SE23.com - The Official Forum for Forest Hill & Honor Oak, London SE23
Online since 2002  -  10,000+ members

Home | SE23 Topics | Shops & Services | Wider Topics | Offered/Wanted/Lost/Found | Advertising | Contact
Geddes Hairdressing & Barbering Studio One Armstrong & Co Solicitors


Post Reply  Post Topic 
Pages (2): « First [1] 2 Next > Last »
Should we chop hands off?
Author Message
Ooperlooper


Posts: 104
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #1
03-12-2007 01:59 AM

We've all heard that in some countries, if you get caught stealing you'll have a hand cut off as a punishment. I also remember hearing that in some culture or cultures in the past, a similar punishment would be branding the name of the crime on a visible part of the criminal's body.

I've never come across anyone who thinks these are a good idea, and indeed I think losing a hand it might be a bit harsh for nicking a few sweets or a loaf of bread, but recently I've been wondering whether such a punishment is indeed such a bad thing for certain crimes.

It seems to me that there would be a number of advantages to such a punishment:
- Eases overcrowding in prisons (which is where criminals who are a real danger to society, such as murderers, ought to be kept)
- Avoids the guilty person being put in prison where he/she will associate with other criminals
- Much cheaper for the tax payer than putting them in prison
- Person can continue to work, in fact continuing to pay tax rather than costing it
- Person is not taken away from their family, so the family does not suffer for the individual's crime
- Visibility of the amputation, branding, etc may act as a good deterrent for other people

And I don't see how such a physical punishment is any more barbaric than the psychological punishment of jail.

I'm interested to know other people's thoughts on this.

Find all posts by this user Reply
Johnc


Posts: 138
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #2
03-12-2007 08:27 AM

You forgot the added advantage of having all those appendages available for transpalnt surgery - a win win situation?

Find all posts by this user Reply
roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #3
03-12-2007 09:40 AM

Ooperlooper,

The answer is no. We should not chop hands off. For a series of reasons which should be obvious to even the most simplest of minds.

Find all posts by this user Reply
Ooperlooper


Posts: 104
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #4
03-12-2007 10:27 AM

But what exactly are those reasons?

Aren't there equally compelling reasons for not putting someone through the psychological punishment of being kept in a prison cell for several years?

Either is a form of discomfort and loss of freedom.

Imagine you are a convicted criminal and the judge gives you a choice of punishment between a hand chopped off and 2 years in jail. Which would you choose? How about if it were 5 years? 10 years. Or how about a branding? Would you trade having your hand branded to avoid a year in jail. 2 years in jail? 5 years?

Assuming that there is a point at which most people would opt for the physical punishment, that proves that psychological punishments can be harsher than physical ones, and if there are significant side benefits to physical ones, what's to stop us investigating the idea of using them?

Of course punishment is not the only purpose of jail. The other purposes are: a) prevent the criminal from repeating their crime for the duration that they are in prison, and b) rehabilitate them.

Obviously locking someone up is a pretty good way to prevent them from repeating their crime in the short term. I'm not sure how well prison works as a form of rehabilitation, though. I'm no expert on the topic, but from what see and read in the media I'm pretty sure it's far from 100% effective and indeed you hear a lot of reports saying that time spend inside prison can make a person more likely to reoffend. I wonder how physical punishments would compare in terms of rehabilitation effectiveness? Perhaps if a thief lost a finger for each conviction, they'd start to get the message pretty quickly?

Cutting of fingers, or sections of them, is in fact a standard punishment meted out by the Japanese mafia to its henchmen. It's a technique they've been using for many years, and presumably they would have stopped bothering if it didn't work.

Find all posts by this user Reply
millesens


Posts: 65
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #5
03-12-2007 12:44 PM

Since the return of Baggy Dave and his much missed humorous contributions and the arrival of a new wave of jokers on this forum I thought your first post was a joke Ooperlooper. Even if one is tempted to pragmatically follow your arguments they simply are brutal. Chop a hand off? What about amputate a foot, extract one?s eye, chop one?s ear, extract one?s tongue and teeth (I am sure all kind Mafia?s bosses would reassure you this has been successfully used for a long time)? You know, the good old system, eye for eye?????.

Find all posts by this user Reply
Sherwood


Posts: 1,351
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #6
03-12-2007 01:10 PM

With or without anaesthetic?

Find all posts by this user Reply
roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #7
03-12-2007 07:18 PM

I believe that there are specialist websites that discuss this sort of thing with more enthusiasm than I would personally want to experience.

Find all posts by this user Reply
nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #8
03-12-2007 07:49 PM

There's a much easier way of preventing crime: a) allow certain doctors to legally prescribe herion and b) invest huge amounts of money in literacy programmes to identify and treat dyslexia. Seeing as the *vast* majority of prisoners are either heroin addicts and/or suffer from dyslexia, I'd suggest it would be more cost-effective than cutting a hand or two off.

Anyway, we'd have to pay disability benefit to the amputees! Smile

Find all posts by this user Reply
nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #9
03-12-2007 07:51 PM

Re: amputation...

the falsely accuse rapist gets a particularly raw dealCursing

Find all posts by this user Reply
baggydave


Posts: 384
Joined: May 2004
Post: #10
03-12-2007 09:27 PM

Thank you millisens, is this a backhanded compliment?

Even BD couldn't imagine a thread like this. I could think of some similar ones now but I assume they would be deleted, so I wont start here.

BD - knowing when enough is enough

Find all posts by this user Reply
baggydave


Posts: 384
Joined: May 2004
Post: #11
03-12-2007 09:46 PM

So anyway, the knight returns from the crusades...

and he thanks his one and only faithful servant.

And asks him what he wants as a reward

"umeurearru"

BD, cutting to the chase

Find all posts by this user Reply
Perryman


Posts: 809
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #12
04-12-2007 02:53 PM

Yeah and these witches flying around all the time stealing children and putting curses on folk.
Community service - it's a joke.
Burn em.

Burn em all.

Find all posts by this user Reply
Ooperlooper


Posts: 104
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #13
07-12-2007 01:12 AM

Of course, a very good argument against chopping bits off is that there are folk out there who have been born without or have lost bits for other reasons, and it would be very unfair on them for people to think they might be criminals.

Sorry, I think I was trying so hard to 'think outside the box' that I completely forgot what was in the box.

But maybe something like lashes might work (although it'd only be a bit of transient pain rather than a permanent reminder)?

The point I was really interested in is why people don't think that psychological punishments can be harsher than physical ones.

Perhaps a better example to take would be methods of disciplining kids.

I understand that there may be some statistical evidence that children who are physically punished may be more likely to be use violence on others when they grow up.

Okay, but has anyone looked into whether kids who are psycho-socially punished may be more likely to use psycho-social techniques on others when they grow up.

The whole arguement that we shouldn't smack kids rests on the premise that psycho-social techniques are in some way better than physical ones.

But as I argued in and earlier message, there is probably always a point at which most people would opt for a physical punishment of magnitude x rather than the psycho-social one of magnitude y.

When I was a kid I got the occasional smacking and I ask got the occasional 'time out on the naughty step' sort of psycho-social disciplining. I can honestly say that I hated both.

I really don't see the logic behind some people's assertions that physical disciplining is utterly wrong and psycho-social disciplining is right.

Can someone explain this too me? I am puzzled.

Find all posts by this user Reply
Sandy67


Posts: 48
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #14
07-12-2007 03:44 PM

how about more police on the beat instead of in the station filling in forms Rolleyes

Find all posts by this user Reply
nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #15
07-12-2007 03:48 PM

There are those that argue, eg Michel Foucaul, Nikolas Rose, et all, that it's indicative of a societal shift away from non-democratic rule and arbitary punishment towards democracy and the installation of sytems (specifically the psy-disciplines) which instead of attempting to change behaviour through the use of physical force, instead attempt to discipline the subject into self-regulating his/her own behaviour so that the those in power can do "less of the rowing, and more of the steering".

Or something. Another beer, anyone?

Find all posts by this user Reply
Sherwood


Posts: 1,351
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #16
08-12-2007 01:59 PM

Some forms of punishment are more of a deterrent.

For example, I have heard the theory that a day in the stocks would deter most drunk drvers!

Find all posts by this user Reply
nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #17
08-12-2007 02:17 PM

It's not really a "theory", that, is it?

Find all posts by this user Reply
nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #18
08-12-2007 02:18 PM

There used to be a pair of stocks in Dulwich Village. Anyone know if they're still there?

Find all posts by this user Reply
Sherwood


Posts: 1,351
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #19
09-12-2007 12:57 PM

Where do you good citizens of Upper Dulwich Bottom (UDB) intend to locate the stocks? On the village green?

I assume they will be reserved for the riff-raff from West Catford (WC) who dare to trespass in your territory.

Find all posts by this user Reply
roz


Posts: 1,790
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #20
09-12-2007 06:40 PM

The stocks are just across the road from the shares....


Roz, always one to butt in with a meaningless wisecrack

Find all posts by this user Reply
Pages (2): « First [1] 2 Next > Last »

Friends of Blythe Hill Fields