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On Justice
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    X-Thor
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    On Justice

    by X-Thor » Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:54 pm

    So, inspired by the "Politics" thread and an interesting discussion with metalwrath, I created this thread...

    I am interested to know what you all think about justice*. What is it? How can the justice system achieve it? What should and shouldn't be done? How is it percieved in your country? How do you think the government and/or the community should react to crime? How should it treat criminals and victims?

    *I'm thinking about criminal justice, not social or economic justice.
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    Re: On Justice

    by Stained Class » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:14 am

    I'm kindof of the mind that people that go out "demanding justice" are actually seeking vengeance. You talked about the 2 different kinds of justice in the other thread and I'm a huge advocate of restorative justice. Locking someone up for the rest of their natural lives is pointless unless you plan on rehabilitating them and giving them a chance to be reintroduced to the world. If that isn't the end game plan for imprisoning them then you might as well just use capital punishment.

    Also, I'd prefer to have "correctional facilities" than "prisons". Not just in name, but in function and practice.
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    Re: On Justice

    by sageoftruth » Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:21 am

    Still, the punishment kind of justice is not completely without merit. Since I work in immigration, I've read a ton of articles on places like Guatemala, which according to the articles we use in our cases, (Memory of Silence, and No Place to Hide for example) are sorely lacking in that kind of justice. The word the articles often use is "Impunity", which indicates that the people (particularly the empowered people like those in the country's military) are free to kill and maim, knowing that they won't be punished for it.

    It is taken for granted in lots of other countries, since the justice system is relatively solid compared to countries with much flimsier justice systems. Still, in places where impunity runs rampant, so do plenty of killings and physical abuse based on things like racism and sexism. After all, many countries dealing with impunity have barely begun to address matters of social equality.

    I'll continue later. Got to go now.
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    Re: On Justice

    by sageoftruth » Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:36 am

    Back now. I had people coming into my office and didn't want them to see what I was doing. :lol:

    Anyway, I feel like punishment justice is at least a step. I've heard about people deliberately getting arrested because life in jail had more appeal than life in the projects (something to consider when talking about welfare). Still, without its rehabilitative qualities, repeat offenses are just as likely if not more likely to happen than first-time offenses.
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    Re: On Justice

    by X-Thor » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:45 am

    sageoftruth wrote:Still, the punishment kind of justice is not completely without merit. Since I work in immigration, I've read a ton of articles on places like Guatemala, which according to the articles we use in our cases, (Memory of Silence, and No Place to Hide for example) are sorely lacking in that kind of justice. The word the articles often use is "Impunity", which indicates that the people (particularly the empowered people like those in the country's military) are free to kill and maim, knowing that they won't be punished for it.

    It is taken for granted in lots of other countries, since the justice system is relatively solid compared to countries with much flimsier justice systems. Still, in places where impunity runs rampant, so do plenty of killings and physical abuse based on things like racism and sexism. After all, many countries dealing with impunity have barely begun to address matters of social equality.

    I'll continue later. Got to go now.


    Impuinity is HUGE here in Mexico. About 1% of crimes are punished (I'm not making it up)... And sometimes they arrest the wrong persons. Also, our prisons are incredibly overpopulated and most are in control of some cartel or other, so interns have to pay money to avoid being killed, (gang)raped or just beat up... So, basically, our prison system is a failure and a school for criminals...
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    Re: On Justice

    by viathyn » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:52 pm

    I'm rather disenfranchised with the idea that taxpayer money goes to feeding and housing people in correctional facilities. My solution? Keep it like the real world. Work full-time to earn your room and board. I work, I feed myself, I pay my mortgage, and I pay my taxes.

    I too believe in restorative justice. However, If we're talking about helping people integrate into society, I would much rather my tax dollars go towards helping those that were never in control of their situation, such as paranoid schizophrenics or other people with severe mental or physical disorders. It wasn't their choice to end up like this and it is our duty, as empathetic beings, to assist those that can't help themselves.

    But, if you are one of those in prison who decided to murder your girlfriend or hold up a convenience store... well, that was your poor choice. You should be rehabilitated, but you should be responsible for covering your room and board.

    (Sorry for the redundancy of my responses in this thread and the politics one; I just really don't like it when people don't take responsibility for their actions.)
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    Re: On Justice

    by viathyn » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:54 pm

    As, as a side note, I really like http://www.reddit.com/r/JusticePorn
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    Re: On Justice

    by EvilDan » Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:19 pm

    viathyn wrote:(Sorry for the redundancy of my responses in this thread and the politics one; I just really don't like it when people don't take responsibility for their actions.)

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    Re: On Justice

    by Blumpkin » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:42 pm

    viathyn wrote:I'm rather disenfranchised with the idea that taxpayer money goes to feeding and housing people in correctional facilities. My solution? Keep it like the real world. Work full-time to earn your room and board. I work, I feed myself, I pay my mortgage, and I pay my taxes.

    I too believe in restorative justice. However, If we're talking about helping people integrate into society, I would much rather my tax dollars go towards helping those that were never in control of their situation, such as paranoid schizophrenics or other people with severe mental or physical disorders. It wasn't their choice to end up like this and it is our duty, as empathetic beings, to assist those that can't help themselves.

    But, if you are one of those in prison who decided to murder your girlfriend or hold up a convenience store... well, that was your poor choice. You should be rehabilitated, but you should be responsible for covering your room and board.

    (Sorry for the redundancy of my responses in this thread and the politics one; I just really don't like it when people don't take responsibility for their actions.)


    I couldn't agree more that despite studying human nature for thousands of years, we have made very little progress in rehabilitating a criminal into a law-abiding, peaceful, productive citizen, and that most of justice has been to simply punish the offender rather than getting him to feel remorse and change himself for the better. I really don't have many if any solutions to offer other than cutting down on the number of actions that are considered crimes. For example, I'm a very staunch opponent of the drug laws. I don't think prohibition has ever worked in any country at any point in history EVER. It always has the opposite effect of what the proponents claim they will have. Getting rid of those silly laws would free up prisons from so many non-violent offenders, and it would cut down on crimes committed in relation to the drug trade. I am also for legalizing prostitution and gambling, not just making it legal under certain circumstances. I think cutting down the number of crimes (not to be confused with crimes COMMITTED) would definitely help free up resources to fighting crime and rehabilitating criminals.

    However, I hate to disagree, but there's no way you're going to make a criminal "pay his way" through such a program unless you threaten him with another, far worse punishment. If the options are "correctional facility" and prison, then some will choose the former, but even then they will either half-ass it, go through the motions to just get through it, without reaping any of the actual benefits it's supposed to impart, or screw up in the process and get booted into prison. People have to WANT rehabilitation; it cannot be forced on them, and justice is always about force. You steal from me, I'll make you pay me back or do time. Criminals are often criminals because they're not productive, so making them productive against their will (especially when they have to now pay for this "correctional facility" on top of the bills they already have) won't necessarily solve the problem. I also don't trust the government to come up with any good rehabilitation programs, mainly because it has no history of doing a good job at this, and does have a history of doing a bad job of educating people. Just look how badly run those job programs are.

    So, I think the hardest part about any of this "restorative justice" is getting the criminal to want to be better, and not just in a shallow, half-hearted sense, but one where they would really dedicate themselves to turning their lives around, and that can be a very hard thing to do, especially with the more serious criminals. I'm not very enlightened on the subject, but those are my thoughts on it.
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    Re: On Justice

    by X-Thor » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:49 pm

    I understand Norwegian prisons are very unique. Any Norwegian forumite wants to pitch in?
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    Re: On Justice

    by X-Thor » Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:11 pm

    viathyn wrote:I'm rather disenfranchised with the idea that taxpayer money goes to feeding and housing people in correctional facilities. My solution? Keep it like the real world. Work full-time to earn your room and board. I work, I feed myself, I pay my mortgage, and I pay my taxes.

    I too believe in restorative justice. However, If we're talking about helping people integrate into society, I would much rather my tax dollars go towards helping those that were never in control of their situation, such as paranoid schizophrenics or other people with severe mental or physical disorders. It wasn't their choice to end up like this and it is our duty, as empathetic beings, to assist those that can't help themselves.

    But, if you are one of those in prison who decided to murder your girlfriend or hold up a convenience store... well, that was your poor choice. You should be rehabilitated, but you should be responsible for covering your room and board.

    (Sorry for the redundancy of my responses in this thread and the politics one; I just really don't like it when people don't take responsibility for their actions.)


    These are very interesting points, Jake. They raise some questions (for me, at least). If the inmate is working but doesn't get to enjoy the money he makes (or at least choose how is it spent), is it not some kind of slave labor? Could a rich imprisoned person just pay rent and accomodations and then get the hours to read? Would that be fair? How would we measure the exact ammount needed to cover room and board? Would they recieve the same kind of subsidies that a regular taxpayer does? Should they pay taxes then? Would inmates work for some private company (with the possibility of continuing once they're out) or would it be for the Government? Would they be entitled to the same health care/retirement plans than someone outside? Could a prisoner work overtime and have access to some luxuries in his/her cell?... These are questions that just popped into my mind. I don't mean them as criticism, but I would like to know your thoughts on them.

    EDIT: Also, what Blumpkin said: What if they just refuse to work?

    However, maybe as part of a rehabilitation program, giving inmates the opportunity to work and make some money (that they can save for when they get out or give to their families) or at least get work experience would help a lot in their re-integration to society.

    I think you make a very harsh division between people who chose to act and those who don't. I mean, there are social and emotional inputs on our minds, not just the neurochemical ones. If someone never had a proper education or opportunities and became a criminal, how is it different from a "crazy" person that commited a crime? The way I see it, both had HUGE disadvantages at the time of "making a choice". I do get your point, though. I think rehabilitation should ALWAYS seek to make the offender responsible for his/her crimes. As far as I know, this is (or should be) essential to restorative justice.

    I think it's sometimes easy to think from a middle-to-high-class point of view and forget the countless hardships disenfranchised people endure. I will speak about Mexico because it's (obviously) the case I know better. We have over 50 million poor persons. That's just under half our population. HALF. We also have very very rich people (and most of their fortunes came or still comes from convenient arrangements with the government or straight out monopolies of a particular market), our education system is broken (it was only in the past years that the government was able to offer basic education [first 6 years of schooling] to every child in the country), justice system is a joke and innocents can spend YEARS in jail before they are even taken to court (and are often tortured or at least pressured by the investigative police to confess the crime, even if they didn't commit it) and this is of course biased against poor and disenfranchised people, social economic mobility is a fantasy: if you're born poor, odds are you will die poor, regardless of your effort or work (there are exeptions, but not many). Now, I won't ever say this justifies joining a cartel, but it certainly makes it understandable. Of course, politicians and policy makers should work to correct all this, but I think the justice system should aim to rehabilitate and re-educate all the young sicarios (hitmen) instead of just throwing them in jail...
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    Re: On Justice

    by X-Thor » Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:19 pm

    Blumpkin wrote:
    viathyn wrote:I'm rather disenfranchised with the idea that taxpayer money goes to feeding and housing people in correctional facilities. My solution? Keep it like the real world. Work full-time to earn your room and board. I work, I feed myself, I pay my mortgage, and I pay my taxes.

    I too believe in restorative justice. However, If we're talking about helping people integrate into society, I would much rather my tax dollars go towards helping those that were never in control of their situation, such as paranoid schizophrenics or other people with severe mental or physical disorders. It wasn't their choice to end up like this and it is our duty, as empathetic beings, to assist those that can't help themselves.

    But, if you are one of those in prison who decided to murder your girlfriend or hold up a convenience store... well, that was your poor choice. You should be rehabilitated, but you should be responsible for covering your room and board.

    (Sorry for the redundancy of my responses in this thread and the politics one; I just really don't like it when people don't take responsibility for their actions.)


    I couldn't agree more that despite studying human nature for thousands of years, we have made very little progress in rehabilitating a criminal into a law-abiding, peaceful, productive citizen, and that most of justice has been to simply punish the offender rather than getting him to feel remorse and change himself for the better. I really don't have many if any solutions to offer other than cutting down on the number of actions that are considered crimes. For example, I'm a very staunch opponent of the drug laws. I don't think prohibition has ever worked in any country at any point in history EVER. It always has the opposite effect of what the proponents claim they will have. Getting rid of those silly laws would free up prisons from so many non-violent offenders, and it would cut down on crimes committed in relation to the drug trade. I am also for legalizing prostitution and gambling, not just making it legal under certain circumstances. I think cutting down the number of crimes (not to be confused with crimes COMMITTED) would definitely help free up resources to fighting crime and rehabilitating criminals.

    However, I hate to disagree, but there's no way you're going to make a criminal "pay his way" through such a program unless you threaten him with another, far worse punishment. If the options are "correctional facility" and prison, then some will choose the former, but even then they will either half-ass it, go through the motions to just get through it, without reaping any of the actual benefits it's supposed to impart, or screw up in the process and get booted into prison. People have to WANT rehabilitation; it cannot be forced on them, and justice is always about force. You steal from me, I'll make you pay me back or do time. Criminals are often criminals because they're not productive, so making them productive against their will (especially when they have to now pay for this "correctional facility" on top of the bills they already have) won't necessarily solve the problem. I also don't trust the government to come up with any good rehabilitation programs, mainly because it has no history of doing a good job at this, and does have a history of doing a bad job of educating people. Just look how badly run those job programs are.

    So, I think the hardest part about any of this "restorative justice" is getting the criminal to want to be better, and not just in a shallow, half-hearted sense, but one where they would really dedicate themselves to turning their lives around, and that can be a very hard thing to do, especially with the more serious criminals. I'm not very enlightened on the subject, but those are my thoughts on it.


    Unlike the Politics thread, I find myself agreeing with you. Prohibition has never worked, as far as I can see. And, yes, perhaps rehabilitation programs should be elective... But which would be good ways of helping someone to start wanting to rehabilitate? Maybe start with addiction treatment and psychological counsel?
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    Re: On Justice

    by Blumpkin » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:33 pm

    X-Thor wrote:Unlike the Politics thread, I find myself agreeing with you. Prohibition has never worked, as far as I can see. And, yes, perhaps rehabilitation programs should be elective... But which would be good ways of helping someone to start wanting to rehabilitate? Maybe start with addiction treatment and psychological counsel?


    Strange, I didn't think we disagreed on much if anything at all on that thread.... What did you disagree with me on exactly? Must've been something rather minor.

    Aren't addiction treatment and psychological counseling part of rehabilitation? From my experience with what I've seen in life, none of this being in any sort of real "professional" setting if you know what I mean, getting someone to want to change or undergo rehabilitation of some sort usually requires just talking to them. The technical stuff with addiction treatment and counseling are part of the rehabilitation program, so you need to undercut that step somehow by getting the person to agree to go through with it because they want the benefits. The tricky part is, by promising a criminal a nicer alternative to prison, you're giving them an incentive to do the rehabilitation program, but no actual incentive for really WANTING to gain the benefits from it. Many of them would just agree to it to avoid prison, go through the motions and then pick up right where their lives left off, none the better off.
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    Re: On Justice

    by Memnoch » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:31 am

    Stained Class wrote:I'm kindof of the mind that people that go out "demanding justice" are actually seeking vengeance. You talked about the 2 different kinds of justice in the other thread and I'm a huge advocate of restorative justice. Locking someone up for the rest of their natural lives is pointless unless you plan on rehabilitating them and giving them a chance to be reintroduced to the world. If that isn't the end game plan for imprisoning them then you might as well just use capital punishment.

    Also, I'd prefer to have "correctional facilities" than "prisons". Not just in name, but in function and practice.


    This is pretty much the way I see justice and imprisonment. Of course, our situation is very different from North America, or even from most of Europe.
    Here you can study while in prison and some actually start (and complete) their university studies in prison. Or you can work in the prison (they sell stuff like wooden furniture that the prisoners have made) and get paid (not sure how much, but not like in a real work place, obviously). And if you're serving a sentence for a non-violent crime (and it probably has to be a somewhat short sentence), you can apply for an open prison, where you get to go to your work on weekdays (if you have one).
    Our life sentence is defined as 18 years, and almost all serve 12 years of that in prison before getting on parole.

    So, we have short prison sentences like in all Nordic countries. Not sure if it's the reason behind the fact that we have less repeat offenders than most countries, and we have far less prisoners (even per capita) - or maybe the system actually works as recorrectional or restorative justice. I don't know.


    And on viathyn's view of making the prisoners pay for their upkeep, sure, that sounds good from a taxpayer's view, but I see the cost of prisons and the justice system more like health care costs; if we can rehabilitate the prisoners, they will hopefully start paying their share for the society and contribute to our common welfare. Yeah, there are always people who won't change their ways, but it would be stupid not to try.
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    Re: On Justice

    by Blumpkin » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:38 am

    Memnoch wrote:So, we have short prison sentences like in all Nordic countries. Not sure if it's the reason behind the fact that we have less repeat offenders than most countries, and we have far less prisoners (even per capita) - or maybe the system actually works as recorrectional or restorative justice. I don't know.


    And on viathyn's view of making the prisoners pay for their upkeep, sure, that sounds good from a taxpayer's view, but I see the cost of prisons and the justice system more like health care costs; if we can rehabilitate the prisoners, they will hopefully start paying their share for the society and contribute to our common welfare. Yeah, there are always people who won't change their ways, but it would be stupid not to try.


    It's rather hard to pinpoint the factors that create crime and criminals. Personally I think a lot that has to do with the high crime rate in the U.S. is there's a very large drug culture and number of gangs here, with plenty not just entirely domestic but also spilling over the border from Mexico. (It's even worse in Mexico sadly.)

    There are a lot of rehabilitation opportunities in the U.S. as well though. Dunno how well they work, but they have them both in and out of prison for people who are convicted of a crime.
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    Re: On Justice

    by X-Thor » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:36 am

    Blumpkin wrote:
    X-Thor wrote:Unlike the Politics thread, I find myself agreeing with you. Prohibition has never worked, as far as I can see. And, yes, perhaps rehabilitation programs should be elective... But which would be good ways of helping someone to start wanting to rehabilitate? Maybe start with addiction treatment and psychological counsel?


    Strange, I didn't think we disagreed on much if anything at all on that thread.... What did you disagree with me on exactly? Must've been something rather minor.

    Aren't addiction treatment and psychological counseling part of rehabilitation? From my experience with what I've seen in life, none of this being in any sort of real "professional" setting if you know what I mean, getting someone to want to change or undergo rehabilitation of some sort usually requires just talking to them. The technical stuff with addiction treatment and counseling are part of the rehabilitation program, so you need to undercut that step somehow by getting the person to agree to go through with it because they want the benefits. The tricky part is, by promising a criminal a nicer alternative to prison, you're giving them an incentive to do the rehabilitation program, but no actual incentive for really WANTING to gain the benefits from it. Many of them would just agree to it to avoid prison, go through the motions and then pick up right where their lives left off, none the better off.


    Well, yeah, treatment and counseling are part of rehabilitation programs... But they aren't universally offered. I know they aren't in most prisons here in México.

    I'd argue that "going throught the motions" in a good rehabilitation program CAN (and many times does) change the mind of the criminal for the better. Even if it's just leaving an addiction behind, but it can also be an improvement on anger management, empathic abilities or even forgiveness and reconciliation.
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    Re: On Justice

    by sageoftruth » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:03 am

    I just had a thought about the whole "going through the motions thing." What if convicted criminals undergoing rehab were not given a time sentence at all? Instead, what if they had to "graduate" from prison by proving to the staff that they were ready to face the outside world again? In that case, going through the motions without any regard for self-improvement would only make their sentence longer.
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    Re: On Justice

    by Metalwrath » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:05 am

    I believe if someone murders another person intentionally then it should be execution.No second chances.Life for a life (if it was done deliberatly)
    They used their chance at life and wasted it killing someone.Taxpayers shouldn't have to spend our hard earned money feeding or reabilitating them.
    The government wastes too much money on keeping scum alive to give them a second chance.

    If someone murdered the murderer though in an act of vengeance i don't think they should go to jail.This is more like doing what the state should be doing anyway to the murderer.
    A few public executions wouldn't be a bad thing in my country to be honest.
    Sometimes people need to learn that you can't just do whatever you want to people because you feel like it and get away with it.

    The scandinavian countries have done well with their systems.
    However this is evidently changing.Especialy with increased imigration there.People are taking advantage of their soft policies and crime is increasing.
    But then again i think in general crime is increasing as punishment is fading.

    It's all great in theory that if we try to be kinder and more understanding that magically people will stop being violent but violence is part of the nature of some humans.Some humans just want to destroy each other and that won't change.
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    Re: On Justice

    by X-Thor » Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:07 am

    Metalwrath wrote:I believe if someone murders another person intentionally then it should be execution.No second chances.Life for a life (if it was done deliberatly)
    They used their chance at life and wasted it killing someone.Taxpayers shouldn't have to spend our hard earned money feeding or reabilitating them.
    The government wastes too much money on keeping scum alive to give them a second chance.

    If someone murdered the murderer though in an act of vengeance i don't think they should go to jail.This is more like doing what the state should be doing anyway to the murderer.
    A few public executions wouldn't be a bad thing in my country to be honest.
    Sometimes people need to learn that you can't just do whatever you want to people because you feel like it and get away with it.

    The scandinavian countries have done well with their systems.
    However this is evidently changing.Especialy with increased imigration there.People are taking advantage of their soft policies and crime is increasing.
    But then again i think in general crime is increasing as punishment is fading.

    It's all great in theory that if we try to be kinder and more understanding that magically people will stop being violent but violence is part of the nature of some humans.Some humans just want to destroy each other and that won't change.


    Thanks for contributing here. Like I said at the beggining, I created this thread inspired by our discussion in some other thread... :bangers:

    Metalwrath wrote:violence is part of the nature of some humans.


    So is forgiveness, so is empathy (except maybe for psychopaths and sociopaths), so is love and truth... Being "natural" only means it can be encouraged or prevented.

    On the other hand, I think experience has taught us that violence only creates more violence. In the words of Martin Luther King:

    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes.
    ... Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.


    I can tell you this is the experience in my country. Violence escalates, violence creates/increases hate and desire for revenge.

    Not caring for criminals is dennying the State's (and/or society's) responsability in creating them.

    I think it's easy to speak of crime (even violent crime) as a "choice" when you've* spent your life in privilege, under a roof, on a comfortable bed, in a relatively non-violent family and social environment. Sure, it's easy for us to say "those criminals made the wrong choices. They should pay for it!". But in most cases (at least in México, though I think it's true in the US and probably in the rest of the "civilized" world), we are talking about people who have been marginalized, disenfranchised and abused all their lives. Sure, it's still wrong to be a criminal, but maybe we should aknowledge (or at the very least consider) that crime is not just a personal choice, but rather the consequence of some deeper problems in our society?

    On the other hand, how would the State compensate the family of someone wrongly charged with murder? Even in "advanced" (at least compared to my country's) legal systems, like the US, there are ALWAYS cases of innocent people being imprisoned or even sentenced to death because of different reasons. How would you deal with that?

    Finally, as you may have noticed, I tend to speak from the experience of my country, which is the one I know best. I would like to know how things are in Ireland. According to Wiki, intentional murder rate there is impressively low (around 2 persons for every 100,000, which is slightly lower than Finland and way lower than the US or, obviously, México). I also read somewhere that the murder rate is growing. Is it true? Do you think it is a consequence of some recent change in the criminal law? And more generally, what do you think of your country's justice system? How does it work? Is there evidence of it working as it is supposed to?

    Thanks! :bangers:

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    Re: On Justice

    by Metalwrath » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:06 pm

    I do know our country was pretty high in the rankings of most corrupt countries in the world.I think we were in the top 20 not too long ago.
    There have been accusations made aswell that a lot of crime was not actually documented properly so our figures of crime seemed lower than they actually were.
    Theft and crime is deffintly on the rise here.We have much more junkies on the streets of Dublin too.
    And aparently abuse to women and children has increased by 55% since 2011.
    Cutbacks have also been made with policing.A big problem is that Irish police officers are not really armed properly.And against a big enough group of thugs the police will have to sometimes walk away to save themselves.
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    Re: On Justice

    by Blumpkin » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:54 am

    X-Thor wrote:Well, yeah, treatment and counseling are part of rehabilitation programs... But they aren't universally offered. I know they aren't in most prisons here in México.

    I'd argue that "going throught the motions" in a good rehabilitation program CAN (and many times does) change the mind of the criminal for the better. Even if it's just leaving an addiction behind, but it can also be an improvement on anger management, empathic abilities or even forgiveness and reconciliation.


    If the person doing the program with no intention of changing suddenly has a change of heart part-way through the program, yes, then the program CAN work then, but not if there's no willingness to take responsibility for themselves and change. I don't care how good the program is, any expert will tell you rehabilitation doesn't work if the person's not willing to take responsibility and change. Deciding to do so while undergoing the program while initially just doing it to appease a judge is one thing, but if they're still resistant to it it won't work no matter what. They will go right back to their old habits once they are done.
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    Re: On Justice

    by Blumpkin » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:55 am

    sageoftruth wrote:I just had a thought about the whole "going through the motions thing." What if convicted criminals undergoing rehab were not given a time sentence at all? Instead, what if they had to "graduate" from prison by proving to the staff that they were ready to face the outside world again? In that case, going through the motions without any regard for self-improvement would only make their sentence longer.


    Then that would be a matter of if they can bullshit to the staff that they have sincerely completed the program as per the stated objective.
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    Re: On Justice

    by sageoftruth » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:36 am

    Blumpkin wrote:
    sageoftruth wrote:I just had a thought about the whole "going through the motions thing." What if convicted criminals undergoing rehab were not given a time sentence at all? Instead, what if they had to "graduate" from prison by proving to the staff that they were ready to face the outside world again? In that case, going through the motions without any regard for self-improvement would only make their sentence longer.


    Then that would be a matter of if they can bullshit to the staff that they have sincerely completed the program as per the stated objective.


    Yeah. The real challenge would be sociopaths. Then again, I'm not sure sociopaths are worth rehabilitating. The real target I think would be those who X-Thor brought up. The Jean Valjeans of our world who never grew up with any real role models. Presumably, those who are in prison for illegal drug dealing or theft. Murder would be trickier. Releasing a murderer back into the world is a huge risk.
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    Re: On Justice

    by X-Thor » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:15 am

    sageoftruth wrote:
    Blumpkin wrote:
    sageoftruth wrote:I just had a thought about the whole "going through the motions thing." What if convicted criminals undergoing rehab were not given a time sentence at all? Instead, what if they had to "graduate" from prison by proving to the staff that they were ready to face the outside world again? In that case, going through the motions without any regard for self-improvement would only make their sentence longer.


    Then that would be a matter of if they can bullshit to the staff that they have sincerely completed the program as per the stated objective.


    Yeah. The real challenge would be sociopaths. Then again, I'm not sure sociopaths are worth rehabilitating. The real target I think would be those who X-Thor brought up. The Jean Valjeans of our world who never grew up with any real role models. Presumably, those who are in prison for illegal drug dealing or theft. Murder would be trickier. Releasing a murderer back into the world is a huge risk.


    I think with murders you also need to try, at least. Not all murderers are "beyond salvation", and many of them grew up in a culture of violence (gangs in the US, cartels in Mexico...), so (arguably, at least) the State should at least try to make up for its failure towards them. I know of cases of murderers that have rehabilitated. Of course, you'd need to filter out sociopaths/psychopaths.
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    Re: On Justice

    by Blumpkin » Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:16 pm

    X-Thor wrote:I think with murders you also need to try, at least. Not all murderers are "beyond salvation", and many of them grew up in a culture of violence (gangs in the US, cartels in Mexico...), so (arguably, at least) the State should at least try to make up for its failure towards them. I know of cases of murderers that have rehabilitated. Of course, you'd need to filter out sociopaths/psychopaths.


    I have a problem with not so much your desire for rehabilitation, but your notion that the state "owes" them something, as if the government is responsible for making sure people grow up mentally sound and moral, and if they fail in this duty then the criminals as adults are "owed" something to make up for this. This is a very dangerous mentality I think, because then you're inviting the government to come in and basically raise and provide for kids, something which is the parents' job, and a job at the very least which is much better done by the private sector. Social services for displaced kids is one thing, but even after the child grows up, why is he "owed" anything else now? I think much of criminality is a societal problem, certainly not a state problem.
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    Re: On Justice

    by Laura » Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:27 pm

    ^^^ disagree here - I think the government/the state can do a great deal of good for people who for a variety of reasons fall through the cracks/are in dire circumstances - particularly when it comes to minors, substance abusers, criminals, and the mentally ill as a few key examples. There are countless reasons when I think "the state" should step in and intervene.
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    Re: On Justice

    by X-Thor » Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:35 pm

    Blumpkin wrote:
    X-Thor wrote:I think with murders you also need to try, at least. Not all murderers are "beyond salvation", and many of them grew up in a culture of violence (gangs in the US, cartels in Mexico...), so (arguably, at least) the State should at least try to make up for its failure towards them. I know of cases of murderers that have rehabilitated. Of course, you'd need to filter out sociopaths/psychopaths.


    I have a problem with not so much your desire for rehabilitation, but your notion that the state "owes" them something, as if the government is responsible for making sure people grow up mentally sound and moral, and if they fail in this duty then the criminals as adults are "owed" something to make up for this. This is a very dangerous mentality I think, because then you're inviting the government to come in and basically raise and provide for kids, something which is the parents' job, and a job at the very least which is much better done by the private sector. Social services for displaced kids is one thing, but even after the child grows up, why is he "owed" anything else now? I think much of criminality is a societal problem, certainly not a state problem.


    I realize the US is different from México, but I'm pretty sure that in both cases, there are no equality of opportunities (which is something that you, as a Libertarian in favor of "meritocracy" should at least think is something OK). Both countries have a large (way larger, at least proportionally, in México) mass of disenfranchised and excluded people. And many of those marginalizations come from the State's failure to provide equal opportunities or from it's former or actual oppression. Like I said before, it's easy to speak of crime as an exclusively individual fully conscious "choice" when you have not experienced what most criminals do.

    However, I do admit that it is up for debate whether the State should do such interventions because it is what is "owed". Notice, though, that there are also practical reasons, that make it a good option too.
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    Re: On Justice

    by Blumpkin » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:33 pm

    Laura wrote:^^^ disagree here - I think the government/the state can do a great deal of good for people who for a variety of reasons fall through the cracks/are in dire circumstances - particularly when it comes to minors, substance abusers, criminals, and the mentally ill as a few key examples. There are countless reasons when I think "the state" should step in and intervene.


    Well, I would like to distinguish the difference between intervention and "owing" people something. The difference is one is a form of entitlement and a shift of responsibility, while the other could be interpreted as coming in simply to help, while still leaving at least some of the responsibility on the shoulders of the receiver of such help. People are responsible for their own actions and well-being, not the state. The state doesn't "owe" it to you to make sure you are brought up properly (other than personal protection such as from abuse). They don't "owe" you something for some sort of "failure" should you grow up to be a maladjusted criminal. That falls on the individual, not the state, which REALLY translates to the peaceful, productive sector of society since it's their resources being used (not the government's). I don't feel I "owe" criminals anything since I had nothing to do with their condition, and, in most instances at least, neither did the state. Personal responsibility should be the emphasis, not entitlement.

    Either way though, the state cannot do and has not done a very good job at rehabilitating people and "coming to their rescue". State mental wards in jails are notoriously horrendous, prisons are a revolving door and people on welfare are encouraged to stay on it. I just hear of all these public programs designed to make people happier, less violent, sober, give them jobs, find them a home, educate them, etc., and the fact of the matter is they're largely ineffective. I think a lot of this stuff at the very least should be outsourced to private companies who could do a better job, but as I stated before, I really don't have many answers to how to improve criminal rehabilitation.
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    Re: On Justice

    by Blumpkin » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:03 pm

    X-Thor wrote:I realize the US is different from México, but I'm pretty sure that in both cases, there are no equality of opportunities (which is something that you, as a Libertarian in favor of "meritocracy" should at least think is something OK). Both countries have a large (way larger, at least proportionally, in México) mass of disenfranchised and excluded people. And many of those marginalizations come from the State's failure to provide equal opportunities or from it's former or actual oppression. Like I said before, it's easy to speak of crime as an exclusively individual fully conscious "choice" when you have not experienced what most criminals do.


    "Equal opportunities" is a very ambiguous term, and can be interpreted as an absolute, such as in this case. Yes, some people are born with less advantages than others, such as coming from a poor family or living in a poor area, but it's a HUGE error to believe the state can equalize things. I have heard this argument from the hard-left talking heads about how it's "society's" responsibility to help the disadvantaged (translate: the state must come in and use force on people to make things "fair"), that we must make "investments in our future", and their solutions often if not USUALLY take AWAY the advantages of some in order to give them to those who have less. For example, we have a progressive tax system here in the U.S., which means the more money you make the more you pay proportionately, e.g. you make $50k a year you pay 25%, but if you make $100k a year you pay 30%. (Note: Those are probably not exact figures; I just made them up to illustrate my point. You can research the U.S. tax rates if you must, but it's progressive like I described.) The idea of this is to take away more money from the richer, more productive people and give it to the poorer, less productive people through various social programs, most of which are inefficient or ineffective. Another one is affirmative actions, which require employers to hire a certain number of minorities per their entire employment numbers. I can understand wanting to make the disadvantaged more advantaged, to bring them up, but it shouldn't come at the expense of the already advantaged, because that penalizes them for doing something right and thus is immoral.

    Anyway, I don't buy this argument that the state can be the great equalizer. It can't. It's been tried countless times through history and in various societies, especially in modern, first world ones, but it doesn't work, no matter how much money is spent. You may have a very noble, rational ideal which is definitely worth pursuing despite my disagreements, but it can't be pursued through the state. It simply doesn't work that way. People need to make their own opportunities, and when the state leaves people alone, it's been found they do since they have more incentive to be responsible and self-reliant, and society even provides more opportunities to those who might otherwise not have as many (the disadvantaged) than if the state had come in and tried to micromanage things into "equal opportunities".

    I was going to use a famous, or at least well-known, Lincoln quote, but I just found out it's actually mis-attributed. Here's the deal on that, as well as the actual quote:

    http://www.snopes.com/quotes/lincoln/prosperity.asp

    There's also the Stossel quote I mentioned in the other thread:

    "In a free society, things get better on their own."

    However, I do admit that it is up for debate whether the State should do such interventions because it is what is "owed". Notice, though, that there are also practical reasons, that make it a good option too.


    OK, so maybe you're not so firm on this belief as I thought. I will say, however, something does need to be done to turn the criminal into a law abider in order to further humanity. The question is not so much WHO though, but WHAT, but I unfortunately have little to contribute to that. :(
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    Re: On Justice

    by EvilDan » Sat Jun 15, 2013 8:26 am

    I disagree that there are certain things the "state" are good at. With the amount of money spent on the War on Poverty, every person in America living under the poverty line could be given a check for $100K every year. Poverty still exists.

    There are endless examples of how government is inefficient, costly, and ineffective.

    IRS running healthcare? What could go wrong?
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    Re: On Justice

    by X-Thor » Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:26 am

    Blumpkin wrote:
    X-Thor wrote:I realize the US is different from México, but I'm pretty sure that in both cases, there are no equality of opportunities (which is something that you, as a Libertarian in favor of "meritocracy" should at least think is something OK). Both countries have a large (way larger, at least proportionally, in México) mass of disenfranchised and excluded people. And many of those marginalizations come from the State's failure to provide equal opportunities or from it's former or actual oppression. Like I said before, it's easy to speak of crime as an exclusively individual fully conscious "choice" when you have not experienced what most criminals do.


    "Equal opportunities" is a very ambiguous term, and can be interpreted as an absolute, such as in this case. Yes, some people are born with less advantages than others, such as coming from a poor family or living in a poor area, but it's a HUGE error to believe the state can equalize things. I have heard this argument from the hard-left talking heads about how it's "society's" responsibility to help the disadvantaged (translate: the state must come in and use force on people to make things "fair"), that we must make "investments in our future", and their solutions often if not USUALLY take AWAY the advantages of some in order to give them to those who have less. For example, we have a progressive tax system here in the U.S., which means the more money you make the more you pay proportionately, e.g. you make $50k a year you pay 25%, but if you make $100k a year you pay 30%. (Note: Those are probably not exact figures; I just made them up to illustrate my point. You can research the U.S. tax rates if you must, but it's progressive like I described.) The idea of this is to take away more money from the richer, more productive people and give it to the poorer, less productive people through various social programs, most of which are inefficient or ineffective. Another one is affirmative actions, which require employers to hire a certain number of minorities per their entire employment numbers. I can understand wanting to make the disadvantaged more advantaged, to bring them up, but it shouldn't come at the expense of the already advantaged, because that penalizes them for doing something right and thus is immoral.

    Anyway, I don't buy this argument that the state can be the great equalizer. It can't. It's been tried countless times through history and in various societies, especially in modern, first world ones, but it doesn't work, no matter how much money is spent. You may have a very noble, rational ideal which is definitely worth pursuing despite my disagreements, but it can't be pursued through the state. It simply doesn't work that way. People need to make their own opportunities, and when the state leaves people alone, it's been found they do since they have more incentive to be responsible and self-reliant, and society even provides more opportunities to those who might otherwise not have as many (the disadvantaged) than if the state had come in and tried to micromanage things into "equal opportunities".

    I was going to use a famous, or at least well-known, Lincoln quote, but I just found out it's actually mis-attributed. Here's the deal on that, as well as the actual quote:

    http://www.snopes.com/quotes/lincoln/prosperity.asp

    There's also the Stossel quote I mentioned in the other thread:

    "In a free society, things get better on their own."

    However, I do admit that it is up for debate whether the State should do such interventions because it is what is "owed". Notice, though, that there are also practical reasons, that make it a good option too.


    OK, so maybe you're not so firm on this belief as I thought. I will say, however, something does need to be done to turn the criminal into a law abider in order to further humanity. The question is not so much WHO though, but WHAT, but I unfortunately have little to contribute to that. :(


    Yeah, "equal oppotunities" means providing at least a baseline of quality education, health care and other succes-related opportunities.

    Regarding progressive taxation, I have two things to say:

    1) At least in the US (from what I saw in the IRS website), progressive taxation is divided by "bracket"s. So, to follow your example ("you make $50k a year you pay 25%, but if you make $100k a year you pay 30%."). Assuming the exact point where you start paying a 30% tax rate is at above 50K, so if you earn 50K or less you pay a tax rate of 25% and if you earn more than 50K you pay a tax rate of30%, then you'd only pay 30% over the 50K that are over the 50K bracket. To put it in numbers: you make 50K a year and pay 25% tax so you end up paying 12.5K (50*.25) of tax and have 37.5K for you. If you earn 100K, you pay 12.5K (50*.25) for the first 50K and 15K (50*.3) for the other50K above the bracket. This avoids the negatie incentive on productivity (you'll always earn a little more money than the 37.5K you earned). So, from a practical poin of view, it isn't as terrible as Libertarians like to say.

    2) However, both economic theory and empirical evidence from all over the world, tell us that the best way to increase revenue is through consumption taxes (taxes over sale price) and "sin" taxes (taxes on alcohol, tobacco, gambling...). These taxes do not distort the market as much, and thus we end up in more efficient equilibriums. So, if you ask me, it is better to focus revenue there than on income or property taxes.

    Anyway, that is not the purpose of this thread, so I'll just leave it there (and I will also ignore Dan's post). :P
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    Re: On Justice

    by Blumpkin » Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:22 am

    EvilDan wrote:I disagree that there are certain things the "state" are good at. With the amount of money spent on the War on Poverty, every person in America living under the poverty line could be given a check for $100K every year. Poverty still exists.

    There are endless examples of how government is inefficient, costly, and ineffective.

    IRS running healthcare? What could go wrong?


    I couldn't agree more. Hell, the IRS doesn't even understand all of its own tax code!
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    Re: On Justice

    by Blumpkin » Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:37 am

    X-Thor wrote:Yeah, "equal oppotunities" means providing at least a baseline of quality education, health care and other succes-related opportunities.


    How does the government provide these things though? They can only provide them through force and taking something from one person and giving it to another (all with force of course). Education? Forget it. Public schools have only gotten worse over the years, and the government creates monopolies and barriers for private schools to compete. Health care? So many countries are struggling to keep up with the rising costs of socialized medicine, and in so many cases the quality isn't even better than private health care. "Success-related opportunities"? Mmm, not sure what that means, but it definitely sounds like a disaster for government to create.

    Regarding progressive taxation, I have two things to say:

    1) At least in the US (from what I saw in the IRS website), progressive taxation is divided by "bracket"s. So, to follow your example ("you make $50k a year you pay 25%, but if you make $100k a year you pay 30%."). Assuming the exact point where you start paying a 30% tax rate is at above 50K, so if you earn 50K or less you pay a tax rate of 25% and if you earn more than 50K you pay a tax rate of30%, then you'd only pay 30% over the 50K that are over the 50K bracket. To put it in numbers: you make 50K a year and pay 25% tax so you end up paying 12.5K (50*.25) of tax and have 37.5K for you. If you earn 100K, you pay 12.5K (50*.25) for the first 50K and 15K (50*.3) for the other50K above the bracket. This avoids the negatie incentive on productivity (you'll always earn a little more money than the 37.5K you earned). So, from a practical poin of view, it isn't as terrible as Libertarians like to say.

    2) However, both economic theory and empirical evidence from all over the world, tell us that the best way to increase revenue is through consumption taxes (taxes over sale price) and "sin" taxes (taxes on alcohol, tobacco, gambling...). These taxes do not distort the market as much, and thus we end up in more efficient equilibriums. So, if you ask me, it is better to focus revenue there than on income or property taxes.

    Anyway, that is not the purpose of this thread, so I'll just leave it there (and I will also ignore Dan's post). :P


    1) You're paying proportionately more the more money you earn no matter how it's sliced. That doesn't mean you're earning the same after taxes no matter how much you earn before taxes, but you're losing more of your money as you become wealthier. People shouldn't have to work harder just to have more after taxes. Additionally, to a certain extent, since you eligible for more welfare, subsidies, freebies, social programs, tax credits, etc. the lower you are in the tax brackets, it actually DOES take away some of the incentive for being more productive. For example, if you make $10k a year and can receive $10k in free stuff from the state, whether that's Medicare or food stamps or whatnot, why work twice as hard to make $20k a year and only be eligible for $5k in free stuff? You're working twice has hard to have $5k worth more of overall stuff (earned and free).

    2) Well, I definitely believe in the Laffer curve, which means after a certain point of taxation, revenue actually goes down. As much as people criticize the Bush tax cuts (which actually cut taxes for the poor too), they actually caused revenue to go UP. Either way though, I think there's too much focus of how to fleece more money out of the populous. Even serfs during the feudal age paid only 10%. We pay way more than that if you add up ALL the taxes there are, not just the federal income tax. The focus should be on making the government spend less, because EVERY time the government finds a way to increase tax revenue, it just spends even more money.

    Anyway, yes, we have gotten off on a tangent, but my original point was I don't think the sort of rehabilitative justice you are talking about should rest on the shoulders of the state, and I definitely don't think the state "owes" anyone anything if they become a criminal (outside of the usual accommodations of prison as well as the constitutional rights of due process). People who become criminals are responsible for their own behavior, not the state, and not society. No one forces you to commit a crime. However, although we do need to find a way to make them become responsible citizens who follow the law, I don't think it's a good idea AT ALL to rely on government to do this, because it most certainly will do and has done a bad job. Only society can fix society, not the state.
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