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Thread: The Crime Thread - Cause, Effect, Sentencing, Empathy

  1. #91
    Super Senior Member Delphinus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CypressDahlia View Post
    But the average jailbird does not fit that description. Those "average" criminals, I don't mind attempting to rehabilitate and assimilate back into society. The ones doing 5-10 for serial kleptomania or far less severe charges. Basically, non dead-end criminals. I still find these people despicable, but since they're going to be set free eventually, might aswell try our best to rehabilitate them.
    "I still find these people despicable."

    "I still find these people despicable."

    despicable

    Because taking drugs and shoplifting are enormous threats to society and the public welfare. To me, it doesn't make sense that someone gets 10 years for shoplifting some gadgets (total value, £1000? also virtually a victimless crime) when someone can get 0 years for stealing millions - 'sup fraudulent accountants and inside traders - from a huge cross-section of the public.

    That aside, bear in mind that few of the people who commit major crimes are major criminals. These hardened criminals are imprisoned for numerous offenses at once - if indeed they're caught. Most big crimes are crimes of passion, so they could be committed by virtually anyone, although for obvious reason the lower classes are more likely candidates. I wouldn't call a woman who, after years of an abusive marriage, kills her husband for sleeping with another woman as big a threat to society as a guy who kills someone, takes their wallet, and dumps the body in a river. Even in cases where people might appear heartless (gang killings), it's common for them to be crimes of passion ("That fucker shot my best friend! Let's get him!") rather than anything that's been heavily premeditated. Thus, characterising all criminals who commit the big crimes as 'dead-enders' is madness.

    Not that I don't think that certain types of criminal should be considered for execution (though there are moral and practical grounds that, I'd argue, make execution unethical; I'm undecided on the issue but I think that the idiocy of the masses probably makes it a bad idea), but saying that this applies to everyone with a life sentence is bloodthirsty and insane. Life sentences aren't equal.
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  2. #92
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delphinus View Post
    Because taking drugs and shoplifting are enormous threats to society and the public welfare.
    I don't disagree. I think 10 years for stealing minor things is ridiculous. A comprehensive rehabilitation program can fix these types of problems rather easily. That, and probation or continuous house arrest. I'm talking about breaking and entering, grand theft auto, etc, etc. And I admittedly take drugs (well, drink alcohol) from time to time and I'm underage. I find that excusable. You have to take my statement with a grain of salt as it would've been far too much typing to specifically state things I found excusable or not. You understand that.

    Thus, characterising all criminals who commit the big crimes as 'dead-enders' is madness.
    ...Life sentences aren't equal.
    I don't disagree. As I've said before, not all sentences are fair. I still believe a life sentence is genuinely pointless but I agree that some people with life sentences don't deserve to have them. But this is more of an issue with our court (minimum sentencing) than with execution. Execution in itself makes complete sense to me. Also, someone who is driven to kill is a genuine threat to society. Even if someone shoots your friend, you don't go out and seek retribution personally. I think serial murderers are despicable, but I'm not out with a speargun hunting them down. I may think one deserves to die, but it's not my decision alone to make. There's a process. Vigilantism has no place in the real world when it's an issue of taking someone's life.
    Last edited by CypressDahlia; 09-06-2011 at 07:23 PM.

  3. #93
    Palindrome Member ClockHand's Avatar
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    Last year the Government start a Anti-Piracy policy and law which was pretty strong. A man of low resources start his own job with used computers doing a cyber, he end in jail for 10 years because he used a pirated Window in his computers. The man said he didn't had money for the original Window (which in here can cost 200 dollars) and he end in jail.

    While through this same campaign when the politicians were discussing all this, the powerpoint of their presentation Window said "you are using a illegal copy of Window".

  4. #94
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    My views on pirating are...mixed. I don't mind pirating -- do it all the time -- but all at once I don't mind if I end up going to jail for it as long as the sentence is reasonable.

  5. #95
    Super Senior Member Delphinus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CypressDahlia View Post
    Also, someone who is driven to kill is a genuine threat to society. Even if someone shoots your friend, you don't go out and seek retribution personally... I may think one deserves to die, but it's not my decision alone to make. There's a process. Vigilantism has no place in the real world when it's an issue of taking someone's life.
    Although I agree - the court process is a good way of ensuring that the most positive action to deal with antisocial behaviour (which is all crime is, really) is taken - I hardly think someone who's "driven to kill" in the sense you're thinking of is a threat to society. Serial killers and their killer instinct are obviously a threat, but you're not talking about them. You're saying that anyone who feels the urge to kill someone is a threat to society if they go through with it.

    All that someone with the urge to kill out of revenge is guilty of is extreme emotions. I vaguely, though seriously, wanted to kill a particular person at one point, but I didn't. Why? I was never pushed far enough to decide my hatred was worth going to jail for. I like to think I'm fairly psychologically normal: homicidal ideation is something that most people engage in at some point in their lives. I imagine that all it would take to turn fantasy into reality for many people is wanting that person dead strongly enough.

    So, in that case, you're essentially seeking to punish people for being intensely emotional and being the victim of circumstances. That doesn't seem right to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn
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  6. #96
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    If you have the urge to kill someone and lack the judgment to control it, then you 1.) need to be punished for the act and 2.) need to have said lack of judgment examined on a psychiatric level. I believe there should be a wall there--a thick wall--that stops you from crossing over into the territory of murder. IMO, "heat of passion" is merely an excuse for general lack of judgment. If people are punished for lack of judgment regarding minor offenses (ie. deciding to drink and drive and getting caught), then there is no excuse for lack of judgment regarding such huge offenses. If anything, it should weigh more heavily on the mind, therefore is actually //less// excusable.

  7. #97
    Super Senior Member Delphinus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CypressDahlia View Post
    ...there is no excuse for lack of judgment regarding such huge offenses. If anything, it should weigh more heavily on the mind, therefore is actually //less// excusable.
    I'm not sure, not having been in this specific situation, but I think having someone, say, rape your girlfriend is quite likely to cause a lack of judgment. Strong emotions have this nasty habit of overriding rational thought; there's a reason we have two seperate offenses for premeditated versus spontaneous murder in civilised countries. In addition, you assume that a rational person wouldn't decide to kill someone after that, consequences be damned...

    Not that they don't need to be punished for the act, but giving them the same punishment as someone who meticulously stalks a beautiful young man, learns his daily routine, then catches him, murders him, and rapes his corpse before disposing of it in woodland seems a little bizarre. These two things are not alike; these two things are not the same.

    EDIT: Premeditated murder is first-degree murder; spontaneous murder is second-degree murder. You Americans have such strange ways.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn
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  8. #98
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    I guess neither of us can speak for those types. I've never been in a situation where I've even come close to killing someone. I've thought about beating people up (sometimes severely), but never killing them. The only time it would cross my mind to kill someone is if I was saving the life of someone I cared about. It's still an excuse, and still a lack of judgment, but I guess I concede to the separation being reasonable simply due to being unable to relate. Can't expect everyone to be perfectly level-headed.

    And what you described there is premeditated murder, which is still different from many other types of murder (namely manslaughter). I agree that that's totally different.

  9. #99
    Devilish Member Black_Shaggie's Avatar
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    I concur with you both on there being differnt types of murder. I'd have to agree with Del on how strong emotion can sometimes cloud and overide logic and reason. And whre does manslaughter fall into this? This is a question and not an argument because when I was younger, I did beat a guy to within an inch of his life. Its someting I am not proud of & was done out a rage fueled by a cheating girlfriend. The guy's smugness didn't help much though. If wasn't for my ex's screams that brough tme back to my senses...I may have very well done something more than what I allready regret. Fortunately I was never tried because the guy was too afraid to press charges. I felt so bad about it that I paid for his hospital bills in atempt to balance things and make ammends. This crime was commited from an emotional stance & was not premeditated...but it could have escalated to murder, possibly manslaughter had I not got a grip don't you think?

  10. #100
    Super Senior Member Delphinus's Avatar
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    Manslaughter is a term used in continental justice systems for spontaneous murder; i.e. murder that's not premeditated or intended. You'd be sentenced for it in the same way as a crime of passion. Well, that's what I think, I'm not a lawyer or law student.

    The American equivalent to manslaughter is, I believe, second degree murder.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn
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