Re: "punishment"

Mark Grant (
Sun, 22 Jun 1997 18:58:26 +0000

On Sun, 22 Jun 1997, E. Shaun Russell wrote:

> Then why not kill him in the first place?

Because if the family shot him for no reason then they would be tried for
murder as well. If they shot him in self-defence when he tries to kill
them (thereby proving he *is* a persistent danger) then they'll have no
case to answer.

> But still, letting him roam freely would be jeopardizing others;
> why compromise the safety and life of others when it is truly unnecessary?

Who's to say they're a significant danger, and what danger is he to the
family if they've sold their claim to a collection ageny? He has no
further reason to kill them, and will merely increase his debts by doing
so. He might just be a maniac, but if he is and preys on anyone other than
outlaws he'll probably already be dead.

> "Claim" or no, I still value my life more than my money...I think most
> people are that way. Perhaps I am slightly unclear on your concept --I have
> not read any of Friedman's books-- but from what I can tell, it seems that
> you are advocating a claimed parole on dangerous offenders.

What he's advocating is something very similar to the situation in Iceland
a few hundred years ago, and what seems to happen in some Middle Eastern
countries today; if you kill someone you pay compensation to their
relatives. In the Icelandic case the claim is transferrable, so that if
you can't collect the fine yourself you can sell the claim to a more
powerful individual or organization who can. Hence there's no benefit to
killing the owner of the claim because it will simply be transferred to
*their* relatives or beneficiaries when they die.

> What I want to emphasize is that execution and
> incarceration are sometimes necessary...though most certainly not
> state-sanctioned.

Well, I've already said in another post that I can see reasons for
executing some people, but having re-read Friedman's comments I think
he may be correct about fines being better, except in extreme cases.

> If someone decides to take other people's lives away, why
> should he be able to walk away freely? If he caused a family pain, grief,
> and a lifetime of longing for their lost relative, should there not be an
> effect.

Uh, he's not walking away freely; he's walking away with tens or hundreds
of thousands of dollars in fines (possibly millions if he's rich). He
either makes arrangements to pay up or no legal system will accept him and
he becomes an outlaw; he's then prey for any real maniacs out there or the
collection agency can kidnap him and sell him as a slave or something.
Whatever happens he's not going to go on to lead a good and happy life.


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