Re: LEGAL: Alternatives to imprisonment
Sat, 6 Mar 1999 00:54:42 EST


First, could you perhaps give me the full Barnett et al reference? I would be interested in looking at it.

>>You cooly take up the check, countersign it, "Payable to estate of Tycoon,"
and . . . . Needless to say, this possibility will deter the psychotic rich.<<

Wouldn't the actual deterrent here be fear of being killed in revenge by grieving family. The money is simply a token which enables the the family to commit revenge....and while we're on the subject, what is to stop the Estate of Tycoon from using those funds to then kill the avenger? You could spiral into a slow motion blood feud, with the "loser" being the first person to die without someone willing to avenge their deaths. Of course, you if there were a gross inequity in funds, you could just buy the right to commit a massive hit, taking out your opponent and anyone who might be willing to avenge those killed. Also, some might simply circumvent the need to pay by killing and avoiding detection. Maybe I'm going to extremes, but it seems to me this system of restitution by itself would lead to vendetta.

>>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.<<

All these are additional rights being stripped from you, and returning once again to imprisonment. It seems to me that restitution is not enough....although it is a good place to start.

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

I wholeheartedly agree. The type of responses which would be best at making victims feel whole would be the ones that restored some measure of control over the victims' lives, the ones which provided the strongest assurances that this person would not trouble them again, and the responses which returned to the victims what was taken from them (though this might be the hardest to acheive). Giving more weight to victims in the Justice System is one way, ensuring that only people guaranteed reformed would be allowed back into society (and sometimes there are no guarantees strong enough to outweigh the risk). Imprisonment doesn't really accomplish these goals....its trying to find ones that do which are tough. Thanks for the ideas.

Glen Finney