Re: Crime and Punishment

Emmanuel Charpentier (
Fri, 04 Dec 1998 20:32:16 +0000

At least some good reasoning in this thread. I'm so happy there are people here to actually defend the fact that crime doesn't have to be fought by punishment. That the justice system has better assuring the security of the society than playing eye for eye.

I guess extropians would be better using their time into designing a system that would tackle the problem of security than discussing the question of death penalty, which really doesn't seem like an extropian discussion, but a discussion about principles.

For one, I don't mind thinking that we could have to kill someone in order to assure he won't hurt other people in the future, particularly if he is immortal. But killing -is- entropic, and I would really prefer to assure myself, in a reasonable fashion, that the probabilities of him harming others would be decreased.

In order to do that we could certainly design extropian methods. Companies taking the responsability of a prisoner going back into life seem interesting. So long that the prisoner can choose the company, or other means. And what if he is an artist, and thus can not (easily/directly) reward this company when he is set free.

What about devices that, if choosen by the criminal, would allow him to go back freely into society and reduce future risks that he may be harmful again.

Implants recording its position, its hormones, its visuals, what he hears... Devices that could chemically castrate him on some occasions, or remotely. That would set him to sleep. That could kill him remotely when a policeman observing him through his senses or a remote flying camera would think he is about to kill someone.

If the prisoner chooses some of those devices, society would take fewer risks releasing him.


Terry Donaghe wrote:
> The most important thing to society ought to be the preservation of
> individuals? self and property. Those who show that they can not help
> but to encroach on others (murder, rape, assault) or their properties
> (theft, fraud, burglary, etc.) should be removed from society.
> It is positive to return those individuals back to society if and when
> they are capable of refraining from their previous activities. All
> productive members of society add to each other?s welfare. What we
> need, therefore, is a way of determining if an individual is
> rehabilitated - that is, is he capable of being productive and can he
> keep from hurting others or their property. Until an individual can
> show that he is capable of this, he should be kept away from society -
> i.e. no defined prison terms.