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Do punishments justify the crime?

 
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(I just realised I may have misnamed the subject of this message and it's too late to change...I really wanted to say "Does a punishment FIT the crime".)
Hi
With the exception of capital punishment. Do you feel that punishments handed out by your coountry's judical system are sufficient compared to the crime?
Here's the two example I use where it makes me think they aren't.
Thee's a convicted FLQ (Federation Liberation de Quebec) terrorist here who was convicted of terrorism in the 60's.
Recently he was caught firebombing Second Cups stores. He would throw flaming molotov Coctails into the stores setting them on fire. This was during business hours (They are open 24 hours a day). Now, he's a convicted Terrorist, he firebombs a few Cafe's and he's sentencedc to 6 months in jail. Even though only property damage resulted from the bombing, I feel that the 6 months is a damn joke. To make this joke worse.. he gets out in 2 months cause he made parole. I coud be sitting on the bad end of a frieball while getting my morning Latte....
WTF is up with that?
Secondly: A friend of mine was killed 10 years ago. Two guys jumped out of a van, smashed in the windshield of his car, dragged his girlfriend out of the passenger side and started to beat her. (Bats and metal pipe). He (friend) jumps out of car and proceedes to fight off his attackers getting them off his girlfriend and saving her life. In the scuffle they stab him 8-10 times and he dies from the wounds.
The killers get 3 and 5 years. Parole in 1/2 that time if they make it. (I don't get how they get diffrent sentences for the same crime but that's another story).
I just don't see how this is right...
These are common stories not like the Doctor in England who was killing his patients or the guy in Canada who was diluting cancer medicine to 1/10 of it's strength. They say this guy is responsible for killing like 400 people due to the medicine being almost a placebo.
Crazy cray world we live in.
Comments? Flames? All are welcome.

[This message has been edited by John Bateman (edited September 06, 2001).]
 
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no, the punishments do not fit the crimes! i am in favor of capital punishment and i am in favor of some sort of "eye for an eye" punishment as well.
the problem today is that we (society) have become too damn "politically correct" and "sensitive to other people's feelings."
the only way punishments such as the death penalty will work is if we enforce them. period. if people like the guys who killed your friend are given 5 year sentances, but get out in 2.5, they will do it again. to a lot of these career criminals jail is just "part of the job." they get 3 meals a day, a place to sleep, and a lot of them do not have to work.
what kind of punishment should they have received? personally, i would like to see them stabbed 8 to 10 times and left in a ditch... but that would be "cruel and unusual punishment..." so, since they took your friend's life, and his girlfriend's pride, i think they should get life in prison. period. no parole.
but wait a minute, that means that my tax dollars are going to keep these guys alive for the next 50 years... that is not fair. hmmm, now i am back to the death penalty.
 
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Here in the US it can work both ways. I have seen situations like the 2 you describe where the punishment was not enough, and I have seen the opposite happen too.
 
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NO
 
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Randall what punishment for killing another is too much? Or are you referring to the 3 strikes laws and not murder?
 
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Originally posted by Paul Stevens:
Randall what punishment for killing another is too much? Or are you referring to the 3 strikes laws and not murder?


Randall may have been referring to our drug laws which send non-violent offenders to long prison terms for selling small amounts of drugs.
 
Thomas Paul
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In general, the laws in the USA have become tougher on violent offenders. It is often the case that violent felons are no longer eligible for parole. I think the reduction in crime in the US is at least partially because we are keeping violent criminals in jail longer.
 
John Bateman
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Addendum.
In the book by James Halpern called The Truth Machine. They institute a law, 1st capital offense you serve whatever term thay give you, second convicted capital offense you're killed instantly after verdict. They basically take you out of the court room and un-ceremoniously put a bullet in your head.
Personally, I think I like it. Hard to be 'mistakenly' convicted twice for a capital crime in your life.
Also, I read somewhere there are laws where YOU , the victim determine the payment for a crime. (Wish I could remember the country). So if you beat up my girlfriend, I could theoretically beat up yours. Also, if you steal say a cherished family heirloom passed down for 5 generations and you lose or break it. I.E. You can't replace it. Who are the courts to decide that this is trivial and not worth jail time, or a 50$ fine. Only I can determine it's worth in my eyes so I would determine the price you would be short of death.
Imagine how afraid people would be to commit crimes when you had no IDEA how bad the sentence would be.
Comments?
 
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I AM THE LAW!

 
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I had always heard that in Saudi Arabia a thief when caught gets his hands cut off. So I recently asked a relative who has lived there whether he saw any people with their hands cut off. He told me that the thieves are then sent off to another town which is rather deserted and they have to make a living there (perhaps some government provided projects). So that town essentially is a town of thieves. My relative said that they have to be sent away because the stigma will be too much for them in remaining with the general public (meaning they will be outcasted anyway).
Nevertheless, thievery still does occur at least at the airports.
I am in the process of trying to find out more about this but it makes more sense to me than sending them off to a prison where they get the best healthcare, better fruits than we get in the supermarkets, and free sports club membership (among many many other benefits).

 
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Originally posted by John Bateman:
Also, I read somewhere there are laws where YOU , the victim determine the payment for a crime. (Wish I could remember the country). So if you beat up my girlfriend, I could theoretically beat up yours. Also, if you steal say a cherished family heirloom passed down for 5 generations and you lose or break it. I.E. You can't replace it. Who are the courts to decide that this is trivial and not worth jail time, or a 50$ fine. Only I can determine it's worth in my eyes so I would determine the price you would be short of death.
Imagine how afraid people would be to commit crimes when you had no IDEA how bad the sentence would be.
Comments?


Sorry John...
I sympathize with your desire to see criminals prosecuted and punished, but this sounds like complete barbarism. Under such a system, to have even a minor crime committed against you would put the life of the criminal in your hands. That's wrong. You are upset about one extreme, where murderers or would-be-murderers pathetically light sentences. This is the other extreme.
...reminds me of the play "Les Miserables", where the main character, Jean Valjean, is released from prison camp, having performed forced labor for nineteen years because he stole a loaf of bread. Even at his release he is required to carry a card identifying himself as an ex-con.
Justice should be tempered with mercy.
 
Randall Twede
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yes thanks thomas. i was indeed referring to non violent "crimes"
i get angry when monstrous people get let out early so they can do it again. i also get angry when someone spends years in jail for possesing a harmless herb.
 
John Bateman
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Originally posted by Peter Lyons:
Sorry John...
I sympathize with your desire to see criminals prosecuted and punished, but this sounds like complete barbarism. Under such a system, to have even a minor crime committed against you would put the life of the criminal in your hands. That's wrong. You are upset about one extreme, where murderers or would-be-murderers pathetically light sentences. This is the other extreme.


Hey
I actually agree with you, I find the method interesting, but it can leave lots of room for abuse in the opposite direction.
It's weird though how society guages or measures the payment for diffrent crimes. I tend to beleive that we are not doing a good job because crime just get's worse.
I wonder if I'll ever see some kind of improvement in my lifetime.
 
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Actually, contrary to popular belief, crime rates (in North America, anyhow) are going down, and have been for some time now.
Some people theorize that media sensationalization of crime, and fictional TV shows about crime, are making people believe that it is on the rise, but that's just not true.
Check out these links...
National crime rate falls to lowest level in 20 years: http://www.carleton.ca/~mflynnbu/53100/ca_crime.html
Drop in crime is not yet perceived: http://www.ocregister.com/local/features/growth/polls/pollx5w.shtml
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