Re: Re: LEGAL: Alternatives to imprisonment
Sat, 6 Mar 1999 00:02:32 EST


I'll answer your questions about restitution in very brief, since the written work of Barnett, et al., more completely covers the same ground.

>[I]f you had enough resources you simply wouldn't care, you could
>just do what you want and pay your way out of it.

I do not think it likely that anyone wealthy enough to readily afford the very high costs of crime will embrace the sort of values that make crime attractive. Productive and cultured people have other things on their minds. But suppose that Tycoon kills your father and you win judgement. Tycoon smiles and whips out his checkbook. "Let's see, what is the going charge for murder? A mere $I million? Hah! There you go." You cooly take up the check, countersign it, "Payable to estate of Tycoon," and . . . . Needless to say, this possibility will deter the psychotic rich.

>Also, this would not stop
>the impoverished from committing crime, if you don't have anything to take,
>what have you to lose?

You lose the social credit rating that makes it possible to rent an apartment, hold down a job, go to school, and so forth. Or you may face imprisonment in a work camp.

>And lastly, there are some crimes where recompensation
>is impossible. How do you recompensate the victims of murder and their
>families? Some things just can't be made right.

True enough. But what response to crime does the best job of making victims whole? Certainly not imprisonment.

T.0. Morrow