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Crime and Punishment

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Biker, Jan 12, 2003.

  1. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Through the years, society has changed in what it deems "Cruel and Unusual" punishment. In days gone by, we had various means of punishment that generally fit the crime. Drawing and quartering, burning at the stake, firing squads, etc.

    It seems today that with all the "do gooders", punishment no longer fits the crime. We have those that decry the death penalty, and I, for one, am getting sick and tired of my tax dollars going to feeding certain low life's who really should be taken out back and shot.

    Has the pendulum swung too far? Do we no longer have punishments that deter crime? Should rapists of 13 year old girls be allowed to live in prison when it's KNOWN beyond a reasonable shadow of doubt that they're guilty? What is cruel and unusual punishment? Seems to me that if we brought back some of the old "tried and true" methods of punishing offenders, we'd probably see a lot less crime.
     
  2. jamming

    jamming Banned

    One less at a time, the problem is lack of responsibility even amongst punishing criminals.
     
  3. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    Biker, I'm totally with you on this one.

    Right now, I am UBER PISSED at the exitting governor of Illinois, who pardoned 4 - yes, 4 - death row inmates, and transferred the rest - over 100 violent criminals who killed and god knows what else - to life in prison. This man took the judicial system and wiped his ASS with it. I currently have a bet going on with my husband that within the year, this governor will be found dead somewhere, and the 4 pardoned inmates will probably be either found dead somewhere OR will be right back in jail for another crime. Within the year.

    I'm a liberal, so when I see rants like this, I get offended. Not all liberals want to society to bend over and take it up the butt, you know? I certainly don't want to pardon criminals, nor do I want to ban the death penalty. You kill someone, and you get convicted by a jury of your peers to death, you should be put to death. Period. Your victim didn't have the choice of spending life in a gov't paid facility, no way in HELL should you. That's my take on it.

    I don't agree with extreme punishments, however, even if they do deter crime. Chopping a person's hand off because they stole doesn't seem right to me. Scarring a girl's face with acid because she refused to marry a man doesn't seem right to me. The kind of justice you seek, Biker, is the kind that is dished out in places like the Middle East. They've got some of the toughest punishments for criminals. And sometimes, the wrong people get punished. You can't give someone their hand back, or fix their face. And I do understand that you can't give someone their life back if they're wrongfully convicted, but I trust our justice system enough to make sure people aren't wrongfully accussed of crimes they didn't committ. I agree with punishing the guilty - I just don't want it to me extreme. Taking someone's freedom away is essentially robbing them of their life - that's enough punishment for many crimes. And if you kill, death for you.

    Illinois is different, however. The state found that 13 death row inmates were innocent after all. So I understand the hesitation of many to put someone to death for a crime. However, not every single inmate that was spared is innocent - and I'm pretty sure that those 4 guys who were pardoned aren't innocent.

    Our justice system is all messed up, and the 'do-gooders' (which I know is code for LIBERALS ;) ) aren't helping much. But there are a lot of good people working hard to make sure the baddies are put to justice - and there are many of us going to school to do something about this in the future. I think what the governor did was tell all those people that they worked for nothing.
     
  4. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    In this case, politics and party lines weren't part of my thinking. Do gooders are just that.. Nothing more, nothing less. Well, I do think less of them, but we won't get into that here. Hee hee hee
     
  5. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    Other than prison and fines, what punishments should we be using? Should we lash people with whips? Should we lock them in freezers until they have frostbite?

    I am curious to know what types of punishments you would like to see, Biker? I hope you're not suggesting that we quarter people again or start burning people at the stake again? I'm not suggesting that you just want to bring back torture as a profession, but what forms of punishment do you feel should be used rather than prison?
     
  6. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    In many cases, prisons have become country clubs where the inmates don't get that sense of being locked up. Let's take away the televisions, radios, and other nice perks they've received and start using them on chain gains again. Make 'em work for their room and board there.
     
  7. Violet1966

    Violet1966 Stand and Deliver Staff Member

    Well I'd be all for beheading by axe and all that, as long as the axe is sharpened the same for every beheading ;)

    Seriously, I think that we are too humane these days to some criminals. Considering the crimes, I'd be all for more serious punishments as long as there is evidence beyond a shadow of a doubt. Intentionally killing someone should bring the same if caught. Child rapists should have to undergo a labotomy though, I feel, instead of being castrated, since the action is more in their minds then in their genitals. All this has to be with proof though before I would approve. That's where things get tricky sometimes.
     
  8. BigDeputyDog

    BigDeputyDog Straight Shootin Admin Staff Member

    To me, the "cruel and unusual punishment" is that which is being foisted on the victims, victims' families, and the public.

    A fellow officer and friend of mine was gunned down while attempting to serve a search warrant in December of 1980. One of the suspects apprehended was tried and convicted on June 29, 1981 of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. On June 30, 1981 the jury recommended the death sentence. On July 23, 1981 the convicted murderer was sentenced to death for the murder and 50 years on the conspiracy to commit murder. On July 24, 1981 a warrant was issued for his execution to take place on November 1, 1981.

    The cop killer spent the next 15 years, until July 10, 1996, filing various motions and appeals to avoid execution. He was executed by lethal injection on July 18, 1996.

    16 years he lived after taking the life of the officer. 15 years he lived and filed motion after motion at taxpayer expense. In the end, he received exactly what the jury and judge had decided...

    I could go on... citing case after case... but to what use?

    BDD...
     
  9. FrankF

    FrankF #55170-054

    We need to bring back "Old Sparkey"... and use it on a regular basis. If condemned murderers knew for sure that they would fry (of course, after all their appeals are exhausted), the murder rate would go down.
    I have heard that the death penalty is no deterrent to killers. But I believe that is because the chances of them actually being put to death is so low. If the death penalty were actually carried out (as it is in Texas)... and in the electric chair... it might actually haver a deterrent effect. 2000 volts times 10 amps equals 20000 watts baby!
    Right now California is facing a major budget crisis. Governor Davis wants to raise taxes, but cut services. One of the taxes he wants to raise is cigarettes... raise it by another $1.10 per pack... figuring that will raise $1.2 billion next year.
    Davis also wants to build a $220 million state-of-the-art death row facility to house all of the murderers that California doesn't put to death as it should. He sees the death row population increasing by 20 inmates per year, while only one is executed per year... so we need a bigger better death row.
    Doh! Execute 19 per year, and the population of worthless scum on death row will not continue to increase.
    I never majored in mathematics in college but even I can figure that out that problem.
     
  10. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    Frank, we start by putting Joe Davis up against the wall and then work our way through the legislature. How many times we gotta splain that to you :p
     
  11. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    This is it, right here. You are DAMNED RIGHT, biker.

    It's not about tormenting someone for their term. It's about NOT CODDLING them for their term. Idle hands do no good. Bust their ass, make them work hard, 12 hour days, 6 days a week and 1 day of rest to study or go to church. No work= half rations. No work = no perks of any kind. No work = no TV during your rest day.
     
  12. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Ummmmmm, how about we just take away the TVs.. Period. Just using electricity which could be used to more productive things (like the flood lights for the night shift).
     
  13. wapu

    wapu Veteran Member

    I have always thought that the punishment for a violent crime should be to have the crime committed upon the offender. I actually started that thinking in about the 9th grade when I heard a story about a guy who killed a little girl by pushing pencils through her temples. I remember thinking that he should have the same thing done to him. I think murderers [Insert standard disclaimer about difference between murder and self defense/accident/ etc. here] should be put to death. I think rapists should be raped and I think punks who beat people half to death with their own crutches should be beat half to death.

    However, that is not who we are. That is not what we as a society believe to be the "right" way of handling these people. I am beginning to see that way of thinking myself.

    I have a 13 year old stepson whom I didn't meet until I he was 7. He had grown up with only his mom and she had the typical over protective guilt of most teenage mothers. He was not then, nor is he now a bad kid, but all kids have to know where the boundary is. When I first entered as an authority figure, spanking him just did not feel right. At that point I had not had any other kids and I wasn't sure what to do. I felt more like a babysitter than a dad and so I came up with other punishments. I started with grounding and taking toys/TV away, but that did not have the immediate reinforcement that I was looking for. I went to going to bed this instant. All that did was make him go without a bath and then wake up at 4 in the morning. Then one day "Start Pushing!" just came out of my mouth. He was about 11 and just sort of looked at me funny. I told him to get on his face and start doing push-ups until I got tired. He really didn't have a clue how to do them. But he learned fast. So did I. Now, push-ups are his primary punishment. He does not do as many as he used to, but I figure we are coming out of that lull between preteen and full blown teen so before long he will be building his chest and shoulders back up.

    So, what does this long diatribe have to do with prisons? When I take that experience and couple it with my time in the Army and start thinking about prison overcrowding, the cost of new prisons, and the alarmingly high recidivism rates, I have come up with my own ideas about what is wrong with our system and a few "If I ran the World" scenarios about how to handle prisons.

    First and foremost, prisons should be places that those with criminal intent should loath. I think prison is scary and I do not want to go, but I am not a criminal. Most people are not criminals and so they are afraid of prison. The criminals, however, are not afraid of prison. They do not necessarily <i>want</i> to go there, but right or wrong, the perception is that it is not that bad.

    Secondly, As was posted in another thread here, it is wrong to rely on the criminals in prison to dole out the justices that we feel, as a society, are warranted. A baby raper should not fear for their life in prison any more than a bank robber or car thief. We have already determined what the punishment for a crime should be. We have stated that this person should live and that they should be in prison, not dead or raped. We should be able to control our prisons and our prisoners with such a close eye that the opportunity for unpunished prisoner on prisoner assault should not happen. This is a sign that we do not have control of those that we deem necessary to be controlled. We are failing there.

    Third, once someone does go to prison, it should be such an experience that they will do whatever it takes to keep from going back. This may sound similar to number one, but the distinction is made between changing societies impression of prison and the convicts experience in prison. Too many people are coming out of prison with more knowledge of how to commit crimes and less reasons to not commit them than should be. This is wrong.

    Finally, prisons need to stop being a drain on our budgets. I know there is a lot of money that flows into the economy from governments for the building, staffing and running of prisons, but I think we sometimes forget that every dollar the Gov't spends is a dollar that came from one of it's citizens paychecks. We would all be better off if that dollar never left the economy in the first place.

    Now for the fun part.:) What would I do if I ran the prisons?

    First thing would be black and white striped uniforms, clean shaven faces and short hair.

    Second would be to do away with the notion that a prisoner has personal space. Prisoners would have a wall locker to secure what stuff they do have from other prisoners, but would not have their own cells. There are 24 hours in a day. Scientist say 8 hours of sleep. Hot swap the beds for 3 separate 8 hour sleeping shifts and instantly we not only do away with "overcrowding" but now we have extra room. Some do not like that idea, but are more than willing to let that be the norm in different facets of our military. Sailors are familiar with the practice, as are other branches that put many soldiers in limited space.

    Third would be to work the prisoners. 12 full hours of work with a shotgun carrying guard watching. The prison system should be self sustaining. They have the labor, use it. This goes with my notion that a prisoners debt to society is not only time, but repaying the tax payer. This could be handled by having the prisoners make their own stuff, grow their own food and further relieve financial strain on the community by doing things to improve it. Chain Gangs are awesome. We need more. There should not be a piece of litter on the side of the road withing 100 miles of a prison. There should not be a park with a broken bench nor a road with a pot hole. The prison cattle and chicken ranches, tended by chained prisoners would provide meat while the prison farms provide the veggies. Canning is not hard and anything deemed extra could be sent to the homeless shelters and food banks.

    To recap, 8 hours in a bed and 12 hours working your ass off. This leaves 4 hours for travel time to and from the work-site, meals, personal hygiene and cleaning the prison. They should be spotless. Every wall should be white and every floor should be so shiny that skirts would not be allowed. Work them until they collapse in their bed every-night the way I did in basic training.

    Some of you might be wondering how we would get prisoners to comply with such a demanding schedule. Simple, if they do not, they get sent to solitary. Nothing from the middle ages, no pits in the ground with a bucket to crap in. A simple 6'X8' room with a bed, a blanket, a pillow, a toilet and a sink. However, each day they are there is a day that does not count towards their sentence. They owe society more than time remember. They have a financial responsibility to the tax payers that is not being met if they are not doing something. a week in solitary is a week longer they stay in. You can think of it as debtors prison because they are debtors. They owe me and every other taxpayer that has to support them.

    There are further details that would need to be worked out, but for the most part this would solve many of the problems with prisons today.


    wapu
     
  14. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    Our justice and penal systems are in complete shambles when it comes to issues of punishment and rehabilitation. And to make it even worse I have few ideas on how to make the system significantly better.

    The only good thing prison does is keep people off the street for a certain period of time and thereby protects us. Overall the concept of prison terms or the death penalty has a minimal effect as a deterrent.

    Prisons are hell holes that are dominated and run by the most violent and lowest element of its population.

    People who are non-violent criminals are locked up with the most heinous of people.

    We don't execute very many people of those we actually sentence to die so from a practical sense we don't really have a death penalty. If you are sentenced today in most states you will die of old age on death row.

    On the flip side it now appears that more innocent people are sentenced to die than previously thought.

    People who have some redeemable qualities come out of prisons worse than when they went in.

    The loudest voices addressing these issues more often than not belong to the "mob" or are politicians looking to please the mob, most of whom vote.

    It is depressing. Especially since I really don't see any meaningful practical long term solutions to these problems.
     
  15. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Had an old Sergeant Major who had the solution to our problems with criminals. We convict somebody and lock them up in a one room jail. When the next person is convicted you take the first out and shoot her/him. Does not rehabilitate, does not settle any social issues, but it does protect the citizens, will lower the crime rate and has the additional bonus of beginning population control.

    Disclaimer: The author of this post is only sharing, he is not advocating this solution.
     
  16. Domh

    Domh Full Member

    im a fan of the penal colony solution myself - and decriminalizing behavior that doesnt harm the person or property of others.

    i used to be staunchly pro death penalty, until i found out how many innocent people have been slaughtered. without solid irrefutable dna based evidence, execution is just too risky.

    on the other hand i support mass slaughter for population control, so...

    forget i said anything.

    :nut:
     

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