If crime is a problem, then society is not applying a strong enough deterrent. Prison is a deterrent, but clearly not strong enough to ward off the weaker amongst us. Capital punishment is a deterrent, but less so with the possibility of appeal after appeal. If people aren’t afraid (or enlightened) they tend to act with more disregard and / or complacency toward themselves, others, property, pretty much anything.
Here’s the kind of deterrent I’m talking about:
“If any one steal the property of a temple or of the court, he shall be put to death, and also the one who receives the stolen thing from him shall be put to death. If any one bring an accusation of any crime before the elders, and does not prove what he has charged, he shall, if it be a capital offense charged, be put to death. If a judge try a case, reach a decision, and present his judgment in writing; if later error shall appear in his decision, and it be through his own fault, then he shall pay twelve times the fine set by him in the case, and he shall be publicly removed from the judge’s bench, and never again shall he sit there to render judgement.”
These are but three of two-hundred eighty-two laws written in stone nearly four thousand years ago (roughly 1760 BCE) under the leadership of Hammurabi. These three seemingly simple laws worked to establish fear in everyone – the offenders, accusers and judges.
Today, I think we need an expanded roster of potential punishments to suit the growing list of possible crimes. I think this list should include death and bodily disfigurement as options. For instance, if a man rapes (sexually assaults) someone, then his genitals should be removed. If someone displays a wanton lack of humanity, then they should be treated in like kind. If one murders, they should be murdered. The government should try to be creative (here’s where this post ‘jumps the shark’!!) in designing cruel and unusual punishments, maybe learn something from the writers of the movie ‘Saw‘.
The more creative of these ‘punishments’ should be public (televised) and frequent. Everyone needs to be made aware. I really think you’d reconsider some of your actions if it stood to chance you might appear on Monday night prime time television to be bled to death through a thousand small, but strategic incisions.
There is one obvious problem – the people we’ve empowered to enact laws such as this are, more often than not, the ones who have the most to fear from them.