crime and punishment

Posted on December 27, 2006. Filed under: justice |

One tenet of justice is that the punishment should be proportional to the crime.  A murderer can be hanged, but a pickpocket cannot.  I have reason to disagree.

Punishment is a deterrent.  If a pickpocket has to spend a night in jail, or two weeks, that is not a strong enough deterrent.

But I can see we are going to have a tough time answering tough questions.  So let me sum it up for ya.

What is a crime?  Or what should constitute a crime?  So far, there have been many reasons to call something a crime.  For example, smuggling is a crime, dealing drugs is a crime… whereas they are actually not.  These acts are classified as crimes because someone thought so.  As far as I can say, if you are doing what you will, you are doing no crime.  However, if part of your “doing what you will” involves stopping others from doin g what they will, that is a crime.

Wonderful.  We are already coming up with holes in that one.  What if the other person wants to kick me… if I stop him, i am a criminal?  Lets keep this real.

First off, there is the tenet of freedom.  Absolute freedom.  Nothing you can do can every be a crime.  If you say, what about murder?  I ask you back: what about murder?  or better still: what is murder?  Taking somebodys life?  Do you think that murder, but the definition of taking someones life should be a crime?  Well, I would agree only if it is an absolute crime.  An absolute crime is if it applies to everyone… every single one.  There is no “license to kill”… a soldier will also be guilty of this crime.  No one can kill.

So if someone is coming to kill me, I can’t kill him first?  Well… you should… if you want to stay alive!  So, even though you murder, you are not committing a crime.  Self defence is usually the excuse for having killed someone.  And a soldier is doing self-defence on behalf of us.  So… whether it is in self defense or not, taking someones life, is a crime… or not?  If you want to make it an absolute crime, I am game… but I am sure that there are exceptions to when murder is not a crime… or should not be a crime.


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