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Old 07-03-2012, 03:42 PM
 
2,131 posts, read 4,644,878 times
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Imagine the following scenario:

A young man in his early twenties has a serious brain injury which causes him to slip into a coma lasting roughly a year. Upon awakening from the coma, doctors discover that he has absolutely no memory whatsoever. That part of the brain was destroyed. He ends up having to learn how to do everything again, including talking, feeding himself, etc.

His recovery is complete and he is able to go onto college to earn a degree in medicine and eventually win two Nobel prizes - one in medicine for discovering a cure for cancer, the other the Nobel peace prize. Years later he is elected President of the United States and has the highest approval rating of any president in history.

He still has no memories prior to the accident.

Shortly after winning relection, the FBI proves that he is a serial killer that they've been hunting for the past 30 years. The crimes he committed make Adolf Hitler and Ted Bundy look like saints compared to him.

How should the law deal with this person? Should he be punished for his crimes? Remember, his brain was totally erased, like a hard drive being reformatted. Should he be pardoned or should he be immediately arrested, tried and executed for crimes he commited before his brain injury?
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:22 PM
 
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The simple answer is that the goals of incarceration are to rehabilitate and to protect society from "undesirables".
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Australia
4,004 posts, read 5,940,348 times
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Yes absolutely he should.

He is still guilty.

To not punish him (or what's left of him) is to completely disregard the victims.

Justice must be done for the victims. No question. You cannot say "oh he's won a prize, he's paid his dues" because he hasn't. Do his victim's loved ones think their dead relative is only worth a stupid prize or a presidential term? No.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Texas
203 posts, read 491,054 times
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If the doctors said he had no memory then there should not be a problem. I couldn't convict that man if I were a juror.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:30 PM
 
2,131 posts, read 4,644,878 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsAnnThrope View Post
Yes absolutely he should.

He is still guilty.

To not punish him (or what's left of him) is to completely disregard the victims.

Justice must be done for the victims. No question. You cannot say "oh he's won a prize, he's paid his dues" because he hasn't. Do his victim's loved ones think their dead relative is only worth a stupid prize or a presidential term? No.
You could say that the person who committed those crimes died the day of that accident. Fresh brain, fresh start?
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:11 PM
 
7,101 posts, read 26,199,073 times
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If he became the great man that you described. I suspect that he would resign his office and turn himself in. I don't think he would be the type to feel that he deserved to be free.

One thing for sure.....I don't think he would run for reelection.

Considering all the hoo-rah that is still going on about Obama's birthplace, can't you just imagine what missing 20 years would do!!!
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:54 AM
 
12,251 posts, read 12,377,022 times
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This argument is similar to an adult illegal alien who for all practical purposes is a model of citizenship and the American dream., but for the fact he entered the US illegally as a 1 month old child.
Crime an punishment are book ends. Many times the FBI or some law enforcement agency finds a criminal who has been living a mode life for many years and they are apprehended and ordered to serve time.
Punishment is to keep other people from committing the same act. In this scenario the criminal has been rehabilitated before the punishment. We cant live in a society where people commit crimes ,rehabilitate them selves and get forgiveness.
I use to visit a prison that had inmates who were never getting out of prison although they were not a danger to anyone. These were men in their fifties and sixties who as a young man probably killed some one while committing a crime. basically 20 minutes of their youth affected the rest of their entire life.
This prison system also used this facility to house young men who were short timers. These young men got to talk to a fifty year old man who was likable, decent, and could contribute to society but he was never going to get that chance. It was a very effective tool to get people to rehabilitate themselves before they commit that crime
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:54 AM
 
21,384 posts, read 64,194,608 times
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In answer to the original question, we have two court systems. One is criminal court, the other civil court.

"Justice must be done for the victims." It is important to remember that retribution is not justice. The old saw is true about "If it was an eye for an eye and tooth for tooth, strictly enforced, everyone would be blind and toothless." "Victim's rights" is a very slippery slope, and there has been some slippage. Criminal cases begin "The PEOPLE of the state of ... against Joe Blow" In criminal court, it is society as a whole that presses charges. CIVIL court is where victims get to plea for individual justice.

Under the dual court system, a possible response becomes more clear. The prosecutor or grand jury refuse to indict the individual on criminal charges, since all that would do is cost society more in court costs and loss of a now responsible citizen and incarceration costs. However, the victims and families would STILL retain the right to sue, effectively stripping the person of any personal wealth and placing it in their hands. Retribution cannot bring people back to life. Killing or incarcerating someone who is already functionally dead is just plain stupid. Allowing the individuals involved to work out their balance is more fair to all concerned.

There are two high profile cases that support the view. The first and most obvious one is O.J. Simpson. In the case of the criminal system failing to convict, the backup of the civil court eventually brought a closer justice. The second case is Polanski and the underage sex partner. The continued attempts at prosecution have gone into state retribution territory, as the victim has moved on and has requested it to stop. It is a messy end, but the law is nowhere near as clear-cut as black and white thinkers believe it is. To give a final point of reference, at the conclusion of WWII, the intelligentsia of Germany was highly sought - not for prosecution, but for military and scientific knowledge. In essence, Von Braun has some similarities to the person in the original posit. Had Germany won, there would be many U.S. scientists in those same shoes.

There is another similar case to the posit working its way through the courts of Alabama. In a shooting spree at a local university, the shooter is a professor, who almost certainly is a multiple personality. Don't even try to claim to me that there is no such thing as multiple personality, I've experienced people with the disorder first hand. In such cases, only one ego of the group is actually guilty. The others can be caring and wonderful people. Society has to be protected from the "bad" ego when it comes out, but being excessive in punishment falls into the territory of "cruel and unusual." In a death penalty situation, it would be QUITE likely that the ego who did the damage would be in hiding during the execution, and one of the innocent egos be the one to experience the actual execution.
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Venice Italy
1,031 posts, read 1,282,255 times
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the wife, of a friend of mine, used betryed him with other men, she said cause multiple personalities, sometimes she did not remember exactly with who was married


The identity deseas is a serious prob.
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:57 PM
 
16,294 posts, read 27,160,071 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsAnnThrope View Post
Yes absolutely he should.

He is still guilty.

To not punish him (or what's left of him) is to completely disregard the victims.

Justice must be done for the victims. No question. You cannot say "oh he's won a prize, he's paid his dues" because he hasn't. Do his victim's loved ones think their dead relative is only worth a stupid prize or a presidential term? No.
WOW, I know one can win money on CD for the most informative post, but for the most hateful and irrationally? Vengeance is such a shallow and selfish reason for anything.
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