General Question

zenele's avatar

A question about Law and castration.

Asked by zenele (8208 points ) July 1st, 2010

Pedophiles and rapists are probably the worst of the worst scum. Although we say that raping a child is like taking away his life, we still let them get off relatively easy with short sentences.

In many States, and many (democratic) countries around the world, there is a death penalty for murderers. That is, the State can terminate the life of a person suspected of killing; despite proof that many innocent people have been killed mistakenly over the years.

My question is: if a Country or State can end a life, why can’t they castrate a rapist? Is removing testicles such a horrible thing – when in other instances they can actually kill you? Is chemical, or actual castration worse than a poison needle?

What say you?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

58 Answers

TexasDude's avatar

Removing a pedophile or a rapist’s balls is a great and appropriate punishment, in my eyes, but does it really solve anything or do anything to combat the existence of rape and pedophilia in the first place?

zenele's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard Plus jail time of course. There have been more and more rapes over the years, not less. So we’re doing something wrong. Shouldn’t we also be trying to deter it? Maybe this would be just the thing?!

CMaz's avatar

I say leave the balls. Castration sometimes does not curb their driving force.
Remove a finger.

Or life in a labor camp.

rangerr's avatar

I’d rather see them stuck in an Iron Maiden until they die in there.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Remember that rape in a power crime, not a sexual crime. The modality is sexual the motivation is power!

The punishment must be long and the rate of recidivism is high, especially in sociopathic rapists. An 18 year old person convicted or “rape” on their 17 year old girlfriend should be treated as a crime, but not punished with the same severity where it can be shown the sex act was consensual. The law need not be a blunt instrument wielded by a blind prosecutor.

gorillapaws's avatar

Rape can sometimes be a fuzzy line. For pedophiles and other sickos, where it’s clear that the person isn’t safe for society, there should be 2 options for the convicted: life without parole, or castration with parole after a reasonably long sentence. I am basing this on the assumption that castration is effective in preventing sexual recidivism.

As @Dr_Lawrence has pointed out, rape is more about dominance, power, hate than it is lust.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Lightlyseared's avatar

Some US states do chemically castrate sex offenders.

marinelife's avatar

@Lightlyseared is right. And chemical castration would be the way to go, it seems to me.

zenele's avatar

Read the details carefully. I realize there is voluntary castration (chemical only, as far as I know) in some places; what interests me is whether you think there is a legal, and moral, reason why we should be able to kill murderers, but not chop off the balls of child rapists. Simply put.

marinelife's avatar

@zenele No, I don’t.

zenele's avatar

@marinelife Are you saying we should, or shouldn’t?

ragingloli's avatar

I take severe issue with your claim that rapists are the “worst of the worst scum”.
Murderers are worse. Mass murderers are worse. People who severely assault and injure other people because of race, sexual orientation, etc, are worse.
Even the Bible, moral backbone of the abrahamic religions, considers rape to be less bad than adultery, which is a consensual activity. It certainly does not consider it to be bad enough to warrant the death penalty or even a physical retribution. The punishment was simply 50 pieces of silver and marrying the victim. The death penalty in case of raping a married woman was not for the rape, but for violating the property of another man.
Also, castration, just as the death penalty, is a barbaric practice unbecoming of a modern civilisation. We do not chop off the hands of thiefs anymore either. Do you want to bring back that practice? You can not steal something without hands, after all.

zenele's avatar

Good thing we don’t live in Abrahamic times.

Cutting off of hands (usually for thieves) is reserved for your Muslim friends’ countries – which is why I specified democracies. I take exception to you, personally, and hate seeing your reply here – but nonetheless will respond on-topic.

I think child rapists are the worst of the worst scum. I don’t particularly care about what happened in the desert 5000 years ago – or what the Bible says about adulterers – what I do care about (here) is the question: if one agrees with killing a murderer, why not castrate rapists? It would stop them from doing it again, and would deter others from this heinous crime.

gorillapaws's avatar

Pedophiles aren’t deterred by threats of retribution. They’re hard-wired to be sexually attracted to children. Sexual compulsion at this level is on par with other biological urges such as hunger and sleep. I think the case can be made to have castration as an option to prevent that individual from repeating their crime, but there essentially is no effective deterrent for pedophiles.

ragingloli's avatar

If you, as a society, or you as a person, are already low enough to still support the death penalty I certainly think you can justify any sort of punishment, no matter how severe.

zenele's avatar

@gorillapaws I disagree. I think that it’s impossible to conclude that all rapists cannot be deterred. If there is a psychological disorder there – then surely it is the same for murder. But we are not a vengeful society – so why take the life of a murderer if not to deter?

I think that if a rapist knew he’d get life in prison and have his balls chopped off – it might encourage him to seek help before committing the crime. N’est ce pas?

gorillapaws's avatar

@zenele You’re mixing motives here. Pedophiles overwhelmingly commit crimes due to a psychological compulsion related to their sex-drive, this type of motive is difficult to deter with retribution. Murders happen for many different motives, the rational, calculated murder can be deterred by threats of retribution, but the heat-of-passion “I just walked in on my wife sleeping with my mailman” double homicide isn’t effectively deterred by threats of retribution.

Rape, in the normal sense, is a crime of hate/violence/power. I’d put pedophilia in a separate category, because it’s not usually about exerting dominance on a child, but satisfying a perverse sexual compulsion.

Regardless, I don’t think retributive deterrents are particularly effective. Most people willing commit murder because they will only receive life in prison without parole won’t then be deterred because that state has the death penalty.

LocoLuke's avatar

One thing to take note of is that a fair number of rapes are conducted using something other than their genitalia (IE objects), especially in the case that it is motivated by power rather than sexual desire. I doubt that castration would help is this kind of case.

As @gorillapaws says, motive is the issue, and retribution isn’t always the best prevention.

tinyfaery's avatar

Since most molesters and pedophiles were sexually abused as children, by your argument, you are trying to punish people that are already dead.

Rape and molestation are crimes of power, not sex. Someone who commits such acts could still cause others harm without the use of the primary sex organ.

zenele's avatar

First of all, @tinyfaery I am not trying to punish anyone – living or dead. That’s quite absurd, actually.

I have tried to ask a question to get opinions about the legality and morality of castration versus the death penalty – especially as a deterrant. As a society that has the death penalty (and mine doesn’t, by the way, and I am personally against it) – why is it acceptable to put people to death for crimes they have committed (to deter, not to punish) yet not to castrate?

And the part about all of them having been abused as children… bullshit – I was and I haven’t turned into a rapist. Those of you who take the so-called “high road” probably haven’t had a child of your own raped. That would change things, right?!

Lightlyseared's avatar

@zenele I’m sorry, I don’t think I was clear. There are US states (California and Florida spring to mind) that use chemical castration as a punishment for child molestation. It is not volantary.

tinyfaery's avatar

“Pedophiles and rapists are probably the worst of the worst scum. Although we say that raping a child is like taking away his life, we still let them get off relatively easy with short sentences.”

Back pedal, back pedal…

Neither is appropriate. We have no right to decide who should live and die and who gets to keep their sexual parts.

KatawaGrey's avatar

I don’t think castration is the best solution simply because the line between rape and sex can be very blurry. In some states, an 18-year-old can be convicted of statutory rape for having sex with a 16-year-old. There are also cases where someone honestly may not know or suspect that the person he/she because men can be raped by women too is having sex with does not want to have sex. This is not the usual case, obviously, but it can still happen.

Also, I’d be worried that with a sentence of castration, many fewer rapists would be convicted. Seeing as how there are relatively few rapists punished as it is, anything that would put fewer behind bars is bad.

fundevogel's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence & @gorillapaws Just because it involves domination, power or pain doesn’t mean it isn’t sexual. I mean, if that were the case any sexual fetish involving domination, power or pain wouldn’t be sexual either. Are you willing to say bondage and S&M isn’t sexual? Lets face it. Some people are sexually aroused by dominating another person, it isn’t any less sexual when it involves rape or children, that’s just the point where it becomes horrible.

zenele's avatar

Agreed ^.

@KatawaGrey I think you should re-read my details plus the thread so far. Bt you are entitled to your opinion, of course.

marinelife's avatar

@zenele I am saying we should not. Castration is barbarism.

gorillapaws's avatar

@fundevogel I certainly think it’s a reasonable hypothesis that the motives behind S&M and bondage are very different from that of a rapist. Here’s a link the theories about the motives of rape.

fundevogel's avatar

@gorillapaws I am not suggesting that S&M or bondage fetishists are comparable to rapists (I’m pretty sure you didn’t think I did, I just want to be clear). I simply suspect if arousal and sexual gratification wasn’t a key element another means of domination would be employed rather than rape, something that wasn’t sexual. I mean, saying that it’s just about power or anger ignores the fact that the rapist is getting off. All sorts of people get themselves off. A lot of people are violent too. Most of those people don’t get off as an act of violence. That rapists do indicates that for them there is a relationship between the two.

I will admit that some other forms of rape (like with a foreign object) may simply be sadism, but if there is indication of arousal or pursuit of sexual satisfaction I don’t see how that can’t be an extreme sexual fetish.

Kayak8's avatar

Chemical castration only lasts as long as the chemicals are in the system. Chemical castration also differs in that it doesn’t necessarily prevent future procreation by the offender. The drug used most often, medroxyprogesterone acetate, is the active ingredient in Depo-provera (birth control designed for women). Actual castration is easily accommodated by prosthetic testicles and testosterone (injections, topical, etc).

It is not clear that either method provides a long-term deterrent to sexual predators or rapists. As was stated above, these are crimes of power not necessarily sex. I would rather the offender be in prison than experience additional frustration at potential performance issues if he is full of rage and the rage is aimed at me or a child I care about.

eden2eve's avatar

So if I say it’s barbarism to lock somebody up and not let them have autonomy, take away their right to move freely in society, does that make it so? Who decides what constitutes barbarism? Some may call that cruel and unusual punishment.

I wonder how far we go with this? And why do the rights of the abuser outweigh the rights of the abused? It seems to me that if someone cuts off my arm, his right to have two arms may have been forfeit. Of course this is just a hypothetical situation, and perhaps I don’t really want the person to lose his arm, but perhaps, neither do I want this violent, barbaric monster person to get a short prison term, then be allowed to return to the world to do it again. Maybe I want the perpetrator to experience something that MAY act as a deterrent.

This may be different for each individual, but maybe some good therapist can determine what that deterrent might be. And maybe there is no effective deterrent, so in that case the perpetrator should never have the opportunity to offend in this manner again.

You say that would be too expensive? I’m sure that if we require the individual to do productive work to support themselves, the cost to society could be diminished. PLEASE don’t tell me that this is slavery. If they are in society, they don’t get free meals and a safe place to live without working to earn it. Every individual should have to work to support their existence. Some people choose to offend in order to have no responsibilities to support themselves. I know this to be true, as I’ve known such individuals.

And how much greater is the cost to society when it’s members are maimed or killed, in many cases causing society to have to support or ameliorate their, or their survivors’ survival. In addition, I believe that if an individual didn’t anticipate a short or “humane” sentence, some of this crime would be prevented. If they can’t be deterred , why on earth should the justice system allow them to re-enter the society they have so blatantly abused?

What’s the answer, folks? Do we protect the guilty, or the innocent? How about chemical castration AND imprisonment? I hear that castrated males are more docile and less likely to be violent. And that some of their sexual urges are less pronounced. I suggest that they may have lost their right to sexuality by using it to damage others.

If I abuse credit, I lose the right to have credit. If I fail to meet the requirements for a particular career, I am not free to practice that vocation. Why should this be any different? I advocate and support consequences for failure to follow the rules which society has put in place in order to protect those who do keep the rules. If we call it consequences, and not punishment, does that make it more palatable? Why do we feel so fearful of accepting the importance of justice and consequences?

KatawaGrey's avatar

@zenele: I admit that I didn’t read all the answers but I don’t understand how my answer doesn’t jive with your details.

gorillapaws's avatar

@eden2eve While I agree that if there are no effective deterrents then these people should be prevented from returning to society, but forcing mutilation on others is wrong. You said: “I suggest that they may have lost their right to sexuality by using it to damage others.” One could use the same argument for removing the vocal chords from people who verbally abuse people.

I think it’s fair to say that forced mutilation is a line that shouldn’t be crossed. Now if a pedophile volunteers for a surgical procedure that will permanently remove his sex-drive, thereby preventing him from re-offending I think it might be reasonable to give them a well-supervised parole after say 10–20 years in prison.

TexasDude's avatar

@ragingloli, I disagree with the assertion that murderers are in fact worse than rapists.

If somebody kills someone, the victim is dead. They feel nothing anymore. A woman who is raped has to live and suffer for the rest of her life with the stigma, pain, trauma, and physical damage from the rape.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I think the rationale goes something to the effect of, a rape victim has the possibility of eventually moving on with their life, and living a good and happy existence on the planet. A dead person cannot.

fundevogel's avatar

@eden2eve I think what this really comes down to is a difference of opinion regarding the purpose of the penal system. You seem to envision it as a system to punish criminal, state organized vengeance essentially, aligned with the idea of deterring crime through fear. This was the basis of the earliest criminal law. You see it all the way back to bronze age civilizations recorded in the Bible and the Code of Hammurabi. However, there is a second view that it is not helpful or productive to simply punish criminals. This is a much newer philosophy which says that it is the role of the penal system to prevent criminals from being able to hurt others and to rehabilitate criminals when possible.

You in particular seem to take the early philosophy to heart. You seem to take it so seriously in fact that you would ignore or over turn human rights to satisfy it. And some of your comments don’t really reflect reality either. For instance:

“And why do the rights of the abuser outweigh the rights of the abused?”

They don’t, they get the same rights legally as any citizen and relinquish some once they are convicted. So a convicted abuser has fewer rights than the victim despite your complaint.

“Some people choose to offend in order to have no responsibilities to support themselves. I know this to be true, as I’ve known such individuals.”

I’m pretty sure that the number of people that might get arrested for the creature comforts of prision is a fantastically insignificant percentage of inmates. The fact is, prison is a horrible horrible place. The man in that article was in protective custody at the time.

“What’s the answer, folks? Do we protect the guilty, or the innocent? How about chemical castration AND imprisonment? I hear that castrated males are more docile and less likely to be violent. And that some of their sexual urges are less pronounced. I suggest that they may have lost their right to sexuality by using it to damage others.”

The answer of course is we protect them both. But at this point you seem more concerned with vengeance than justice. Despite what you seem to think, it is possible to respect the humanity and rights of one without victimizing the other. We do take away some of the rights of convicts when we imprison them, but we do not take away their right to justice or their basic humanity. Castrating an imprisoned man won’t help the victims it only satisfies a lust for blood and no matter how understandable their rage it is not the role of the government to realize the victims’ dreams of bloody retribution.

Now that I think about it you do have a consistent philosophy about criminal justice. Its very Babylonian and was quite progressive 3,700 years ago.

fundevogel's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard & @gorillapaws

I’m with gorillapaws on this. It’s a hell of the thing to say rape is worse than death. And frankly the idea that a rape victim must suffer from the experience for the rest of their life reinforces their victim-hood. Yes they were victimized, but unlike the dead they don’t have to remain that way.

TexasDude's avatar

@fundevogel, and @gorillapaws, y’all have a point, but in the end, both are still fucked up and inexcusable.

josie's avatar

The State should not be granted the power to kill or mutilate. Put them in jail. Forever, if you see fit.

rooeytoo's avatar

I think society worries too much about the perpetrator and not enough about the victims.

Soft punishments for heinous crimes is an insult to the victims.

The punishment should suit the crime and if that makes me barbaric, so be it.

eden2eve's avatar

@fundevogel

I expected something similar to your response. And I find it interesting that you believe you know how the victim should react to their experience.

It’s a hell of the thing to say rape is worse than death. And frankly the idea that a rape victim must suffer from the experience for the rest of their life reinforces their victim-hood. Yes they were victimized, but unlike the dead they don’t have to remain that way.

How do you dare to assume what that experience is to them? You seem to feel that this experience is so insignificant that we are just pandering to the victim when we express the enormity of the damage that may have been done to them. In some few cases, you may be right that this is not such a terrible thing, but I believe that these cases are very much in the minority. What about small children? Can you be so insensitive as to believe that the same thing applies to them? It’s sad to me that your compassion is for the criminal, and falls far short of extending to the victim.

I think that there might be many people on this site, and I know many women personally, who would be very angry at your trivializing their experience. It Is a form of death, because something is taken away from them that can never be replaced. And believe me, many of them will never fully recover from the after-affects of this experience. You are precisely what is wrong with too many people who try to adjust the criminal justice system to their twisted point of view.

I think that my comments are an attempt to balance all the compassion I continue to observe for the criminal on this site. If you read my post carefully, you would see that my suggestion was chemical castration, not anything remotely resembling mutilation. THIS IS NOT “Babylonian” treatment for the offender. Get real!

And I do feel that the concern about “slavery” in regards to expecting the convicted offender to work to support their livelihood is absurd.

You claim that the victims have the same rights as society. This is patently false. The offender in the prison system is protected from others of their ilk, is provided medical care and all manner of guarantees for their safety. What kind of medical care is provided to the victims? What safety does the victim feel, and how sure is the victim, or the next potential victim, that the criminal who serves a “compassionate” sentence will not abuse them again. So many times I have seen or heard about a criminal leaving prison after finishing their term, then going right back to re-offend the victim, or some other easy target. This is why the victim of a crime is supposed to be warned when their offender is released. That is great in theory, but it doesn’t always happen. And even when it does, the victim suffers horrifically. Sometimes they have to move, perhaps leave everything they know and start a whole new life. I’ve been a party to the fear these victims feel, and have seen repeated victiizations. Where is the protection for the victim? These basic rights don’t apply to the innocent.

I believe that you, and people like you, are way over the top in protecting the guilty, and show little compassion and concern for the victim. You are what is wrong with the “liberal” perspective in relation to this cause. This is exactly why some people develop the point of view I have. And I think that is precisely why some people continue to offend. So this makes you guilty, in my perspective.

Response moderated (Spam)
gorillapaws's avatar

@eden2eve if you re-read @fundevogel‘s quote you will realize that he’s not saying what a victim HAS to feel. He’s simply saying that some victims are able to rise above the trauma that was inflicted upon them.

The punishment of prison is the removal of personal liberty. This means you can’t wear the clothes you want, go to the bar with your friends, watch your kid graduate from high school, eat a gourmet meal, drink a beer (that wasn’t brewed in a toilet), basically do anything that makes life fun and pleasurable.

It’s not a fun existence, despite the fact that conservatives love to exaggerate how terrific it is. The reality is that if you unlocked the gates, everyone would run out and nobody would run in.

kenmc's avatar

Without reading the above responses

Castration is cruel and unusual punishment. Therefore against the supreme law of my home country. This is the same reason I agree with the death penalty. And it’s also the same reason I’m against prison sentences lasting long than 25 years. IMO, after 25 years, there should be a serious evaluation as to whether the person has truly been rehabilitated. If they have, then set them free.

fundevogel's avatar

@eden2eve – I’m not sure why I bothered putting this together since I never took most of the positions you’re crucifying calmly and judiciously engaging me about.

“You seem to feel that this experience is so insignificant that we are just pandering to the victim when we express the enormity of the damage that may have been done to them.”

and

“I know many women personally, who would be very angry at your trivializing their experience. It Is a form of death, because something is taken away from them that can never be replaced. And believe me, many of them will never fully recover from the after-affects of this experience. You are precisely what is wrong with too many people who try to adjust the criminal justice system to their twisted point of view.”

Death doesn’t take something away, it takes everything away. So no, rape does not equal death. Anyways I didn’t trivialize rape, I said women can be strong and ultimately don’t need to let it define them. Does rape really need to be an insurmountable horror in order for me to sympathize with victims? Doesn’t making it the insurmountable evil you want it to be keep women victims their whole lives? Wait, how is hoping a woman can overcome the pain and scars of rape a “twisted point of view” and what does it have to do with the justice system?

”...you may be right that this [rape] is not such a terrible thing, but I believe that these cases are very much in the minority.”

I said it isn’t as bad as being murdered. That’s a far cry from “not such a terrible thing”. But apparently you think it isn’t always so terrible.

“It’s sad to me that your compassion is for the criminal, and falls far short of extending to the victim.”

My compassion is for humanity and that includes prisoners’ balls. Separating him from them (chemically or other wise) does not show compassion to victims, it only satisfies public anger and that is not the role of law or justice. It is the antithesis of it.

“If you read my post carefully, you would see that my suggestion was chemical castration, not anything remotely resembling mutilation. THIS IS NOT “Babylonian” treatment for the offender. Get real!”

And if you read my post you would see the reference to Babylon was to the fact that Babylonian justice focused on punishment rather than rehabilitation or simple protection of the population. I said this because castrating a prisoner, even chemically, doesn’t increase the welfare of the population or rehabilitate the inmate, it is strictly retribution. I explained that in my first paragraph about philosophies of penal systems, the Code of Hammurabi is Babylonian though I guess that isn’t common knowledge.

“And I do feel that the concern about “slavery” in regards to expecting the convicted offender to work to support their livelihood is absurd.”

Look I get that you want bitch about prisoners not being slaves. You did it in your first post, but I haven’t said anything about prisoners being slaves. I’m trying to take this seriously but its hard when you’re arguing with me about things I haven’t said. Wait a minute, that sounds familiar. Probably because I never expressed any of the positions you’ve attacked me for having so far. Well then, moving on.

“You claim that the victims have the same rights as society. This is patently false. The offender in the prison system is protected from others of their ilk, is provided medical care and all manner of guarantees for their safety. What kind of medical care is provided to the victims?”

If you had read the article I posted in my original response to you would know that prisoners aren’t effectively protected from eachother. The article was about a prisoner who had been moved into protective custody. Once there he was raped by a fellow prisoner with AIDs. He is now AIDs positive. Surely this isn’t the sort of protection prisoners recieve that you would see extended to the rest of us?

You have a good point about medical care though. I’m actually for nationalized healthcare. I’m guessing you are too since you recognize that regular citizens should have the same rights to healthcare as inmates. It’s nice to find some common ground.

“You claim that the victims have the same rights as society. This is patently false….What safety does the victim feel, and how sure is the victim, or the next potential victim, that the criminal who serves a “compassionate” sentence will not abuse them again. So many times I have seen or heard about a criminal leaving prison after finishing their term, then going right back to re-offend the victim, or some other easy target.”

There is a MAJOR difference between a person’s rights and their safety. The government garantees rights, it does what it can to provide safety. It would be nice if they could garantee you that you would never get raped, but the fact is to garantee such a thing the government would need the power to dicate every citizens’ actions. That of course tramples on all sorts of personal freedoms our government is sworn to protect. Remember, convicted sex offenders aren’t the only sexual predators. If you really want a rape-free world everyone of us would need to be monitored constantly by the government, in our homes and every where else.

“I believe that you, and people like you, are way over the top in protecting the guilty, and show little compassion and concern for the victim. You are what is wrong with the “liberal” perspective in relation to this cause. This is exactly why some people develop the point of view I have. And I think that is precisely why some people continue to offend. So this makes you guilty, in my perspective.”

Well, I think that you have a very poor understanding of human rights, justice and ethics. But I don’t think that’s a crime. It think the idea that any idea could be a criminal offense is an abomination as it incriminates free thought and free speech.

By the way, if I’m guilty I’d like to know what I’m being charged with.

eden2eve's avatar

@gorillapaws

Removal of personal liberty, not having a chance to choose their clothing, go to a bar with friends, watch your kid graduate, eat a gourmet meal, those are comparable to losing your life or having grave injury done to your body? Heck, many of us have suffered most of those losses just by enduring the effects of the downturn in the economy.

I am sure that you’re right about the majority of people choosing to not be incarcerated, but it IS a fact that certain people offend purely to avoid the responsibility of taking care of themselves. My point was that it can be, and is, a motivation for a certain (probably small) percentage of the population.

I never exaggerated how terrific it is, but I sure would say that it’s preferable to the lives, or non lives, that some of their victims may experience due to their choices. And the loss of those above mentioned things may not be particularly persuasive in convincing people not to make the same choices again next time. I think that the goal is to prevent re-offending, isn’t that something we can all agree upon? It just seems to be that we disagree upon the most effective methodology to accomplish that objective. It seems that many of the methods heretofore used have not been very effective.

eden2eve's avatar

@fundevogel

Chemical castration is reversible. Rape, or rape followed by murder, is not. Please help me to understand how that can be even close in consequence to what the rapist took from their victim.

IMHO, it’s rather short sighted of you to assume that my understanding of ethics, human rights or justice is inferior to yours because I don’t agree with your beliefs regarding criminal justice. I feel that the beliefs you have espoused come close to barbarism. I don’t see anything enlightened about enabling violent or twisted persons to continue to abuse.

I feel that human rights should most measurably be given to those who have lost so much of their rights due to the actions of others. I’d love to see even a fair measure of compassion exercised towards those persons, but that has not been my experience.

gorillapaws's avatar

@eden2eve As I stated earlier, studies have shown that harsh punishments aren’t a deterrent for the types of crimes you’re concerned about. They can work well for deterring more rational crimes, i.e.“should I plan to rob this bank? how much money will I likely get? How long will I have to spend in jail if I get caught? Is it REALLY worth the risk?”

In the case of people with psychological compulsions, sociopaths, or those who are in the “heat-of-the-moment,” (AKA crimes of passion) then they don’t work well because people aren’t making calculated decisions, considering the consequences of their actions, or otherwise behaving as a rational being. In these situations, punishment serves no deterrent effect, but is merely trying to satisfy some arbitrary sense of bloodlust.

As far as your comment about incarceration being about as bad as being unemployed, I can only hope you were being facetious.

eden2eve's avatar

@gorillapaws

The deterrent is in the fact that the criminal can not re-offend if they are not free to do so. I am not interested in blood-lust. I want the criminal to be unable to continue doing what they did.

Of course the comment was facetious, but your criteria appeared facetious to me. I could not find it in my heart to pity people for the restrictions you enumerated. You can’t see the irony in that? A person kills, rapes or commits egregious harm to another and their consequence is that they can’t shop for clothes that are stylish and fetching? Can’t eat gourmet food? Can’t drink beer at the bar with their buddies? That really does trivialize the experiences of the victims, in my estimation.

gorillapaws's avatar

@eden2eve “The deterrent is in the fact that the criminal can not re-offend if they are not free to do so.” you’re mixing up definitions. The concept you’re talking about here is preventing recidivism. Deterrence is the idea that people will never commit a crime in the first place, because they are “deterred” by the severe penalties for the crime. I think we mostly are in agreement here, but the definitional differences are creating some confusion.

“A person kills, rapes or commits egregious harm to another and their consequence is that they can’t shop for clothes that are stylish and fetching?” That wasn’t my point, it was that you’re forced to wear a bright orange jumpsuit for the rest of your life, and that the totality of all of those millions of little things that bring us joy in this life are gone. If taken in the aggregate, it is a very severe punishment—you are essentially stripped of much of what it means to be a human. I’ve never met a person who’s been locked up that says they ever want to go back.

fundevogel's avatar

@eden2eve

Why didn’t you answer any of my responses to you? There isn’t much point in arguing with me if you ignore what I say. And you can’t convert me to your perspective if you won’t directly rebut my objections to it. In fact if you don’t directly address my arguments I have to assume that you can’t. Here I’ll reprint a poignant bit of my previous post that you might want to respond to:

you said ”...you may be right that this [rape] is not such a terrible thing, but I believe that these cases are very much in the minority.”

I responded “I said it isn’t as bad as being murdered. That’s a far cry from “not such a terrible thing”. But apparently you think it isn’t always so terrible.”

Ignoring the points I’ve raised against you doesn’t make them go away. Addressing them does. Allow me to address your last post to me.

“Chemical castration is reversible. Rape, or rape followed by murder, is not. Please help me to understand how that can be even close in consequence to what the rapist took from their victim.”

You obviously missed the point, I never argued chemical castration was wrong because it was worse than rape. The the idea that it is acceptable because it isn’t as bad as rape demonstrates that you’re taking your cues on what is and isn’t permissible from the criminal. If he was a serial torturer would rape be ok because it isn’t as bad as serial torture?

Yes, chemical castration is a far cry from rape. But we aren’t using the criminal behavior of a rapist as a model for what sort of unnecessary suffering should be incorporated into their sentence. We can’t just do anything to criminals so long it isn’t as bad or is just as bad as what they did to their victim. It isn’t ok to mete out an unnecessary punishment on him just because what he did was so much worse. That isn’t what the justice system is for. If your position was that paroled sex offenders be chemically castrated there would at least be a functional purpose to it (though I don’t think it would work very well). My objection is chemically castrating a man in prison doesn’t serve to protect the community or to reform the inmate, it serves only to satisfy the anger of the public, and that is not the function of justice.

This is why I questioned your knowledge of justice.

“I feel that human rights should most measurably be given to those who have lost so much of their rights due to the actions of others. I’d love to see even a fair measure of compassion exercised towards those persons, but that has not been my experience.”

FAIL. If you knew what human rights were you would know that you’re arguing against them.

human rights – rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled.”[1] Proponents of the concept usually assert that everyone is endowed with certain entitlements merely by reason of being human.[2]

That’s why I questioned your ethics and grasp of human rights.

You’re going to have to tell me what rights you think victims have lost and what rights they should have that they don’t. Because I can’t think of single one. It seems like you think they are entitled to the right to safety. But I already explained was not a right since it can not be guaranteed without trampling on personal freedom. You also seem to think they should have the right to have the government take vengeance for them. That isn’t possible since you sacrifice justice once vengeance an entitlement.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I am against both capital punishment and chemical castration. Where does that leave me, in terms of your question?

stratman37's avatar

Just put the bastards in prison and let nature take it’s course. That’s how Jeffery Dahmer got HIS just desserts!

fundevogel's avatar

@stratman37 You forget that prison violence is not typically allocated according to who might deserve it most. It’s a pecking order, it’s the weak that suffer the most in prison, not the worst. It’s a toss up if the rapist will be the victim or the victimizer in prison.

Inmates aren’t good instruments of punishment. They have their own concerns and they aren’t often aligned with the justice system.

stratman37's avatar

It’s not much of a toss up at all. Take a poll and see how the vast majority of inmates feel about child molesters.

I know “there’s no honor among thieves”, but even the most hardcore murderer thinks that child molesters are especially bad.

fundevogel's avatar

@stratman37 So, rape is evil…except when its done to people you think deserve it? And the people who deserve it are rapists? Do you see the problem with this? Your sense of justice would justify a never-ending chain of rape. A rapist deserves to be raped for being a rapist. But so does the man who rapes him, so he should be raped too, and on and on. If you actually though rape was an inexcusable crime you wouldn’t propose it was right for anyone to get raped in prison because that’s just more rape.

We’re not in the sandbox, I can’t just throw sand in your eye because you did it first.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

I don’t support the castration of rapists and pedophiles at all. First, as some have said, “rape” is not always rape, though it may seem so. People can be wrongly convicted in cases where the woman has given her consent to have sex with a man, but later regrets it and accuses the man of rape. Second, removing a rapist’s or pedophile’s testicles does not necessarily remove his propensity to offend again, as the main offending organ is the brain. Studies have shown that even castrated rapists and pedophiles would re-offend, if given the chance. Third, what about women who sexually assault young boys? There have been cases. How do we “castrate” them?? No, castration as punishment is not “air-tight” enough to warrant its use. Besides, I think it is unduly cruel and reprehensible.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther