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Crime And Punishment.

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:08 am UTC
by VannA
So.. a quick poll, and a very hefty discussion.

Criminal activity.

Lets, for the moment, try to put aside the question of morality, or wrong or right, or even the methods used to determine an offender of guilt.

For the purposes of this question, we have 2 scenarios.

A person who has committed a crime, has been found guilty.

A person who has previously committed a crime, and has been found guilty for a repeat offence.

What do you, as a member of a socio-cultural group, want to achieve with a sentance? And how do you think you'd best achieve that?

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:53 am UTC
by 3.14159265...
The point in my view is to stop re-occurence, but by a means thats not always the same as making the person not do it again.
Sometimes its just to isolate.

In afghanistan though, there is a really big like "un-written" rule. "badla" Basicly, you get to take revenge, "eye for an eye" typa thing, and its mainly for the satisfaction of the victim's family.

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:58 am UTC
by Traisenau
I voted to justly punish those who commited the crime. This is because it implies that the punishment will prevent re-occurance. I can easily prevent re-occurance of crimes with un-just punishment, but those solutions will involve a lot of blood, rusty objects, and twisted imagination...

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:24 am UTC
by Teaspoon
Johnthemage wrote:... the punishment will prevent re-occurance.


You can also prevent re-occurrence by psychological reprogramming of the criminal to remove their tendency to crime. Reduces the total suffering caused by the crime too - unless, of course, the reprogramming is a really horrible process.

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:05 am UTC
by Jesse
In a perfect world the sentence given to the criminal should be enough to stop him ever doing it again, as well as a deterrent to anyone else wishing to commit the act because there is no way to justly punish many crimes.

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:34 pm UTC
by fjafjan
"To re-normalise individual ethical behaviour"
This is in my opinion what is "just", I wouldn't call it punishment
This should also pevent further crimes
You get all three in one!

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:56 pm UTC
by space_raptor
To prevent re-occurance.

It should be severe enough to deter others from committing the same crime, and it should rehabilitate the criminal so that he does not commit the same crime again.

Huh. Guess they're all related.

The point, to me, is to improve the society as a whole for the future. Revenge doesn't have a point, for me. It doesn't help anything. But ethical renormalization sounds like it might be a pipe dream, for some. So, we need criminal experts and sociologists to determine the best way to prevent crime from happening. This can be through deterrence and rehabilitation.

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:01 pm UTC
by Belial
I agree with space raptor, that re-normalization and prevention don't have to be exclusive, and probably shouldn't be.

I also agree that revenge ("punishment") serves no purpose unless it aids in rehabilitation.

The argument is that it makes the victims feel better, that the person gets "what they deserve", just fosters a state-sponsored eye-for-an-eye mentality that makes your populace more violent, vengeful, and dysfunctional. That mentality shouldn't exist, much less be actively fostered by the justice system.

If someone absolutely can't be rehabilitated, then life in a mental institution is fitting. There, they can be researched to find out *why* they can't be rehabilitated, so that others can be.

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:04 pm UTC
by fjafjan
So, assuming we all agree that revenge should have no part in consequences for crime, ie "punishment", can we then agree that the Death Penalty is always useless? Sure there is no way that you will comitt a crime again, but you can keep someone locked up to reach that goal aswell.

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:05 pm UTC
by Belial
I would agree to that.

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:27 pm UTC
by space_raptor
Me too. I don't believe in the death penalty. For several reasons.

I don't think revenge should be a factor. "An eye for an eye" is crap.

I also don't think the government should be killing anyone unless they absolutely have to. I don't think they should have that power.

And also, there have definitely been cases where the wrong man was convicted of a crime and found to be not guilty years later. If it's happened before, it can happen again. Prosecutors can be fallible. The possibility of executing an innocent man should exclude that punishment by itself.

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:07 pm UTC
by Peshmerga
Order of the community through fear; if there is no punishment, there is no fear, there is no reason for the community not to throw itself into anarchy. If the death penalty incites more fear into the community; besides death sentence seems a lot more humane to me than life in solitary confinement (those federal prisons, I hear, is like watching fake grass grow in the dark).

Fear, fear, fear. It's a good thing!

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:14 pm UTC
by Belial
Fear is a pretty crappy deterrent. Most people who commit crimes like murder either A) are too impassioned at the time of the crime to even consider the punishment, or B) Are plotting it so much that they don't consider themselves likely to be caught.

Either way, the "threat" deterrent is a bad one. Better to create a society where the drive to kill is uncommon, by treating those who demonstrate it until they don't anymore.

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:31 pm UTC
by Peshmerga
Belial wrote:Fear is a pretty crappy deterrent. Most people who commit crimes like murder either A) are too impassioned at the time of the crime to even consider the punishment, or B) Are plotting it so much that they don't consider themselves likely to be caught.

Either way, the "threat" deterrent is a bad one. Better to create a society where the drive to kill is uncommon, by treating those who demonstrate it until they don't anymore.


Passionate crimes are going to be commited no matter what; but I gaurentee you that if you took that fear away from society, 90% of the population would start looting, killing, and rioting. Finding and selecting those with 'the drive to kill' is both unrealistic and impractical, and seem very similar to an inquisition. No one has the right to assume another will commit a crime.

Fear is the only practical and lawful detterent. It's not perfect, but I highly doubt something better can ever exist among humans. And we're not talking about purely homicide, unless I'm mistaken here. Most crimes are property and vehicle violations, only a small percentage deal with homicide.

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:38 pm UTC
by Belial
If we're not talking homocide, then "fear of death" is out as a deterrant (and I still hold that fear of death is not a terribly useful one for reasons previously stated).

So all we have is fear of incarceration. Whether you gear your prisons/institutions toward rehabilitation or just mindless "punishment", it's still incarceration. You're still taken away from your life and stripped of your freedom to go and do as you please. So I don't see as you're losing that deterrant at all if you lean more toward a rehabilitation standpoint.

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:56 pm UTC
by wisnij
As alluded to in the Robot Ethics thread, given the right technology we could forcibly remove the perpetrator's ability to commit the crime again. That would have an excellent success rate and serve as a good deterrent; there's few things scarier than having someone poke around in your brain. I've read at least one SF novel in which this was the preferred method of rehabilitation. (Keeping a society in which such methods are used from degenerating into 1984-style mind control totalitarianism is left as an exercise for the alert reader.)

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:15 pm UTC
by Kin
Teaspoon wrote:You can also prevent re-occurrence by psychological reprogramming of the criminal to remove their tendency to crime. Reduces the total suffering caused by the crime too - unless, of course, the reprogramming is a really horrible process.


1984?

However, I would support a less drastic physchological reprogramming. Power as always can be taken too far though.

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:14 pm UTC
by Tractor
fjafjan wrote:So, assuming we all agree that revenge should have no part in consequences for crime, ie "punishment", can we then agree that the Death Penalty is always useless? Sure there is no way that you will comitt a crime again, but you can keep someone locked up to reach that goal aswell.


Whatever happend to that death penalty thread anyhow?

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:36 pm UTC
by wisnij
fjafjan wrote:So, assuming we all agree that revenge should have no part in consequences for crime, ie "punishment", can we then agree that the Death Penalty is always useless? Sure there is no way that you will comitt a crime again, but you can keep someone locked up to reach that goal aswell.

Does death by information theory count? There was that one episode of Babylon 5 where a murderer was rehabilitated by basically overwriting his original personality with a totally new one. In such an instance the perpetrator is effectively dead (unless someone kept a copy of the original), while the body and its new resident can still be socially useful.

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:44 pm UTC
by Belial
Good episode(s) (it was played with more than once).

Even more interesting, though, would be if you could just overwrite the person's "identity", while leaving his memories and skills.

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:56 pm UTC
by Owijad
Now you guys are merging with precisely where 'Robot Ethics" died.

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:31 pm UTC
by t3hcanadian
all humans are born with the same understanding of right and wrong... therefore if a human decides to break the law they knew it was wrong but they did it anyways. that being the case there are some cases where a person's brain cannot interpret the signals of right v wrong, implying they are genetically damaged and are solely hindering the progress of mankind. Therefore all those who broke the laws are one of 2 people, genetically defunct being or people that willingly went against what they know is wrong, and should therefore be exterminated before their malfunctions/disregard for the feelings of right v wrong can disperse throughout the societies they infest.

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:50 pm UTC
by a thing
It's a combination of preventing recurrence and correcting the criminal. Preventing recurrence by itself could mean just executing every convict. But with correcting the convict factored in, the recurrence can be prevented and society gets a (more) productive member. However, there are some just plain evil people that will not be corrected no matter what you do to them.

3.14159265... wrote:In afghanistan though, there is a really big like "un-written" rule. "badla" Basicly, you get to take revenge, "eye for an eye" typa thing, and its mainly for the satisfaction of the victim's family.


Ghandi wrote:An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:17 pm UTC
by wisnij
t3hcanadian wrote:all humans are born with the same understanding of right and wrong... therefore if a human decides to break the law they knew it was wrong but they did it anyways. that being the case there are some cases where a person's brain cannot interpret the signals of right v wrong, implying they are genetically damaged and are solely hindering the progress of mankind. Therefore all those who broke the laws are one of 2 people, genetically defunct being or people that willingly went against what they know is wrong, and should therefore be exterminated before their malfunctions/disregard for the feelings of right v wrong can disperse throughout the societies they infest.

...

You are joking, right?

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:18 pm UTC
by Jesse
I am pretty sure that we proved that while nature is there in a small part, nurture is the winner on the whole.

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:22 pm UTC
by Owijad

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:42 pm UTC
by EstLladon
For me very important purpose of sentences is to protect the society from something that do harm to it. If somebody or something is doing something bad (I try to use the most general term) where I live, I want him or it to be put away. If somehow it can be guaranteed that leaving it here is safe then OK leave it, but otherwise i want it out.

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:13 pm UTC
by tylerxdurden
Crime doesnt come from thin air.
Some people steal because they are really poor and need the money.
Some people steal, because they were raised with the opinion that they should always take what they can get. (e.g. only rich people are good people)
Some people kill the person they love, because they were raised with the belief that love is something important and there is only one "true love". So if this gets taken away the meaning of their live is taken away.
Some people kill the ones they hate, because they were treated like shit all the time and didn't see another way (e.g. Columbine).

Why do we always look at the symptoms but never on the reasons?
How many americans are in jail right now? How many of them were born as "bad people"?

Stop poverty and you get a 20% lower crime rate instantly. No punishement needed whatsoever.

Feed and educate the world and you will never get a WTC again. (The money for the Iraq war would have been enough to feed and educate the whole middle east)

So, before we are crying for punishement, lets work out the problems of our totally fucked up society, ok?


MFG

Tyler

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:17 pm UTC
by tylerxdurden
t3hcanadian wrote:all humans are born with the same understanding of right and wrong... therefore if a human decides to break the law they knew it was wrong but they did it anyways. that being the case there are some cases where a person's brain cannot interpret the signals of right v wrong, implying they are genetically damaged and are solely hindering the progress of mankind. Therefore all those who broke the laws are one of 2 people, genetically defunct being or people that willingly went against what they know is wrong, and should therefore be exterminated before their malfunctions/disregard for the feelings of right v wrong can disperse throughout the societies they infest.


Well lets quote a movie here: (paraphrsing)
In China they eat dogs and its totally ok with them. Just because they decided it that way. Everything you do is right, as long as you think it is the right thing to do.

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:19 pm UTC
by tylerxdurden
Kin wrote:
Teaspoon wrote:You can also prevent re-occurrence by psychological reprogramming of the criminal to remove their tendency to crime. Reduces the total suffering caused by the crime too - unless, of course, the reprogramming is a really horrible process.


1984?

However, I would support a less drastic physchological reprogramming. Power as always can be taken too far though.


1984 - Clockwork Orange is the better example

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:59 pm UTC
by t3hcanadian
No im not joking...and what i am saying is very different from what adolf hitler was trying to do...He knew what he was doing was wrong but continued anyways...
ok so people steal because they are poor...do they not know it is still wrong...incorrect they are hardwired at birth through genetics or whatever into knowing right v wrong therefore even if you are in the direst situation you still know it is wrong... the underlieing causes might be good enough to override reprimand but they still went against what they knew was wrong and did the crime. Therefore they are ascourge to the society they are in...and should therefore be removed...because if they do it once and get away with it they will feel impowered by their situation and try again... then the rest of society will see what is going on and then crime will run rampant...
btw im not saying kill people who speed or simple erroneus(sp?) conduct but merely get rid of those who knowingly break laws that are for the embetterment of the society, thus bringing the society down, thus allowing the removal of such hinderences for the better progress of said society
now I know that my thoughts are extremely etremist and they will never become reality but thats, IMHO, a great way to embetter the level of the society...notto mention help control the world's population :P

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:29 pm UTC
by fjafjan
Canadian, I think you have a completely incorrect conception of human right or wrong.

There are a few very human and biological "right and wrongs" but these can be overruled through culture

ok so people steal because they are poor...do they not know it is still wrong...incorrect they are hardwired at birth through genetics or whatever into knowing right v wrong therefore even if you are in the direst situation you still know it is wrong


They rationalize it because human life > Property.
I think you should learn more about the lives of people who are brought up in hard conditions.
Killing people very rarely solves any problems.

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:30 pm UTC
by Tractor
t3hcanadian wrote:...do they not know it is still wrong...incorrect they are hardwired at birth through genetics or whatever into knowing right v wrong therefore even if you are in the direst situation you still know it is wrong...

You do know that's a load of BS, right?
Right and wrong are learned. Primarily because they are a function of the society one is currently in. In some societies murder or theft or rape could be acceptable, and thus not wrong. In our society, they are considered major crimes.

Once you learn the ways of the society, they you can be held liable for the right and wrong actions you commit. This is why children are prosecuted differently, they haven't learned better yet.

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:35 pm UTC
by t3hcanadian
well then if you show the populace that doing a crime will lead to an unfortunate end then it will deter people from going against their better judgement...

so the fact that the culure that they are brought up in is defunct/lead by people with no regards to human 'wiring' then that absolves an entire peoples...no those that break the law are going against what the gods wish of us and therefore are a black mark on all of humanity... and shold be extinguished before they spread their malignancies to the entire society

of course if an entire culture/civilization 'brainwashed' its poeples tinto going against human feelings of right v wrong that culture must, as with individuals, be removed before it can infect the rest of the worlds populations

as i stated before this would only happen in a perfect world where people would actually seek out the embetterment of the society over personal glory and wealth

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:52 pm UTC
by Tractor
t3hcanadian wrote:well then if you show the populace that doing a crime will lead to an unfortunate end then it will deter people from going against their better judgement...

so the fact that the culure that they are brought up in is defunct/lead by people with no regards to human 'wiring' then that absolves an entire peoples...no those that break the law are going against what the gods wish of us and therefore are a black mark on all of humanity... and shold be extinguished before they spread their malignancies to the entire society

of course if an entire culture/civilization 'brainwashed' its poeples tinto going against human feelings of right v wrong that culture must, as with individuals, be removed before it can infect the rest of the worlds populations

as i stated before this would only happen in a perfect world where people would actually seek out the embetterment of the society over personal glory and wealth


First off, the debate here is over crime and punishment, not who defines what the crimes are. What you are attempting to break into seems to be the beliefs and salty bucket debate.
Secondly, you are dragging religion into it. Religon and crimes are not tied together (I'm primarily thinking seperation of church and state, despite this not being universal, but I still feel it is valid).
Third, if you decide your morals are above and beyond those making the laws around you, find somewhere else to go. Although this is leading back to my first point, and getting dangerously OT.

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:04 pm UTC
by t3hcanadian
Tractor wrote:... the beliefs and salty bucket debate...

can't say I know what those are mate....
however I'm not stating my morals or anything I do is above anything...because all peoples have the same understanding of right v wrong at birth and that is only altered by brainwashing by 'evil' cultures...or if they are defunct beings
basically if you are to reduce crime and prevent reoccurance the most sensible way(I know jail is a good way but criminals arn't neccesarily lock up for life, and besides prison may be an improvement for some people...adding incentive for crime. though exicutions may be more expensive than jailing, jailing becomes much more expensive if we lock up all criminals for life. A way to prevent over-crowding of prisons prisonners could be brainwashed into healthier(in terms of mental state) but that is highly inhumane. and besides you can't do anything if your dead right?) is to eliminate said defunct beings from existance to cease their illegal activities and poisoning of those around them

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:29 pm UTC
by wisnij
t3hcanadian wrote:however I'm not stating my morals or anything I do is above anything...because all peoples have the same understanding of right v wrong at birth

And what evidence do you offer to back up this supposition?

t3hcanadian wrote:basically if you are to reduce crime and prevent reoccurance the most sensible way(I know jail is a good way but criminals arn't neccesarily lock up for life, and besides prison may be an improvement for some people...adding incentive for crime. though exicutions may be more expensive than jailing, jailing becomes much more expensive if we lock up all criminals for life. A way to prevent over-crowding of prisons prisonners could be brainwashed into healthier(in terms of mental state) but that is highly inhumane. and besides you can't do anything if your dead right?) is to eliminate said defunct beings from existance to cease their illegal activities and poisoning of those around them

You've got a lot to learn about the real world, kid.

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:31 pm UTC
by fjafjan
wisnij wrote:You've got a lot to learn about the real world, kid.


QFT

I am so very glad you are not president of the world mr canadian (or mrs? I am unssure).

EDIT:
JUst making sure what you are saying

1 Everybody agrees, in their minds atleast, what is wrong and right, the ones doing wrong things are doing so knowingly and no excuse is acceptable

2 All people commiting crimes, that are not very minor, should be executed to prevent other people from commiting crimes

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
by Tractor
t3hcanadian wrote:
Tractor wrote:... the beliefs and salty bucket debate...

can't say I know what those are mate....


I was referring to the other thread in this forum, entitled "Belief and personal responsibilitty - salt bucket thread".

fjafjan wrote:JUst making sure what you are saying

1 Everybody agrees, in their minds atleast, what is wrong and right, the ones doing wrong things are doing so knowingly and no excuse is acceptable

I don't think he's saying everyone agrees, except at birth when we are magically instilled with the perfect right/wrong ideals. After birth he thinks we are all brainwashed into changing those to fit societal norms. I still stand by my belief that they are all learned (note my previous point on prosecuting children), and that this is a load of crap.

fjafjan wrote:2 All people commiting crimes, that are not very minor, should be executed to prevent other people from commiting crimes


I think that is what he's saying. And it is extremist and disturbing. I agree with having a death penalty, but my line for it is waaaaaaaay at the other end, reserved for the high end crimes (mass murder comes to mind).

Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 4:03 pm UTC
by fjafjan
Tractor wrote: bucket thread".

fjafjan wrote:JUst making sure what you are saying

1 Everybody agrees, in their minds atleast, what is wrong and right, the ones doing wrong things are doing so knowingly and no excuse is acceptable

I don't think he's saying everyone agrees, except at birth when we are magically instilled with the perfect right/wrong ideals. After birth he thinks we are all brainwashed into changing those to fit societal norms. I still stand by my belief that they are all learned (note my previous point on prosecuting children), and that this is a load of crap.


So then who would have the "right" ideas considering we are all atleast influensed by society?
I mean would not "being brainwashed" be an excuse? I know I would not kill someone brain washed into doing something wrong.
what say you canadian?