[LMB] Crime and Punishment

Baur baur at chello.at
Sat Dec 14 17:29:10 GMT 2019

Austria does this as well for fines that are the result of court 
proceedings (it does not do this for administratively issued fines by 
the police for minor illegal actions)

its generally well accepted



Am 14.12.2019 um 18:03 schrieb Matija Grabnar:
> Several countries have implemented a solution to the inequality problem: 
> Simply define the fines as percentage of income.
> I remember one of the founder's of Yahoo (back when Yahoo was big) paid 
> something like 120 000 dolars for a speeding ticket in Finland.
> More detailed description here:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day-fine
> On 12/14/19 5:01 PM, Harvey Fishman wrote:
>> Do you have a way to deal with inequality?
>> Harvey
>> ------ Original Message ------
>> From: "WILLIAM A WENRICH" <wawenri at msn.com>
>> Bcc: fishman at panix.com
>> To: "Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold." 
>> <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
>> Sent: 12/14/2019 10:46:58 AM
>> Subject: Re: [LMB] Crime and Punishment
>>> One of the things that prompted me to start this thread was the news 
>>> that a thirteen year old was arrested for and confessed to the brutal 
>>> knife murder of an eighteen year old college student. What can we do 
>>> with current technology with a 13 year old murderer?
>>> The penitentiary was invented by the Quakers as an alternative to 
>>> physical punishment. The idea was mainly to give the prisoner time to 
>>> repent. It hasn’t really worked that way.
>>> Christian, husband, father, granddaddy, son, American. Here I stand. 
>>> I can do no other. God help me.
>>> William A Wenrich
>>> ________________________________
>>> From: lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk 
>>> <lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk> on behalf of pouncer at aol.com 
>>> <pouncer at aol.com>
>>> Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2019 8:30:21 AM
>>> To: hedwig52 at comcast.net <hedwig52 at comcast.net>; litalex at gmail.com 
>>> <litalex at gmail.com>; lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk 
>>> <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>; m.dolbear at lineone.net 
>>> <m.dolbear at lineone.net>; sylviamcivers at gmail.com 
>>> <sylviamcivers at gmail.com>; thefabmadamem at yahoo.com 
>>> <thefabmadamem at yahoo.com>
>>> Subject: [LMB] Crime and Punishment
>>> Louann Miller refers to canon:
>>>> Cordelia ... offered some Barayarrans the option of
>>>> Betan personlaity treatment on Beta vs. (per
>>>> Barrayaran law) the death penalty. All of them went
>>>> for the death penalty.
>>> I absolutely accept this into my head-canon, and
>>> it's absolutely consistent with Cordelia's character,
>>> but I confess I don't recall the scene or situation
>>> in the books.
>>> Would a listie who has a better-working memory chip
>>> than mine please help fill in the background?
>>> In real life I often consider the virtues of flogging.
>>> Or time in wooden stocks outside the court-house, or
>>> weekends devoted to picking up trash in parks or along
>>> roadways.
>>> I think it unfair (my foolish rationale) and ineffective
>>> (my wiser one) that financial punishments are so common
>>> for so many offenses against the good order of
>>> society.  The consequence is simply that wealthy
>>> offenders suffer very little, while already-impoverished
>>> offenders begin a cascade of tortures. Living
>>> paycheck to paycheck, a person paying a parking ticket
>>> may choose NOT paying an installment on a credit
>>> contract, leading to increased interest payments.
>>> It might mean not buying groceries or not paying
>>> a utility bill.  In the extreme not paying a
>>> court imposed fine means going to jail or prison.
>>> Even setting aside downstream consequences the same
>>> absolute financial penalty represents disproportionate
>>> pain (the point of any penalty) to richer or
>>> poorer citizens.  A corporal or temporal penalty -
>>> unlike financial ones - affects those who have
>>> bodies, or exist in time much more equitably. They
>>> are not perfect:-- young healthy offenders may
>>> recover from 5 lashes from a horsewhip much more
>>> quickly than elderly ill ones and so be less
>>> deterred by any prospect of punishment. Similarly
>>> a worker accustomed to intermittent hourly paid
>>> income tasked off to some number of community
>>> service hours is less inconvenieced by such
>>> a sentence than, say, a trial lawyer who bills
>>> hundreds of dollars per hour in six minute
>>> increments. But nothing in law or life is
>>> perfect, or fair. It is perhaps unfair to
>>> require taxpayers to hire foremen/supervisors
>>> to instruct and manage and track hours for
>>> trash pickers.  Flogging would be much quicker,
>>> I think. And arguably a better deterrent.
>>> Time and pain have another advantage in that
>>> they can not be transferred to societies'
>>> guardians.  If a policeman's pay depends
>>> on the fines and impounded property resulting
>>> from his enforcement, most police officers and
>>> their management will feel incentives to
>>> enforce the most "profitable" laws. The
>>> funds collected from fines may also go to those who
>>> WRITE such laws and again there exist incentives
>>> for writing more, and more "profitable", laws.
>>> But very few feel a benefit to themselves
>>> in inflicting pain. Neither the cops nor
>>> city council members would get more pay or
>>> financial perqs of office based on how many
>>> lashes on bare backs are inflicted on the
>>> city's litterbugs, check-kiters, and those
>>> who abuse handicap parking spaces. Line 'em
>>> up on Saturdays in front of the court house.
>>> Five to ten lashes apiece, as determined by
>>> the municipal courts and juries. Fair and
>>> square, over and done, then forgiven and
>>> forgotten.  Move on.
>>> There WILL be psychological and behavioral
>>> consequences of such policies.  For all
>>> I know Betan therapy takes flogging, or
>>> like negative reinforcement, into their mix.
>>> I suspect, however, Barrayar is more likely
>>> than Beta Colony to include forms of corporal
>>> punishment.

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