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Old 04-28-2008, 11:27 PM
 
Location: North of The Border
253 posts, read 1,622,748 times
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Quote:
An Alamogordo, NM man was sentenced to life plus 13 and one-half years in prison for intentionally and brutally killing his 5-week-old infant daughter.
I'm not focusing on this particular story, as it could be in Anytown, USA. I've read similar prison sentences over and over again, and I've read comments about this silliness in other CD threads. What exactly is the logic behind adding that 13 (and a half!) years to a murderer's punishment? Is the prison going to embalm and preserve his body for 13 years after his death and display him in a glass case for everyone to see? Were I personally involved in an incident like this, am I supposed to be relieved and justified that the perp is sentenced to eight hundred years in prison. WTF does that mean? Oooh, big bad United States justice system! Watch out!

I'm really on the fence over the death penalty, but I do feel that in cases where someone is convicted of a serious, violent crime with indeniable evidence and/or confession, the family and friends of the victim should receive full clearance to extirpate the perp if they so desire. Quickly. This whole Death Row deal is nonsense - what are we waiting and paying for?

The prison population in the US is a grand model for the rest of the world. Over 2.2M prisoners, or 737 per 100K population. About half of those are for non-violent crimes. Nowhere else in the world comes close to holding this distinction. According to Wikipedia: "In recent decades the U.S. has experienced a surge in its prison population, quadrupling since 1980, partially as a result of mandated sentences that came about during the "war on drugs." Violent crime and property crime have declined since the early 1990s."

Why are we funding imprisonment for thousands upon thousands of dudes who got caught with an ounce of hash or a tab of acid at a Phish concert? What is the crime?

In my area, a man was recently arrested and jailed for calling a woman "be-atch" in a parking lot because she grabbed a parking spot he was waiting for. Blondie didn't like that and called 911, guy now sits in jail for a "public disturbance." WHY?
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:33 PM
 
Location: MN
1,669 posts, read 5,599,252 times
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Life in prison doesn't always really mean until you die.
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Old 04-28-2008, 11:49 PM
 
4,406 posts, read 5,465,615 times
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I don't believe any sentence should exceed 10 years. The purpose is rehabilitation, not punishment. It is not up to us to judge, if I understand Christianity correctly (I'm not a Christian). If we are so hostile a society that we have no regard for the life of a criminal, then we lower ourselves to his/her level. Is it circularly ironic (a new term) that we hate criminals and then basically commit a moral crime by considering them expendable. Our prison system does not and has not ever benefited our society. It teaches us that anyone is disposable, so ... who cares if I commit a crime if I'm already so inconsequential?

If I am well enough informed, I believe our federal court system abolished parole. This means if you commit a federal crime, you serve the entire sentence. Possession of LSD apparently gets you a mandatory 10 years. I find that repulsive. I find this whole system of harsh sentences as exemplary of our sick society as I intimated above.

There are better ways of dealing with crimes. First and foremost: cut down on the supply of victims.
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:03 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
8,567 posts, read 14,800,908 times
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Originally Posted by mhouse2001
Quote:
The purpose is rehabilitation, not punishment.
The sad thing is that not everyone can be rehabilitated (like psychopaths).
Here in the Netherlands it often seems that criminals have more rights than their victims and their relatives. Criminals always get psychiatric help on cost of the government (which we the people finance) while victims (and their relatives) have to pay for their own in the case that they need one.

I mean I am all for rehabilitating thieves and such, but not serial predators, because releasing them back into society is just asking for more trouble.
Most serial predators unfortunately have been victims themselves, so whenever you accept them back into society you increase the chance of people becoming victims of serial predators.
Who might end up becoming serial predators themselves.
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:11 AM
 
4,406 posts, read 5,465,615 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tricky D View Post
Originally Posted by mhouse2001 The sad thing is that not everyone can be rehabilitated (like psychopaths).
Here in the Netherlands it often seems that criminals have more rights than their victims and their relatives. Criminals always get psychiatric help on cost of the government (which we the people finance) while victims (and their relatives) have to pay for their own in the case that they need one.

I mean I am all for rehabilitating thieves and such, but not serial predators, because releasing them back into society is just asking for more trouble.
Most serial predators unfortunately have been victims themselves, so whenever you accept them back into society you increase the chance of people becoming victims of serial predators.
Who might end up becoming serial predators themselves.
So, my view is that after 10 years, if they've not been rehabilitated, they stay until they are. But automatically granting sixty year sentences gives anyone a license to continue to feel the same way, to do the same things. Knowing you've been negated is no motivation for improvement.

We pay and pay for 3 million people in prison while so many regular law-abiding citizens go hungry and homeless. It almost seems like crime pays. I think if you're crime is deliberate, if you had malice of forethought, then you should pay for your incarceration. When you get out, boy will you have a large bill to pay. Why should the rest of us pay for your evil actions? If on the other hand, you committed a crime of passion, out of desperation or because you are indeed clinically ill, then society should bear some of the burden (though not the blame). These are working ideas, but in an ideal world, prisons would not be used as they really do not benefit anyone. We aren't ideal yet...!
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:34 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
8,567 posts, read 14,800,908 times
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Originally Posted by mhouse2001
Quote:
These are working ideas, but in an ideal world, prisons would not be used as they really do not benefit anyone. We aren't ideal yet...!
I agree with most of your ideas, but I still think that serial predators ought to be excluded from the rehabilitation process and just be put to death.
Trying to rehabilitate them just puts society in too much risk.
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:55 AM
 
Location: Houston Texas
2,898 posts, read 2,876,772 times
Reputation: 877
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhouse2001 View Post
I don't believe any sentence should exceed 10 years. The purpose is rehabilitation, not punishment. It is not up to us to judge, if I understand Christianity correctly (I'm not a Christian). If we are so hostile a society that we have no regard for the life of a criminal, then we lower ourselves to his/her level. Is it circularly ironic (a new term) that we hate criminals and then basically commit a moral crime by considering them expendable. Our prison system does not and has not ever benefited our society. It teaches us that anyone is disposable, so ... who cares if I commit a crime if I'm already so inconsequential?

If I am well enough informed, I believe our federal court system abolished parole. This means if you commit a federal crime, you serve the entire sentence. Possession of LSD apparently gets you a mandatory 10 years. I find that repulsive. I find this whole system of harsh sentences as exemplary of our sick society as I intimated above.

There are better ways of dealing with crimes. First and foremost: cut down on the supply of victims.
So I guess you won't mind if i come by and steal your car and credit cards then?
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:42 AM
 
1,572 posts, read 3,684,046 times
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The prison system is bloated and in need of serious reform.

Half the people who are in prison don't belong there, they need psychiatric help, education, and/or drug rehabilitation. Prison has become a way to quickly dispose of people and create jobs in rural areas (at taxpayers expense), nothing more. All the prison system is doing is further abusing these people, it is an inappropriate and harmful situation for alot of them to be in as they aren't really learning how to be functioning, indepedent members of society in prison, they are just taking on institutional behaviors that may be counterproductive in the real world, as any psychologist worth his degree would tell you. For instance things like gang affiliation are much more pronounced inside prison than the general population. Availability of drugs is often easier, weapons and violence more common (including rape), etc.
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:43 AM
 
Location: Cold Frozen North
1,928 posts, read 4,630,657 times
Reputation: 1274
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhouse2001 View Post
I don't believe any sentence should exceed 10 years. The purpose is rehabilitation, not punishment. It is not up to us to judge, if I understand Christianity correctly (I'm not a Christian). If we are so hostile a society that we have no regard for the life of a criminal, then we lower ourselves to his/her level. Is it circularly ironic (a new term) that we hate criminals and then basically commit a moral crime by considering them expendable. Our prison system does not and has not ever benefited our society. It teaches us that anyone is disposable, so ... who cares if I commit a crime if I'm already so inconsequential?

If I am well enough informed, I believe our federal court system abolished parole. This means if you commit a federal crime, you serve the entire sentence. Possession of LSD apparently gets you a mandatory 10 years. I find that repulsive. I find this whole system of harsh sentences as exemplary of our sick society as I intimated above.

There are better ways of dealing with crimes. First and foremost: cut down on the supply of victims.
No more than 10 years? Are you kidding? So you're saying that a mass murderer won't get life or the death penalty. I wonder what most of society and the victims would think of that idea.

We need to get tougher on criminals, since they're pretty tough on us. If you want to talk about Christianity, what about 'an eye for an eye'. Forget about rehabilitation. Prison is not only for punishment, but to keep the criminals off the streets and keep society safer. After all, we're not the criminal they are. I would have no problem with bringing back chain gangs to help defer the cost of housing these scumbags.

How do you cut down on the supply of victims? I'm not sure how that works.

And yes, I do consider criminals expendible. They used up their last chance when they decided to make a victim of an innocent person.
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Old 04-29-2008, 06:47 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
8,567 posts, read 14,800,908 times
Reputation: 1573
Originally Posted by HighPlainsDrifter73
Quote:
And yes, I do consider criminals expendible. They used up their last chance when they decided to make a victim of an innocent person.
But don't you consider a white collar criminal less expendable than 'regular' violant criminals even while they do as much (maybe even more) damage?
The difference is only that when you kill someone the loss and damage is self-evident, but the damage of embezzling or insider trading is not. Whole pension plans and other social economic stock trade constructions can be damaged beyond repair and affect millions(?) of people just because of 1 white collar criminal.
Many people consider white collar criminality a ‘victimless’ crime or believe that these criminals' sentence should not be so harsh because they generally are non-violent.
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