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Some people argue that harsh punishments (Life sentences,cutting off a hand for stealing) for criminals will reduce crime rates.Do you think these punishments reduce crime?

Asked by: ThatChickMaya
Some people argue that harsh punishments (Life sentences,cutting off a hand for stealing) for criminals will reduce crime rates.Do you think these punishments reduce crime?
  • This would reduce crimes from their current rate.

    Would they reduce by a significant amount? No, but that is not the question asked. In fact, it may make criminals more violent and daring to escape, since the punishments are more harsh (i.E. Nothing to lose), but overall I would be very surprised crime would not go down by some degree.

  • I think that harsher punishments should be put into place for different crimes

    My personal view is that harsher punishments should be implemented for crimes so that a lot of people might stop doing it and find the hard way of doing things rather than just resorting to crime. It will be a big benefit to the rest of the citizens of the country because they will stop living their lives in fear. Because if the punishments stay the same or even get less as some people argue the point that some criminals are more determined to get out because of the harsher punishments, a lot of the people that commit crime will actually stop doing because there will be more harsher punishments in place and more stricter rules so people will be scared of getting caught. So yes i do think stricter rules should be put in place and harsher punishments should be established because this will bring along a new future where no person in a country will be afraid to live their lives. It will not bring total peace and harmony but we can still have hope for a brighter future.

  • If absolute guilt

    You can't cut of hands etc, because it would just draw them a check. I think a good 5am whipping (got to draw blood) with salt water for a year straight, would deter all thieves from being scum. Right now it's basically a slap on the wrist. Satellite videos should be available by now. Oh, if you disagree with this, you are probably a thief.

  • Harsher consequences for as little as stealing a wallet

    Now days theft and crime is one of the easiest things to do. People are undergoing more and more threat and eventually people wont be able to go outside with out being robed at least twice. The punishment need to harsher because not inly are you robing some one but they need that money to eat and live and its not ok.

  • Harsh punishment for seemingly "soft" crimes will deter would be perpetrators.

    Chopping off a hand for the punishment of theft may sound like a medieval punishment to people of today, as a society we have forgot how harmful the crime of theft is to businessmen/women. Their businesses are their livelihoods it is how they feed their families and pay their bills. It is wrong that many people today can steal whatever they want, receive a small slap on the wrist and go back to stealing again. Theft is an immoral sin which has not been stamped out, the criminals no longer fear punishment, a hand chop as barbaric as it sounds would make thieves think twice about risking their limb. In some cases if the theft was out of genuine hunger then the perp can be sympathised with, but most steal out of greed and arrogance.

  • Harsh punishments aren't as intuitive as they seem.

    While the idea that harsher penalties will deter crimes is an appealing concept, one that many tout as simply making sense intuitively, the reality of the issue is far different. There must be punishments in order to deter crime, but the severity matters far less than the certainty of them being imposed.

    It would be reasonable to group those committing crimes into three categories: those that believe they will be caught, those who believe they will not be caught, and those whom don't consider the consequences (crime of passion, etc).

    For those that believe they will be caught, the severity does matter. However, the severity of the punishment also influences the severity of their crime. If someone in poverty needing food knew they would be put in jail for a few days for stealing a few food items, they might be willing to accept that in exchange for the food. If they knew they would have their hands cut off for stealing a few food items, and were resolved to steal anyways, why wouldn't they escalate their crime? If the end result is going to be death or a consequence roughly equivalent to ensuring their death, they have no reason not to do more for themselves at the expense of others. Stealing as much as they can and trying to flee, possibly killing people in the process, has the same end consequence in their mind as stealing a small amount and giving themselves up.

    For those that believe they will not be caught, the severity of punishment matters far less than the certainty of it. The gamble in their minds is an all-or-nothing venture; they are either caught, or they are not caught, and they are betting on the latter. Regardless of the harshness of the punishment (within reason - not talking about slaps on the wrist for murder), they will treat being punished at all as a loss.

    For those that do not think about the consequences, while neither the severity nor the certainty will be all that effective as deterrents, the certainty of punishment would be more likely to make dealing with the aftermath easier. An extremely harsh punishment would back them into a corner and prompt gambling on not being caught, whereas an extremely certain, but moderated, punishment would instead prompt cooperating in hopes of reducing the severity further. After all, if it's already certain that they're going to be caught and cooperation will result in a less severe punishment, why not go with that option?

  • Why would this ever reduce crime?

    ''Increasing the risk of arrest and the likelihood of going to prison produces modest reductions in property and violent crime,'' Dr Weatherburn said. ''But increasing the length of prison sentences exerts no effect at all.''
    If we were willing to apply extreme punishments as a norm, i.e. death for all serious crimes, rigorous imprisonment for intermediate offences and harsh floggings for most other offences, we would almost certainly see a reduction in crime. However, even in the harshest regimes people still continue to commit crimes, so it is clear that a reduction is the best we can hope for. But how many of us would wish to live in such a society? This sort of punitive regime is, therefore, very unlikely to occur within a Western democracy because people do not want it and would not vote for it.

  • Long sentences make prison feel like home

    Approximately 80% of prison murders in California (which has the highest recidivism rate and most overcrowded prisons of all states) are committed either by Level IV gang members, Inmates serving sentences longer than 15 years, Or repeat offenders. Long sentences can make inmates develop a sense of belonging, Like prison is the only world they know and feel comfortable in. They may have felt alone and rejected on the streets, But while in prison they meet equally devious beings whom they felt connected to and learned new criminal tactics from. Approximately 78% of released prisoners in the US end up reoffending, Typically in even more heinous ways due to the gains in criminal knowhow they learned from fellow inmates. Some criminals are just so bent on causing harm to the people they hate that they don't care about the consequences. On the other hand, Harsh punishments can make criminals feel even more isolated and develop worse mental health issues. Since US prisons lack mental health services, These mentally ill prisoners tend to take their issues out on guards and other inmate using horrific acts of violence. If we want to reduce crime once and for all, Life sentences for theft are not the way to do it. We need to fix the underlying causes of crime, Which may require pushing good morals on our kids, Discouraging the "all attention is good attention" mentality, And stop the glorification of violence in the media. Rhode Island abolished the death penalty in 1871 and currently has some of the best support services for drug addiction, And currently has the lowest murder rate as well as the 3rd lowest incarceration rate of all states.

  • Harsh Punishments do not deter crime

    I believe that there are some criminals who do not understand the intensity of the punishment until they have experiences it, which does not stop them from committing crimes. And in most cases, big criminals have only one crime to commit for their personal reasons and in most cases, completing the crime is their life goal, if the crime is done then they might accept the harsh punishments just because their life goal is done.

  • No, this will escalate violence in minor crimes

    If the punishment for theft is amputation, regardless of whether an object stolen is worth a penny or a gold coin, then the thief would have more of an incentive to go for the gold coin.

    In addition, theft in itself has many different variations. Should information thieves like bank fraud or hackers have their hands cut off? Should book plagiarists also suffer this fate?

    Life is not black and white, judgement's have to be malleable to accommodate the situation.


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