Punishments that fit their crimes

Say you just recently became the next Hammurabi and you had the power to issue punishments for crimes. What punishments would you issue for each crime?

  1. embezzlers - hard labor to pay off what they owe; if the amount is too great, maybe indentured servitude with # years proportional to the amount of money stolen.

  2. arsonists - burn them, starting with the bottom of their feet, prolonging the punishment for a time proportional to the amount of property damage and lives lost.

  3. murderers - death, similar to the way they killed their victim/s.

people who molest children- they should be raped by someone they would not want to have sex with (i.e. no getting Brittany Spears to adminsister the punishment to a horny 20 year old)

In my regime, there would be no prisons. Incarceration would serve only to restrain the offender until his trial, or until his punishment is prepared.

  1. Murderers, rapists, child molesters, people who cause serious bodily harm to others through either malice or sheer foolishness: death.
a)   Not a fancy, personalized death... just a plain old hanging, one size fits all.

b)  The hanging to occur in a public place:  town square, Wal-Mart parking lot, etc.   NOT televised -- television cheapens anything it shows, and makes it too familiar and comfortable.

c)   The body to be left hanging in full public view until the spot is needed for another hanging, or decomposition presents a health hazard, or the carrion-eaters render it unrecognizable.   The offender's crime to be indicated by a sign placed nearby for all to see.
  1. Crimes of money or property (theft, embezzling, vandalism, arson, etc): forced repayment or indentured servitude as suggested by kasuo.

    a) The atttempt to evade this punishment to be punishable by death.

  2. Crimes of moderate bodily harm (battery, etc.): similar punishment as crimes of money or property, the financial damage to be considered as the total of medical expenses, lost work, and other monetary damage directly resulting from the aforementioned harm.

  a)   In cases where claims of "pain and suffering" or "psychological trauma" are made, the victim to be permitted to beat the offender into unconsciousness, with assistance as needed.   No extra monetary reparations to be awarded.

  b)   The attempt to evade this punishment to be punishable by death.
  1. Crimes committed by minors or others not held responsible for their actions: public humiliation by publicity and flogging, to be inflicted on either the offender or the offender’s legal guardian, as decided by the judge.

    a) critera for the judge’s decision to include, but not be limited to, the degree of control the guardian is determined to have over the minor. Negligent parents get flogged, uncontrollable children get flogged.

    b) manner and severity of flogging to be controlled so as to inflict pain and humiliation, but as not to prevent the floggee from resuming normal work/school/guardianship activities more or less immediately.

    c) The attempt to evade this punishment to be punishable by death.

  2. The killing or battery, by a common citizen in defense of self, others, or property, of an individual attempting to commit a crime:

    a) No punishment unless trial indicates that the killing or battery was NOT actually performed in response to an offense or attempted offense.

    b) If punishment is determined to be warranted, sentence to be death.

  3. Attempting to overthrow, plotting to overthrow, or exhorting others to overthrow the glorious regime of Vlad Dracul: death by torture.

 a)   The torture to be the severing of all accessible sensory and motor nerves (except those needed for screaming), and the stimulation of the brain's pain center by direct electical current.   This torture to be continued until the offender is dead.

 b)   This torture to be performed in a public place, as with the standard sentence of death.

All hail Vlad Dracul! Great lawgiver! Wise leader! Exceptional lover!

Arson (property damage only) and vandalism - the time served is to be spent building houses with Habitats for Humanity.

I’d also like to see exile brought back as a punishment, particularly for the crime of stupidity. “I’m sorry sir, but you’re just too damn thick to live here. Pack your bags.”

A more humane Mikado never
Did in Japan exist,
To nobody second,
I’m certainly reckoned
A true philanthropist.
It is my very humane endeavour
To make, to some extent,
Each evil liver
A running river
Of harmless merriment.

My object all sublime, I shall achieve in time.
My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time–
To let the punishment fit the crime–
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!

All prosy dull society sinners,
Who chatter and bleat and bore,
Are sent to hear sermons
From mystical Germans
Who preach from ten till four.
The amateur tenor, whose vocal villainies
All desire to shirk,
Shall, during off-hours,
Exhibit his powers
To Madame Tussaud’s waxwork.

The lady who dyes a chemical yellow
Or stains her grey hair puce,
Or pinches her figure,
Is painted with vigour
With permanent walnut juice.
The idiot who, in railway carriages,
Scribbles on window-panes,
We only suffer
To ride on a buffer
In Parliamentary trains.

My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time–
To let the punishment fit the crime–
The punishment fit the crime;
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!

CHORUS: His object all sublime He shall achieve in time-- To let the punishment fit the crime-- The punishment fit the crime; And make each prisoner pent Unwillingly represent A source of innocent merriment! Of innocent merriment!

The advertising quack who wearies
With tales of countless cures,
His teeth, I’ve enacted,
Shall all be extracted
By terrified amateurs.
The music-hall singer attends a series
Of masses and fugues and “ops”
By Bach, interwoven
With Spohr and Beethoven,
At classical Monday Pops.

The billiard sharp who any one catches,
His doom’s extremely hard–
He’s made to dwell–
In a dungeon cell
On a spot that’s always barred.
And there he plays extravagant matches
In fitless finger-stalls
On a cloth untrue
With a twisted cue
And elliptical billiard balls!

My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time–
To let the punishment fit the crime–
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!

CHORUS: His object all sublime He shall achieve in time-- To let the punishment fit the crime-- The punishment fit the crime; And make each prisoner pent Unwillingly represent A source of innocent merriment! Of innocent merriment!
-William S. Gilbert, The Mikado

OtakuLoki, you forgot to include the great, grand sadistic howl of delight that traditionally concludes each verse. I forget the exact penalty for this offence, but it’s something lingering, with boiling oil. Or is it molten lead?

Most of Vlad’s ideas.

There would be a new punishment for book-burning or censorship advocates…public blinding. Followed by the heretic’s spike.

Animal abusers would be used for slave labor, or skinned alive. Whatever’s more convenient.

Sexual assault would be punished by death…preceded by public castration (via cleaver). Death would be by the most gruesome method practical at the time, but the default would be impalement, followed by immolation.

Healthy murderers, sex offenders, etc. might occasionally be spared public execution…so that their organs and tissues might be harvested to save the lives of others. There would be just enough anesthesia to keep them from trashing. They might be used for medical experiments or vivisection, as well. (Waste not, want not.)

There would be prisons…deep in the tropics. Think “devil’s island ‘tiger cages,’” except without the concern for human life.

So, pretty much anyone who pissed me off would loose their status as a human being.

Oh, come on. Who’d want to be boring old Hammurabi when you could be someone like Themis, the goddess of justice.

You’d have god(dess)-like powers and you’d be able to tell the difference between the guilty and the innocent, plus you get a cushy address and open bar until 3am.

For people that shake babies to death or near death…

Tie them to a pecan tree at harvest time. For those of you that don’t know, pecans are harvested by a machine that violently shakes the tree until the nuts fall off. It would be interesting to see if the same thing would happen to a human.

I don’t know if I can condone the bloodthirsty punishments of my predecessors, but my contribution is that white collar criminals who embezzle money be sentenced as teachers in inner city schools, teaching business, math, accounting courses. Their sentence length to be tied to their student’s SAT scores, increased percent of students qualified to go to college, etc.

Come to think of it, I might take up George Carlin’s suggestion and institute the death penalty for some white collar criminals…specifically, the ones who launder money and the like for organized crime, drug cartels, etc.

Carlin also suggested doing away with lethal injection…the rationale being that we’re getting our hands “bloody” anyway, so we shouldn’t try and pussy-foot around it. He suggested bringing back public crucifixions, in major sports arenas.

Now that’d deter another “Enron,” I tells ya!

Carlin also suggested an interesting idea of putting all criminals inside huge fences with weapons and letting it all play out. Good idea. I will agree with the idea of punishing murders by murder in the same manner and castration for sex offenders. BUT only in cases of certainty. Way beyond a shadow of a doubt. Carlos Mencia also had a whole routine based on this. Cut the hands of drive by murderers.

It says in the latest issue of “Rolling Stone” that a Florida man who was charged with a noise violation for playing 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” too loudly on his car stereo was sentenced to listen to Verdi’s opera La Traviata in its entirety.

Hey, a better idea…let’s restart gladiatorial games. We can use conventional sports arenas, with a little modification. It’d be, what, $50 a ticket and 20,000 seats per arena? That’s a million bucks, right there. And not even COUNTING what you’d make from TV rights, luxury boxes, concession stands, parking, etc. The proceeds could be donated to the families of the victims of the people who’re being executed.

That reminds me…you know those horror stories you hear about those “ranches” where people pay to shoot tigers that are chained in cages? Cruel crap like that?

Well, to take another cue from the ancient Romans, I can think of a good “just desserts” punishment for such animal abusers. Two guesses on what that’d be.

I’d also reintroduce the stocks and pillory for various “minor” crimes.

Oh, and just to help balance any “streamlining” modifications to the justice system (Repealing “Miranda,” limiting death penalty appeals, leniant stances on evidence gathering, etc.) I’d also increase the penalties for planting or tampering with evidence, and for police or judicial corruption. The new punishments would be…severe. And strictly enforced.

Violence begets pain begets numbness begets violence…

Forcing down a dose of the same medicine is usually redundant. As tempting as “any eye for an eye” justice may be, it can never even out anything, for anyone. At most it validates the warped coinage of the original offense. Dishing out more of the same, even in the name of society, is just more of the same.

I’m rather doubt institutional rehabilition works–too wildly individual, not to mention too little, too late–but possibly redemption does. No matter what, separate predators away. Predators don’t have the capacity, or wish, to see to see other people as just like them. Paybacks-in-kind just provide a warped validation of the original offense. “What you did was wrong, wrong, wrong, so 'society” is gonna do it right back to you in spades! And let it be a lesson!"

I do believe that some people are so damaged or just plain evil that nothing can break through their sick self absorption. But I also believe that the best hope, and harshest punishment, is the potential for predators to face what they’ve done. If it works, that’s very fine. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t validate the sick, predatory logic that was the problem in the first place.

Say I have a vicious, feral animal that I have to deal with. It doesn’t know sympathy, or compassion, or pity. It is a sociopath, it only cares about itself. How would you tame, or at least control, the beast, if it doesn’t care about the effects of it’s actions?

You make it care about itself. If it only cares about it’s own welfare, make it care about it’s own welfare. You make it fear what you can do to it. If reason won’t work, use a whip.

It worked for Vlad the Impaler…during his reign, a golden chalice was placed by a fountain in the heart of his capital city, to be used by travelers wanting to drink. It was never stolen during his reign. His system didn’t breed numbness, it bred fear. And fear can bring obedience.

Or, to take a “atheistic-metaphysical” approach…you yourself said that some people are too far gone to be rehabilitated because of their damage, or evil. But you seem to say that the best hope for “justice” is just to hope that they somehow fix themselves. This is where we must disagree…Justice cannot come into being on it’s own. It must be made to happen. If “Karma” is to be realligned, it must be done manually. Violence itself is amoral…why it is done, against whom determines wether it is “evil” or not. And violence used to enforce Justice, and ensure the safety of the innocent is not evil, in my opinion.

This is not to say that I believe that only harsh, draconian measures can solve a society’s ills. Progressive social programs have their own place, even a vital place in society. But I don’t believe it’s an “either/or” competition with regards to punishment.

Please tell me you were fully aware of the irony of this proposal when you wrote it…

In the immortal words of the Bard; “Well du-uh!” That’s why I included the Heretic’s Fork, too. If I wasn’t trying for some sort of irony, I’d have just made it “death by beetles” or something.

Hey, “Death by Beetles”…there’s a thought…

Rancoth, to clarify Carlin’s idea. He said that we should put it on pay per view. There’s where you can make some cash.

For rapists and murderers of (already-born) children:

There is an insect known as the bot fly. It lays its eggs in living animals, which hatch and grow to be grubs (about an inch long). After they are done maturing in the host’s body, they pop out and drop to the ground. The wounds caused by bot flies are usually purulent and don’t heal quickly.

The condemned would be tied to a cross, and kept from starving by intravenous feeding. About a thousand pregnant bot flies would be released into the room and allowed to do their thing into the condemned’s body. After the flies have laid their eggs, the executioners would merely have to change the IV bags every so often until the grubs are ready to leave the host body.

If you survived that, you probably wish you hadn’t.