Freedom of Speech

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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby V » 12 Jun 2020, 22:54

“You might want to reconsider that stance. First, no sentence, no matter how draconian, will deter all crime simply because most criminals either believe they will get away with it, or they're so stupid/angry/crazy that they don't think about consequences at all. Second, there is a big moral price to pay for draconian measures. It's why the United States has the 8th Amendment. Consider two possible outcomes...”

You reaffirmed exactly my point, not encouraged me to reconsider. See below.

I said.
For my part I believe punishments are for deterrent purposes & little else.
In that I’m saying, not revenge, not justice, not anything, other than deterrence.

I also said.
Was 20 years too much? I don’t know.
In that I’m saying, I have no slavish belief in the effectiveness of draconian punishments.

I also said.
It can’t be too hard to establish what sentence deters cross burning.
If it’s 300 hours of community service so be it. I don’t have an opinion, just a belief we can establish the “correct” sentence.

Then use it. Universally not selectively, otherwise there’s no justice.

All your points about deterrence are completely valid. Some individuals will never bow to the requirements of society whatever punishment is threatened for a given “misbehaviour”. At which point we are no longer in a discussion regarding “punishment” for an offence.
We get simply into a discussion regarding “protecting society” from a given misbehaviour & how serious that behaviour is for the victim. There isn’t really a timescale or severity of punishment aspect to that discussion. “Throw away the key” I’ve heard said :D
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby ruffdove » 13 Jun 2020, 00:01

It's possible I conflated you and the other poster in some things. That can happen on a message board. I apologize. Anyway, I don't think the penal system works like the purely logical mathematical system you suggest, in which you can determine what punishment achieves maximum deterrence and stick with that as a universally applied punishment. The world is not nearly that neat and rational, would that it was.

You may think that punishment should be for deterrence only, but there are other factors that come into play in determining punishment for crimes. Revenge may seem like a crude and unworthy reason for punishing people, but it's an unavoidable impulse, and if the state doesn't provide some measure of satisfaction for victims, they will seek it out themselves--which is bad. Additionally, incarceration is a way of directly protecting society by removing dangerous people. Finally, there is the oft-ignored reformatory aspects of a penal system. Personally I think it's sad that reformation seems to be such an afterthought in how we punish criminals, and in fact that' what I was hinting at in my post.

Since we agree that you'll never achieve complete deterrence with punishments, then your view becomes awfully subjective. How few crosses burned is few enough for you to believe that we have settled on the right level of deterrence? How many prison-hardened, violent, Aryan Nationalists should we create to bring down idiot teenage cross burnings to your acceptable level? I think a hundred well-intentioned and intelligent people would likely come up with 100 different answers to those questions.

Now my last characterization of the crime--"idiot teenage cross burning"--brings me to your insistence that we find a punishment and apply it universally. In your paradigm, a drunk teenage idiot who burns a cross and an unabashed white supremacist with a history of violence who burns a cross should both get the same punishment... as should a black person who burned a cross to make it look like something racist happened (paging Doctor Smollett). I would submit that the three cases should be handled very differently in terms of punishment, and this is why judges should have some discretion in applying penalties. Absolutes make us feel good, but they never work as well as we think they will.
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby V » 13 Jun 2020, 02:21

OK, Lots to answer & here we’ve found more disagreement than previously.

Of course the world is not easy & consistent to make the punishment & deterrence of crime simple but we should as far as is possible implement simple elegant solutions to complex problems. It can be done & often only laziness prevents it.

If revenge & “satisfaction” for those wronged has become part of our sentencing policy I believe that is a fundamental error that needs correction, not tolerate it as an unfortunate fact of life.

I do believe you could quantify occurrence of cross burning, drunk driving or any other offence, distinguish trends & establish if current policy is reducing the incidence (& be happy) or not & change it (never tolerating lack of progress).

I do not believe incarceration should be the only recourse & we should be as creative as possible in finding methods of penalising criminal behaviour that work towards reducing it. That has to be the only objective after all.
Massive fines. Public shaming. Education & Rehabilitation. Any idea that works & indeed it’s possible some trial & error (excuse the pun) will be involved in finding improvement, but so be it. This is for society’s benefit, not the criminal’s.

The last point is probably the biggest area of disagreement we have concerning these issues. Yes give a Judge some (minimal) discretion regarding sentencing, but I believe the judiciary have become a major obstacle regarding progress in reducing crime levels, rather than the safeguards of justice one would hope for.
Of course a first offending teenager receives different punishment than a repeat offending thug, but here we need a policy to handle the situation, not a Judge using (or not using) discretion depending on his/her opinion.

I’ve already said that repeat offenders need to be treated differently on the basis that whatever punishment was allocated last time failed, so why should more of the same yield a different result?
I truly believe going to prison on a sentence should become perceived as a “privilege” for the guilty, not a punishment as it now has become. This should be their last & final opportunity to learn whilst in prison & mend their ways.

We need an alternative form of punishment for those that won’t & thus reoffend.
In the old days it would have been “hard” labour, a boat trip to Australia, an extended visit to Siberia, you name, we thought of it.
Such a punishment doesn’t have a duration or rehabilitation. It’s forever. It’s not for the criminal, it’s for everyone else. We tried, you failed, goodbye. That level of punishment has vanished in many societies & I think they suffer as a result.
It needs to be cost effective for society & if the conditions are harsh as a result that’s not a problem. No one would be going there without full knowledge of what to expect.

It would not be up to a Judge to decide if/when the approach changes from punishment to achieve deterrence & becomes incarceration to protect society.
At a certain point 2?, 3?, 4? offences of the same nature, everyone would know, including the criminal that “you’re done”.
This “trigger” could be established with a big number initially, that is slowly reduced until effective. It would not have to be the same for different types of offence either, but it does need to be widely known to all & consistently implemented.

I should add that I don’t actually expect such a regime to ever actually be adopted in most “civilised nations”, because we are all comfortable with the status quo, however imperfect. Modern society has become gentle & averse to using any brutality even if it could solve problems. Historically brutality caused many problems & is rightly avoided, but my personal view is it does have a place & benefits, if used wisely. The purpose for documenting this opinion is more for discussion purposes than an actual conviction (excuse again :D ) that we would ever change the way things are.
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby Crunkus » 27 Jul 2020, 19:35

We need an alternative form of punishment for those that won’t & thus reoffend.
In the old days it would have been “hard” labour, a boat trip to Australia, an extended visit to Siberia, you name, we thought of it.
Such a punishment doesn’t have a duration or rehabilitation. It’s forever. It’s not for the criminal, it’s for everyone else. We tried, you failed, goodbye. That level of punishment has vanished in many societies & I think they suffer as a result.
It needs to be cost effective for society & if the conditions are harsh as a result that’s not a problem. No one would be going there without full knowledge of what to expect.


We've done that.

We currently don't focus on rehabilitation...check.
Reoffender laws are old as the hills. They don't deter most violent crime. The vast majority of violent crime is NOT pre-meditated. Even among those that are...you're talking about violent criminals, who often don't weigh consequences particularly well. When they do, it's often toward what they will do to avoid getting caught. That last point leads to a mechanism for MORE violence, not less.

We already over-incarcerate and under-fund it. This makes it worse.

These laws always disproportionately affect BIPOC communities.

If your third crime doesn't warrant life in prison or whatever you have dreamed up, why does it suddenly warrant it because you have two other convictions? Punishment fitting the crime is based in the Constitution.

We know what policies actually reduce crime, it isn't based on deterrence or enforcement. Everything else is nonsense posturing and Westerns.
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby V » 28 Jul 2020, 03:33

Crunkus wrote:
We need an alternative form of punishment for those that won’t & thus reoffend.
In the old days it would have been “hard” labour, a boat trip to Australia, an extended visit to Siberia, you name, we thought of it.
Such a punishment doesn’t have a duration or rehabilitation. It’s forever. It’s not for the criminal, it’s for everyone else. We tried, you failed, goodbye. That level of punishment has vanished in many societies & I think they suffer as a result.
It needs to be cost effective for society & if the conditions are harsh as a result that’s not a problem. No one would be going there without full knowledge of what to expect.


We've done that.

We currently don't focus on rehabilitation...check.
Reoffender laws are old as the hills. They don't deter most violent crime. The vast majority of violent crime is NOT pre-meditated. Even among those that are...you're talking about violent criminals, who often don't weigh consequences particularly well. When they do, it's often toward what they will do to avoid getting caught. That last point leads to a mechanism for MORE violence, not less.

We already over-incarcerate and under-fund it. This makes it worse.

These laws always disproportionately affect BIPOC communities.

If your third crime doesn't warrant life in prison or whatever you have dreamed up, why does it suddenly warrant it because you have two other convictions? Punishment fitting the crime is based in the Constitution.

We know what policies actually reduce crime, it isn't based on deterrence or enforcement. Everything else is nonsense posturing and Westerns.


We disagree on so much there’s little chance of reaching middle ground.
Punishment does deter violent crime.
If unsure, look up South African rape statistics pre-1994. The punishment was hanging, close to mandatory with very few exceptions. Rape was so rare as to be insignificant.
Then look up rape statistics since 1994 when the death penalty was withdrawn. It’s close to becoming a national sport.
They are even considering bringing back the death penalty it’s so out of control.
The only thing that changed was the penalty, it had an immediate deleterious effect on the incidence of rape.
It’s common belief draconian punishment doesn’t deter crime. It’s just not true, because it makes us uncomfortable.

Yes we over incarcerate & over fund the process. That’s because it’s a bloody holiday camp. I admit that’s reasonable for a criminal that is open to rehabilitation. If they aren’t & the evidence is reoffending then it should no longer cost us anything significant. They would work very hard for free. There’s a debt to repay society & it should be collected.

I’m not buying some societies suffer more than others. Laws are passed for the attention of every individual & each offender has to be treated as such. Equally. I don’t care about his origins. The constitution isn’t relevant either in my opinion because my comments are not limited to places that have written constitutions like USA. These are valid ideas that could be implemented anywhere & probably see immediate benefits to society. Maybe not the criminals of course, but it’s not for them. It’s for the rest of us.

If we know what policies are so effective at reducing crime, why isn’t the situation improving? Crime is rife in most western cities. We’ve tried the offenders rights & privileges & rehabilitation etc. It’s failed. Crime is unacceptably high, incarceration too & so is the cost.

Police forces worldwide try to achieve enforcement, but are constantly undermined by what happens afterwards in the courts & prisons. They haven’t got a prayer. The community suffers as a result. The criminals benefit. It’s time it changed.
It’s not posturing. It’s good sense.

Told you we would disagree on almost everything. I don’t care if criminals get hurt. You do. But, you’re in the majority so nothing will change in a hurry.
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Re: Freedom of Speech

Postby Crunkus » 28 Jul 2020, 20:12

I cannot converse if you open with the premise that mere disagreement precludes a productive conversation. That's not my view but I leave it with you. You know your own mind, I take you at your word.
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