Life Without Parole

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Solaris, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. Solaris

    Solaris Party Escort Bot

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    I've been reading and thinking a lot about the American prison system recently. All its brutalities, huge sentences and semi-institutionalised rape make for disturbing reading.

    However, what really disturbs me, even more than the death penalty is the sentence of 'Life Without Parole'.

    This is a sentence with no chance of release, ever. No matter how remorseful and changed the criminal has become, no matter how the victims or society as a whole feel. It seems to me to be a disregard for any chance for forgiveness.

    The idea of a remorseful man, serving away his life in prison really upsets me. I read this fantastic article today by a man in that predicament. Amazing writing style too.

    http://www.utne.com/Great-Writing/Sentenced-to-Life-growing-old-prison.aspx

    Please read that and discuss how you feel about 'life without parole' as a sentence or the US prison system in general.
     
  2. Shakermaker

    Shakermaker Party Escort Bot

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    The criminal justice system in general (in and outside of the US) hardly factors in remorse. Which is a shame really.
     
  3. Mr Stabby

    Mr Stabby Tank

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    If someone commits an act henious enough to justify, such a sentence, then they are probably not right in the head and a danger to society.
     
  4. Solaris

    Solaris Party Escort Bot

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    In America such sentences can be handed out for simple murders, even if the criminal was 15years old at the time.

    If someone is 'wrong in the head' a parole board can assess this. Why deny any possible for somebody to be cured or change by sentancing to LWP
     
  5. No Limit

    No Limit Party Escort Bot

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    Would you extend that logic to Faisal Shahzad (the wanna be times square bomber)? Or how about people locked up in GITMO?
     
  6. Solaris

    Solaris Party Escort Bot

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    Yes, neither should get life without parole. The Times Square Bomber didn't kill anybody, if he serves some time, say ten years and is very sorry for what he did, why not release him?
     
  7. Mr Stabby

    Mr Stabby Tank

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    Not really sure what a 'simple murder' is, but I'm sure LWP is currently given for crimes which don't justify it, as with the death penalty.

    What about the victims families, don't they deserve the closure of knowing the criminal will never ever get out.
     
  8. Shakermaker

    Shakermaker Party Escort Bot

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    Why should it be closure in the form of punishment? A lot of victims would prefer honest regrets over another life ruined. The case Solaris put forward is about someone who seems sincere about his feelings of guilt. We're not talking some vicious Ted Bundy serial killer.
     
  9. Mr Stabby

    Mr Stabby Tank

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    If they can get out after 5 years of good behaviour, where is the closure?

    I've already stated that I think LWP should only be used for the truly sociopathic nutjobs.
     
  10. No Limit

    No Limit Party Escort Bot

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    So people that want to commit terrorist attacks against this country should be released after a few years just as long as they act like they are sorry? I guess that applies to people that rape then kill little children too?

    I personally believe some people can not be rehabilitated, and if you let them out on the street no matter how much time has passed they will do the same shit. And for those peple life in prison is perfectly legitimate in my opinion. There are people that get 25 to life for crimes that weren't that bad, obviously I don't support that. But in many cases I do.
     
  11. Solaris

    Solaris Party Escort Bot

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    I never said a few years, I said ten.
    And why should it apply to people who rape and kill little children?

    I'm saying a young man who kills a cop or whatever should, after serving decades of time or whatever, have a chance at parole where his remorse can be judged.
     
  12. Shakermaker

    Shakermaker Party Escort Bot

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    Like I said: some victims don't need punishment for closure.
     
  13. No Limit

    No Limit Party Escort Bot

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    Few is relative.

    So child rapists should get life? I'm not sure if that was a typo on your part or not.
    Sure is too bad that cop he killed doesn't get a second chance.
     
  14. Mr Stabby

    Mr Stabby Tank

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    It's not about punishmnet, it's about knowing that person isn't a threat anymore.
     
  15. Shakermaker

    Shakermaker Party Escort Bot

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    If a person shows real regret he won't be a threat anymore either. If someone is truly sorry for what he did he won't likely ever do it again. Locking someone away for an x amount of years doesn't guarantee anything. That only works for repeat offenders, to protect society from them.
     
  16. jondy

    jondy Newbie

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    Justice /= vengeance, right? Or maybe I'm missing something here.
     
  17. Raziaar

    Raziaar I Hate Custom Titles

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    Wait... first it's no death penalty, now it's no life without parole?

    No. I'm still a proponent of the Death Penalty, though only applied to people who really did commit their crimes(and admittedly that sometimes is impossible to truly know definitively which makes it a foolish choice in many cases).

    But Life Without Parole? Yeah I have no problem with that. If you do the crime, expect to do the time. Many crimes don't have a justifiable sentence and so that phrase doesn't apply to them, but most things you can do that carry a possible life without parole sentence are completely justifiable in my opinion.

    "Sorry I killed and raped all those people... I'm remorseful even though I was a completely barbaric animal back then, and you'll have to trust that I am not anymore. can I have my life back now, even though they can't have theirs?"

    Why sure sonny, just don't be doing no more raping and murdering again now, ya hear? <playful jab across the chin>
     
  18. 15357

    15357 Companion Cube

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    The fundamental flaw here is that we can't know if someone really regrets or is just a good faker.


    I mean, sure, we could use chemicals or other methods to "resocialize" them, but I suppose there are too many prisoners for that kind of approach.

    Besides, do you really think that an ex-convict of a heinous crime is going to be well accepted by society again? And wouldn't this social rejection, the man having neither jobs nor friends, lead once more to a criminal life?
     
  19. unozero

    unozero Tank

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    ah yes the Perp is the REAL victim....what a joke.
     
  20. Ridge

    Ridge Newbie

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    You can feign remorse. The crutch of the American justice system is the dishonest people within it.
     
  21. Kisze

    Kisze Spy

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    I think it's pretty difficult to fool professionals over a very long period of time into thinking that you're remorseful. I don't think they just ask "are you remorseful?" and accept a yes as the truth and then let him out.
     
  22. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

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    I think almost all prison sentences are stupid. But in the case of life without parole, ****, just kill the person already. Frankly, if I had control of the system, I'd change it so prison sentences are shorter, but actually focused on healing the individual and making them into a productive member of society. The current situation is more "hurr durr lets rape them for years and lock them in with other psychopaths for decades, and then they'll be all better and let we'll them out! WE'RE SMART!"

    For anyone deemed "irreparable" through years of analysis, and who would get a life sentence in our current system, I'd just give them death. There is no benefit to keeping the Ted Bundys of the world locked up at a high cost for 50+ years. At least, no point beyond the personal satisfaction of the victim's families, which is irrelevant as it is not the job of Justice to fulfill sick ideas of "closure." Like Bad^Hat mentioned in the other thread, seems a lot of people on this forum say "Eye for an Eye is a bad policy!" then call for blood as revenge. That's what the "but their victims didn't get a second chance" stance is. Just another way of saying "eye for an eye."
     
  23. Shakermaker

    Shakermaker Party Escort Bot

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    Like Krynn wrote, resocializing individuals should be the main goal of the criminal justice system. Yes, it costs money. But it is a helluvalot more cost effective than locking someone up for the rest of his life and throwing away the key. You can always give up on someone when he turns out to be a repeat offender because he is unable to break through the cycle of crime - jail - crime - jail. But you can at least first try to let a criminal make a succesful re-entry into society.
     
  24. 15357

    15357 Companion Cube

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    Over here, prison sentences are very short compared to the US. A crime that would get you 15 years in California would get you 3 ~ 6 years over here. I'm not sure if such short sentences can help.

    In the end, I think we need to consider if the criminal, a cancer upon society, is actually worth salvation. Sure, it'd be nice if we could resocialize them all, making good citizens out of ex-convicts. But unfortunately there is no foolproof way of resocialization. Therapy takes too long, and the prison environment does not help. I think that we haven't researched alternative ways of behavior modification other than crying sessions and therapy. What about sodium pentathol? What about hypnosis? What about all the various kinds of Pavlovian approaches to modifiying the mind? No amount of therapy or group sessions are going to resocialize a psychopath.

    To me, criminal justice is all about weeding out those people who can't hack it in the real world and have to resort to crime. It's not about closure, or satisfaction of seeing that murderer be fried or burnt at the stake. It's about reprocessing the people who have shown signs of anti-social behavior, and to cure them from their disease. To cure society from the plague. If we can't cure them, we might as well quarantine them.

    I think Krynn has the right idea

    This should be the focus of Corrective Departments. Most of the criminals rotting away in prisons are actually human beings, and its a damn waste if they can't contribute to our GDP.


    EDIT: I was writing in response to Krynn, but I suppose this post goes for you too, Shaker.
     
  25. Robbo

    Robbo Spy

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    I agree. Everyone seems to be mixing up whether Life without parole is a legitimate sentence with their reluctance to trust the decision making ability of prison psychiatrists.
    The whole point of prisons is to rehabilitate people so that they have the tools to escape the path they have taken. Even if this is a rapist or murderer you shouldn't say that there is absolutely no hope for rehabilitation 40 or 50 years before that might happen.

    If you're worried about dangerous people being released into society then you have a problem with the process not the sentence.
     
  26. Sparta

    Sparta Newbie

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    And those people are both inside and outside those prison cells.

    There is such a perfect storm of government and corporate greed going on in the U.S. prison system, that the U.S. prison system itself is now the largest mental institution in the country because of the number of mentally ill people locked up inside them.

    The prison system is far more interested in locking people up than rehabilitating them. Rehabilitating them costs money, whereas privately-run prisons are paid per prisoner, so it's in their best interest to lobby politicians to be hard on crime.

    I know you end the paragraph by applying your argument to resocialize psychopaths, but I'm curious as to how broad that definition is for you. Are we talking Ted Bundy psychopaths or run-of-the-mill someone-who-broke-the-law psychopaths? I know it's a silly question, but to be fair, you're just about the only member on this forum that thinks so dramatically to everyone else that I don't know what to think.
     
  27. 15357

    15357 Companion Cube

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    Sorry, I mean the former. I dunno about the latter.
     
  28. No Limit

    No Limit Party Escort Bot

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    Not just about vengeance. What do you think a just sentence for a cop killer would be? If it's 20 years and the guy did the crime at 20 he will be 40 when he gets out.

    That gives him atleast another 40 years of life on this planet where chances are he can very well kill again. Someone that ****ed up in the head won't be changed in 20 years, especially after 20 years in prison.
     
  29. CptStern

    CptStern suckmonkey

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    you're a man of many contradictions solaris. the death penalty is more disturbing than a life without parole? at least they're alive; they have a chance at redemption. there is no second chance after you're dead. life without parole is usually what criminals get if there's no death penalty ..would you rather they paroled the same people that would have otherwise been given a death sentence in another state?
     
  30. Solaris

    Solaris Party Escort Bot

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    What disturbs me about life without parole is that a man could be totally turned around, his victims could forgive him, society could be a fan of his writing and wish he was released. And yet, there would be no-way to release him.

    That's the brutality of life without parole, it means redemption becomes a worthless term, forgiveness, all meaningless. It does this is a way the brutality of the electric chair does not.

    I oppose both sentances.
     
  31. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

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    I assume you have evidence to back up this assumption upon which you've based your entire philosophy?
     
  32. No Limit

    No Limit Party Escort Bot

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    Who said I base my entire philosophy on that assumption? Yes, it is an assumption, one that turns out to be true much of the time. If you need evidance you can look at repeat offenders statistics. Quick google search shows that number is around 90%.

    Are there exceptions? I'm sure there are. But I don't think the risk is worth it. I don't want to see child rapists back out on the street in the hope that they were properly rehabilitated.

    Again, this doesn't mean I think all life sentences are just. Clearly many times they aren't. But I don't buy the idea that they shouldn't exist.
     
  33. CptStern

    CptStern suckmonkey

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    doubtful his victems would forgive him seeing as how they're dead. life without parole is usually only given to multiple victem murderers or cop killers


    I dont understand what it is you're getting at. if someone kills 3 people and is convicted he gets life in prison without chance of parole; 25yrs x 3 = 75yrs = life in prison.are you saying premeditated murder should be less than 25 yrs in prison?
     
  34. Shakermaker

    Shakermaker Party Escort Bot

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    Friends and family of the deceased are also victims.
     
  35. CptStern

    CptStern suckmonkey

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    which is terrible for orphans because at that point it becomes a victemless crime
     
  36. Uriel

    Uriel Tank

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    If this was implemented into the system, the first murder/rape that occurred by the hands of an individual that would have been previously sentenced with LWP, would send it back into it's previous form because of the outrage that would follow.
     
  37. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

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    Those numbers would be irrelevant, because as I've pointed out, the system doesnt even try to heal people. In fact, if anything, those numbers would support my argument that the current system does not work in the slightest.

    That is a symptom of a broken society, and not a legitimate argument.
     
  38. Uriel

    Uriel Tank

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    Wasn't meant to be an argument at all, it's a realistic expectation. I didn't take any side when I made my statement.
     
  39. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

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    Seemed a lot like an argument against it to me, being all "hey it ain't gunna stick so why bother" and whatever. But either way, its not really something that should be considered in a discussion of whether or not it is the correct thing to do. People getting butthurt over shit isn't ever a valid reason not to do something.
     
  40. No Limit

    No Limit Party Escort Bot

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    Obviously I don't disagree that the system should do more to rehabilitate people. But even then you will find many repeat offenders. I'm too lazy to look all this up but I remember watching one of those lock up programs and they had prison programs that truly were meant to rehabilitate people. And eventhough their rates of repeat offenders were much lower than the rest of the prison system they were still high.

    And when dealing with people that committed serious violent crimes sometimes you just have to accept letting them out because they might be rehabilitated is not worth the risk.
     

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