Would extreme sentences deter criminal offences?

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    So for example, if you committed murder you would be burnt at the stake, hung/drawn/quartered or maybe to a lesser extent locked in a small, grim cell in solitary until you die. That might deter most forms of murder, i.e. premeditated murder, gang murder, etc. where the perpetrators have to consider the punishment they will receive. The only murder left would be unrestrained, spontaneous crimes of passion.

    Kinda playing the devil's advocate here, but if the extreme sentences mentioned above deter most forms of murder (or other offences), isn't it right that they are adopted? If not, what justifies the greater risk of people being murdered/subject to other offences?
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    Wouldn't burning a murder at the stake make you just as bad as them?
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    (Original post by Pinkberry_y)
    Wouldn't burning a murder at the stake make you just as bad as them?
    Does imprisoning a kidnapper make the State as bad as them?
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    (Original post by Iridocyclitis)
    Does imprisoning a kidnapper make the State as bad as them?
    The state feeds them and gives them much better living conditions than the kidnapper probably ever gave their victim
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    (Original post by Iridocyclitis)
    Does imprisoning a kidnapper make the State as bad as them?
    No because they get regular meals, exercise, some leisure and a release date.
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    (Original post by Iridocyclitis)
    So for example, if you committed murder you would be burnt at the stake, hung/drawn/quartered or maybe to a lesser extent locked in a small, grim cell in solitary until you die. That might deter most forms of murder, i.e. premeditated murder, gang murder, etc. where the perpetrators have to consider the punishment they will receive. The only murder left would be unrestrained, spontaneous crimes of passion.

    Kinda playing the devil's advocate here, but if the extreme sentences mentioned above deter most forms of murder (or other offences), isn't it right that they are adopted? If not, what justifies the greater risk of people being murdered/subject to other offences?
    I used to think this, but then I did an internship for a community organization, and another one in court, and I learned that sadly most people who commit crimes have undiagnosed mental illness, or are extremely poorly educated. Therefore they don't know the implications of what they are doing, or they act on impulse (especially in the case of murder and rape etc) with a lot of emotion and lose control. They are simply not thinking rationally so they are not weighing up the odds or the consequences.

    By implication I think a lot of people who commit serious crimes are too mentally ill to be in society and should be institutionalized for a longer time than they are often jailed for, if only to protect society. However this does not happen.

    conclusion: most people who commit serious crimes are in their own way victims in my opinion, often they grew up very poor and were neglected, or have mental illness that they can't help, but sadly society needs to be protected from them and by putting them in prison for a few years this purpose is not served.
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    (Original post by Pinkberry_y)
    The state feeds them and gives them much better living conditions than the kidnapper probably ever gave their victim
    (Original post by ValerieKR)
    No because they get regular meals, exercise, some leisure and a release date.
    So death by lethal injection doesn't make the State as bad as the murderer (let's say someone who tortured and butchered their victim) because it's usually quick, painless and they get a relatively decent lifestyle on death row?

    Also, what about kidnappers who love their victims and treat them well, but obviously don't let them leave?
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    (Original post by Iridocyclitis)
    So death by lethal injection doesn't make the State as bad as the murderer (let's say someone who tortured and butchered their victim) because it's usually quick, painless and they get a relatively decent lifestyle on death row?

    Also, what about kidnappers who love their victims and treat them well, but obviously don't let them leave?
    That first one is a completely different issue and I never said anything of the sort.

    For the second one - their sentence is shortened to reflect that. Obviously it varies wildly on a case by case basis.
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    (Original post by Iridocyclitis)
    So for example, if you committed murder you would be burnt at the stake, hung/drawn/quartered or maybe to a lesser extent locked in a small, grim cell in solitary until you die. That might deter most forms of murder, i.e. premeditated murder, gang murder, etc. where the perpetrators have to consider the punishment they will receive. The only murder left would be unrestrained, spontaneous crimes of passion.

    Kinda playing the devil's advocate here, but if the extreme sentences mentioned above deter most forms of murder (or other offences), isn't it right that they are adopted? If not, what justifies the greater risk of people being murdered/subject to other offences?
    Nope it doesnt work. People still murder, smuggle drigs etc. Name me any country where this works.

    Theres also plenty of reasons why it would be contrary to our principles of justice and human rights. Theres a whole subject of criminology which examines these issues.
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    (Original post by Iridocyclitis)
    So death by lethal injection doesn't make the State as bad as the murderer (let's say someone who tortured and butchered their victim) because it's usually quick, painless and they get a relatively decent lifestyle on death row?

    Also, what about kidnappers who love their victims and treat them well, but obviously don't let them leave?
    The kidnapper knows what they did and why they're in prison for it, they knew what they were getting themselves into when they decided to kidnap the victim. On the other hand, the majority if not all victims didn't do something which warrants them to be kidnapped against their wishes for years.

    Lethal injection- also the whole last meal thing annoys the heck out of me. Was the victim given a choice of their last meal before they were murdered? Are we forgetting the atrocious act the criminal did in the first place which put them in prison? Wouldn't the money used for their fried chickens and chocolate sundaes be of better use feeding homeless people?
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    (Original post by ValerieKR)
    No because they get regular meals, exercise, some leisure and a release date.
    (Original post by Pinkberry_y)
    The state feeds them and gives them much better living conditions than the kidnapper probably ever gave their victim
    That's not the reason why. Even if the kidnapper locked someone up but gave them good living conditions, regular meals, exercise, leisure and a release date, it would still be illegal and they would still be sent to jail for it.

    Imprisoning this kidnapper does not make us as bad as them, because we imprison them as a punishment for a crime of which they have been found guilty,*whereas they kidnapped an ordinary person without any right to do so.

    Similarly, administering the death penalty to a murderer does not make us as bad as them. They killed an innocent person for no good reason, whereas we killed a person as a punishment for a crime they committed, with the intention that it is for the greater good of society (i.e. deterring others from committing the same crime in future).


    There are several good arguments against the use of capital punishment, but I don't think this is one of them.*
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    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    That's not the reason why. Even if the kidnapper locked someone up but gave them good living conditions, regular meals, exercise, leisure and a release date, it would still be illegal and they would still be sent to jail for it.
    The question wasn't 'isn't the government doing illegal things', it was 'isn't being jailed as bad as being kidnapped'.
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    (Original post by tazarooni89)
    That's not the reason why. Even if the kidnapper locked someone up but gave them good living conditions, regular meals, exercise, leisure and a release date, it would still be illegal and they would still be sent to jail for it.

    Imprisoning this kidnapper does not make us as bad as them, because we imprison them as a punishment for a crime of which they have been found guilty,*whereas they kidnapped an ordinary person without any right to do so.

    Similarly, administering the death penalty to a murderer does not make us as bad as them. They killed an innocent person for no good reason, whereas we killed a person as a punishment for a crime they committed, with the intention that it is for the greater good of society (i.e. deterring others from committing the same crime in future).


    There are several good arguments against the use of capital punishment, but I don't think this is one of them.*
    See what I wrote after that


    (Original post by Pinkberry_y)
    The kidnapper knows what they did and why they're in prison for it, they knew what they were getting themselves into when they decided to kidnap the victim. On the other hand, the majority if not all victims didn't do something which warrants them to be kidnapped against their wishes for years.
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    (Original post by ValerieKR)
    The question wasn't 'isn't the government doing illegal things', it was 'isn't being jailed as bad as being kidnapped'.
    It was actually "Does imprisoning a kidnapper make the State as bad as them?"

    Even if the kidnapper gives their victim living conditions equivalent to that of a prison, the State still is not as bad as the kidnapper, because they imprison someone as a punishment for a crime rather than for no good reason.

    This was the response given to the argument "Doesn't killing a murderer make the State as bad as them?", which doesn't work for similar reasons.*
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    Most people who commit crimes don't actually think they are going to be caught so whatever the punishment is, they are going to do it anyway...
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    (Original post by Pinkberry_y)
    See what I wrote after that
    I agree with what you wrote afterwards.

    But given that, I don't see why you'd think that killing a murderer makes the State as bad as them. Wouldn't you apply the same reasoning to the death penalty as well?
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    (Original post by Iridocyclitis)
    Kinda playing the devil's advocate here, but if the extreme sentences mentioned above deter most forms of murder (or other offences), isn't it right that they are adopted? If not, what justifies the greater risk of people being murdered/subject to other offences?
    No, because the law would lose any valid claim of being morally superior to the people it is prosecuting.
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    Harsh sentences do deter crime to a certain extent I believe, but not in all cases. For example, in a crime of passion, where one's reason has pretty much gone out the window, you can't expect a consequential deterrent to play much of a role, and likewise in the case of premeditated crimes where the perpetrator believes he or she'll get away with it.

    The area where a deterrent mostly operates, I think, is the large middle-ground where people have given some thought to the crime, but still have a reasonable expectation of being caught.

    The real problem with deterrents for me is the extreme level of injustice they inflict on the criminals (and the occasional innocents), which by definition of this scenario is disproportionate to the crime. The objections for me are almost entirely ethical.
 
 
 
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