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Different views on crime and punishment

Autor /Olivier Dodano /10.11.2011

Crime has existed together with the mankind since the very beginning. Wherever man went, crime followed him. It appears that crime is caused by a factor that is present in the human nature. Therefore, I have a question: what if crime is not undoubtedly wrong?

In order to answer this question first we must define what crime is. Generally speaking, it is a violation of law so as to gain personal benefit without taking into consideration other people, which nearly always means hurting them. Nevertheless, we can say that crime is a transgression against rules as well. And that is not necessarily a bad thing - if it had not been for it we would still be living in the dark and narrow-minded gloom of medieval ages. What Copernicus did was a crime too, wasn't it?

Disobeying the rules and breaking the law leads straight to chaos and anarchy, which are considered the biggest and most significant threats to peace and order. But what if chaos is the ultimate environment for human beings? What if our way of life and our order of things are the wrong ones? Living in chaos would mean no limits to the freedom of choice. We would be allowed to do everything we would want, as we would not be circumscribed by some stupid rules. Human mind would have unlimited power.

Some people, however, claim that crime is morally...justified. What they say is that we all have to take care of ourselves in this downtrodden and corrupted world, that if we are not ruthless and cruel others will finish us. This is actually the Law of the Jungle that regulates life in the nature, and the Nature is a perfect system, isn't it?

In my opinion, despite all the arguments that I have presented, I can say, that claiming crime to be a good thing is, with all the respect, the biggest bullshit one can possibly say. Comparing crime to the situation in the nature is an obvious nonsense, as we have the ability to choose between right and wrong, and the animals do not - they are just "programmed" to behave the way they behave: to fight for life without taking care of others. Saying that chaos which would prevail after the abolition of the law is the ultimate environment for human beings is hogwash too: if we were to choose - either live in a more or less peaceful society where we could do a lot of things provided that we did not break the law or to exist somewhere where we would be allowed to do everything we wanted but we would not be sure whether we would survive the next couple of minutes, what would we choose? I suppose that the second option is not valid at all...

Now that I have proved that crime is "rather" evil, we could try to think what we could do to stop it. Destroying crime permanently is of course impossible as we cannot destroy something that is inside of us, unless we try to modify the genetic code of Homo sapiens, which is not an alternative, I think. The first thing that comes to my mind is to deter people from committing crime by making the punishments as severe as possible: murder with malice aforethought should by punishable by a least 25 years of imprisonment - it is unacceptable that a murderer leaves prison after 15 years because of good behaviour. More strict laws would certainly reduce the number of offences but would unfortunately make the rest much more violent and brutal - the criminals would have nothing to lose and would do everything to evade prison - even if it meant slaying innocent people.

The other option is that we give the criminals the second chance by giving them lighter sentences and by teaching jobs they could do after their return to the society. Personally, I think that the prisoners should be taught jobs even if they are spending 10 years in the hardest prison in the country. So what differs the second project from the first apart from lighter sentences? Different attitude to prisoners. What should be done is that they should be taught not to commit crime - by showing them good examples of people who have finished with crime or just by talking to them. If we want the method to be effective, we should adjust the programme to each prisoner - but that would cost insane sums of money.

Moreover, less than 10 per cent of criminals would change their minds on stealing, killing etc. This is because each person has a different level of probability of committing a crime due to different genetic conditions and different gene variations. In order to save money, we should carry out tests that would check genetic potential for committing a crime: those with high potential should be classified as "un-convertable" and those with low potential should be sent to psychologists who would try to make good citizens out of them.

The last and probably the most difficult solution is to prevent crime by showing the society that crime does not pay and is wrong. The programme should be launched everywhere, but especially in schools - if we manage to teach the children not to do it, we will at least reduce the number of offences against the law. Parents should also submit to the project by spending more time with their offspring, which in most cases would increase the children's morality. We should also launch a massive media campaign, which would mostly consist of commercials including subliminal messages that would tell the people: "Crime is not the answer. Crime is the question. NO is the answer".

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