How should we treat the worst prisoners?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by jmpet, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. Skeptical Registered Senior Member


    What you call "common sense" does not always make sense. Scientific sense trumps common sense any day of the year. Scientific sense is that which we discover to be correct by empirical testing.

    As you will know, there was a time when many people thought the Earth was flat. After all, the piece of Earth they walked on appeared to be flat, and no-one seemed to fall off. "Common sense" said that the Earth was flat. But more scientifically minded people saw other evidence and realised the Earth was more or less sphere shaped.

    You have decided from your own "common sense" that punishing serious offenders more harshly will reduce crime. But researchers have found that making punishments harsher has little, if any effect on crime statistics. That is scientific sense.

    My approach to this, and other issues, is to reject what appears to me, in my blind and prejudiced way, as "common sense" and go with what has been found to be correct by proper scientific, and empirical testing.
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  3. birch Valued Senior Member

    look, your condescending pseudo-scientific pretense of logic and being dispassionate does not impress me.

    what really makes me laugh is if you were that mentally lucid, you would realize that everyone is expressing their opinions, mixed with some facts on this whole issue.

    you, however, pretend that you have science behind you and i don't.

    i don't buy that "researchers" have found that making punishments harsher has little to no effect on crime. i think that's just typical jargon that you picked up and you like so you repeat it. i find it almost laughable too.

    why? for all their so-called research, which you have not provided either i can use many real-life examples where it does work to reduce crime.

    but one would have to consider many factors such as those who are mentally ill or lower intelligence as well as crimes in poor countries out of desperation do not count in this scenario.

    but as far as worst criminals which are sociopaths who do know what they are doing, they do consider their actions based on risk/consequence assessment. if they knew they would be taken out and shot by firing squad and no bsing around with them, it would reduce a lot of it.

    the reason why some countries have lower crime is not just better policing but that they don't bs around with criminals and their jails and prisons are really unpleasant.

    besides all that, i don't really understand why you are arguing with me because despite my opinion on the matter of forms of deterrance, i already established that i have no problem with incarceration or humane treatment of prisoners. i even gave a few reasons why this is important but i also think that euthanization could be utilized.

    you can't stand i have an opinion that i don't think it's really severe for the worst criminals. my god, what a wuss.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011
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  5. DNA100 Registered Senior Member


    I don't think this has got anything to do with being a vegetarian.A single person being a veggy doesn't stop the killing.But if a safe and satisfactory alternative to non-veg food becomes available(such as cloned food,which isn't really at a satisfactory level yet and nor is it available everywhere),then I am all for passing a law that stops animal killing altogether.And I do believe that one day technology will make this possible.

    However,we are talking here about killing healthy and harmless pets for the purpose of population control alone,no other reason.
    Coming back on topic,do you really feel that it is better to be dead than do have a life without trained doctors?I certainly do not agree with that.By the way ,the street dogs do have some neighbourhood people to care about although they may not get quite as much attention as humans or house-dogs.And pain is something largely created in the mind based on expectations.Someone living a tougher life becomes less sensitive to it.And even for us humans with "advanced" treatments it is pretty much impossible to live a life devoid of pain.So I certainly feel that it is wrong to kill our beloved pets merely for the purpose of population control.To me it looks a very cruel/insensitive approach.


    I just read that in the last post that you were abused.I don't know the details,but I am sorry to hear that.I have a simple advice for you.It's all in the mind.So don't live in the past,forget it,and live for the future.Live for love and hope,not for hate and revenge.This is an honest opinion from me.While I will agree on punishing the abuser,don't get obsessed with it.A better thing to hope for is that one day your abuser will understand his/her mistake.

    My observation of the world tells me that hatred breeds more hatred.It creates a positive feedback loop of hatred.Yet the earliest and the most minor acts of hatred are inevitably a result of misunderstanding or carelessness.In such cases,it is important to point out immidiately that one is causing pain ,instead of trying to hurt that person with a revenge mentality.If the response is quick enough,the person will realise his mistake and feel guilty.Hatred is cured with love and empathy,not more hate.Suffering is best cured by forgetting,forgiving and taking the best safety measures for future.
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  7. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

    To birch

    On the question of whether harsh sentences deter crimes, here is an academic paper that summarises such research.

    I quote from the conclusion :

    "The paper contends that the answer to the question of whether harsh sentences work is a definite No!"

    And again
    (This time, a Canadian study about deterring tax evasion.):

    I quote :

    "Findings suggest that perceived penalties are not as important to decisions about evading tax as are perceptions of the possibility of being apprehended. Some implications of this finding are that strategies of deterrence based upon penalty size may be ineffective if individuals contemplating tax evasion do not think they will be caught."

    Also :

    I quote :

    "according to a study done by Wrinkle and Sorenson (1999) in Texas predicted that harsh penalties do not deter crime, they stated that there was no relationship between murder rates and the rates of execution and death penalties, Bailey (1998) also found out that there was no deterring effect between the rate of execution after Oklahoma had resumed the execution verdict and murder crime rates."

    There's lots more, but I have spent enough time on this.
  8. jmpet Valued Senior Member

    How should we treat Jared Loughner, since he's not going anywhere soon.
  9. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

    Jared Loughner is a classic example of the need for lifetime humane quarantine. He is basically nuts, meaning that punishment is ridiculous. However, releasing him would be stupid, since he is likely to reoffend. The death penalty is 'cruel and unusual' since the guy cannot really be called responsible.

    A large cell of his own, with home comforts, and barred windows to allow him to talk to his neighbours. Supervised recreational breaks for several hours a day to enable him to get appropriate exercise. No release till he is old enough to qualify for an old folks home.
  10. jmpet Valued Senior Member

    He's 22 years old and will be spending the rest of his life behind bars for a moment of insanity. Is it enough to keep him quaranteened for the rest of his life? Hell yeah.

    But he should not be denied basic human rights to a cell, three hot meals and an hour or two out of his cell to keep his (what's left of ) his sanity.

    As Fraggle put it and many others echoed- he is removed from the human equation.

    Should we kill him? Personally I believe we should. We should find him guilty with no doubt, then execute him. In this case it will be mutually rewarding- we'll be happy to be rid of him and he will be happy to go out on a high note.

    It's up to the law to decide if he will get life without or death but in either case he is removed from the equation.

    We should allow Jared to strive to succeed in whatever limited capacity he is able to. We should let him live enough to where it is a miserable existence- not too much to where he kills himeself and certainly not too little to where he gets famous in jail. No- he is prisoner 3623945 and that is his identity.

    Is justice served?
  11. jmpet Valued Senior Member

    PHOENIX -- Jared Loughner, who the police said was responsible for the shooting rampage outside a Tucson supermarket on Jan. 8, pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that he tried to murder Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and two of her aides.

    Appearing in Federal District Court alongside his defense attorneys, Judy Clarke, Loughner entered a written plea to Judge Larry Burns of San Diego without uttering a word.

    Dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit and wearing glasses, Loughner, 22, smiled through most of the proceedings and chuckled when a clerk read out the name of the case: the United States of America v. Jared Lee Loughner.

    Not guilty? That leaves only two options- a deal to prevent the death sentence (which ain't happening) or a plea of insanity (which ain't happening). This boy's gonna fry extra crispy for what he's done.
  12. Gremmie "Happiness is a warm gun" Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, he's toast...I see no way around that.
  13. birch Valued Senior Member

  14. InTheGrey Registered Member

    I think, instead of animal testing it should be prisoner testing.
  15. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Queengeek wrote:
    True that.
    Easier said than done if you're poor...and they WILL be retraumatized in really bad neighborhoods.
    Plus PD's are really hard to treat-and take years. Try doing that without insurance...
    Stoniphi wrote:
    ..And repeated blows to the head causes what, folks? Intermittent Explosive Disorder...But jails get more funding than Child Protective Services...

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Not just fine, no, but we have to anyway.
    Skeptical wrote:
    I personally am for what causes the least recidivism. I live in Texas. A majority of the body politic here (I really believe) wants prisoners to suffer,the motivation is explicitly sadistic.
    And I think it actuallyspursrecidivism, because the people who go in are already traumatized, their dysfunction often gets piled-onto inside, then they come out with a prison record-and it's next to impossible to get a job with a prison record.
    So they reoffend-partly, I think, because at least in jail they have stability-sometimes the most stability they've ever had in their dysfunctional-family-Olympiad lives...
    Some of them do. I have a horrible past. It doesn't give me carte blanche to run around being a monster to innocent people. I don't get to give in to my dark impulses because someone did so with me.

    Saying something like that lets my abusers off the hook, and I can't let it go unchallenged.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011

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