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#181399 - 07/28/05 11:13 AM punishment
collyk Offline
I am all for intelligent and not so intelligent debate, but I didn't think that the other thread about that poor man being murdered and the distress of the local residents was the right place for that to go down. So I am outlining, in simple format (I prefer simple and warn you that those of you who find typos offensive should look away now)what I know about punishment. I do teach and apply the subject in my work.

1. The timing of punishment has to be absolutely precise to be directly associated with the crime:

example - junkie robs house of TV to pay for drug- option 1. Whack junkie over head as he comes through window - very effective as he has not had any positive reinforcement for committing a crime and the punishment timing is direcly associated with the crime itself. Unfortunately in some countries there is little tolerance of protecting property in this way, so it may not always benefit the television owner.
option 2. Junkie successfully steals TV, sells it, gets fix. He has now been strongly reinforced for committing the crime. If he is then caught and whacked over the head, imprisoned, tortured (whichever you prefer)he only learns the punishment results from getting caught - not from committing crime.
option 3. Junkie steals TV, gets his hit, gets caught and killed. He learned nothing, but he won't do it again. This is not a punishment, just a final solution in respect to this individual's ability to commit further crimes and many would say that this is the best option.
option 4. Identify the cause of crime and prevent it from happenning. Not always the favoured method, but probably the best as it saves the person from having to whack the junkie or from having TV stolen.

Quite simply, most punishment of crime only punishes the perpetrator for being caught. Even worse than this, many low level criminals go to prison and leave with more criminal skills and better ideas about how not to get caught. Punishment may have a deterrent effect only if it's severity outweighs the direct reward the criminal perceives he will get. For the greedy, successful and persistent criminal, mentally ill or drug dependent - punishment has little effect as a deterrent, no matter how severe.

Having severe punishment can make victims of crime and society feel safer and it can also make people feel that at least something has been done. But in real terms, as long as crime isn't prevented, the whole thing is pointless. What everyone would prefer is no crime, rather than having to deal with the outcome of crime.

Prevention is better than cure. We can either fortify our homes and communities in the hope that we can outwit the criminals and catch them before they commit the crimes (which does not leave people with a very good quality of life) or we can identify the causes of crime and try to prevent them from occuring in the first place. This has nothing to do with liberalism but is more cost effective and saves more lives (potential lives of crime victims).

I am not personally opposed to capital punishment although I would hate to be someone falsely convicted. People do what they need to do to feel safe in their own communities and homes, but I am opposed to the incorrect belief that capital punishment is effective in the prevention of crime. If you would like to comment, debate, insult me personally, change the subject, correct my spelling mistakes or just talk rubbish, please do so here.
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#181400 - 07/28/05 01:14 PM Re: punishment
crockhunter Offline
To carry your thoughts to the end, if everyone had a tv, no one would steal them. Or if no one had one then you wouldn't have to worry about yours being stolen. It doesn't work that way. There will always be people who can't or won't find work so they steal because it's easier. Capitalism and greed, for all their faults are what has made this world what it is and without them we would all probably still be living in the stone age.

Having said that, I do believe that drugs are a major scourge on mankind, but I have no solution for the problem. We can't seem to win a war on drugs, and still I don't see how it will work to legalize them. My last trip to Belize, I was offered more drugs in San Pedro then I have been offered in my entire life. San Pedro's problems will only get worse as long as it keeps developing and more money keeps coming in. I wish to God it could be different, but that's the cold hard truth.

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#181401 - 07/28/05 01:20 PM Re: punishment
SP Daily Offline
collyk: you said
"4. Identify the cause of crime and prevent it from happenning."
Please elaborate and illustrate where that has ever been successful.

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#181402 - 07/28/05 01:42 PM Re: punishment
Denny Shane Offline
I always liked the punishment of some countries. Get caught stealing they cut off a hand... get caught a second time, off comes the other one. Lose enough appendages and you'll get the idea... saves on prison space as well.
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#181403 - 07/28/05 01:46 PM Re: punishment
SP Daily Offline
Keeps the dogs well-fed too...

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#181404 - 07/28/05 02:01 PM Re: punishment
captjeff Offline
I vote no#3 .now you say why ?? here is why it gets the word out not to steal in town..and if your dead you can not be a repeat criminal..you get my point..to harsh ,I say not harsh enough to rob a place kill a man,a harmless watchman .shame on you..the town needs to set a example of this animal..hang him .and all involved ..guess what ,soon no more crime.the scum bags move somewhere else.. just my two cents worth....
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#181405 - 07/28/05 02:06 PM Re: punishment
NYgal Offline
OMG...too funny smile
This whole lesson serves itself a lesson.
Did I get an A on this test? Hell no, I don't listen to the teacher.
What a hoot.

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#181406 - 07/28/05 03:13 PM Re: punishment
SimonB Offline
"Identify the cause of crime and prevent it from happening. Not always the favoured method, but probably the best as it saves the person from having to whack the junkie or from having TV stolen."

I'm sorry but this has been espoused forever and it will never happen. Even if you do find the root cause and fix the problem there will always be someone who decides to commit crimes. Iím sure there are plenty of drug lords who live lifestyles much better than the majority of law-abiding citizens. They are anything but poor but it doesnít stop them from committing crimes.

There are plenty of good people who are living lives in poverty who do not choose a life of crime. Committing a crime is a choice; if you make that choice you should be prepared to suffer the consequences. We are nothing more than animals and we will always behave like animals; some will be doves and some will be vermin.

I guarantee you that if they find and publicly hang the person(s) responsible for this crime it will be a long time before it happens here again.

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#181407 - 07/28/05 03:30 PM Re: punishment
captjeff Offline
simon you are right on the money.. make a example of the vermin..
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Living The Dream Every Day!

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#181408 - 07/28/05 03:58 PM Re: punishment
Anonymous
Collyk patiently awaiting answer to Jesse question - #4 especially the "prevention" part. C'mon now none of that manifesto crap about haves and have-nots.
Rykat

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