I really cared about human life, condition, and true justice, I would dedicate my life to creating an absolutely fair justice system. But honestly, I don't believe such a thing is humanly possible. It is easy for me to say this from my socially acceptable position of values, but sacrifices in the name of relative order are necessary. Those sacrifices being the verifiable fact that innocent people are often sent to prison and/or executed, that punishment does not always fit the crime, and that human beings treat each other with unfair bias.

Undoubtably, I would be singing a different tune from behind prison bars, but that is just an inescapable fact of living I suppose. Does that make me evil? Does that make me selfish? Or does it just make me a normal human being? Flawed, like I should be?

It's your choice in how you judge me. If you have higher standards for humanity, I will hold it against you. But according to my argument, that's only natural.
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Postby aldimond » Tue Jan 30, 2007 11:33 pm UTC

I don't think that the death penalty would fundamentally solve prison overcrowding problems anyway. Most of the people in prisons aren't on death row, and they aren't executed very quickly because there has to be time for a fair appeals process. And execution is pretty expensive. I've heard conflicting things about the relative expense of execution and imprisonment, but it's not staggeringly cheaper to execute people if you try to do it in a humane way.

Perhaps that's the impetus behind what shadebug is saying: don't imprison people unless their very ability to walk the streets endangers society, and instead impose other penalties, restrictions and rehabilitations onto them. It would require a lot of work to make such a system fair, and the current system has enough inertia behind it that drastically different systems may never be tried except in response to a catastrophe. That said, both in California and Illinois (the two places I've lived) we've had prison overcrowding problems, and I'm sure it's a common problem all over the world. Maybe it's reaching a state of catastrophe where it needs to be re-examined.
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Postby Tractor » Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:02 am UTC

So, I start out just trying to make a Haiku, now I'm playing devil's advocate :P

@Belial - the difference now between the lifelong deathrow wait and psych hospital is minimal. However, if the process were streamlined (see previous references to a infallible justice system) that could change things. Besides, what's the point of restoring said sane functionality if they are spending the rest of their life inprison anyway?

@Air Gear - There are crimes worse than killing, and perhaps they should be punished worse. As to juries sentancing everyone to death, see once again the reference to infallible justice system.

@mathmagic - I don't know what constitutes a crime worthy of the death penalty. If I were a religious person, I might say that it would be the sort of thing left to God. Note seperation of church and state though. So I suppose those in charge would have to draw a line somewhere. I would imagine this is one of the many reasons this subject is a perpetual debate.

@aldiamond - You're right, at this point with the population constantly growing, I don't think anything will solve a prison overcrowding problem. And the cost with the current system (noting appeals and costs to keep them around) last I knew was comparable. As to the intrepretation of shadebug, a system like that would require immense coordination and cooperation by all involved. The reworking of the system would be a huge undertaking. And would it be effective? Given the current status of things, I doubt it. Besides which, it would still have the problems of where to draw the lines for which liberties, etc. revoked for which crimes.
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Postby narfanator » Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:08 am UTC

This is going to sound very strange, I think, coming from someone from Berkeley, but -

After consideration and exposure to popular media, there are cases in which I am for the death penalty. The strange bit comes in because it's the crazy people that should get it - not that I really know if this category of people exist in the real world, but characters like Hannibal and the crazies from Chainsaw Massacre -
These people are effectively too dangerous to keep alive. Death Penalty is inaptly named; I am against death as a penalty. Death is a solution, and only ever a solution. You do not kill Hannibal for his crimes, you kill him to "solve the problem". Maybe it's best to think of it as a preemptive thing.
Additionally, people tend to not want to punish the insane because it's not their fault. Okay, even if I grant you that it's not their fault, they still did it, and if they are likely to do it again, they are still a problem.

Judging who is too dangerous to keep alive is a question to which I do not have an answer, but I do think it is possible for a real-world entity capable of making that judgement.

On a related note, there is a truly excellent bit of Nietzschean philosophy (in, I think, either Geneology of Morals or Thus Spoke Zarathustra) on this relationship between crimes and punishments - most often, if not always, punishments are for the benefit of the punisher.

I also like the Fremen attitude - It is ultimately the fault of the authority when an individual commits a crime. It is a failure of prevention, a failure of rearing. But it is still that individual who did it, and they are still a problem.

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Postby Belial » Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:35 am UTC

@Belial - the difference now between the lifelong deathrow wait and psych hospital is minimal. However, if the process were streamlined (see previous references to a infallible justice system) that could change things. Besides, what's the point of restoring said sane functionality if they are spending the rest of their life inprison anyway?


Well, that's where the difference between my definition of "beyond rehabilitation" probably conflicts with yours.

The reason they're in prison (or hospital) for life, in my model, is because there is very little likelihood of any kind of rehabilitation. That is, the criminally insane, the sociopaths, the severely unbalanced, and so on. The purpose behind continuing to *attempt* to restore sane functionality is to learn how to do it, and do so in the future, so that fewer people ever fall into that category.

And, of course, if they can be said to be cured, they'd be released. And possibly monitored.
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Postby Tractor » Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:45 am UTC

Belial wrote:The reason they're in prison (or hospital) for life, in my model, is because there is very little likelihood of any kind of rehabilitation. That is, the criminally insane, the sociopaths, the severely unbalanced, and so on. The purpose behind continuing to *attempt* to restore sane functionality is to learn how to do it, and do so in the future, so that fewer people ever fall into that category.

And, of course, if they can be said to be cured, they'd be released. And possibly monitored.


There are a few problems with that though. First, what about prevention? With the only 'deterrent' being a possible fear of rehab, that seems...weak. And what about those who aren't crazy (lumping all your categories into the generic 'crazy' tag) as such? Where do they fit into the system? What about those able to fake the cure enough to be released? What about the monitoring you mentioned? How close can we watch them, within reason? Is it enough to be sure they won't relapse or try something again? While I admit it might be nice if it were possible for things to all work out in the end, it seems to open ended. I guess I'm looking for something along the lines of a solution, as narf mentioned. And for me anyway, the death penalty seems like a viable solution, when done right.
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Postby nknezek » Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:53 am UTC

Hello, I'm new here (I just introduced in the intro thread)
just wanted to put in my .02

In my opinion, law and punishments should be based upon the morals of the majority of the people in an area, with the purpose being solely to preserve as many freedoms as possible for the majority of the people.
Let's break this down:

1. The majority of the people in a given area: this could be defined as a country for the major things that nearly everyone agrees with, or even the world for the universal things such as war crimes or the like. It can also come down to the local level for things like street laws and matters of personal opinion. This works all the way down to private property, where individuals make thier own laws (as long as they are not infringing on other people's freedoms.

2. Freedoms: this includes living, doing what you please, and even strange practices (such as sacrificing a willing vicitim who gives his consent or smoking whatever drugs/modifies you want).
I DON'T believe that the laws should protect people from their own actions, only from the actions of others.

3. Punishments for breaking the laws:
If an individual breaks the laws of an area, he must removed from having contact with that area. This can be accomplished either by imprisonment, the death penalty, another form of control, or deportation.
Obviously, deportation is the best option, if there is another area where his crime is accepted. There would also have to be an additional penalty for some crimes.
Imprisonment is probably the next best option, if there is no other area that will accept him. The intent will be to reform the criminal: get them to see why their crime is considered a crime, and persuade them from doing it again.
If this does not work, in certain cases the crime may be preventable by modern technology, such as tracking devices or restrictions on other things. (obviously only in special cases) The attempt to reform will continue through this process.
If none of these methods work, and it is determined that the criminal won't be accepted anywhere else, will never be able to be reformed, and will always have the threat of commiting the crime again, the death penalty will be used.

I know this is very idealistic, and I'll be glad to have all of you tear it to shreds with criticism. :)

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Postby Belial » Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:57 am UTC

Alright, couple points to hit, Tractor. First off...

1. Deterrent: There isn't one. Especially when you're talking about crimes like murder, punishment of any kind does absolutely *nothing* as a deterrent.

Why, you ask?

Well, a number of reasons. First off, because the data says so. But you're looking for a better reason than that, yes?

In the case of second-degree murder, where it's an act of impulse or passion, you simply aren't *thinking* about the punishment when you act. You're angry or scared or whatever, and that takes over.

In the case of serial killers, you're nuts. The threat of punishment is remarkably worthless when you're dealing with someone who's dissociative or whatever.

And in the case of heavily premeditated murder, well...there's an element of insanity there too (it can be argued that you have to be mildly sociopathic to kill someone in cold blood), and also, you generally aren't counting on ever getting caught, so the severity of the punishment is irrelevant.

2. What about the non-crazies?

Define non-crazy. If you killed someone in a fit of passion, you clearly have some sort of anger management issue. A psychologist determines whether it's likely to happen again. If so, therapy ensues, until such time as they're certain you won't. Then you're released.

If you killed someone in cold blood, you're mildly sociopathic. Treatment and behaviour modification follows.

If you're a serial killer or otherwise criminally out of your mind...well, see the last post.

3. Monitoring: No, we can't watch them close enough, or long enough, to be sure beyond all doubt that they won't relapse. But then, we can't be sure some guy who's never been imprisoned before won't flip out and murder his entire office one day. There's an element of risk involved in letting *anyone* walk around free, but that's hardly a reason to imprison the entire population.

The monitoring would be to watch for any clear signs that they were "faking". If your guy repeat-offends, or appears to have faked their rehab, clearly the next round of therapy needs to be adjusted as such.

4. Death Penalty as solution: Remember, you're talking about a death penalty in a streamlined justice system that you yourself admit would never exist.
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Postby Tractor » Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:21 am UTC

@ nknezek - I like some of the ideas, but like you said (and as I have mentioned a few times), some things only work in the idealistic situations. One problem being, deport to where? Australia is now a reputable country, we can't send the prisoners there anymore :P Maybe we can try the moon...

@Belial - 1)Perhaps you are right, there is no deterrant. I don't have the data one way or the other.
2) As for 'non-crazy', I don't know if there is such a thing. I suppose it is only the question of a treatable form of crazy. And I am not so well versed on psychological disorders. :?
3) So one flawed system or another.
4) I don't know about never, but pertty much, yeah.

So maybe the real solution is that there IS no solution. Or no good solution anyhow. At least with the current state of society. We can make points one way or the other, and maybe each would work in certain circumstances. The problem is that we are trying to find a catch-all system based in our knowledge of the current system...which is admittedly flawed. I think what we all need is an outside opinion. Outside what though? This is a world problem, and we don't know any aliens yet (or so we're lead to believe :P ).
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Postby narfanator » Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:38 am UTC

Warning; immenent derailment! Feel free not to take up this derailment.

We need space anarchy. Because anarchy (good, proper anarchy, not this destructivism crap) is spiffy, but can't really work on a planet, due the "problem of shared habitat" and, to a lesser degree, "problem of discovered uniqueness".

SF hates LA's smog, which LA can/will do nothing about, but do anything other than leave to get away from it would violate anarchist principles. Can't force them to do things. Problem of shared habitat.

Sierra Club wants Yosemite and Hetch-Hetchi as nature reserves, electric companies want them as damns. Nobody made them, and is it really fair to say, "Well, since you found* it, you get to decide what to do with it....". Problem of shared uniqueness.

In space, most things are artificial, and as long as you're not a dick about drive plumes, you don't really have to share a habitat with anyone. Space is big.

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Postby German Sausage » Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:16 am UTC

its not so much how did we get here, because i've been following the thread, but WOW! space anarchy from birthdays? i am so at home.
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Postby thefiddler » Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:32 am UTC

OK, well first off, I have a confession (wrong thread again, I know...):
I did not read all of these posts, but I am posting anyway. :(

So. Here I go:

1) I am against capital punishment. It's silly, outdated, and there are better ways. What they are, however, I do not know.
2) I also dislike life sentencing; again, there are other ways. Besides, all you're doing is clogging up prisons. :( But weighing capital punishment against life sentences, I'm not sure which I'd choose. Let's see...
    a) Capital punishment will end person's suffering quickly
    b) A life sentence is an extremely long time, especially with no parole
    c) So, which is better? To end it quickly, or allow a person (with possibly no gleam of hope) to sit and rot in a jail cell...

    In case you couldn't tell, I'm a bit uncertain as to which I believe is better. Oh, well. :(
3) Please don't abolish the criminal justice system entirely! Until about a month ago, I was planning on going into criminal law...
4) I think that all lives are equally worth much and worth nothing. In the grand scheme of things, who cares? You live and you die; that's life. Live it.
5) While rehab is a good idea, it does not work for everyone.
6) Why are all of our jails overcrowded? Oh, right. Because they're being stupid (again) and inconsistent. Go figure.

Anyways, disregard this. I really don't know too much about law, despite the fact I wanted to go into it. Silly me.

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Postby shadebug » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:16 am UTC

I just don't like punishment in general, it's only ever a vengeful thing. Prisons and execution chambers are, in no way, rehabilitation centres. So, once we understand that prisons are not for rehabilitation we understand that the people in them must not need rehabilitation. The problem is as has been said, what price do you put on a life? Can you quantify it in time spent in prison. Personally, I can't. All I'd be willing to do is deprive liberties.

See, in this day and age we can track people for far less than keeping them in a jail. So we can keep an eye out and know if somebody's buying weapons, visiting schools or whatever it is we don't want them doing.

As i see it, it would still be state driven law, but done in a compensation mindset. Let's say you steal some stuff, the punishment would be return the stuff and spend time under surveillance. I don't particularly care about civil liberties because you forfeit your right to them the moment you commit a crime. This is the whole point of crime, you are violating somebody elses liberties, ergo, you couldn't give a flying monkey's about your own.

Sure, there are kinks in the system, but they mostly serve to highlight the problems in the current system. if they're going to keep commiting crimes despite the tracking, then there are deepseeded problems that prison isn't going to help, unless you want to create a network of criminals who all have some sort of sense of camaraderie.

The point is, retribution is not a good cause for punishment. He killed my brother, he has to pay, doesn't work because there is no way you quantify that. That said, torts law does have systems for estimating a person's worth, so you could work that into the compensation scheme, I'm not sure. The point is that somebody is always more useful to society alive and free than dead or in jail.

Actually, there is one good thing about prison. i hear in the USA there are towns that don't separate the recyclables because the rubbish gets sent to prisons for sorting, now that's a good idea
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Postby thomasjmaccoll » Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:50 pm UTC

I would try to chip in, but everything I'd say has already been put better, mainly by aldimond, shadebug and Belial.
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Postby Tractor » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:15 pm UTC

shadebug wrote:I just don't like punishment in general, it's only ever a vengeful thing. Prisons and execution chambers are, in no way, rehabilitation centres. So, once we understand that prisons are not for rehabilitation we understand that the people in them must not need rehabilitation. The problem is as has been said, what price do you put on a life? Can you quantify it in time spent in prison. Personally, I can't. All I'd be willing to do is deprive liberties.

I don't claim they are rehab centers, it is an alternative to rehab. For those unable/unwilling/too far gone to go through it. And I doubt one can accurately put a price on a life...in prison time OR in liberties.
shadebug wrote:See, in this day and age we can track people for far less than keeping them in a jail. So we can keep an eye out and know if somebody's buying weapons, visiting schools or whatever it is we don't want them doing.

I'd like to see numbers/stats for this, although I doubt there has been any experimentation with it. I imagine it would end up like the sex offenders registry, where there are those who are dodging it all the time.
shadebug wrote:As i see it, it would still be state driven law, but done in a compensation mindset. Let's say you steal some stuff, the punishment would be return the stuff and spend time under surveillance. I don't particularly care about civil liberties because you forfeit your right to them the moment you commit a crime. This is the whole point of crime, you are violating somebody elses liberties, ergo, you couldn't give a flying monkey's about your own.

So now we're quantifying lives and drimes in terms of surveillance time instead of prison time? The difference being where their liberties are being taken away and monitored. I think it is better to have them all housed together where surveillance is more gauranteed, and if things go wrong, they really only hurt eachother.
shadebug wrote:The point is, retribution is not a good cause for punishment. He killed my brother, he has to pay, doesn't work because there is no way you quantify that. That said, torts law does have systems for estimating a person's worth, so you could work that into the compensation scheme, I'm not sure. The point is that somebody is always more useful to society alive and free than dead or in jail.

I don't get how you can claim there is 'no way to quantify' it, and start talking about a compensation scheme. Compensation = quantification. Your method just involves more monitoring and less intrusive ways of removing liberties. It seems a lot like nerfing the system. And you are making a big generalization at the end there - always better alive and free than dead or in jail. I don't think that always holds true. Some people are of no use at all when alive and free...unless that use is killing off other members of society or making life harder for all.
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Postby shadebug » Thu Feb 01, 2007 2:17 pm UTC

morning, right let's see...

the problem is that sex offenders don't have gps trackers on. If you have an accurate database of where somebody's been at any one time then they're screwed if they try raping a kid. Admittedly that leaves you open for people getting framed, but that can already happen.

people housed together can't benefit society, they can only put a strain on the economy. People who are free to do whatever they want as long as it isn't criminal and are being tracked to make sure, now they can benefit society at a far lower cost than maintaining a prison

you can't quantify a life, but there are systems in place to do just that. i disagree with them but if you think that it must be done then it can be done
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