Advocating Murder

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I got to thinking --as I'm wont to-- about justifying state execution. Many countries make use of capital punishment, basically saying that some crimes are so bad you must be killed, because allowing you to live, even incarcerated, would not be enough of a reprisal for your deeds.

Now, I can't justify that line of thinking, and really any line of thinking that advocates state killing for any reason really. Even in cases like genocide, rape, torture etc I cannot bring myself to feel justified for making the statement that I believe people who commit such an act should die for it.

And here's why: it doesn't address the cause of the problem, instead focusing only on damming in the symptoms through harsh punishment and legitimized murder. I believe that every person has reasons for doing what they did, and that the best way of preventing these horrible things is to tackle the sources of those problems, even if that's not a satisfying stance to uphold.

But, here comes what I actually want to discuss: what if you don't believe that people have reasons for what they do, and that it instead comes down to a case of "good" or "evil"? You see, if a person is evil, there's no point in rehabilitation, dialogue, compassion or anything of the sort, because the person is beyond saving, "evil". There you have a perfect justification for killing people, because "hey, we gotta make room for the good apples".

If that were to be indeed the case, it would mean we'd find a correlation between persons who support capital punishment, and people be ascribe to an objective concept of "right" and "wrong". The thing is, I can't find numbers to give me an impression either way, could you fellow Escapists point me to a good source or proper search words? And in any case, what do you think of the train of thought I describe, does it make sense?

Cheers.

I'm not sure. Assuming that people have reasons for what they do, can't that be extended to society/whatever making them evil, which leaves you with the same problem.

In any case, if you execute them, you want to be verys ure they are guilty, if you imprison them you can always let them out if you change your mind.

Additionally, if they are sentenced to death, they've nothing to lose. Why not murder your victim to help prevent identification, couldn't hurt? Why not try shooting the police that are coming to arrest you, if you surrender you'll get killed anyway?

thaluikhain:
I'm not sure. Assuming that people have reasons for what they do, can't that be extended to society/whatever making them evil, which leaves you with the same problem.

Yes, I can extend that. What problem does that leave me with?

In any case, if you execute them, you want to be very sure they are guilty, if you imprison them you can always let them out if you change your mind.

But you're not actually fixing the problem by suppressing the symptom. There are reasons why people do terrible things, just as much as there are reasons for people doing incredible things. It's good argument, but misses the point of what I'm trying to bring up.

Additionally, if they are sentenced to death, they've nothing to lose. Why not murder your victim to help prevent identification, couldn't hurt? Why not try shooting the police that are coming to arrest you, if you surrender you'll get killed anyway?

Very true, another good knock against capital punishment, but doesn't relate to the topic!

Cheerio.

TheMatsjo:

thaluikhain:
I'm not sure. Assuming that people have reasons for what they do, can't that be extended to society/whatever making them evil, which leaves you with the same problem.

Yes, I can extend that. What problem does that leave me with?

In any case, if you execute them, you want to be very sure they are guilty, if you imprison them you can always let them out if you change your mind.

But you're not actually fixing the problem by suppressing the symptom. There are reasons why people do terrible things, just as much as there are reasons for people doing incredible things. It's good argument, but misses the point of what I'm trying to bring up.

My point was, if the person is inherently evil, or if they become so due to something, the end result is the same.

Yes, executing or imprisoning them is not going to fix any greater social issues, but then, fixing any greater social issues or not still leaves you with a criminal to imprison or execute. Even if you deal with the cause, you are still left with, at least temporarily, the symptom to also deal with.

I support keeping capital punishment on the books as an option but I think its used far too often today (I'm from Texas by the way so I am talking about my own state specifically as well) and really should only be something you reserve for the absolute worst criminals and then only employed when you can prove far and beyond a reasonable doubt that the person really is guilty.

Some opponents of capital punishment say it is just a form of collective revenge by society...I am not so sure I disagree with that, but if it is, it really would not change how I feel about it.

For a long time I've been (mostly) of the opinion that the prison system should exist for two reasons, public safety and rehabilitation of offenders, and it should most certainly not exist for the purpose of revenge.

Whether an act is "good" or "evil" is always a subjective value-judgement and the legal and justice system already goes some way to acknowledging this. If you kill somebody, should you be executed for it? Not necessarily; the penalty for murder is harsher than the penalty for manslaughter, and in some cases (such as an accidental killing) the killer might not receive a sentence at all. "A life for a life" is too rigid a rule. We are judged by our deeds, not our thoughts, but even so intent and motivation must play a part, as determining state of mind is essential for the rehabilitation of offenders.

Sometimes, I genuinely think that no rehabilitation is necessary. Say a woman endures a physically abusive marriage for decades before one day mentally breaking and smothering her husband with a pillow while he sleeps. Should she go to prison? I'd say that if it could be proved beyond reasonable doubt that she wasn't liable to commit more crimes, she should be given counselling and allowed to walk free. She isn't a threat to the public, she doesn't need rehabilitation; she has no need for prison. Any sentence in this case would be revenge.

On the other end of the spectrum, I think that a criminal who is clearly unable to be rehabilitated (such as a child-killer who never expresses any remorse, or some clinically-insane rapists, or similar) should be executed as a matter of course. Life imprisonment is a huge drain on the economy; a single bullet costs pennies.

Batou667:
For a long time I've been (mostly) of the opinion that the prison system should exist for two reasons, public safety and rehabilitation of offenders, and it should most certainly not exist for the purpose of revenge.

Actually, I think revenge is a very important part of the prison system.

Most humans have a very strong innate sense of wanting retribution for wrongs done, and I don't think anything outside the realms of science fiction can be done about that. The idea that wrongdoers will not suffer punishment is such an outrage to so many that a justice system could not hope to retain the respect of the general populace if it did not do so.

Now, there's no reason to let the concept of punishment dominate the justice system, but I would argue it's still a vital component.

Actually only the US and a bunch of countries in Asia, the middle east and Africa still retain the death penalty. And in many african states it hasn't been used for at least ten years. (Not to mention it has been abolished in a bunch too.) Russia, Israel, Canada, Australia, New zealand and all of Europe have all abolished the death penalty. Personally, I would question my ideals if they where only held by people who would bomb their own people if they feel their regime is threatened.

The death penalty can't be an effective deterrant unless used for crimes other than murder and extra murdery rape. And then it wouldn't be moral. If I'm going to torture and then ritually murder someone, I already plan on not being caught or I'm psycho enough to actually want to be caught and executed so I will ascend the throne of Bhaal and return to the world in the form of Kronos, the god of chiquita banans.

I might think twice about shoplifting if it could potentially put me in front of a firing squad though.

EDIT: The EU even prohibits the death penalty in its constitution.

Right and wrong are societal concepts developed as a means to solidify what supposedly benefits society and what does not. Death penalty advocates take that morality to heart, believing that a persons actions are universally either good or evil. I do not advocate state sponsored murder though I can see why people would support such a thing.

Still, it's been proven that the death penalty does nothing to curb the rate of crime so it's usefulness as a deterrent is questionable at best. There is always a justifiable reason behind a murder and killing murderers on the basis that they are evil is not only wrong but completely misses the point of their actions. It would be like cutting the hands off a thief. Why did that thief steal? What compelled that person to take what was not his? These are the sort of questions we should be asking ourselves before we commit to supporting state sponsored killings.

The death penalty would only be justified if we lived in a world where good and evil existed and were clearly defined. We do not live in such a world and therefore the death penalty is an ignorant action advocated by people who cannot see past their own delusional black and white morality system. Murderers are people too and we need to carefully analyze them and their actions before we can decide with a certainty that more murder is the only answer to bring about justice.

Agema:

Actually, I think revenge is a very important part of the prison system.

Most humans have a very strong innate sense of wanting retribution for wrongs done, and I don't think anything outside the realms of science fiction can be done about that. The idea that wrongdoers will not suffer punishment is such an outrage to so many that a justice system could not hope to retain the respect of the general populace if it did not do so.

Now, there's no reason to let the concept of punishment dominate the justice system, but I would argue it's still a vital component.

The moment you step into a prison it's like you're not even a human being anymore. You're treated like a monster, deserving as much punishment as you can get for making the wrong choices in life and ending up in a less than ideal situation. How can we hope to reintegrate wrongdoers into society when for a set number of years society treats them like pieces of shit? Why do you think there are so many re-offenders in retribution-based justice systems?

We need to treat prisoners like human beings who have, for one reason or another, made the wrong choices in life. A lot of criminals turn to crime because they have no other choice and often it's impossible for them to return to society because they'd be shunned, abused and in some cases even outright killed. We need to make wrongdoers understand that a life of normalcy is, in fact, an option and we can't do that if the moment they try to return to it we shove them in cramped prisons and abuse the living shit out of them. Norway is a good example of a prison system done right. They have the lowest reoffending rate in the world and they managed that by focusing on rehabilitation as opposed to punishment.

Revenge is not a vital component of the justice system but we're so used to it that we couldn't see the system working out any other way.

i live in the UK and i think the death penalty works best as a deterent, "im not gonna shoot this dude cause i will get put in the chair". Social and economic factors only go so far and sometimes the world as a whole is just better without some people.

The only time I'd see execution as a reasonable solution would be if the subject poses a threat to other people that can't be removed (i.e. likely to escape or murder other inmates).

A great many societal values would have to change for us to finally get away from the death penalty. Most of the supporters of death desire retribution from the offender, to make him/her suffer for their deeds, this is the biggest piece that would have to change for us to move forward.

Second, society would have to accept the people that return after their prison sentence, having a black mark against you for 7 years only makes you want to re-offend. Having no job prospects and no real hope of a better life after prison just makes the offenders bitter and angry at a society that shuns their very existence.

Third, We need a system that doesn't give draconian sentences to felony offenders. 6 lifetimes of prison? Really? Well, no one can serve that sentence and why would you give someone that many sentence in the first place? What is needed is a facility that doesn't drain the resources from the tax payers, having to carry someone whom has likely killed or raped or molested another just doesn't sit well with most people and will only cause tax payers to resent prisoners they feel they are feeding, housing and allowing to live on their dime. This is another thing that causes people to desire the death penalty, it gets the "Trash" of society out of the tax pool and frees space in the prison.

TL;DR Society has to change in order to get rid of capitol punishment, until it does legalized death will continue.

Saladfork:
The only time I'd see execution as a reasonable solution would be if the subject poses a threat to other people that can't be removed (i.e. likely to escape or murder other inmates).

I'm not a moral absolutist, there are situations imaginable where I can understand the killing of another person. But, that's a far cry from having a system in place where killing is tacitly accepted as punishment, often based on the assumption that there's "just no helping some people".

Salomega:
A great many societal values would have to change for us to finally get away from the death penalty.

I agree, I don't accept the notion that we're just stuck with it (espcially since many countries have already abolished the death penalty and other cruelties), but it's going to be a long haul to get there.

Liam Starrs:
i live in the UK and i think the death penalty works best as a deterent, "im not gonna shoot this dude cause i will get put in the chair". Social and economic factors only go so far and sometimes the world as a whole is just better without some people.

Other posters have shown that harsher sentences don't bring down crime; how do you support your notion? How far do social and economic factors go according to you?

Does anyone have any (dis)proof for my notion that believing in absolute right and wrong makes a person less/no more/more likely to support state killing?

thaluikhain:

My point was, if the person is inherently evil, or if they become so due to something, the end result is the same.

Yes, executing or imprisoning them is not going to fix any greater social issues, but then, fixing any greater social issues or not still leaves you with a criminal to imprison or execute. Even if you deal with the cause, you are still left with, at least temporarily, the symptom to also deal with.

The difference is that of pre-determination versus shaping (or nature versus nurture). If you are born "evil" and it is a trait inherent to you, then you can't get rid of it. You will always be "evil" because it is in your very blood to be such. In that case rehabilitation is pointless.
If you are shaped into being "evil" however, that also means you can be shaped to be "good". In this scenario, it is possible to rehabilitate the criminal. Depending on which view you have, your rationale on how to deal with criminals will be radically different.

So while social issues takes decades to correct it is certainly possible, with a nurture-outlook, to rehabilitate the specific criminal into a well-adjusted member of society.

Just because they were shaped 'evil' doesn't guaranty that in can be reversed. There are limits to modern medicine and psychology.
And some people are born 'evil'- psychopaths. We can't cure that jet. Permanently removing the violent ones from society is the only solution.

Hmm... tough question. I think this is a tough question that requires a good look.

Due to the complicated nature of crime and punishment, these issues are hard to directly test. So we will have to rely on philosophy to examine the problem. Remember we are discussing in the context of legitimate crimes. In the case of totalitarian regimes and overzealous zero-tolerance policies justice isn't really a factor. These statements will me made on the assumption that punishment will be somewhat appropriate.

First of all the death penalty. Obviously the first point is that it kills someone, and is therefore considered a violation of Human Rights. But then again do not Rights come with Responsibilities? And if those responsibilities are broken we all agree there should be punishment. We just disagree on what that punishment should be. One thing that the death penalty can do is show communal solidarity. Executions act as shows of support for victims.

So what are the alternatives? There is life imprisonment. This has some merits. After all, it does not violate the right to life and has an added bonus: if someone is later proved innocent they can be released (wrongful execution is a good argument against the death penalty). But there are costs. Keeping someone locked up is very expensive, should taxpayers pay for murderers and rapists? And some prisons have high rates of violence. Is it really morally right to leave someone to prison beatings and possibly worse? Not only that but locking a load of hardcore criminals up together may get them to share their craft.

Then there is re-rehabilitation. This may turn killers into functioning members of society. But it's expensive, and can it really work on the type of people you would want to execute? In addition the prospect of releasing a serial rapist or war criminal must be a terrifying prospect for victims.

The best solution may be to combat poverty and increase education. But these are difficult and take time, and crimes need to be dealt with relatively quickly.

But to finish up I have to ask a question about life. Remember after all that death is inevitable. It seems to me that too often the state of being alive is held to be more important than the actual value of that life. Too often we consider being alive more important than how that life can grow and develop in the society around us. After all, is being locked in a prison cell, isolated from the outside world, unable to interact with society any kind of life? (Though social media may render this point moot).

First, read the HP de Tijd artikel 'Zwaarder straffen werkt'. -> http://www.meervrijheid.nl/index.php?pagina=542

If you're a murderer, you've already taken someone else's life, so although capital punishment is harsh, the murderer has already proven not to care about that.

In my ideal society, capital punishment would not be given to the 'ordinary murderer'. You only get the capital punishment when....
1. You're crimes are completely immoral; rape+murder, for example. The crime doesn't serve any 'higher' purpose and isn't justified by anger or something, it's just that you look for weak, innocent people to rape and kill.
Murdering the pedophile who raped your children won't get you killed by the government.
Murdering a random innocent person to gratify your own murderous instincts is way worse.
2. You'll have to do it repeatedly. One murder is not enough, you'll have to do it multiple times. Thus, serial killers;

A serial killer is typically defined as an individual who has murdered three or more people[1][2] over a period of more than a month, with down time (a "cooling off period") between the murders, and whose motivation for killing is usually based on psychological gratification.[3][4]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_killers

3. There is undeniable evidence; we're 100% sure that the convicted person is the actual murderer.

R Man:
we all agree there should be punishment. We just disagree on what that punishment should be.

Not to complicate things too much, but I don't agree to that. I think there should be rehabilitation, and revenge doesn't come to it.

Danyal:
First, read the HP de Tijd artikel 'Zwaarder straffen werkt'. -> http://www.meervrijheid.nl/index.php?pagina=542

Dutch: Waar kan ik de bronnen die het artikel gebruikt nalezen? Je zult je kunnen voorstellen dat een artikel van een artikel van Het Parool op de website van Meer Vrijheid, geschreven door een natuurkundige uit 2003 die ook nog eens ingaat tegen zeer wijd gedragen consensus op het gebied van straffen niet bepaald een goed beginpunt biedt voor dit narratief.

Translated: Where can I read the sources for this article? You can imagine that an article from this newspapier on this site written by a physicist in 2003, that flies in the face of criminological consent is not the best starting point for this particular narrative.

TheMatsjo:

R Man:
we all agree there should be punishment. We just disagree on what that punishment should be.

Not to complicate things too much, but I don't agree to that. I think there should be rehabilitation, and revenge doesn't come to it.

Danyal:
First, read the HP de Tijd artikel 'Zwaarder straffen werkt'. -> http://www.meervrijheid.nl/index.php?pagina=542

Dutch: Waar kan ik de bronnen die het artikel gebruikt nalezen? Je zult je kunnen voorstellen dat een artikel van een artikel van Het Parool op de website van Meer Vrijheid, geschreven door een natuurkundige uit 2003 die ook nog eens ingaat tegen zeer wijd gedragen consensus op het gebied van straffen niet bepaald een goed beginpunt biedt voor dit narratief.

Translated: Where can I read the sources for this article? You can imagine that an article from this newspapier on this site written by a physicist in 2003, that flies in the face of criminological consent is not the best starting point for this particular narrative.

I haven't got a clue about it's sources. But even if it doesn't deter people... Justice.

Serial killers who kill and rape only for their personal gratification and who just kill innocent 'weak' people have forfeited their right to live.

-It's a Deterrent
To my knowledge, there has never been any real evidence for this, and indeed a fair bit of evidence saying it's not a deterrent at all. Frankly? Most criminals don't see to give a shit about the death penalty, so that's not relevant.

-It's cheaper than life in prison
Not true. At least, not if you're trying to have Just Justice System. Due to the nature of appeals and confirming fact as much as feasibly possible, the death penalty (in the U.S., at least) is more expensive than switching to life sentences. I suppose if you operated in some backwater theocracy where those convicted are instantly killed by firing squad then yeah, it'd be cheaper, but then you have to concern yourself with the argument against off...

-It kills innocent people
A fair few, in fact. Even in the US. At that point it changes from state-sanctioned killing to state sanctioned murder. Preplanned murder at that. You know, the sort of killing which would normally warrant a death penalty charge against the perpetrators.

-Is taking a life ever justified?
Bear in mind that we're talking about a person who has been captured and incarcerated. A person who has, for all intents and purposes, been completely pacified and is thus posing no danger to those around him (thus invalidating the 'self-defense' reply to this point). What purpose would killing them serve, exactly? It'd make some people who get their jollies off on death feel better, but for those of us who don't approve of such things, it makes us feel worse. Living criminals also offer insight to psychologists who may wish to interview them for their work, meaning that even indirectly they are still offering something back to society.

As pointed out above, Europe has done away with the death penalty. In fact doing so is one of the requirements if you want to join the EU.

TheMatsjo:

But, here comes what I actually want to discuss: what if you don't believe that people have reasons for what they do, and that it instead comes down to a case of "good" or "evil"? You see, if a person is evil, there's no point in rehabilitation, dialogue, compassion or anything of the sort, because the person is beyond saving, "evil". There you have a perfect justification for killing people, because "hey, we gotta make room for the good apples".

Good and evil are a matter of degrees and perspective. Unless you're asking if there's some sort of innate soul-like construct which determines our objective morality (which I would oppose), the nature of being 'good' and 'evil' is too subjective and intersubjective to base a justice system upon.

Hitler was a vegetarian and loved animals. People aren't black and white and they can't be classified into 'good' and 'evil' like the moral choice system of a video game.

I think that murderers and rapists can be rehabilitated, but it is hard to tell the truth.

For instance, in an episode of Law and Order, a rapist swears he is cool now, and Jack McCoy spends the whole episode trying to get him after a rape/murder loosely connected to his MO turns up right after the bad guy is released. The rapist gets pissed and denies he did anything again, while his daughter defends him against McCoy's accusations. At the end, the rapist is killed...by his daughter, after she caught him trying to rape his friend.

So, who is rehabilitation and who is not? Sociopaths are the most charming liars around, you know. But it is totally unfair to kill or keep in prison people who genuinely want to be good. That is why I support the tribal method of using magic thingies to find out who is guilty, as it seems to work.

I'm opposed to capital punishment, but I cringe whenever I see someone try to pass it off as "murder". A lawful execution within its legal jurisdiction by definition can never be murder because for a killing to be murder it must be done illegally.

So there are plenty of reasons to be against the death penalty, but calling it murder is just an appeal to emotion.

This is what capital punishment means to me: society's intolerance that some people can't or don't want to conform to the ideas that believe to be right..

Isn't that similar to why people kill others, an intolerance to another or a hatred of their continuing existence.. I don't really care if killing by governments is legal killing because you cant accept someone is different is wrong and accounts to murder (technically as murder is killing but thinking about it first and still going ahead..

And if you all want murderers and criminals gone then don't rely on your governments to do it for you, you can pull the trigger yourself..

Katatori-kun:
I'm opposed to capital punishment, but I cringe whenever I see someone try to pass it off as "murder". A lawful execution within its legal jurisdiction by definition can never be murder because for a killing to be murder it must be done illegally.

Er, that only applies to a valid legal system though, doesn't it?

Which gives you plenty of wiggle room to claim it's murder if you want.

thaluikhain:

Katatori-kun:
I'm opposed to capital punishment, but I cringe whenever I see someone try to pass it off as "murder". A lawful execution within its legal jurisdiction by definition can never be murder because for a killing to be murder it must be done illegally.

Er, that only applies to a valid legal system though, doesn't it?

I wonder what countries you would propose do not have valid legal systems.

Keep in mind, I'm not saying capital punishment is good. It's wasteful, it's needlessly vindictive, it is not useful in restoring what was lost to crime, it is barbaric, and it relies on a criminal justice system that cannot be trusted to always be accurate.

It's just not murder.

Katatori-kun:
I wonder what countries you would propose do not have valid legal systems.

Any that had capital punishment, if you wish to label it as murder.

Less flippantly, there are places where a women or girl can be killed by the state for the crime of being raped.

I'm going to call that murder.

thaluikhain:
Less flippantly, there are places where a women or girl can be killed by the state for the crime of being raped.

I'm going to call that murder.

That's appealing to emotion. Surely such a case can be called wrong without using misleading language to make the case.

Katatori-kun:

thaluikhain:
Less flippantly, there are places where a women or girl can be killed by the state for the crime of being raped.

I'm going to call that murder.

That's appealing to emotion. Surely such a case can be called wrong without using misleading language to make the case.

How is it misleading?

Katatori-kun:
I'm opposed to capital punishment, but I cringe whenever I see someone try to pass it off as "murder". A lawful execution within its legal jurisdiction by definition can never be murder because for a killing to be murder it must be done illegally.

So there are plenty of reasons to be against the death penalty, but calling it murder is just an appeal to emotion.

If they were falsely convicted and weren't actually guilty of the crime they were killed for, what else would you call it, other than 'murder'?

Katatori-kun:
So there are plenty of reasons to be against the death penalty, but calling it murder is just an appeal to emotion.

I actually consider it the more apt description. Using the term "capital punishment" for example is a method of sterilizing what is actually going on to make it more easily justifiable. Calling it by its rightful name is the only honest way to go in my book. We're talking about pre-meditated murder, which we've justified through the filter of legality. As I've said before, there are situations where murder can be the least of all evils, but I don't want to soften the severity of the act through euphemisms.

To clarify; I don't judge the justice of an act by its legality, but by its justness.

But I pose again my question: is there evidence that believing in good & evil has an effect on whether or not supporting state killing?

TheMatsjo:

R Man:
we all agree there should be punishment. We just disagree on what that punishment should be.

Not to complicate things too much, but I don't agree to that. I think there should be rehabilitation, and revenge doesn't come to it.

I was hoping someone would make this point. I have to ask, why is seeking revenge wrong? I'm not saying it isn't, but there must be some theory behind it.

Despite popular belief in the logic v emotion, the truth is emotion can actually help with decision making. Perhaps judges should be a little angry?

I also have to ask, if a person has ignored all social and cultural conditioning against a heinous crime, ignored legal and government power to catch and prosecute and ignored the tempering influence of friends, do you really think that they can be re-rehabilitated?

R Man:
snipped

Revenge is a poor method --as far as I'm concerned-- for two main reasons:
1. It doesn't solve the actual problem, because the focus is on the symptom rather than the cause and
2. It propagates the idea that some problems aren't solvable, and even trying is not worth the effort. This tacit assumption blocks proper reasoning and empathy in a multitude of unacceptable ways.

Those are my two big reasons anyway.

Emotion can help with decision-making, emotions tell us what to value, I just don't think the emotions we should be using are blind hatred, fear or a desire for retribution.

There are cases where a person is so far-gone that it might seem impossible to rehabilitate, especially if personality disorders come into play. That's a very tough situation. But, yes, I think they can be rehabilitated, it's a matter of the right approach and enough resources.

That said, I really wish we'd stop being so freaking obsessed with the processing of persons who commit crimes, and actually start resolving the reasons those crimes exist in the first place. Then we're talking about poverty, discrimination, unattainable ideals, large income gaps, nutrition, health, living conditions, education, sick care, social security and all the other factors that create a situation where the most logical thing someone might think to do is take a swipe from the register. If we did that, we'd be making some headway.

I disagree with point one as it is easier said than done. While improving social conditions sounds like a good idea, it is slow, time consuming and fraught with challenges to which there are no easy solutions. What are you going to do in the meantime?

Secondly some problems are not solvable, at least not in the short term. Saying that fixing poverty 'Tomorrow' will help won't be much consolation to victims today. Remember they are people too and have a right to feel safe, both as individuals and members of society.

Third point, does a desire for retribution always equal blind hate? Retribution is more than an individuals anger, it is also a social statement, at least in this context. It shows exactly where a group of people stand on a particular issue.

Fourth point you show support for rehabilitation. But how would you know what form of rehabilitation works the best? If it works how well? And do we really have enough resources?

For your last point I will re-state that it isn't that simple. If it were easy someone would have done it by now. But they haven't. It took the western world some five hundred years (probably more really) to reach the living standards that we have today, all to a historical back drop of revolution, war and economic imperialism and ethnic cleansing. Solving these problems is not easy, and quick solutions have evaded the greatest social minds of our recent ages. Can you offer up the solutions to these problems? For now think about how to help victims of today's criminals. Personally I doubt that rape victims will be consoled by vague promises of an imagined future.

I see the death penalty as an easy way out. Make them work in prison. Life sentence of hard labour.

R Man:
I disagree with point one as it is easier said than done. While improving social conditions sounds like a good idea, it is slow, time consuming and fraught with challenges to which there are no easy solutions. What are you going to do in the meantime?

It seems we agree on where we should be moving towards, no?

It is easier said than done, but saying it is the first step. In the meantime we're stuck with partial solutions such as incarceration or only moderately-proficient rehabilitation. Ask a Scandinavian for reference.

Secondly some problems are not solvable, at least not in the short term. Saying that fixing poverty 'Tomorrow' will help won't be much consolation to victims today. Remember they are people too and have a right to feel safe, both as individuals and members of society.

True, that's why it's a process. The reason we have so much crime and so many persons with troubled personalities is a result of how society is organised, not only the justice system has to change, so do our ways at large. Not an easy task to be sure.

Third point, does a desire for retribution always equal blind hate? Retribution is more than an individuals anger, it is also a social statement, at least in this context. It shows exactly where a group of people stand on a particular issue.

There are other ways to express this, you don't need killing. And by now you've already moved away from the emotional motivation and moved into the social vices department; which is far less personal and primal. A move I support by the way.

Fourth point you show support for rehabilitation. But how would you know what form of rehabilitation works the best? If it works how well? And do we really have enough resources?

Countries not using state killing don't see an increase in crime. Countries with low sentencing don't see an increase in crime. Countries with strong rehabilitation systems see the lowest amount of repeat offenders worldwide. That's pretty strong evidence in my book.

For your last point I will re-state that it isn't that simple. If it were easy someone would have done it by now. But they haven't. It took the western world some five hundred years (probably more really) to reach the living standards that we have today, all to a historical back drop of revolution, war and economic imperialism and ethnic cleansing. Solving these problems is not easy, and quick solutions have evaded the greatest social minds of our recent ages. Can you offer up the solutions to these problems? For now think about how to help victims of today's criminals. Personally I doubt that rape victims will be consoled by vague promises of an imagined future.

I can obviously do nothing other than agree. But, I must add that people's sentiments don't change by simply conforming to them. Improvements come from challenging the made assumptions and putting pressure on society to further its ways. I think we have a lot to improve on.

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