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My Object All Sublime, I Shall Achieve In Time, To Let The Punishment Fit The Crime.

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Canary42 | 16:21 Wed 03rd Apr 2024 | Criminal
7 Answers


While reading (and sympathising with) davebro3’s understandable response on the monkey torture thread, the above quotation from Gilbert & Sullivan’s Mikado sprung to mind.


Crime and Punishment is a very complex topic, but perhaps I can spark off a serious discussion here. 


What is the objective of punishment – I believe the three most cited reasons are deterrence, punishment, and revenge.  


An off-the cuff (not particularly erudite or academic) explanation is :-


·      * Deterrence: put other folk off committing the crime


·      * Punishment: hurt the criminal and stop them doing it again


·      * Revenge: satisfying outrage at the crime 


So, to get the thread back on track, how about the Mikado’s  suggestion.


One crime where I have for a long time wanted to introduce it is vandalism. I would love to go round to the vandal’s house and vandalise their possessions.  To take just one example, when I see a young sapling snapped off never to grow again, I would love to snap off something from the (male, they usually are) vandal which will never re-grow – I guess you know what I refer to 😀.


And I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting the monkey torturers to suffer the same treatment as they meted out to their helpless and innocent victims.  Of course, the down side of that is that it reduces us to the status of the criminals (one of my arguments against capital punishment for murder).


I’m tempted to parrot the words of Stephen Blackpool in Dickens’ Hard Times, “It’s all a muddle”.


What are your views on crime and punishment, and how can you reconcile them with common “humanitarianism“




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It was a sad day when corporal punishment was abolished.

I believe in Singapore the birch is widely used and vandalism almost unheard of.

Pierpoint (the hangman) said the only justification for capital punishment is revenge. 

I think that would be justification enough in a lot of cases.

Corporal punishment for minor crimes would be a greater deterrent than  community service.

Agreed davebro3. The sad, v. small group outside the Head's study at my Northern Grammar tended to be the same few lads (so you could argue  that it didn't work, but the crimes were minor).  Point was that it deterred the borderline others.

rehabilitation is also usually cited as one of the aims of punishment. It seems to be a widespread belief in these parts that nobody is ever rehabilitated, once a criminal always a criminal, though statistics generally show that most crime is a young man's game: people just grow up.

And it's obviously best for everyone if they do become working, taxpaying members of society, though it requires a society that offers work and livable pay levels.

Interesting. Are you off around to Banksy's house with your brush & paintpot then ?


(Rehabilitation is a reason for punishment in the form of lack of liberty.)

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Interesting example OG.  I wouldn't mind having a go at it although his graffitti is possibly acceptable (unlike repetitive tagging for example) 😁

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Come on in - don't be shy

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