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Author Topic: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.  (Read 4661 times)

SCgrad

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Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
« Reply #30 on: June 07, 2006, 09:37:50 AM »

1.  Dahmer actually killed people, so I guess you are saying it was okay for him to be killed in prison?  He was obviously going to be targeted.  They put him in anyway and let him get murdered.  This doesn't really matter anyway.
I don't get what your point is here, so yeah, let's just let it go.

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2.  So the constitution bars cruel punishment depending on the crime?  Something is either cruel or it isn't (look at the CA "3 strikes" laws, which can put someone away for 25 years for shoplifting.  Why isn't that "cruel punishment?).  You can argue unusual, but so many people are put in solitary confinement, I think it hardly could be classified as such.  you also seem to think child molestation is not as serious a crime as I do.  is this true? 

Really, the solitary confinement would be for his own protection.  I cannot imagine a scenario where this guy could be with any general population and be okay.  Many people are put in solitary confinement for their own protection.  It's not like it is much worse than regular prison.  You don't get to hang out with a bunch of scumbags.  That's rough.  If I'm ever put in prison, I hope it's solitary confinement.

Cruel AND unusual punishment is defined by the crime.  Some punishments may be cruel in any context, such as torture.  Some punishments are cruel and unusual given the crime.  In some states, murder is a capital crime where a convicted murderer may be put to death.  It would be cruel and unusual to put a theif to death for shoplifting a $5 tube of lipstick, however, even in those states where the death penalty is reguarly used to punish murderers.  The punishment must fit the crime and our inability to operate the prison effectively does not relieve that obligation.

You may think solitary confinement sounds great.  However, in our system it is considered a higher level of punishment.  Psychological studies bear that it is more difficult to serve time in isolation than it is in a social setting, until you throw in that the "social setting" includes rape and murder.  Since the rape and murder are not supposed to be happening, you can't make a legal argument that solitary confinement is a lessor punishment than being in the general population. 

Since I don't know anything about the nature of this particular instance of molestation or what the laws are in that particular state regarding molestation, I can't form any sort of opinion about whether the punishments should be made tougher and the maximum penalties should be changed.

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3.  Expensive?  Tell that to the girl whose life is forever altered because she was raped.  That is the states number one responsibility, to protect its citizens.  maybe you don't think some people are worth protecting?

Are we discussing what should happen in magical fairy dreamland where I get to spend whatever I want and do whatever I want?  If so, then your point may be worth discussing in that context.  I was framing my comments in the context of the real world US of A.  So saying "Maybe you don't think some people are worth protecting" is just silly.  Why not build each child a candy castle with a fleet of carefully screened adults to cater to their every whim and protect them from every evil?  Maybe you hate children and don't want them to be happy?  (See how that style of discussion has no point?)

Since lifetime imprisonment isn't an option for molestation I would prefer to see first time offenders, particularly those who don't have criminal records and a low risk for repeating their crime, treated for mental illness rather than subjected to further abuses and trauma, which seems like it would increase the offender's propensity to act out in an inappropriate way.  I think child molestors are probably created not born that way and it seems worth wile to find a way to fix it when possible.  They should also be monitored for life.  If an alcoholic is an alcoholic forever (recovered for 20 years, you are still an alcoholic in recovery), it seems likely that molesters are molesters forever, they are just "on the wagon."

Second time offenders can be thrown in a gator pit so we can stop wasting our time on them.

How's that for pretend scenarios?

You didn't answer the "3 strikes" question which seems to be right up the alley of what you are talking about.  the death penalty for a shoplifter would be unusual, not cruel (or any more cruel than the death penalty is for anyone, but that is a different argument)

A prison in every state for child molestors would probably cost no more than an extra 10 million dollars a year per state.  A candy castle for every child with the gaurdians you suppose would probably cost about 1 million dollars a kid per year or more.  that is 500 million dollars (a couple days in Iraq) vs. more money than exists in the world.  Yeah, I'm being unrealistic  ::)   Ilike how you made a ridiculous counterexample to my points.  Did you not have anything intelligent to say?

Your opinions about what to do with child molestors are actually not bad, which is somewhat surprising to me.

aerynn

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Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
« Reply #31 on: June 07, 2006, 09:49:29 AM »
I don't understand what your point is with the 3 strikes argument.  They decided in California that for the crime of repeat shoplifting, they are imposing a sentence of 25 years in prison.  They aren't suggesting that anyone who shoplifts repeatedly and who is under 5 feet tall get 25 years solitary confinement, for the additional crime of being short.

As for the prison idea, why don't we build more prisons in general?  1. States don't have the money 2. No one wants a prison near them.

Now sell the idea of a prison specifically for child molesters, to protect child molester rights.  Meanwhile, serial rapists are getting released after 15 years due to overcrowding.    You really think this is a practical solution and you are accusing ME of not having anything intelligent to say?
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SCgrad

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Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
« Reply #32 on: June 07, 2006, 10:25:15 AM »
I don't understand what your point is with the 3 strikes argument.  They decided in California that for the crime of repeat shoplifting, they are imposing a sentence of 25 years in prison.  They aren't suggesting that anyone who shoplifts repeatedly and who is under 5 feet tall get 25 years solitary confinement, for the additional crime of being short.

As for the prison idea, why don't we build more prisons in general?  1. States don't have the money 2. No one wants a prison near them.

Now sell the idea of a prison specifically for child molesters, to protect child molester rights.  Meanwhile, serial rapists are getting released after 15 years due to overcrowding.    You really think this is a practical solution and you are accusing ME of not having anything intelligent to say?

you are basically saying a punishment is cruel and unusual if it doesn't fit the crime.  either that or that a punishment has to be applied universally for a specific crime.  if solitary confinement is cruel for a child molester, then 25 years is cruel for a shop lifter.  again, the solitary confinement is to protect him.  he can choose to be in general pop if he likes.  people who kill others due to some extreme mental illness are not guilty of ANY crime, but we still lock them up because they are a danger to society.  This guy is a danger to society AND is guilty.  the additional "punishment" of solitary confinement doesn't seem to be nearly as cruel as the prospect of more raped children, at least not to me.  Does the fact that you don't know who the next victim is yet make that person any less important?

You are using other injustices in the penal system as reasoning for this particular injustice.  that is the dumbest thing i've heard in a while.  I'm talking about what should happen.  Why are you against this idea?  You would rather have sex offenders go free than pay slightly higher taxes?  please spare me lessons in the stupidity of govt. and tell me what you actually think.  don't hide behind "because that's the way it is."  it makes you sound like a conservative.


aerynn

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Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
« Reply #33 on: June 07, 2006, 10:57:10 AM »
I don't understand what your point is with the 3 strikes argument.  They decided in California that for the crime of repeat shoplifting, they are imposing a sentence of 25 years in prison.  They aren't suggesting that anyone who shoplifts repeatedly and who is under 5 feet tall get 25 years solitary confinement, for the additional crime of being short.

As for the prison idea, why don't we build more prisons in general?  1. States don't have the money 2. No one wants a prison near them.

Now sell the idea of a prison specifically for child molesters, to protect child molester rights.  Meanwhile, serial rapists are getting released after 15 years due to overcrowding.    You really think this is a practical solution and you are accusing ME of not having anything intelligent to say?

you are basically saying a punishment is cruel and unusual if it doesn't fit the crime.  either that or that a punishment has to be applied universally for a specific crime.  if solitary confinement is cruel for a child molester, then 25 years is cruel for a shop lifter.  again, the solitary confinement is to protect him.  he can choose to be in general pop if he likes.  people who kill others due to some extreme mental illness are not guilty of ANY crime, but we still lock them up because they are a danger to society.  This guy is a danger to society AND is guilty.  the additional "punishment" of solitary confinement doesn't seem to be nearly as cruel as the prospect of more raped children, at least not to me.  Does the fact that you don't know who the next victim is yet make that person any less important?

You are using other injustices in the penal system as reasoning for this particular injustice.  that is the dumbest thing i've heard in a while.  I'm talking about what should happen.  Why are you against this idea?  You would rather have sex offenders go free than pay slightly higher taxes?  please spare me lessons in the stupidity of govt. and tell me what you actually think.  don't hide behind "because that's the way it is."  it makes you sound like a conservative.



I am saying the punishment must be in line with the punishments given to other offenders of the same crime.  In some cases, there are sentencing guidelines mandating a min and/or a max sentence for a crime.  If there is a guideline saying that shoplifters get 25 years for their 3rd offense, then fine.  That punishment is not unusual for a 3rd time offender.  You may have a fair argument that it is excessive, but I think that is beyond the scope of this discussion.

My point is this: there is some maximum standard of punishment for child molestation in the state in which this story occured.  That standard does not include solitary confinement, which is considered a worse punishment than imprisonment in the general population.  To punish a criminal to a higher degree because he is short is unjust.

You seem to be saying that he is a criminal and whatever punishment devised is fair, even if he is being punished more than he would be if he were 6 feet tall.  Is that correct?  Short people should be punished more than tall people?  Weak people should be punished more than strong people?  How is that justice?

Keep in mind that he is not a violent criminal.  He is a child molester, which is sick and terrible and wrong.  But he is not a child rapist.

I don't know what this guy did, so I really can't go further.  But let's try to paint it in the most favorable light possible, for our runt child molestor:

The girl is 12, but looks 16.  She is out with a group of friends, mostly boys, mostly older.  The offender is a guy they know, who will buy them beer.  They are all hanging out, drinking together.  Maybe she is flirting with him a bit, since it will make him more likely to give them alcohol in the future.  The offender gets sloppy and starts telling the girl she's real purdy.  He leans in and gets grabby with her.  She is creaped out, tells him to back off and he does.  Later, when her mom finds out about it and is furious that her daughter was drinking, the mother reports him.  Now sober, he is ashamed of what he's done and wanting to take responsibility for his actions. He pleads guilty and the prosecuter agrees to drop the charges for buying the booze if the defense attorney doesn't bring up the drinking of the victim since it is prejudicial to the case.  The girl is upset and creaped out and less likely to go drinking with old men, but not deeply damaged.  The offender is very bad, needs to be punished, really needs counselling, should be monitored for life and probably prevented from drinking in the future since he can't handle his booze but doesn't deserve 15 years getting sodimized by a huge career rapist/murderer.  He doesn't deserve to die for what he did. There is a good chance that given the right program and aggressive monitoring, he can become a productive member of society.

Another scenario: the girl is 12, but looks her age.  She is out with her school's honor society, doing volunteer work in the community.  As she is waiting for her mom to pick her up from the Habitat for Humanity site.  The offender is a stalker who's been following the victim around, waiting for a moment of vulnerbility.  He jumps her, drags her into an alley and starts to tear off her clothes.  A passerby stops him from doing anything further, but the girl needs extensive couselling and her entire worldview is shattered.  She no longer participates in activities, no longer has any confidence in herself.  She starts to wear oversized clothes in dark, unattractive colors.  She develops a number of serious disorders, such as anorexia and self-mutalation.  She can't escape the feeling that it is somehow her fault.  In this case, the offender should be put in prison forever and whatever happens to him there, rape, beating, etc. are part of the punishment.  There is no way to replace what he took.

That is what makes it hard to discuss this.  What damage did the offender cause?  What were the circumstances of the crime?

Since the judge felt the offender was worthy of rehabilitation, I am leaning toward something on the former scenario than the latter.

A discussion of what to do to fix the criminal justice system is beyond the scope of this discussion, but I think building special prisons for non-violent child molestors is not it.
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aerynn

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Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
« Reply #34 on: June 07, 2006, 11:00:03 AM »
Also, if we are talking about the way things should be, rape and murder should not be tolerated among the prison population.  What do we need to spend to fix the prisons?  That is money well-spent and a better argument.
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veg

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Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
« Reply #35 on: June 07, 2006, 11:04:25 AM »
Aerynn, did you just say that extrajudicial beatings should be considered part of the punishment, or did I misunderstand?

aerynn

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Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
« Reply #36 on: June 07, 2006, 11:07:04 AM »
Aerynn, did you just say that extrajudicial beatings should be considered part of the punishment, or did I misunderstand?

I think they should be acknowledged that they will be part of the punishment or prevented from happening, with the latter being the ideal that we as a society should strive for.

SC was asking that I not consider what is happening in reality, but that I should make some comment as to what *should* happen, in my ideal justice system. 
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Miss P

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Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
« Reply #37 on: June 07, 2006, 11:45:08 AM »
I am just catching up to this after an internet outage at work.  I agree with everything Aerynn has said, and I am surprised by SC's dismissal.  This is an interesting discussion; there's no reason to call anyone stupid.
That's cool how you referenced a case.

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dun

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Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
« Reply #38 on: June 07, 2006, 11:51:03 AM »
Do you people know anyone that has been to jail? Do you know how rough it is, what its like?  I could not handle it and I'm a pretty solid tough guy. 

Miss P

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Re: You have got to be f-ing kidding me.
« Reply #39 on: June 07, 2006, 11:53:50 AM »
Do you people know anyone that has been to jail? Do you know how rough it is, what its like?  I could not handle it and I'm a pretty solid tough guy. 

Yes.  Some pretty tough people I know (say, some who have killed other people) have been seriously injured and traumatized in prison.  It's not easy.  And solitary is even worse.
That's cool how you referenced a case.

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I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.