My way of looking at criminal punishments

I consider the following to be true:

a) In some sense, people experience things. People suffer. Punishment is unpleasant.

b) There is no such thing as free will

c) There is however something rather akin to free will whereby the brain in its whole can make decisions and decide to do something, or not do something, and some of said decision has to be based on potential punishments.

So what do I think this means? To me it means quite simply that punishment to make the criminal suffer is wrong. I do not have a problem in principle with punishment to act as a deterrant, either specific or general, but it’s only part of things.

In an idea world, sentences would either be about removing someone from society, or “re programming” them.

There would never be any suffering and convicts should have a pleasant time.

Ya, OK.

I’ll pass that on to the family members of murder victims.

If convicts all had a “pleasant time” when incarcerated, then how would such sentences serve as “deterrents” in the first place? The potential criminal fears no possible “unpleasantness” if caught and imprisoned, so will not be deterred from committed the crime.

A family member of a murder victim will have special expertise in the suffering of family members of murder victims.

They will not necessarily have any particularly helpful input in any other aspect.

Thus speaks the person who is facing possible prison for drug charges. No free will? Who made you take/distribute (or whatever) those drugs, when you knew it was against the law? You’re just some poor slob who couldn’t get past his upbringing or his DNA?

I don’t care if prisoners are happy. It would be nice if they could learn something while they’re incarcerated, but they seem to have the same mentality as a three year old in time-out.

Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.


You misunderstand. I feel as though I have free will. Doesn’t mean I have it. Or you have it. Also either both of us or neither of us have free will, I can’t imagine that it’s something down to the individual. But you’d better come up with a good reason for having free will cause I can’t thik of any.

Convicts should suffer and have an unpleasant time. It’s a punishment for wrong doing, not summer camp.