Crime hypothetical

Crime hypothetical

Postby Graham Kennedy » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:48 pm

Hypothetical : a pill is developed which, when given to a criminal, instantly and completely rehabilitates them and allows them to be released into society as productive members.

Somebody suggests abolishing not only the death penalty but all prisons, home arrest, fines, and every other form of punishment. "They're pointless now," he says.

Would you be happy to see, say, a murderer treated this way? If not, why not?
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Re: Crime hypothetical

Postby Mikey » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:52 pm

Hmm. Wouldn't that sort of pill be akin to lobotomizing criminals, or somehow otherwise altering their brain chemistry a/o consciousness? That to me seems the sort of "punishment" which was decried at the downfall of such institutions as Bedlam.
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Re: Crime hypothetical

Postby Graham Kennedy » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:06 pm

Is a long and successful process of rehabilitation the equivalent of being lobotomised?
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Re: Crime hypothetical

Postby Captain Picard's Hair » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:07 pm

GrahamKennedy wrote:Hypothetical : a pill is developed which, when given to a criminal, instantly and completely rehabilitates them and allows them to be released into society as productive members.

Somebody suggests abolishing not only the death penalty but all prisons, home arrest, fines, and every other form of punishment. "They're pointless now," he says.

Would you be happy to see, say, a murderer treated this way? If not, why not?


Well, this would void the "rehabilitative" function ascribed to prisons. As far as a punitive measures, they would theoretically not be needed once an inmate has been medically rehabilitated like so.

Then again, define "criminal." By that I mean, many crimes up to and including murders, are committed by normal people under unusual stress or motives as opposed to "deviant" minds. Would this magical pill bestow upon the recipient what would be to us now, a superhuman conscience? When it comes to the smaller things punished by fines, those minor offenses could just be done out of neglect as much as anything else - and just about everybody in the world has committed some minor offense or another even if never caught or prosecuted for it.
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Re: Crime hypothetical

Postby Mikey » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:11 pm

GrahamKennedy wrote:Is a long and successful process of rehabilitation the equivalent of being lobotomised?


I'm not sure how this question is relevant to... well, to anything. No, it isn't, but that's not what you proposed. You proposed a pill to do it instantly, which would necessarily mean a significant alteration of brian function through chemical means. I would call that a modern equivalent, yes.
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Re: Crime hypothetical

Postby colmquinn » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:17 pm

The the B5 section ,Passing through Gethsemane (the rehabilitation of a murderer by removing his memories of the crimes & making them model members of society) deals with this topic does it not? The reactions of the people who try to kill the offender would be the reaction I think of many people - "they made me suffer now they get off with just a pill" - I think you'd need to mass medicate the entire population to have people accept it.
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Re: Crime hypothetical

Postby Graham Kennedy » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:24 pm

Mikey wrote:
GrahamKennedy wrote:Is a long and successful process of rehabilitation the equivalent of being lobotomised?


I'm not sure how this question is relevant to... well, to anything. No, it isn't, but that's not what you proposed. You proposed a pill to do it instantly, which would necessarily mean a significant alteration of brian function through chemical means. I would call that a modern equivalent, yes.


The hypothetical was that the pill "instantly and completely rehabilitates them". The only difference between it and a long successful course of rehabilitation is the "long" part.

Whether that is possible and how it might be done is beside the point. The point is, IF it could, then what are the implications?
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Re: Crime hypothetical

Postby Graham Kennedy » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:26 pm

colmquinn wrote:The the B5 section ,Passing through Gethsemane (the rehabilitation of a murderer by removing his memories of the crimes & making them model members of society) deals with this topic does it not? The reactions of the people who try to kill the offender would be the reaction I think of many people - "they made me suffer now they get off with just a pill" - I think you'd need to mass medicate the entire population to have people accept it.


Would you accept it?
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Re: Crime hypothetical

Postby colmquinn » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:03 pm

Do you mean from an offender point of view or from the side of a victim of a crime?
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Re: Crime hypothetical

Postby Mikey » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:08 pm

GrahamKennedy wrote:how it might be done is beside the point.


I disagree. I think it's central to any decision I might make on the topic.
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Re: Crime hypothetical

Postby Graham Kennedy » Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:46 pm

colmquinn wrote:Do you mean from an offender point of view or from the side of a victim of a crime?


Hmm. Both?

Mark wrote:I disagree. I think it's central to any decision I might make on the topic.

If you can't/won't accept the hypothetical, that's fine.
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Re: Crime hypothetical

Postby Mikey » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:09 pm

GrahamKennedy wrote:
Mark wrote:I disagree. I think it's central to any decision I might make on the topic.

If you can't/won't accept the hypothetical, that's fine.


Actually, I wrote that. And it's not a question of accepting a hypothetical situation or not; it's a question of being "disallowed" to state my opinion by saying that one of the important determinants of my opinion is suddenly and inexplicably beyond the pale of the hypothetical.
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Re: Crime hypothetical

Postby colmquinn » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:38 pm

GrahamKennedy wrote:
colmquinn wrote:Do you mean from an offender point of view or from the side of a victim of a crime?


Hmm. Both?


Criminal, I do the crime, say murder someone. I caught I only have to take a pill & I get to go free? Hell yes. Granted I'll have a stigma of being a murder attached to me but at least I can live with it. Now assuming I'm not completely lobotomized I could prob live with it.

Victim, Hell no. Crime should be punished. Take away their freedom, sure treat em while they're inside but they should serve some time.

It'd take a hell of a shift of public opinion to have governments treat offenders in a manner perceived as "softly". People serving in the armed forces are treated worse than some prisoners now, sitting in tents in the desert putting their lives on the line to help protect their familes/ homes and that doesn't go down too well. Again it all depends on what the pill does. Bit of a ramble perhaps but you get the idea I'm tryiing to put across?
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Re: Crime hypothetical

Postby Griffin » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:55 pm

Is there any particular reason why this pill can't just be given to everyone, say at birth or something, and get them to not commit crime at all?
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Re: Crime hypothetical

Postby Mikey » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:58 pm

Colm makes a good point - while no government would ever overtly state that the goal of its penal system is punishment - rather than rehabilitation and segregation - the public at large wants to see criminals punished for their actions.
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