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Should justice be retributive or restorative?

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So how would you propose to OBJECTIVELY determine that the "3 months in prison is insufficient punishment to deter the crime"?
The same way that you objectively determine that $10 is too much to charge for a beer. You make an assumption based on the evidence available to you, given a purpose, and then see if the particular punishment does have the desired effect. If in fact there continue to be numerous armed robberies when armed robberies are punished with only 3 months in prison, you change the punishment to 1 year. If that does not cause a major drop in the rate of armed robberies, set the penalty to 5 years in prison. In other words, it's like any form of higher-level knowledge about causality -- poke this and see what pops out. Look at the crime statistics. (We know empirically to start at 5 years).
And how do you deal with the fact that what is a deterrent to one person is actually a motivation to another? e.g. the terrorist who kills 200 people and when tried in court welcomes the death penalty so that he dies for Allah as a martyr and through the huge publicity inspires more terrorism.
Islamist martyrs prefer death to imprisonment for that reason. But the answer is that if you have two radically different kinds of killers -- thugs versus terrorists -- then you tailor the elements of the crime & punishment accordingly. More realistically, there probably are a few people who commit crimes precisely so that they will get sent to prison, so that they don't have to deal with life on the outside. Such insane people can't be the foundation for understanding deterrence in a legal system.

You claim a metaphorical connection to Newton's Third Law, yet you invoke a different law in claiming that a thief has to pay back with interest for inconveniencing you. That is not reciprocity, that is repayment plus. When you harm someone's property by accident, you owe them replacement; are you proposing that an innocent act and an evil act should be treated equally under the law? The point about the proper use of force is that it should be the minimum necessary, which is why shoplifting is not answered with deadly force, and why we do not call for nuclear carpet-bombing for all acts of aggression. Proportionality and deterrence are not contradictory, they are hierarchically related so that one selects the least punishment that proves to be effective in deterring crime.

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The same way that you objectively determine that $10 is too much to charge for a beer.

No. The price of a beer is dependent of the law of demand and supply. Deterrence is not.

You make an assumption based on the evidence available to you, given a purpose, and then see if the particular punishment does have the desired effect.... Look at the crime statistics.

Basing deterrence on statistical evidence cannot work. We already have too many examples of stiff punishments that have no effect on the levels of crime (I already gave the example public hangings in Iran).

In other words, it's like any form of higher-level knowledge about causality -- poke this and see what pops out.

Therefore, if we find that fines don't work for pickpockets, we jail them right? If that does not work we do something more radical. Then if everything fails, we introduce capital punishment for pickpockecting, right?

But the answer is that if you have two radically different kinds of killers -- thugs versus terrorists -- then you tailor the elements of the crime & punishment accordingly.

There are terrorists that do not want to die and there are the Islamic ones that love death. So how do we frame the law to acount for these two groups since the law has to be applied equally?

You claim a metaphorical connection to Newton's Third Law, yet you invoke a different law in claiming that a thief has to pay back with interest for inconveniencing you. That is not reciprocity, that is repayment plus.

The interest is payment for the inconvenience. If you steal $100 from me, there will be an opportunity cost to me so you have to pay me more than the amount you stole. Therefore it is proportional. We can of course argue about how to measure inconvenience but that is another matter.

When you harm someone's property by accident, you owe them replacement; are you proposing that an innocent act and an evil act should be treated equally under the law?

An accident is not a crime. If you bash into someone's car you should pay them to fix it but that is fundamentally different from from doing it wilfully.

Proportionality and deterrence are not contradictory, they are hierarchically related so that one selects the least punishment that proves to be effective in deterring crime.

You have not shown why and I already showed that hierarchy is irrelevant. And you are still faced with the problem of how to objectively measure "the least punishment that proves to be effective in deterring crime". "Prove" based on what? Statistics? Gimme a break!

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Basing deterrence on statistical evidence cannot work. We already have too many examples of stiff punishments that have no effect on the levels of crime (I already gave the example public hangings in Iran).
That's a logical non sequitur on two grounds. First, if it were true then it would only be an argument against punishment, period, and says nothing about using statistical evidence. In fact if you wanted to prove that punishment does not work, you would have to do show using statistical evidence. Second, you have not shown too many, or any, valid examples regarding stiff punishments. You cannot draw any valid interences at all from events in a dictatorship to conclusions about a free society.
Then if everything fails, we introduce capital punishment for pickpockecting, right?
That leap too is illogical. If in fact you can objectively prove that for some crime, no punishment deters criminals, then you have to re-think how you intend to protect individual rights. The fact that the legal system must make rights violation a losing proposition does not license the inference that punishment is the only way to protect rights. Until you can prove the existence of a deterence-proof rights violating crime, you're just introducing arbitrary claims that have no value in determining the proper punishment for crimes.
There are terrorists that do not want to die and there are the Islamic ones that love death. So how do we frame the law to acount for these two groups since the law has to be applied equally?
You're missing the point: the government does not have to deal by terrorism just by the system of punishment, and a system of punishment does not have to be infallible. The incidence of ordinary theft, robbery and murder compared to Islamic terrorist versions of these crimes is so high that we need not give consideration to insane people in designing a system of rigths protection, one part of which is a system of criminal punishments.

Law already exist defining terrorist activities, which are punishable under the law and punished more severely, e.g. per ORC 2909.24( B ) (2) the element of terrorism adds one degree to the underlying offense.

The interest is payment for the inconvenience. If you steal $100 from me, there will be an opportunity cost to me so you have to pay me more than the amount you stole. Therefore it is proportional.
The potential is not the actual -- maybe you want to re-read what Newton's 3rd Law actually says.
We can of course argue about how to measure inconvenience but that is another matter.
No, it is exactly the same matter. The actual is a known value, the potential is a conjectured value. It is possible that I could have used that $100 to buy a rare trinket which I could have re-sold for $1,000,000 and you would have inconvenienced me to the extent of $1,000,000. What is the exact proportional compensation for the theft of $100? What is the exact proportional compensation for the theft of a personal value such as a lock of a deceased loved one's hair, which has no cash value?
An accident is not a crime. If you bash into someone's car you should pay them to fix it but that is fundamentally different from from doing it wilfully.
So what? You ought to see, based on this, that your "compensation only" account is fundamentally wrong because it conflates accidents and crimes. The just consequence for damage without mens rea is making the victim whole; the just consequence for an evil act goes beyond that. It is more than just the "direct cost to the victim".
"Prove" based on what? Statistics? Gimme a break!
I take it that you reject fact as a basis for arriving at moral conclusion, and that you prefer rationalism disconnected from reality. Gimme a break!
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"Direct danger" in the context I used it means posing a danger of physical harm. A rapist or murderer directly physically harms people whereas a fraudster may cause great loss but is not in the same category. Having your life ruined by financial loss is not the same as having your leg cut off or being sexually violated. You can be compensated for fraud but you can never be compensated for murder.

You cannot necessarily be compensated for fraud. Who is going to do the compensating? The criminal? If he refuses? If he is unable? Yes, you cannot be compensated for murder, but that was not the only physical danger you mentioned. Can you be compensated for being assaulted? Raped? Robbed? Potentially, yes in each case.

Having your leg cut off is not in the same 'category' as being sexually violated, being punched is not the same thing as being stabbed, having your wallet taken is not the same thing as having your life savings being taken. The scale of victimization may differ with different crimes, but the harm can still be just as damaging to you life. Your 'life' is more than your mere physical existence though having your life savings stolen can place you in physical danger because of the practical adjustments you may be forced to make in your life.

I just disagree that all types of property crimes should necessarily exclude jail as a punitive option.

A sentence is imposed by a court on a convicted criminal and not on a suspect, so I am afraid you are arguing against a strawman.

Fair enough.

We already have too many examples of stiff punishments that have no effect on the levels of crime (I already gave the example public hangings in Iran).

Actually, we do not know what crime was detered by the stiff penalty because we don't have a comparable evaluation period where the laws did not exist or were not enforced accompanied with accurate record keeping of how many incidents occurred that would have otherwise been considered a violation of those laws. You cannot accurately say it had no effect on crime anymore then one can accurately say how much of an impact it did have on crime. However, it is not unreasonable to assume that on some level, some people say to themselves, "Crap, the risk of losing my hand is not worth the benefit of stealing a loaf of bread." Others clearing ignore that risk/benefit evaluation.

Edited by RationalBiker
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However, it is not unreasonable to assume that on some level, some people say to themselves, "Crap, the risk of losing my hand is not worth the benefit of stealing a loaf of bread."
From little anecdotal (read TV-gleaned) things I've seen, it appears that there are a fair number of criminals who act with a foreknowledge of the laws and the punishments. For instance, when selling drugs, they might keep a lesser amount on their person if they know that the penalties are above that amount. Or, when soliciting a customer, they speak in a way that they think makes them less open to entrapment by the current legal standard. Or, they choose to carry one weapon over another if they know the penalties are significantly higher for being caught with a particular type of weapon.

As I say, I just glean this as a layman. As a cop, would you agree that many criminals show this type awareness of the law?

More generally, all human beings act within a framework where they evaluate the risk and rewards of their actions (according to their understanding). We see stories of muggers attacking people who are weak (like the little old lady stories). While those are exceptions, it is reasonable that a tough body-builder type has slightly less chance of being mugged than a frail-looking older man (ceteris paribus). Of course, as you pointed out, some are willing to take more risks.

The other aspect of deterrence is the fact that for N years, while criminals serve their sentences, they are out of commission, and unable to commit crime. Lethalmiko will probably say: "Ah! then, let's kill them all." However, that would violate their rights as human beings, and the law must protect rights, not violate them. Just because someone shop-lifts does not give others the right to kill them.

Edited by softwareNerd
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Or, when soliciting a customer, they speak in a way that they think makes them less open to entrapment by the current legal standard.

I'm thinking you might mean "incriminating" instead of "entrapment" above. Criminals don't have to worry about entrapment, police officers have to worry about statements that could be construed as entrapment. Entrapment is "planting the seed of the criminal act in the mind of the perpetrator."

As a cop, would you agree that many criminals show this type awareness of the law?

Yes, many criminals do take into account their knowledge of the laws and the legal system in how they do business. Quite often the drugs and the money are kept entirely separate from each other to try to avoid either the loss of both, or the connection indicating the distribution of drugs versus the mere possession of the drugs.

More generally, all human beings act within a framework where they evaluate the risk and rewards of their actions (according to their understanding).

In the book Freakonomics, the authors put it something like this (and I may be paraphrasing); if morality represents what we should do, economics dictates what we actually do. Their use of the term "economics" represented a broader concept of value considerations as opposed to just financial considerations. In one example, they explained how a day care implemented a 'fine' for parents who were late picking up of children in an attempt to reduce these occurences. The fine was something like $5. The impact was an increase in occurences of parents picking up their children late because it was worth it to them to pay $5 more for the latitude in time. They didn't feel guilty about it because they were compensating the day care facility at a value they set.

While I don't agree entirely with the premises the authors had, to some degree their observations reflected exactly what you are saying, even when it involves illegal behavior.

Just because someone shop-lifts does not give others the right to kill them.

To be fair, based on what I've read of his posts, I don't think he would even support a shop-lifter going to jail, much less killing them. In his opinion, or according to his criteria, a shop-lifter does not represent a 'direct danger' to victims and as such should only be made to compensate the victim, not be punished with jail. I disagreed with the idea that all property related crimes should have jail eliminated as a punitive option.

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In fact if you wanted to prove that punishment does not work, you would have to do show using statistical evidence.

Statistical evidence while valid is not that great at determining cause and effect in human behaviour. Statistics may show that the levels of a particular crime have changed after increasing the punishment but it still cannot conclusivley prove that the increased deterrence is what caused the change (RationalBiker pointed this out well). Crime stats are affected by many other directly more significant factors such as employment levels, police patrols, security cameras, education, religious activity, recreational facilities, etc.

Second, you have not shown too many, or any, valid examples regarding stiff punishments. You cannot draw any valid interences at all from events in a dictatorship to conclusions about a free society.

Singapore is a relatively free society. You get the death penalty for carrying a few grams of drugs. Putting aside the issue of whether drugs should be "uncriminalized" [invented word], do you agree with Singapore having the death penalty for carrying drugs?

The fact that the legal system must make rights violation a losing proposition does not license the inference that punishment is the only way to protect rights.

I never said "punishment is the only way to protect rights".

Until you can prove the existence of a deterence-proof rights violating crime, you're just introducing arbitrary claims that have no value in determining the proper punishment for crimes.

A serial killer and a terrorist can never be deterred by any punishment you introduce in a free society. A crime of passion at any level is also "deterrence-proof".

What is the exact proportional compensation for the theft of $100?

The best objective way is using average bank interest rates which take into account inflation.

...the just consequence for an evil act goes beyond that. It is more than just the "direct cost to the victim".

How far should it go?

I take it that you reject fact as a basis for arriving at moral conclusion, and that you prefer rationalism disconnected from reality. Gimme a break!

As already stated, statistics may be factual but not necessarily relevant in proving your points.

You cannot necessarily be compensated for fraud. Who is going to do the compensating? The criminal? If he refuses? If he is unable? Yes, you cannot be compensated for murder, but that was not the only physical danger you mentioned.... I just disagree that all types of property crimes should necessarily exclude jail as a punitive option.

If the criminal refuses to compensate, we can liquidate his assets. If he is unable due to lack of money at the time, we can extract part of his income if necessary for the rest of his life. If he is not physically able, then perhaps jail could be a final option, although I am not sure how jailing someone changes anything with respect to the loss by the victim. By the way, are you saying that there is no difference between direct physical harm and having your life inconvenienced? Your life savings can be stolen making it hard for you to earn a living but there are charities that can help you while you wait for your compansation. Maybe the state can support you pending damages being awarded? I am not sure about all the details.

softwareNerd, the death penalty argument was a reductio ad absurdum argument against deterrence.

I disagreed with the idea that all property related crimes should have jail eliminated as a punitive option.

Maybe not all but at least some (if not most) of the ones that are currently "jailable".

Edited by lethalmiko
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By the way, are you saying that there is no difference between direct physical harm and having your life inconvenienced?

I'm saying that some forms of theft or property crimes can be just as damaging to an individual's life as many crimes (short of murder) that you would consider "direct danger" crimes. I'm saying that jailing a thief convicted of more significant forms of theft, or repeated instances of theft prevent the thief from ripping off more people.

Of course, one way the thief could compensate a person is by stealing from another person since he would be free to do so. If he got caught again, then he would have to pick yet another target to steal from, and so on.... the proverbial 'rob Peter to pay Paul'.

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I'm saying that some forms of theft or property crimes can be just as damaging to an individual's life as many crimes (short of murder) that you would consider "direct danger" crimes. I'm saying that jailing a thief convicted of more significant forms of theft, or repeated instances of theft prevent the thief from ripping off more people. Of course, one way the thief could compensate a person is by stealing from another person since he would be free to do so.

Well if some kind of property theft physically harms someone in the same way as assault or rape, then by all means jail the guy since he is a "direct danger" to society. A repeat offender, though not a "direct danger" can be easily dealt with by electronically tagging him with a transmitter for the rest of his life. One of my friends jokingly suggested that we could design the tagging device to transmit a text message to the cell phones of everyone within a 100 feet radius telling them he is a criminal and stating what he got convicted for. More practically, the transmitter can be put on his wrist or around the neck and designed in a way that anyone that sees it would know he is a convicted felon.

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Well if some kind of property theft physically harms someone in the same way as assault or rape, then by all means jail the guy since he is a "direct danger" to society.

I understand you place a greater emphasis on 'physical harm'. Of course, many forms of physical harm can easily heal (the body is very resilient at times) so instead of jailing a person we could just make him pay some penalty and the hospital fees and he's good to go. Tag him up electronically for life and no need for jail for him either, right? Heck, in many rape cases women aren't even actually physically damaged. They were just forced to have sex with someone they didn't want to so I'm not sure why that suspect should have to go to jail. They were probably only inconvenienced for a brief period of time. Physical pain is often very short in duration. So really, anything short of perhaps maiming, disabling or killing could avoid incarceration. Those people could probably be compensated for their loss too (except murder victims). They could received some kind of government or charitable assistance while they are healing until proper compensation was provided by the suspect. Heck, we could virtually do away with prison for the most part.

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Wow, I sure didn't read that as devil's advocate. I read that as pure sarcasm. "Heck, a couple of victim support group meetings and the raped woman is fresh for life, ready to trust guys and have a healthy romantic life again!"

Well, though I may be wrong, I don't read a lot of concern in lethalmiko's argument for "emotional damage". So in the case of a burglary, which is strictly speaking a property crime, it wouldn't really matter that the homeowners feel violated and unsafe in their own home anymore. It would strictly be a dollar value attached the property taken and the damage done to gain access to the residence. Other property crimes also come with some level of violation and / or negative emotions from the crime which I think he has so far summed up as "inconvenience". Yes, I realize I'm assuming some level of his position, but I think it is adequately reflected by what he has written so far.

Likewise, some folks mentally bounce back real well to being robbed at gunpoint, cut with bottles, punched, etc. etc. I'm trying to understand why he thinks physical damage is necessarily more damaging to a person than financial damage while relaying the concept of one's life being more than just associated with physical damage.

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Well, though I may be wrong, I don't read a lot of concern in lethalmiko's argument for "emotional damage".... Other property crimes also come with some level of violation and / or negative emotions from the crime which I think he has so far summed up as "inconvenience". Likewise, some folks mentally bounce back real well to being robbed at gunpoint, cut with bottles, punched, etc. etc. I'm trying to understand why he thinks physical damage is necessarily more damaging to a person than financial damage while relaying the concept of one's life being more than just associated with physical damage.

You have raised an important point. In line with my arguments so far, a person that robs people at gunpoint is threatening physical harm and should therefore be treated as a "direct danger" (albeit potentially). He should be locked up. But a person that steals without inflicting or threatening to inflict harm is different. Even under current laws, a person that commits for example aggravated robbery with violence is treated more seriously than a fraudster. Whether a person bounces back well after a physical attack is immaterial. The person that harmed them is still a "direct danger" and needs to be taken out of society.

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Even under current laws, a person that commits for example aggravated robbery with violence is treated more seriously than a fraudster.

Well, first off, I never argued that violent crimes (in general) should be treated less seriously than property crimes. The fact that violent crimes (in general) are treated more seriously than property crimes doesn't take jail off the table for theft or property crimes (which is what the debate has been about).

For example, current law supports the idea that someone who punched somebody in the nose (a direct danger) is treated less severely than someone who bilked multiple parties out of millions of dollars. Current law recognizes that there is a scale to that amount of harm a criminal causes to a person's life and in some cases, property crimes exceed "direct danger" crimes in potential jailable punishment.

In another example, a burglary is punished more severely than many types of assaults. However, a burglary committed with a deadly weapon is treated more seriously than a burglary without a deadly weapon (at least according to some state statutes). However, the burglary without a deadly weapons is still a jailable offense. Since some folk confuse this, not saying you do, a burglary is the breaking and entering of a building with the intent to commit a crime (usually larceny) therein. (Sidenote: Many folks use 'robbed' interchangeably with 'burglary'. One robs people, one burlargizes buildings. Home invasions are usually both at the same time.)

Oddly enough, Malicious Wounding and Burglary (without a deadly weapon) are both treated as the same class of felony (3) in the state of VA.

Now you might argue that Burglary is a 'direct danger' crime... or you may not. Certainly the possibility exists that the burglar will encounter people in their home when they go inside to do their deed. However, in my experience, in the vast majority of cases, burglars intentionally seek homes that are unoccupied so they can do their crime easier and with a reduced chance of getting caught. So it is generally classified as a theft-related or property crime.

So, if you want to use current law as an argument in support of differing sides of this argument, current law supports my position just fine.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Are you purposely bringing up strawmen? Who argued against proportionality? It was you who suggested that deterrence means we should give everyone the death penalty. That is quite ridiculous! That would be to hold deterrence as a primary, which it is not. The primary remains: the upholding of individual rights.

In principle, the law should deter crime. I haven't seen an explanation as to why you think it should not.

First, I apologize if I am derailing the current flow of this thread.

Since the upholding of individual rights is the primary purpose of the law, then restoration ought to be the first consideration (in conjunction with retribution, where appropriate) in both criminal and civil cases. I don't see how retribution upholds individual rights, except through the roundabout method of deterrence. Jailing a thief does nothing for that thief's victim; restoring the stolen property (or at least its value) to the victim is more in line with the upholding of individual rights. I agree that restoration can be difficult (in murder cases, for example), but it is not impossible. After all, our current civil courts routinely award damages in cases of wrongful death.

I propose that a violation of rights be dealt with thus:

First, evaluation of the victim's tangible and intangible losses, followed by restoration of those losses or their equivalent. This restoration may take different forms, and the chosen method of restoration is solely a procedural consideration.

Second comes punishment, which consists of two parts: a) removal of all benefits which the perpetrator gained as a result of his or her violations of rights, and b. imposition of proportional penalties if the violation was willful and/or negligent (that is, not a unforeseeable accident).

Result: the victim(s) are restored (as nearly as they can be) to their status before their rights were violated, the criminal gains nothing from his actions, and the criminal is punished for his willful transgressions.

A few examples:

1) A man is accused and convicted of murder. He is first required to make restitution to the victim (or, in this case, the victim's family) in a way similar that applied to a wrongful death civil suit. He is then stripped of all benefits gained from the murder (either through physically removing benefits or removing monetary value equivalent to those benefits). Finally, he is punished (again, physically, financially, or both) for willfully committing a crime.

2) A man is accused and convicted of attempted murder. He is first required to make restitution to the victim (compensating the victim for medical bills, lost wages, emotional trauma, etc). This restitution is significant, but less than that which the convicted murderer must make. He is then stripped of all benefits (if any) that he gained from his attempt. He is then punished for willfully committing a crime (making no distinction between 'successful' murder and attempted murder. Since the difference between a 'successful' murderer and a 'failed' murderer is one of results, the difference in their punishments reflects that.

3) A man is accused and convicted of involuntary manslaughter. He is required to make restitution to the victim's family (equivalent to that which the convicted murderer must make). He is then stripped of any benefits (although none are likely to exist) that he gained from his actions. He is then punished for the negligence (if any) he displayed in causing the death of another person.

4) A pharmaceutical corporation knowingly puts a dangerous drug onto the market. It is first required to compensate the victims for their losses (tangible and intangible). It is then stripped of any benefits (such as profit) it gained from selling that dangerous drug. (I freely admit that this portion would be complicated, as the court would have to evaluate the benefits of the drug against its dangers.) For knowingly selling a dangerous product, the corporation would also be forced to pay a proportional fine.

---

I will say that I am not particularly fond of punishing criminals through jail time, simply because it puts a burden on innocent citizens. If a criminal can be made to work and produce (without personally reaping the benefits of production, of course) as punishment, then he should be made to do so. If a criminal is too dangerous at the moment to be allowed the freedoms associated with production, he may be confined to a corrective facility until such time as he is deemed "safe" enough to work. The time spent in such a correctional facility would be funded by the criminal's own resources (if available) or added to the debt which he must repay upon being allowed to work. If a criminal is judged too dangerous to ever be allowed to work, he may be confined to a detention facility so long as he has the resources to pay for his own confinement and support (food, water, clothing, etc). If, however, a criminal is judged too dangerous to ever be allowed to work, and lacks the resources to pay for his own confinement and support, execution (using inexpensive means) is the final option.

Comments?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I oppose the death penalty in cases where guilt cannot be 100% proven beyond all (not reasonable) doubt, e.g. your famous dictator of choice. There's really nothing noteworthy to gain from executing someone, but an unacceptable price when an innocent is subjected to it.

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I oppose the death penalty because I think it's letting people off easy.

I think crime should be punished. I don't mean we should send people to prisons to sit around all day and watch TV and have recess and then communal showers. I mean we should dole out some serious pain. For instance, in an Objectivist society you would presumably have military bases setup around the country for national defense. I'm sure those bases need manual labor done for upkeep. Rather than make taxpayers pay for both prisons with cable TV and for military base upkeep, how about make the criminals do it bare handed?

For people who have turned away from the laws of reason and initiated force against others, the only just treatment is that of wild animals. Wild Animals respond to pain.

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The tone of your post suggests torture, Uttles. That I would disagree with, but manual labor (to support their own incarceration) might not be out of the question.

Ah well torture would produce nothing so it would be a waste of time. The work should be so hard that it is torturous.

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Ah well torture would produce nothing so it would be a waste of time. The work should be so hard that it is torturous.
Is the purpose to produce, or to inflict pain? If the purpose is to produce, bare-handed labor is stunningly inefficient, and really a threat to national security. You really can't drive nails or torque nuts without tools.
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I oppose the death penalty because I think it's letting people off easy.

Who? The criminal or society? A length of rope and a chair is all that is required for one option. I hate the idea of paying to house someone I detest the idea of, in order to let him off hard. Kill him and tax me less. Kill all criminals who harm other people through fraud or force.

I think crime should be punished. I don't mean we should send people to prisons to sit around all day and watch TV and have recess and then communal showers. I mean we should dole out some serious pain. For instance, in an Objectivist society you would presumably have military bases setup around the country for national defense. I'm sure those bases need manual labor done for upkeep. Rather than make taxpayers pay for both prisons with cable TV and for military base upkeep, how about make the criminals do it bare handed?

Because we can't trust them, and some might escape. Kill them.

For people who have turned away from the laws of reason and initiated force against others, the only just treatment is that of wild animals. Wild Animals respond to pain.

If they are dead, their responses are moot.

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Kill him and tax me less. Kill all criminals who harm other people through fraud or force.

And then an innocent is convicted, as always happens. Oops.

Whatever benefits the death penalty adds aren't worth it the day an innocent is executed. You shouldn't compare those benefits to a jail sentence in today's prison system, but to a proper one.

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And then an innocent is convicted, as always happens. Oops.

Whatever benefits the death penalty adds aren't worth it the day an innocent is executed. You shouldn't compare those benefits to a jail sentence in today's prison system, but to a proper one.

I concede. However, I still believe that if proof--conclusive proof--is given at a person's trial, that the death penalty should be reserved for such circumstances, and be mandatory.

But yes, I agree with you otherwise. Sorry for being so mean.

:lol:

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Kill all criminals who harm other people through fraud or force.

I'm not opposed to the death penalty, but I'm curious as to how far you would extend its application based on this sentence.

If a guy punches another guy in the nose, should we string him up? If I guy steals a steak from the grocery store, should we warm up ol' Sparky?

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