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Removing criminals from society without going to their level

 
 
Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 03:59 pm
I've long contended that capital punishment does society a disservice. It appeals to the very instincts that should not be involved in decisions of that magnitude.

Popular arguments in favor of the death penalty include:

Cost to the taxpayer. This is a bogus argument but I'll address this.

Deterrent factor. This is hard to argue, the degree to which it is a deterrent isn't quantifyable and to make it a better detterent it should be employed more readily. I say there are many ways to deter crime, some are not worth pursuing.

Removing the monsters from society. This is what my idea deals with.


My idea consists of penal colonies which is not a new idea. I just wish to add new twists to them. Before I continue I must state that I do not argue this from a practical standpoint. I wish to debate this in theory, I know that the Aussies are not going to give me their land for this idea.

Ok, we'd need 2 islands. The islands would exclusivly house criminals who have been deemed unfit to take part in society.

Why 2 islands? Because the pridian flaw of penal colonies was reproduction, it's unfair to the scions and eventually the colony becomes a first world country (Japan, Australia).

T.H. White in this book suggested the same thing (I read the book AFTER I had this idea, deb can back me up on this). In his version children were removed from the island.

So, if we have a person who is unfit for society by all means he can be outcast. He can work the land to survive and fend for himself in the wild. No cruelty needs to be performed by the remaning members of society (e.g. you space them out, let them find each other if they wish but their companionship isn't intentionally used as punishment).

I have more to say on this but would like to pause for your input.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 7,208 • Replies: 105
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sozobe
 
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Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 04:05 pm
Well, the first thing I think of is how do we determine which people who are "unfit for society by all means"? I believe that rehabilitation can work, especially when the crimes are committed by someone who is young.
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timberlandko
 
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Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 04:08 pm
There would be particular appeal, if admitedly no immediate technologic practicality, to an off-planet Penal Colony. Current Medical Capability would obviate breeding concerns.



timber
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dlowan
 
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Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 04:11 pm
JAPAN?!
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Craven de Kere
 
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Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 04:14 pm
timber,

My original idea developed from a fantasy of creating other planets. I am suprised to hear you say that because that was the essense of my idea. It was just too outlandish to explain (how teleporters and nanotechnology fit in is hard to explain and all).

edit: breeding isn't the only concern, men would outnumber women and chaste women would be chased.

soz,

The process of determination is always adillema regardless of the punishment. In my fantasy there was technology that will never exist to aid in this but I fail to see the relevance, no matter what punishment is meted out the process still is inherently tricky.

edit:

Deb,

yes, Japan (penal colony of China).
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sozobe
 
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Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 04:15 pm
Another thing -- a big part of what bothers me about the death penalty is how unevenly it's applied, and the existence of innocent people on death row. A penal island full of the poor and occasionally innocent (while the rich, guilty counterparts golfed) would bother me, too.

edit: just saw your post, craven. hope this one clarifies relevance a bit. but can bring it back to just punishment in and of itself for clarity.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 04:20 pm
Your clarification does make sense, the inequality of the most severe punishment is an affront to justice and undermines the very punishment.

In my fantasy the punishment is more readily applied than capital punishment now is. But before we get into that do you have any objections to the theoretical idea?
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fishin
 
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Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 04:37 pm
The first question this prospect raises in my mind would be what happens when colonist #1 decides to kill off colonist #3, 4, 5, and 6? Or is it "anything goes" out in these penal colonies?

Would these only be people that are the equeal of our current death row inmates?
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Craven de Kere
 
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Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 04:43 pm
fishin'

They determine the rules in their society. We do not provide any aid or interference, they go there with enough seeds to plant their first few crops and a few books on how to survive.


I'd not say it's equivalent to our capital crimes but very close.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 04:43 pm
The raw theoretical idea is interesting, definitely. I'll say for my own comfort level that some absolutely 100% foolproof technology has been developed that clearly separates innocent from guilty, meting out punishment exactly equitably (no preferences according to socio-economic status, race, etc.) In that situation, could be a good thing.

What if they make a really nice life for themselves out there, though -- clean air, no pesky family encumbrances -- and people in dire straits here in the U.S. want to go there?
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fishin
 
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Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 04:50 pm
OK Craven. I was just trying to get a feel for how this society would function. I suspect the civil libertarians (myself included) would have a hissy fit but I'm willing to sit back and see how this progresses.

(The reason I mention this is because for the last 100 years or so more and more it has become and adopted custom and matter of legal precendent that prisoners still maintain some legal rights and the state is obligated to protect those rights even while the person is in prison. In this case that is all removed. Essentially, the individual is stripped of all citzenship and rights when found guilty..)
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timberlandko
 
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Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 04:52 pm
Some tribes of Native American practice a form of this. A recent media flap concerned a contemporary incident. If I recall, Tribal Law was given the nod. I don't recall hearing much more about it than that it happened. It involved a contrary youth who was placed on an island with bare means of subsistence. I suppose he survived. I wonder what effect the experience had on the lad's attitude and further social development.

Oh, and CDK ... as to the inevitable male/female imbalance: Provide the females, and them only, with modest armament. Not only would that inhibit "The Chase", it could drive an intriguing social dynamic.

timber
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Craven de Kere
 
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Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 04:57 pm
fishin'

Capital punishment strips more rights than this would. :-)

I agree with protecting those in your custody and on some level this is a very barbaric punishment (deb cringed then said to discuss it more).

Of that there is no doubt, but is it preferrable to capital punishment?
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Craven de Kere
 
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Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 04:59 pm
soz, if they do that kudos to them. I brought up japan and Oz because of it.

I happen to think that without procreation thay can't progress that much though.
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fishin
 
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Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 05:15 pm
Craven de Kere wrote:
Capital punishment strips more rights than this would. :-)


I don't know that I would consider this to be true. If I'm sentenced to death row I have several years of appeals and the possiblity that the sentence will be commuted or I'll get a pardon. During that time the state has to take care of me (not that they always do a very good job of it.). I get fed, clothed, proteced from the elements, can communicate with the outside world, etc..

If I'm sentenced to your island and I'm the first one there you can bet my first plan would be to kill everyone else as they arrive. The helicopter drops you off and within 30 minutes your dead. No appeal, no pardon, just a pile of rotting flesh to be used as shark bait.

You've taken the worst society has to offer and set them out on an island where there are no rules (other than what they make..). I doubt many of them would have much qualm about killing me since there aren't any additional repercussions if they do so the only alternative is for me to kill them first before others have a chance to form any type of group and outnumber me.

The average person spends what? 12-15 years on death row before they are executed (if they ever are..). You put me on that island and the average person won't be spending more than 20-30 minutes and they won't be going to sleep before the lethal drugs are administered.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 05:26 pm
Maybe it's cruel but remember, I'm not sentencing them to anything but exile. What they do to each other is their concern.

The planet idea makes a better example, they would be placed as far from others as possible. Then they are in their own hands.
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steissd
 
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Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 05:29 pm
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 05:49 pm
In theory (not practice) what are your qualms.
In a hypothetical situation in which the logictics are not a problem do you have any moral objection to this system?

Try to avoid the practicalities for a minute. This isn't ever going to be a replacement of the capital punishment you favor so.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 05:55 pm
Sounds much like Heinlein's Coventry.
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Tex-Star
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Jan, 2003 05:59 pm
Right now people are complaining about the Taliban prisoners who, as far as one can see on TV, don't suffer much. But, to dump these bad monsters, or worse monsters, on an island to somehow "survive"? We live in too small a world. How long would it take for TV cameras to focus on just how well, or horribly, the prisoners are faring. Are they killing one another, raping the women. Gads, what a show.

Although, I can see in the distant future a penal colony located on another planet. Still, people can be rather sadistic, they'd still want to watch.

I'm with the person here who said we shouldn't give up on rehabilitation. You have to try. See the movie, Dead Man Walking?
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