Should we use corporal punishment?Watch
These sorts of criminals, the ones that don't merit a jail sentence, are typically punished with a fine or with enforced community service. I'm not convinced that either of these punishments are great alternatives to corporal punishment.
If fines are set a standard rate for specific crimes, then that disproportionately punishes the poor unfairly. If fines are means-tested, then the severity of the crime becomes dependant on the wealth of the criminal, which also seems unfair.
Enforced community service is similarly problematic. By using community service as a punishment, we as a society are reinforcing the notion that community service is bad, which is a terrible notion.
Corporal punishment would obviously avoid this latter problem. It would also be an effective 'equaliser', not discriminating between the wealthy and the poor. Corporal punishment, therefore, would have some benefits over the alternative forms of sub-jail punishments.
I should be clear that I am not suggesting that this corporal punishment would consist of public floggings and the amputation of limbs. It would be as private and as civilised as possible, avoiding any permanent damage. Electric shocks could perhaps be used.
So, what do you think? I do realise that most people have a social aversion to corporal punishment, which I share too. Honestly, I haven't even convinced myself that we should use corporal punishment. That said, I do think it has some merits and is certainly worth considering.