Re: rehabilitation versus punishment in a future society....

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Tue Feb 22 2000 - 11:55:53 MST

john grigg wrote:

> Stirling Westrup made some enlightened comments about how even the most
> cruel and sadistic individuals in the future will be seen as "sick" and not
> evil and worthy of severe punishments as in our day. I do feel that some
> people commit heinous crimes at least partially from mental illness and
> "psychological demons" while others are essentially healthy and simply
> choose the wrong choice.

In the "happy happy joy joy" world of some people's "good good feelings" idea of
the future, all mental illness will be curable at a cost of next to nothing. In
such a future, punishment will be even more paramount because nobody will go
through life not knowing that they are insane, as they will have a high tech
infrastructure that diagnoses them frequently. Refusing to take your medicine is
just as concious and responsible a choice for the medicated patient as pulling
the trigger of a gun.

> In time they may become very mentally ill but they made the choice in a
> healthy state of mind to go down that road. I think with advanced neuronano
> we will be able to look into brains/minds and see what the case is for each
> person to give them a fair punishment.
> Should all criminals be seen as "ill" and be treated and not punished? I am
> not that enlightened yet and may never be, especially for crimes like murder
> and rape. Perhaps treatment and punishment can be fused together.

Depends. Was the individual aware at any time that he/she was 'ill', or had that
individual been previously under mental care? If that is the case, then the case
can be made that an 'ill' person who is sane while on medication made the
concious choice to stop taking medication, and thus assumed full concious
responsibility for their actions while insane, just as the drunk assumes
responsibility for his DWI or driving accidents when he tips back the first

"Off to the organ banks with ye..."

Mike Lorrey

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