It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Could we condemn criminals to suffer for hundreds of years? Biotechnology could let us extend convicts' lives 'indefinitely'
•This is the scenario being explored by researchers at Oxford University
•They claim life extension tech could mean prisoners serve longer sentences
•Philosopher Dr Rebecca Roache also writes in her blog that a time distortion pill could make people feel like they were in prison longer
•Another scenario the group looked at was uploading mind to a digital realm
•Running it a million times faster than normal would enable the uploaded criminal to serve a 1,000 year sentence in eight-and-a-half hours
Sentencing a criminal to 1,000 years in an artificial hell may one day become a reality.
At least, that is the claim of scientists at Oxford University who have been exploring controversial technologies that could extend human life.
They say billions are being invested in techniques that could mean the cruellest criminals will be kept alive indefinitely in condition befitting their crime.
According to their research, prison firms could also develop drugs that make time pass slowly, making an inmate’s sentence feel like an eternity.
Last year, a team of scientists led by Rebecca Roache began exploring technologies that could keep prisoners in an artificial hell.
Life extension technologies could mean the cruellest criminals will be kept alive indefinitely in condition befitting their crime.
As well as extending life, there are a number of psychoactive drugs that distort people’s sense of time.
Dr Roache said that might not be far off developing a pill that could make someone feel like they were serving a 1,000-year sentence.
Another scenario explored by the group is uploading the criminal's mind to a digital realm to speed up the 1,000 year sentence.
This means that with sufficient computer power, it would be possible to speed up the rate at which an uploaded mind runs.
Similarly, uploading the mind of a convicted criminal and running it a million times faster than normal would enable the uploaded criminal to serve a 1,000 year sentence in eight-and-a-half hours.
If these technologies are developed, one crime that could ever justify eternal imprisonment was something that would endanger mankind.
‘Suppose there was some physics experiment that stood a decent chance of generating a black hole that could destroy the planet and all future generations,’ said Dr Roache.
'If someone deliberately set up an experiment like that, I could see that being the kind of supercrime that would justify an eternal sentence.’
There was an episode of Star Trek DS9 where Chief Engineer O'Brien was sentenced to 20 years in a pretty crappy prison..It affected him to the point where he almost committed suicide after his release..
The Catch? The prison was an artificial construct that existed only in his mind. He was under the spell of a piece of alien technology for 5 minutes real time.edit on pSat, 15 Mar 2014 10:01:05 -0500201415America/Chicago2014-03-15T10:01:05-05:0031vx3 by projectvxn because: (no reason given)