[LMB] Crime and Punishment

Mieke mvanspanje at home.nl
Sat Dec 14 19:21:49 GMT 2019

To Markus:
Does Austria flog people? I can not believe that...
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Half of what we call madness is just some poor slob dealing with pain by a strategy that annoys the people around him - Lois McMaster Bujold

> Op 14 dec. 2019 om 18:29 heeft Baur <baur at chello.at> het volgende geschreven:
> 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
> servus
> markus
>> 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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