silent thunder

Dao of the Death Penalty: on Punishment, Rehabilitation and Retribution.

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My sister served recently as juror foreman on a murder case in Texas.

I called her just a few hours after the verdict was remitted and she left her hotel room to return home to her husband.

 

The woman was convicted of hiring men who kidnapped, beat and murdered her husband for her.

The evidence was overwhelming and left little to the imagination, including confessions.

My sister reluctantly agreed to accept the foreman role, with the caveat that under no circumstances regarding the verdict, would she ever condone the death penalty.  If that were the focus, she assured all involved the trial would result in a hung jury and mistrial.

 

They voted her foreman.  Trial proceeded and the woman was sentenced to life in prison.

I poked my nose into the news and read the following quote, regarding the dragging death of James Byrd Jr, by a group of men.

 

Quote

A man who helped orchestrate one of the most horrific hate crimes in modern American history -- the dragging death of James Byrd Jr. in East Texas -- is slated to die Wednesday over the objections of some of Byrd's relatives.

Some of the victim's own relatives seek to overturn the application of the death penalty in this case.

 

is it justified?  what's your take?

 

At what point does punishment, become it's own crime?

What are our social obligations, if any, to try and rehabilitate violent and dangerous people?

Often it seems a defense of violent behavior is offered in that "i suffered x as a child which makes me how I am now, so I should be excused."

Yet I say to these people, even though i may understand why you did what you did... does not now mean there are no consequences for what you did.  But what are those consequences to be?  who is to decide?  is there one right and wrong application that applies to all cases?

 

I've been on both sides of this in 50 years and currently do not have a cut and dry response.

 

The Norwegians have a maximum sentence of 11 years for any crime.  Norwegian prisons for the most dangerous people consist of being sent to an isolated farm, far from civilization where escape is unlikely.  If you run away there, you run away from your means of survival. 

 

While there, you work on the farm.  You work with the other inmates.  You run the farm.  You grow, harvest and eat what you grow.  I don't know the recidivism rates of Norwegian criminals, but their approach and dedication to rehabilitation, vs punishment is very intriguing to me, compared to the American system of private prisons that profit on high incarceration rates.

 

what is the dao of punishment vs rehabilitation?  Is it possible to sleep next to a rabid dog? 

There are some very wise and deeply experienced masters present... if inclined, please share your reactions and insights.

 

 

 

 
Edited by silent thunder
added a sentence for clarity
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Quote

Saudi Arabia has executed 37 men convicted of terror-related crimes, the kingdom's official news agency said Tuesday.

One of the convicts was crucified, according to an interior ministry statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
"The death penalty was implemented on a number of criminals for adopting extremist terrorist ideologies and forming terrorist cells to corrupt and disrupt security as well as spreading chaos and provoking sectarian strife,"

 

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The death penalty, in a situation of horrendous crime, my heart closes and I judge the person has forfeited the right to live.  A line of inhumanity was crossed and death is appropriate.  Strangely my head is more forgiving then my heart.  I know mistakes are made, I know its permanent.  I know there are things I can't know with certainty.  One of those is if redemption is possible for the person.  That something positive can come from the tragedy.

 

So, at the moment I'd kill'em but with time and some distance.. I would not. 

 

Ultimately I'm pragmatist, It'd be worthwhile if some small part of the U.S experimented with a system like Norwegian one.  To see if it'd work here.  I took a course in college on law and prison.  The pendulum between punishment and rehabilitation swings slowly back and forth here.  

 

America is crippling itself with its high incarceration rate.  Its costing us over 80 billion dollars a year, 30 to $60,000 a year per prisoner.  That's nuts.   We're doing something wrong.  Or at least there is vast room for improvement.  We put too many people in prison and there's too much recidivism.  The price for them and society is too high.  I'd welcome bold new ideas, even if they took years to prove out. 

Edited by thelerner
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I personally view the death penalty as unnecessary. If the convict is imprisoned so as to prevent them from hurting others again, then justice has been done. Victims might want revenge, or for the perpetrator to suffer as they've suffered...but that's not the purpose of justice. The purpose is to maintain order in society.

It's not good to have people working in prisons, just trying to make a living, who as part of their jobs are forced to participate in the executions of humans. It's not our right to decide when someone else lives or dies, and it harms us to do so, whether we know it or not.

In a self defense situation, such as in war, in the right circumstances - that's a time to kill. But when we have a choice whether to do it or not, where it really doesn't make a true difference either way in terms of outcomes, then we shouldn't choose to kill.

 

I think it's just a fact of life that in society that there will always be certain people who commit serious crimes, and have to go to prison. That being a fact, it's society's obligation and responsibility to ensure they're taken care of and not abused during their time. I don't mean pampered, or potentially allowed to escape like in Norway...but for instance, they should be protected from being raped, kept safe from the violence of other inmates, be fed meals that are at least somewhat nourishing and healthy, be able to see a doctor, have books to read, etc.

 

In US prisons, inmates don't get rehabilitated. You don't go to prison and come out a better person. In most cases, you learn how to become more of a criminal.

In some cases, a person can rise above their circumstances, and do well for themselves. I believe in supporting felons...they did their time, and if they are trying to do well in the normie world, they should be treated like anyone else. Until the point comes where they screw up. Our society has a super huge stigma against felons...I found this out when doing job searches, and realizing that for me as someone with a clean record, it's hard enough to find a job, but for a felon, 98% of jobs are simply off limits to them. I can't imagine how hard it must be to rise up again once you get on society's bad side.

I worked with someone previously who had 5 felonies for marijuana. He was one of the nicest guys, and was good at his job.

On the other hand, more in line with the types of crimes for this thread, this past year I heard about the Chris Watts case (don't look it up if you want to maintain your peace of mind). Some people need to be kept away from society for the rest of their lives.

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15 minutes ago, Aetherous said:

Victims might want revenge, or for the perpetrator to suffer as they've suffered...but that's not the purpose of justice.

 

Its called closure , people can adapt to all  kinds of life it becomes normal.

On the other hand death is also normal but an end point.

 

For those who killed my relative,  death is good and allows

a finality to it.  closure.    

 

If the end point is death,  why not help those who've 

caused others to reach this point reach it.  

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34 minutes ago, Aetherous said:

I believe in supporting felons...they did their time, and if they are trying to do well in the normie world, they should be treated like anyone else. Until the point comes where they screw up. Our society has a super huge stigma against felons.

 

 

Can you show societies that don't have this stigma.....

Would you agree to have a pedofile living next door to a school yard,  as you've said

they did their time and now should be "normalized" 

 

felony.jpg

Edited by windwalker

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13 minutes ago, windwalker said:

Its called closure , people can adapt to all  kinds of life it becomes normal.

On the other hand death is also normal but an end point.

 

For those who killed my relative,  death is good and allows

a finality to it.  closure.    

 

If the end point is death,  why not help those who've 

caused others to reach this point reach it.  

 

The purpose of justice isn't to give victims closure.

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1 minute ago, windwalker said:

Can you show societies that don't have this stigma.....

 

No... but maybe Norway, given what we've learned in this thread.

 

1 minute ago, windwalker said:

Would you agree to have a pedofile living next door to a school yard,  as you've said

they did their time and now should be "normalized" 

 

I don't think pedophiles ever become normalized/rehabilitated. Unfortunately for them, but necessary for society, there must be a strong social stigma about them.

And aside from them, I don't think anyone gets rehabilitated from doing time. It's the individual's choice to rehabilitate themselves (if they're able to make that choice).

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Just now, Aetherous said:

 

The purpose of justice isn't to give victims closure.

 

ask a victim....

 

"The purpose of the Criminal Justice System... is to deliver justice for all, by convicting and punishing the guilty and helping them to stop offending, while protecting the innocent.'"

 

I would say the purpose of the Criminal Justice System is deterrence,  failing that its protecting the innocent. 

Death is a finality that serves the purpose of providing a deterrent and also insuring that what ever happened 

will not, can not happen again by the same person.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Aetherous said:

No... but maybe Norway,

 

 

"

Sweden has one of Europe’s highest rates of sexual assaults.

At 120.79 violent sexual assaults per 100,000 people, and 56 rapes per 100,000, the otherwise bleak socialist country ranks as having the second highest rate of sexual violence in Europe."

 

maybe not...I wonder why

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7 minutes ago, windwalker said:

ask a victim....

 

Some victims want the perps to die, some want them to be imprisoned, some forgive them, some don't presume to have a say, etc.

It ultimately doesn't matter what victims want. With the justice system, they'll get whatever they get from the process...the system doesn't really cater to their wishes. When it's not making mistakes, it's set up simply to maintain law and order.

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30 minutes ago, Aetherous said:

I don't think pedophiles ever become normalized/rehabilitated. Unfortunately for them, but necessary for society, there must be a strong social stigma about them

 

 

And what of those who might say the same things of those who've committed felonies.

Is there a difference?

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The Norwegian solution looks very good !   Well done.

If prisoners are raped and terrified like in the US .... when they are released into society they bring that trauma and damage with them into society and live in the house next door to you, it's a bit like throwing plastic into the ocean only to eat the fish from that ocean afterwards (and the fish have eaten the plastic).

The image of a man staring at the wall and coming face to face with his crime ... it might work only for a few.   For most the problem is inside the body / heart and so physical work, contact with nature, and so on ... is a much better approach.  Starring at a wall does nothing.

And the majority of human population could do with some time on an isolated island and be given a spade and told to dig hard labour for a few weeks.   

If everyone on Earth was forced to do that once a year, the world would be much improved.   In fact I can think of no better or more rapid cure for mankind's problems.

 

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6 minutes ago, rideforever said:

Starring at a wall does nothing.

 

mmmm, maybe ,  maybe not

 

Quote

Another story states that, soon after meeting the emperor, Bodhidharma went to a monastery in Luoyang, where he spent nine years staring at a cave wall in intense concentration. Still another states that, in a fit of anger after repeatedly falling asleep while attempting to practice meditation, he cut off his eyelids

 

 

Image

Edited by windwalker

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1 hour ago, windwalker said:

mmmm, maybe ,  maybe not

 

One has to already have quite a lot of maturity inner harmony and education for a good result to come from isolated starring at a wall.  I imagine that many criminals could not use such a situation productively.   For the authorities, at some point the prisoner becomes just dead inside and thus no longer a threat and then he is paroled.

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Holland is also pretty sophisticated when it comes to rehabilitating criminals. Some of the jails are rather like therapeutic centres, with things like roleplay in groups for learning constructive behaviour being offered.

 

Societies that support capital punishment are at the other end of the spectrum. Among various ramifications of killing people for committed crimes, there is the issue that no legal system is perfect and, inevitably, every once in a while an innocent person will be punished. The number of proven cases of innocent people having been put to death was about 50, according to an article I read some 20 years ago. Not to mention the dark figure, of course.

 

Sure, there are also people also serving time in jail undeservedly. However, once their innocence has been shown, at least they can be released, compensated etc. What is scary about capital punishment is the finality of it.

 

And I find it hard to understand that some people value capital punishment so much that they find the 'collateral damage' it entails acceptable. "Sorry about that, we need it for protecting innocent people..." :blink:

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1 hour ago, Michael Sternbach said:

Holland is also pretty sophisticated when it comes to rehabilitating criminals. Some of the jails are rather like therapeutic centres, with things like roleplay in groups for learning constructive behaviour being offered.

 

I am not sure what they are doing over there but the human mind can be extremely devious and cunning in hiding itself in therapy sessions and I think that physical work is much more reliable.

Much psychotherapy is actually quite fake, and I have a lot of experience.

Whereas digging trenches is not so easy to hide from.

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4 hours ago, rideforever said:

I would really like to be on an isolated Norweigian island doing physical work ?  What do I have to do to get there ?

 

Leave, don't talk about it do it.

 

"TERRORIST KILLED INNOCENT PPL. IM SICK OF BEING NAILED 2 CROSS BECAUSE U PPL THINK IM A RACIST‚ÄľÔłŹIM NOT GOING TO DEFEND MYSELF‚ÄľÔłŹI CARE 4 ALL PPL,TRY TO HELP ALL PPL,‚ÄĚ Cher said.

 

‚ÄúExcuse The Fk Out Of Me If I don‚Äôt want ,Murders, Rapists, &; CHILD MOLESTERS of every color to vote.‚ÄĚhttps://www.breitbart.com/entertainment/2019/04/24/cher-doubles-down-excuse-the-fk-out-of-me-if-i-dont-want-murders-rapists-child-molesters-to-vote/

 

cher,  seems to be waking up.

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17 minutes ago, windwalker said:

Leave, don't talk about it do it.

 

Are you in the US btw ?

I have been looking for places to go, but also am doing good work right now, but will visit some places this year.

 

I agree btw that strong measures need to be taken.   The left has a corrupt spirit at the moment and they no longer discriminate between good and bad, in fact it is their pleasure to mix dark and light together which will steeply worsen life in the US.   These people are exceptionally dangerous.

Society has its limits, and at a low ebb of moral virtue those limits are quite low.   If the country cannot deal with the situation in a pleasant way, then it must deal with the situation in a strong way.

 

Also, as for the Cross.   I believe Jesus is fully and completely misunderstood, or willfully misunderstood to excuse awful things ... on the basis that we are supposed to all love each other.
This, from my Bible study for the last 2 years, seems to be complete garbage.
As a Jew loving your neighbour includes pointing out his sins to his face and if he doesn't behave then ejecting him from society.
And also not hating him in your heart.
And also loving God truth before everything.

Jesus divided light from darkness in every statement he made, even to the point of ostracizing various groups of people, telling them that would not be forgiven (sins against the holy ghost) and that they would be destroyed if they went the wide gate.
But ... people just use him as a licence to do whatever they please ... that is not what he taught.

 

On the other hand it is also true that in darkest San Francisco, home of corruption, does arrive from time to time various nuggets of psychotherapeutic gold that could in the end save mankind.   

So, everyone has a purpose after all.

Confusing place really !!!

 

 

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1 hour ago, rideforever said:

Are you in the US btw ?

I have been looking for places to go, but also am doing good work right now, but will visit some places this year.

 

Yes at this time I am.

 

https://www.thedaobums.com/topic/37747-do-you-have-a-blog-or-a-website/?page=2&tab=comments#comment-873923

 

Having lived overseas a large part of my life I would say to anyone thinking of doing so it's not as easy as some may lead one to believe.  Possible, but not easy.

 

The first part paradoxically enough is that most other countries do protect their borders, and do have very severe penalties for those who enter illegally or overstay illegally.

 

the second part among others is being culturally attuned to the place one intends to go to.  

For me living in China and Asia it felt like going home.

 

Another very important consideration is to know the laws, and always be aware as that as an american you are a Target of opportunity for those wanting or seeking to make a statement concerning the US. 

 

Even if one is ethnically from the country they decide to stay in.

 

In some cases it's even worse as some countries for example China consider all ethnic Chinese to be citizens of China.

 

In the US always felt like a stranger in a strange Land, even from very early in life.  Growing up in SF allowed me to become part of the culture I felt attuned to.

 

For those considering living overseas, teaching English has always been a good avenue for doing so.  The requirements by the host countries are becoming stricter.

 

My hometown is SF, born and raised there. 

 

The only nuggets one may find are in the feces covering many of the sidewalks be careful where one steps.

Edited by windwalker

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This seems a rather challenging issue for sure.  My opinion is some should live and some should not; maybe they can resolve it out in their next like as some of us are likely doing now.

 

I would not walk into a jury with any planned outcome desired.  One should just see it out and then decide.

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19 hours ago, Aetherous said:

No... but maybe Norway, given what we've learned in this thread.

 

 

touches on some of the points here.

 

 

 

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I'm curious if the individuals posting here believe punishment is meant as a deterrent to crime, as "justice", and/or some variant of factors. 

 

I'm curious how population density is understood to effect both crime and the punishment thereof. 

 

And I'm also curious on individual ideas regarding rehabilitation, and how individuals came to their ideas. 

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