TOTD 2018-09-14: Crime & (Physical) Punishment

Why do we almost exclusively use prison and fines for punishment?  Why do we not use physical methods, as they were certainly not considered unusual in the Founding era?

We can lock up a rapist for decades, putting him up at taxpayer expense, or we could physically prevent the scumbag from ever raping someone again.  (Let the victim have the first swing)

Hard labor could also be done.  Have them do utterly horrible jobs like sorting through trash. (provided we can keep the shivs under control)  They do a good job or they suffer. Why do we have to provide them amenities the average poor person does not have outside of jail?

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11 thoughts on “TOTD 2018-09-14: Crime & (Physical) Punishment”

  1. How do you factor in false imprisonment? Or for political imprisonment?

    Or you favoring lopping things off? What about female rapists?

    I favor some form of restitution. Housing people in and of itself doesn’t help people.

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  2. Backing things up a bit, I know a guy whose child inadvertently brought a pocketknife to high school, left their bag in a classroom, and the knife was discovered when the teacher went through the bag looking for ID so as to return it.

    There were two official options of discipline:  In-school suspension (ISS) for four days, or permanent transfer to a special school for hard cases.  Luckily, this is a good kid with no history of problems, and the Asst. Principal decided to pretend it never happened.  (Imagine that: a bureaucrat that bucked the system!).

    When I was in school, back in the bronze age, I would have probably gotten three licks and a warning to not let it happen again.  I’d have much preferred that to ISS, which would have interfered with my school work, while still making a lasting impression that knives weren’t allowed at school.

    Extrapolating that to the general issue of criminal punishment, I don’t see why some sort of physical punishment couldn’t be effectively used in certain cases.  It doesn’t offend my sensibilities, and I am open to the idea.

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  3. Terry Mott:
    Backing things up a bit, I know a guy whose child inadvertently brought a pocketknife to high school, left their bag in a classroom, and the knife was discovered when the teacher went through the bag looking for ID so as to return it.

    There were two official options of discipline:  In-school suspension (ISS) for four days, or permanent transfer to a special school for hard cases.  Luckily, this is a good kid with no history of problems, and the Asst. Principal decided to pretend it never happened.  (Imagine that: a bureaucrat that bucked the system!).

    When I was in school, back in the bronze age, I would have probably gotten three licks and a warning to not let it happen again.  I’d have much preferred that to ISS, which would have interfered with my school work, while still making a lasting impression that knives weren’t allowed at school.

    Extrapolating that to the general issue of criminal punishment, I don’t see why some sort of physical punishment couldn’t be effectively used in certain cases.  It doesn’t offend my sensibilities, and I am open to the idea.

    I remember boys got hacks. Now a teacher would be looking at prison for corporal punishment.

    I don’t remember if anyone would think twice about a pocket knife. I would have thought the person was into camping than using it for protection. They weren’t very big.

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  4. When I went to school the teacher, if female, would have said nothing about a knife.   A male teacher (yes; we did have a couple) would have simply remarked on whether or not I had done a good job of keeping it sharp.

    When I went to school we could take our guns to school.   (They were all long guns; I didn’t know anyone who had any experience with handguns, though a couple of the guys said that their fathers owned one.)

    Since those days, all the educators have graduated with degrees in education that they obtained after the Left had taken complete control of the Departments of Education.   Education bureaucracies at every level are dominated by Leftists.

    Please consider running for school board in your area.   Conservatives on local and state school boards are the only brakes on the continuing Leftist advances in Big Education.

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  5. OmegaPaladin:
    Hard labor could also be done.

    Hard labor could be dangerous.   Hard labor usually requires tools that can be used as weapons.   Hard labor requires more guards on duty.   Hard labor looked ugly to bleeding heart Leftists.

    Most state prisons have programs for work while incarcerated.   Some states do much better than others.   The topside is when work is available that can prepare inmates for useful employment after release.   Downside is that they usually pay so low that they don’t provide adequate immediate incentive, and some prison jobs are the sorts of things that pay minimum wage on the outside, so not a very good preparation for post-incarceration success.

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  6. Another option is public shaming such as the pillory. It’s not appropriate for everyone or every crime but it could be a useful tool in select cases.

    As repulsive as some criminals are, mutilation does not seem like a reasonable approach. It’s even against the rules of war, an activity which permits, indeed is based on, killing. Aside from the issues with castrating rapists already mentioned, I think it would have been considered cruel and unusual even at the time of the founding. To my knowledge, this was not a practice back then. However, forcible rape was a capital offense in the past.

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  7. John Walker:

    Terry Mott:
    In-school suspension (ISS) for four days

    What is “in-school suspension?”  There was no such thing when I went to school in the Bronze Age.

    Near as I can tell, it’s basically all day detention.  They go to school, but don’t attend their normal classes.  I’m not sure if they have to do anything specific, or if they’re free to work on their normal coursework.

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  8. Terry Mott:

    John Walker:

    Terry Mott:
    In-school suspension (ISS) for four days

    What is “in-school suspension?”  There was no such thing when I went to school in the Bronze Age.

    Near as I can tell, it’s basically all day detention.  They go to school, but don’t attend their normal classes.  I’m not sure if they have to do anything specific, or if they’re free to work on their normal coursework.

    So it’s not really suspension; it’s detention. Doublespeak is rampant in the ed biz.

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  9. drlorentz:

    Terry Mott:

    John Walker:

    Terry Mott:
    In-school suspension (ISS) for four days

    What is “in-school suspension?”  There was no such thing when I went to school in the Bronze Age.

    Near as I can tell, it’s basically all day detention.  They go to school, but don’t attend their normal classes.  I’m not sure if they have to do anything specific, or if they’re free to work on their normal coursework.

    So it’s not really suspension; it’s detention. Doublespeak is rampant in the ed biz.

    DocLor, I am keeping you after class for noticing the Doublespeak was Doublespeak. Oh wait, this is Ratburger. Never mind. 😉

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