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Does harsher punishment lead to less crime?

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posted on Mar, 23 2016 @ 10:38 PM
a reply to: deadlyhope
It all depends on the enforcement obviously.

posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 12:14 PM

originally posted by: VP740
I've heard a lot of people say punishment makes no difference and if you were to increase the severity of the punishment it would still make no difference. Let's turn that around. If there were no penalty at all for any crime, would everything be the same? We wouldn't need prisons or lawyers anymore. Would the roads be as safe if nobody worried about getting ticked for speeding or drunk driving? If someone knew they could kill in public and get away with it, everybody would be just as safe?

If we were to test the results of varying penalties, I think we would see diminishing returns as penalties got harsher. But I think there would always be some statistical effect.

One reason I've heard we don't have a death penalty for rape is because it would encourage the rapist to murder the victim. I do think penalties should be harsher than they are now though. Someone who rapes (not just statutory rape) children should never be allowed in a position to do it again, yet released offenders are known to have a high rate of repeat offenses, and they are released anyway.

The most effective punishment has been shown to be a fine scaled to income, people care more about their pocketbook than a jail cell and it has the benefit of not networking them with other criminals. In the case of violent crime, the most effective punishment is removing them from society for a time and giving them an education/job training.

originally posted by: jjkenobi
While that may be true, 50% of criminals are repeat offenders. If the punishment was harsh enough, would they continue to break the law repeatedly?

Yes. Once you go to jail you start talking to other criminals and learn how they were caught and tricks they have. Most career criminals just view it as the cost of doing business. Honest people spend 4 years in college learning, dishonest people spend 4 years in jail learning and networking.
edit on 24-3-2016 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 12:20 PM

originally posted by: bandersnatch
Kurt Vonnegut recommends the "hook" for crime...anybody caught criming gets impaled on a huge meat hook and hung in the town square......results virtually NO crime....

Actually, this just results in fewer being caught. Clearance levels for crime are already very low, in my town they're a mere 5%. If criminals are interested in getting away with their crime, they'll go out of their way to kill all the witnesses.

posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 08:39 PM
Depends on the severity of the crime.

How did dogs come from wolves again?

posted on Mar, 24 2016 @ 08:43 PM
I'm a fan of the rehabilitation model for many offenses. I think it works way better if someone is getting released. Some people should just stay locked up though.

posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 12:44 PM

originally posted by: FamCore
a reply to: deadlyhope

would we will live in a police state where we constantly fear being arrested for the smallest crimes?

If you're black/ some other minority, or have a substance abuse problem or mental illness, you already live in fear of being arrested (or injured, killed, etc.) for the smallest of crimes.

I don't think harsher punishments would deter people from doing these things though - automatic death penalty sentences for rapists would probably not even affect the number of rapes even in the slightest. If someone is a rapist, they have something very, very wrong with them in their head. The punishment for if they even get caught, would not even cross their mind when they are about to/are in the process of comitting such an act

First of all, what does race have to do with the concept of harsher punishments for crimes? First freaking comment is already bringing race into the topic. It's unnecessary.

That being said, I sort of agree with your stance on the subject. I believe their is a sort of "punishment harshness cap" when it comes to crime. In addition to that, you also have to remember constitutional, hell, even human rights against cruel and unusual punishment. Getting 6 months in jail because you blew a .08 when 15 or 20 minutes would have put you at a .07 is a bit arbitrary, and getting 6 months for it automatically plus losing your car definitely do not fit the crime.

This was a discussion I actually had in a philosophy class last fall. I think it had some to do with ethics, but there are so many variables that go into crime and punishment. Intent, an aggravating factors such as hate crimes, etc. One thing that was brought up that I think most people don't typically consider when it comes to say, the death penalty is that a lot of murders are spur of the moment, and thus not premeditated. Disregarding tax expenses, their is little difference if they get life in prison or are put to death, regardless, those spur of the moment or accidental murders are going to happen. A robbery suspect who shoots a victim who he didn't was going to fight back was acting in spur of the moment. Does he deserve harsh punishment? Yes, he intentionally robbed someone with a loaded firearm. But he didn't plan on shooting the victim, and the first thing on his mind was not "I'm going to be executed if I shoot this guy" it was "Oh #, this guys fighting back and I don't wanna go to jail - bang bang bang". No amount of "if you murder someone, you will be executed within 5 years" is going to stop those incidents from happening. Premeditated murder perhaps, and that is why I agree with the concept of the death penalty, because I do believe it has saved people.

When it comes to other crimes, the same sort of scale applies, but what is also added is certain cases like say rape. I think I personally agree with the death penalty being an option for cases of rape, but unfortunately I don't think it can be effectively applied in EVERY case of rape. Once again, disregarding other factors, such as false accusations, which we have seen been seemingly on the rise, you have to take into account the mindset of a rapist. If we were to execute every rapist, I think a lot more rapists would be murdering their rape victims after doing the deed. If a rapist knows he's going to be put to death one way or the other, he has more of a chance of getting away with the entire thing if he murders her after raping her, as opposed to just raping her, and her surviving.

When it comes to things like theft, we have to be careful to avoid becoming a more "civilized" version of Saudi Arabia and their removing of hands for robbery and theft. I don't think simple theft deserves egregious jail time. Once again, there are other factors at play, similar to the rape case I stated. If a thief knows he is going to spend a year in jail for stealing a video game from Wal-Mart, he may do something even more stupid to try and get away with the crime. Or, he may shift his targets and go from stealing from Wal-Mart to robbing other citizens who are much less able to absorb an economic hit.

All things in balance.

posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 12:56 PM

originally posted by: Domo1
I'm a fan of the rehabilitation model for many offenses. I think it works way better if someone is getting released. Some people should just stay locked up though.

I agree with the rehabilitation model for certain things like offenses related to drugs. You might be able to rehabilitate a burglar who steals stuff from houses to feed his meth habit. That being said, some, maybe a lot of robbers and home invaders are perfectly sober, they are just thieving bastards to lazy to get a damn job and feel like stealing is a better gig. That's not something you can rehabilitate. They know it's wrong. Theft has been a crime in virtually every society since people started forming tribes. Those people deserve jail time. The same can be said about other types of criminals as well: punks who like to assault people at the drop of a hat. They know it's wrong, they deserve jail time for it. >99% of the population functions just fine without jumping to punch someone because of petty reasons. Send them to jail, maybe give them a shot at counseling the first time, but that's it. There are very few people who are truly psychologically prone to violent outbursts, they are usually diagnosed with a mental illness of some sort. The rest of habitual offenders, people who have multiple assaults in their lifetime are just people who refuse to keep their emotions in check OR glorify committing crimes like that (gang bangers for instance). Gang bangers have no mental illness, and are not incapable of keeping their emotions in check, they want to fight to gain a reputation for being a gangster, and that comes with attacking people for petty, or no reasons at all. All the videos you see of 'flash mobs' of 'youths' (codeword for something in partcular?) that swarm people for no #ing reason deserve to have the book thrown at them.

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