Poll

7 votes (35%)
6 votes (30%)
6 votes (30%)
10 votes (50%)
5 votes (25%)

20 members have voted

mkl654321
mkl654321
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February 2nd, 2011 at 8:27:24 PM permalink
I made the mistake of watching one of those shows called "Lockup" or some such. The subject was the "Segregation Unit" of a maximum-security prison. The prisoners there spent 23 out of every 24 hours in their tiny cells, including eating in them, and the 24th hour was when they were allowed to "exercise" in a walled-in yard about as big as a walk-in closet.

These prisoners were obviously considered the worst of the worst of the worst. My question is, is this level of complete and total isolation cruel and unusual punishment? Is it humane (a different question)? I don't care about what these prisoners "deserve", other than, does ANYONE deserve this? And also, would any reasonable prison administrator expect any outcome other than a hopelessly insane prisoner? Can anyone be isolated for that length of time and not eventually lose it completely (obviously, some would tolerate it for longer than others)?

My next question is related: should a prisoner be allowed to commit suicide? The "yes" argument might seem to be, well, it would save the state money; the "no" argument, a prisoner who does so is actually escaping his punishment. But if the latter premise is true, doesn't that seem to imply that a life sentence is worse than a death sentence?
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
Doc
Doc
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February 2nd, 2011 at 8:47:38 PM permalink
I guess I don't understand how this poll is designed. At the time I first looked, it said just one member had voted, but "humane", "inhumane", "allow suicide", and "forbid suicide" all had votes. Schizophrenia, anyone?
boymimbo
boymimbo
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February 2nd, 2011 at 8:56:54 PM permalink
As we discussed in another thread, one has the right to end their own life. So, if the prisoner happens to gather up the materials or come up with a way to die while in solitary and gets away with it, so be it. He's serving a life sentence anyway.

What I think about a permanent life sentence (no parole) is that the inmate should have the choice to end their life and elect a death penalty for themselves.

As for the inhumane treatment, they've taken at least one life and probably more. They will not rehabilitate and if they did, they would not be released anyway. Screw him.
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rdw4potus
rdw4potus
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February 2nd, 2011 at 8:58:38 PM permalink
I went for inhumane and forbid suicide, though I'm not sure how the punishment for committing suicide would be administered.
"So as the clock ticked and the day passed, opportunity met preparation, and luck happened." - Maurice Clarett
Croupier
Croupier
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February 2nd, 2011 at 11:03:42 PM permalink
There is a lot of talk in Britain (mainly thanks to the European Court of Human Rights) about prisoner's Human Rights. As far as I am concerned, by commiting a crime, you have infringed upon the human rights of someone else, therefore you obviously do not value human rights, so yours are forfeit.

We dont really have such harsh prisons as MKL mentions, which I personally think is a shame.
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Wavy70
Wavy70
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February 2nd, 2011 at 11:21:06 PM permalink
Quote: Croupier

There is a lot of talk in Britain (mainly thanks to the European Court of Human Rights) about prisoner's Human Rights. As far as I am concerned, by commiting a crime, you have infringed upon the human rights of someone else, therefore you obviously do not value human rights, so yours are forfeit.

We dont really have such harsh prisons as MKL mentions, which I personally think is a shame.



Keep in mind the majority of prisoners in the USA are there for non violent drug related charges. So usually the only human they have infringed upon is themselves. The US prisons system is drastically flawed. Example 1oz of pure cocaine will get you less time than 1/8oz of crack. Reason? Rich lawyers like coke. Poor like crack.

Studies show that the USA prison system is a wonderful grad school for small time offenders to bigger crimes.

I think a cultured society should not sink to the level of it criminals. If as a society we say since criminal X did this we can do it to him. In that situation we have either legitimized the criminals actions or become no better than the criminal.
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Croupier
Croupier
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February 2nd, 2011 at 11:28:00 PM permalink
Quote: Wavy70

Keep in mind the majority of prisoners in the USA are there for non violent drug related charges. So usually the only human they have infringed upon is themselves. The US prisons system is drastically flawed. Example 1oz of pure cocaine will get you less time than 1/8oz of crack. Reason? Rich lawyers like coke. Poor like crack.



I will admit I do not know why the majority of people are in British prisons, but I will look into it.

Quote: Wavy70

Studies show that the USA prison system is a wonderful grad school for small time offenders to bigger crimes.



I think that should be amended to "any prison system"

Quote: Wavy70

I think a cultured society should not sink to the level of it criminals. If as a society we say since criminal X did this we can do it to him. In that situation we have either legitimized the criminals actions or become no better than the criminal.



I am not talking eye for an eye type justice, although that does bring up some interesting conversations, but more that British prisons are generally considered soft in comparison to those in the US.
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Wavy70
Wavy70
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February 2nd, 2011 at 11:52:22 PM permalink
Quote: Croupier




I am not talking eye for an eye type justice, although that does bring up some interesting conversations, but more that British prisons are generally considered soft in comparison to those in the US.



I can only speak for the USA but the problem is we make no attempt at rehabilitation. A small petty thief does a year with hard core criminals and gets no lessons on how to hold a job and be a member of society. On release there is no after attention. So in essence nothing has been accomplished aside from allowing the petty thief to learn from the masters.

If we know we will be releasing this person in a year why would we not want to make then a contributing member of society?
I have a bewitched egg that I use to play VP with and I have net over 900k with it.
mkl654321
mkl654321
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February 3rd, 2011 at 12:23:53 AM permalink
Quote: Doc

I guess I don't understand how this poll is designed. At the time I first looked, it said just one member had voted, but "humane", "inhumane", "allow suicide", and "forbid suicide" all had votes. Schizophrenia, anyone?



Ideally, a person would realize that it only makes sense to, respectively, choose one of the first three, then one of the last two alternatives, but somebody apparently didn't figure that out.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
mkl654321
mkl654321
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February 3rd, 2011 at 12:26:31 AM permalink
Quote: rdw4potus

I went for inhumane and forbid suicide, though I'm not sure how the punishment for committing suicide would be administered.



As in the outside world, the punishment would obviously be only for ATTEMPTING suicide, and one can easily imagine how that might be administered in a prison environment, from depriving the inmate of ALL possessions, to physically restraining him 24 hours a day.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw

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