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Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

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Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by True Blue on Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:05 pm

RockOnBrother wrote:
True Blue wrote:Excessively punitive... I think the US has more citizens per capita in prison than does any other Western Nation.
On those last two, we can go a few rounds if you wish, mate.

Who has the highest rate of Incarceration in the World?

Wikipedia wrote:The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world (743 per 100,000 population)

Why?

Wikipedia wrote:Violent crime was not responsible for the quadrupling of the incarcerated population in the United States from 1980 to 2003. Violent crime rates had been relatively constant or declining over those decades. The prison population was increased primarily by public policy changes causing more prison sentences and lengthening time served, e.g. through mandatory minimum sentencing, "three strikes" laws, and reductions in the availability of parole or early release. These policies were championed as protecting the public from serious and violent offenders, but instead yielded high rates of confinement for nonviolent offenders. Nearly three quarters of new admissions to state prison were convicted of nonviolent crimes. Only 49 percent of sentenced state inmates were held for violent offenses.

Can we have a graph to see this quadrupling of incarceration?



How does Australia compare?



So there you have it RockOnBrother... my claim is as valid now as it was when I first made it... and your Wiki counts as a reputable reference in your opinion... so, let round one begin. Ding! Ding! Ding!
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by GreatNPowerfulOz on Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:09 pm

I think your presumptions as to the "why" are a bit askew...

people go to jail for breaking the law...I'd say it's more of an attitude that people have that they don't need to obey the law which gets them into hot water. we just seem to have the resources to build more jails than others, thus offenders are confined more rather than just dumped on the public to re-offend.

Personally, I think we'd all be better off if they just walled off a couple hundred thousand acres in one of the Dakotas with razor wire fences and guard towers and just dumped felons in there. Let them sort it out...we can drop ship them food if they run out of deer, etc. There are people who commit crimes TO GO TO JAIL because they can't make it on the outside...our jails are better than everyday life in any 3rd world country.
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:12 pm

Is there a supplementary table that analyses the total of prisoners held in the above Countries to show the proportion of non-whites, and whether that corresponds to their proportion within that population as a whole?
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by Guest on Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:23 pm


True Blue,

I intend to discipline myself and respond only to your posts and posts of others of good character. That being said, why the highest incarceration rate?

First, the US may not have the highest incarceration rate. One needs to compare apples to apples, or at least apples to oranges, but certainly not apples to Volkswagens. Saudi Arabia, for instance, may not have as high a reported incarceration rate as the US because Saudi Arabia may or may not publicly report all incarcerations, or perhaps Saudi Arabia simply executes (quietly) those who might be incarcerated if in the US.

I will assume that Locke-ian countries, with shared meticulous attention to ensuring that all incarcerations are reported, can be compared with reasonable confidence that the comparisons are valid, so if we confine the comparisons to US-Oz, US-Canada, US-NZ, and US-UK, then we’re good to go.

Within those limitations, I wish I had a complete answer as to why our incarceration rate is so high. Unfortunately, I can only provide a partial answer, and that answer focuses upon what I will agree is American over punitiveness towards illegal drug users. I’ve seen somewhere that well over half of American USV incarceratees (also ought to be a word) are in for possession, or crimes related to possession.

A crack addict tried to steal all four tires off of my ’78 Buick, parked in a lot in full view of at least thirty folks at a school directly across the street at 3:00 PM, dismissal time. He probably ended up incarcerated.

Should he have been? Personally, since it was my damned car, I would say, “Hell yeah!” But then, most people are overly punitive when it comes to their own property.

On the flip side, he was not a violent criminal. Had he been, I wouldn’t be here. In my anger at seeing his fool head bobbing up and down as he attempted to position tire tools to strip my car of its wheels, I raced across the street, opened the lock on the gate (the lot was surrounded by a hurricane fence), and entered, intent upon confronting the culprit. When he saw me, he rushed past me out of the gate. I followed, asking him repeatedly, “Why are you trying to steal my tires?” He repeatedly replied, “Because I need them” as he hurriedly tried to trot away. After about a half block of this, I came to my senses, went into the school office, and called the cops. Mind you, he had tire tools in his hands, while I had only keys in my pocket.

So would incarceration have helped anything other than my vindictiveness? (By the way, see how that “ness” subtly changes the usage of the word? vindictive-vindictiveness; punitive-punitiveness.) I think not. He needed to be apprehended (he was) tried, convicted, and sentenced, but sentenced to what and where?
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by astra on Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:20 pm

Rock, hello,

I had 3 motorbikes and a car stolen in the mad 80s.


From then, I told the Cops who came to interview me, that if anyone steals my vehicle from now on, I do not want the vehicle back, indeed I hope the theif kills themselves in the act!!

The police officer went into a great long well rehearsed diatribe about not wishing that on people.

My calm reply
#1 Creatures - from Barbary Apes to tennagers looking for a "Buzz! are NOT people
#2 Who's side are you on officer? ME (Who pays your wages through taxes! or the criminal who keeps you in a nice respectable well paid job!)
#3 Where were you when I needed you? Just DO NOT lecture me now! Why are you ALWAYS knowlageable AFTER the event?
#4 That you know who did this BEFORE asking him tells me that your law ain't working - time to start again methinks!


I am still awaiting answers to (I think) those very simple questions!

I am sure that the felon above described in your post is very fortunate that you were not carrying a first aid kit with you (the one with the .45 tablets!)
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by Guest on Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:29 pm

True Blue wrote:
Wikipedia wrote:
The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world (743 per 100,000 population)

Ah, you’re referencing Wikipedia. Told you they had good stuff.

(What would one do without an Aussie to catch what Spell Check missed? Thanks, True Blue.)



Last edited by RockOnBrother on Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:36 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Gross stupidity (on my part))
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:38 pm

QUOTE: Wikipedia wrote:

The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world (743 per 100,000 population)


More than one citizen would be satisfied if that word were incineration.
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by Guest on Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:42 pm

astra wrote:
From then, I told the Cops who came to interview me, that if anyone steals my vehicle from now on, I do not want the vehicle back, indeed I hope the theif kills themselves in the act!!

My thoughts exactly. The same vehicle had previously been stolen from the same location (that's why the lock), and I said the same thing to my co-workers and friends.

Maybe it’s that Celtic blood; I’m part Irish, y’know, (I don’t know if it’s Protestant or Catholic), and me mother used to sing sweet Irish lullabies over me head when I was but a wee child.

Say all of that with an Irish (or in Texas, “ah’ish) accent.


Last edited by RockOnBrother on Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by astra on Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:44 pm

More than one citizen would be satisfied if that word were incineration.



Think of all the Swimming Pools that that would keep nice and warm!!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/24/crematorium-heat-swimming-pool-redditch

A council is proposing to save money – and combat global warming – by heating a leisure centre and swimming pool using heat generated by the crematorium next door.
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by Guest on Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:01 am


True Blue, regarding that “ness” suffix,

Compare the numbers:

  1. My overly punitive nature fuels my vindictiveness.
  2. My over punitiveness fuels my vindictiveness.

Option 1; seven words, fifteen syllables.
Option 2; six words, thirteen syllable.

Maybe y’all do need to borrow “punitiveness” from us Texans.
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by True Blue on Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:42 am

RockOnBrother wrote:Ah, you’re referencing Wikipedia. Told you hey head food stuff.

If Wikipedia is your measure of brain food, then I shall feed it to you. Laughing
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by True Blue on Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:22 am

RockOnBrother wrote:
True Blue, regarding that “ness” suffix,

Compare the numbers:

  1. My overly punitive nature fuels my vindictiveness.
  2. My over punitiveness fuels my vindictiveness.
  3. Bugger 'im! Throw the book at 'im!

Option 1; seven words, fifteen syllables.
Option 2; six words, thirteen syllable.
Option 3; seven words, eight syllables.

Maybe y’all do need to borrow “punitiveness” from us Texans.

I'm feeling green today. Very Happy
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by True Blue on Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:45 am

RockOnBrother wrote:First, the US may not have the highest incarceration rate.

You doubt Wiki? Shocked

One needs to compare apples to apples, or at least apples to oranges, but certainly not apples to Volkswagens.

Wiki compared the US with every other nation in the world, but that is not good enough for you?

Saudi Arabia, for instance, may not have as high a reported incarceration rate as the US because Saudi Arabia may or may not publicly report all incarcerations, or perhaps Saudi Arabia simply executes (quietly) those who might be incarcerated if in the US.

Is Saudi Arabia a better 'instance' to compare than say Canada?

I will assume that Locke-ian countries, with shared meticulous attention to ensuring that all incarcerations are reported, can be compared with reasonable confidence that the comparisons are valid, so if we confine the comparisons to US-Oz, US-Canada, US-NZ, and US-UK, then we’re good to go.

Excellent... we are good to go!

Within those limitations, I wish I had a complete answer as to why our incarceration rate is so high. Unfortunately, I can only provide a partial answer, and that answer focuses upon what I will agree is American over punitiveness towards illegal drug users. I’ve seen somewhere that well over half of American USV incarceratees (also ought to be a word) are in for possession, or crimes related to possession.

So it is better to punish the drug addict than it is to punish the drug dealer? Do you think this will cut demand and so put the drug dealer out of business?

So would incarceration have helped anything other than my vindictiveness? I think not. He needed to be apprehended (he was) tried, convicted, and sentenced, but sentenced to what and where?

Well, what do you think should happen?
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by True Blue on Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:00 am

oftenwrong wrote:Is there a supplementary table that analyses the total of prisoners held in the above Countries to show the proportion of non-whites, and whether that corresponds to their proportion within that population as a whole?

I could find nothing on Wiki about it. Wink


As long as Nina could remember, the prison system held uncles and cousins and grandfathers and always her father. Nina, like Toney and Lolli, was raised in the inner city; for all three, prison further demarcated the already insular social geography. Along with the baby showers of teenagers, they attended prisoners’ going-away and coming-home parties. Drug dealing and arrests were common on the afternoons Nina spent playing on the sidewalk as she and her parents hung out with their friends. People would be hauled away, while others would unexpectedly reappear, angrier or subdued. Corrections officers escorted one handcuffed cousin to Nina’s great-grandmother’s funeral; her favorite uncle had to be unshackled in order to approach his dying grandmother’s hospital bedside. The prison system was part of the texture of family life.
—LeBlanc (2003)

Dear Sister:
One might have hoped that, by this hour, the very sight of
chains on Black flesh, or the very sight of chains, would be so
intolerable a sight for the American people, and so unbearable a
memory, that they would themselves spontaneously rise up and
strike off the manacles. But, no, they appear to glory in their
chains; now, more than ever, they appear to measure their safety
in chains and corpses. And so, Newsweek, civilized defender of
the indefensible, attempts to drown you in a sea of crocodile
tears (“it remained to be seen what sort of personal liberation
she had achieved”) and puts you on its cover, chained. You look
exceedingly alone—as alone, say, as the Jewish housewife in the
boxcar headed for Dachau, or as any one of our ancestors,
chained together in the name of Jesus, headed for a Christian
land. . . . If we know, then we must fight for your life as though
it were our own—which it is—and render impassable with our
bodies the corridor to the gas chamber. For, if they take you in
the morning, they will be coming for us that night.

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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by Shirina on Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:46 am

Is there a supplementary table that analyses the total of prisoners held in the above Countries to show the proportion of non-white
Where I live now, there is a high concentration of African-Americans here, more so than in most other cities.

I went through the online database provided by our local news station showing all of the people who have been arrested (not necessarily convicted):

Of the 35 people, only 6 were black and 2 were hispanic. All of the drug-related charges made were against dealers (intent to sell, intent to manufacture) and not merely possession. Truth be told, the majority of people are not jailed for possession of drugs unless they have a substantial amount. Otherwise it's simply a misdemeanor. They'll be detained but not arrested (there's a difference between the two) and will be put into the police database, but they won't serve any time.
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by True Blue on Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:56 am

Shirina wrote:I went through the online database provided by our local news station showing all of the people who have been arrested (not necessarily convicted):

Could you provide a link to that database please.
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by Guest on Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:45 am

RockOnBrother wrote:
I will assume that Locke-ian countries, with shared meticulous attention to ensuring that all incarcerations are reported, can be compared with reasonable confidence that the comparisons are valid, so if we confine the comparisons to US-Oz, US-Canada, US-NZ, and US-UK, then we’re good to go.
True Blue wrote:
Excellent... we are good to go!
RockOnBrother wrote:
Within those limitations, I wish I had a complete answer as to why our incarceration rate is so high. Unfortunately, I can only provide a partial answer, and that answer focuses upon what I will agree is American over punitiveness towards illegal drug users. I’ve seen somewhere that well over half of American USV incarceratees (also ought to be a word) are in for possession, or crimes related to possession.
True Blue wrote:
So it is better to punish the drug addict than it is to punish the drug dealer? Do you think this will cut demand and so put the drug dealer out of business?

No.
True Blue wrote:
Well, what do you think should happen?
Max out street-level dealers. Banish to devil’s island, sans food, clothing, and other supplies, high-level exporters/importers. Compel/require addicts to kick the habit, cold turkey if necessary, by any and all means that will work.
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by Guest on Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:49 am

]
DNA Exonerations since 2000, by ethnicity
Category Number Percent
Black (African American) 159 59.55%
White (Caucasian) 80 29.96%
Latino 21 7.87%
Asian American 2 0.75%
Unknown/Mixed Race 5 1.87%
Total 267 100.00%
Source: 11 Facts About Wrongful Incarcerations
http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-wrongful-imprisonment

The numbers speak precisely, the numbers speak loudly, the numbers speak clearly, the numbers speak non-negotiably (ought to be a word), the numbers evidence a pattern of wrongful and unjust incarcerations of innocent Black Americans, by and large innocent Black American males, by state injustice systems throughout the United States of America.
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by Guest on Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:28 am


Anyone who wishes to click the “Quote” button above and properly format the above data, please do so.
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by Guest on Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:02 am


True Blue,

Another partial answer as to why US incarceration rates are greater than those of other major Locke-ian countries.

My tricycle friend and were both three and a half years of age. We lived in adjoining apartments in a nice project, Back then, “the projects” were safe and well built housing for hardworking people, primarily families with both father and mother present, people born with wooden spoons rather than silver spoons in their mouths, people who were raised and whose parents expected them to raise the grandparents’ grandchildren.

I lived in the ground floor corner apartment and my friend lived next door, one apartment away from the corner. Each apartment had a small front porch directly outside the front door, and three steps led from the sidewalk to the each porch (more on those steps in a moment).

Our block was long, at least to three and a half year olders, and the sidewalk ran around the perimeter of the block. We could ride our “trikes” from the sidewalk outside my corner apartment, past his apartment, down to the corner, turn left, ride a short distance to another corner, turn left, ride all the way down the backside of the block, past the sand pile and playground equipment, past the back doors of our apartments, turn left, ride a short distance, turn left, and be “right back where we started from.”

But that first corner, the one at the end of the long block on the front side of the apartments, held mystery and intrigue to our three and a half years old minds. In “Zjoos-tahns” words (Justin Wilson, “we were curious bad some, whooe, I gah-rown-tee!”

One day, in spite of his mother’s and my mother’s stern admonitions to the contrary, we gat to the end of the front side of the block and, rather than turning left, we CROSSED THE STREET! Peddling like banshees, we set out to explore this new world together.

About halfway down the block, I felt a force, and hand from heaven, lift me up by my shoulders off my tricycle. I hollered and looked over at my friend in time to see HIS mother’s hand from heaven lifting him off his trike.

Last I saw of him that day, his mother was dragging him and his trike, one in each huge hand, up the three steps, through the door, and into oblivion, while my mother was dragging me and my trike, one in each hand, up the three steps, through the door, and into the dark confines of my final resting place on God’s green earth.

The next day, both still alive, my friend and I compared notes. His mom had “tore his behind up one side and down the other”, and I believe my mom beat his mom’s time. Neither one of us wanted to or could sit down, so the fact that tricycle riding was forbidden to us that day wasn’t a big deal. One has to sit on the trike to ride the trike,

Years later, after I was grown, I asked my mom if she remembered the incident. She had, in living color, recounting full names of all participants, and one more name about which I had nor known till then. The lady that lived in the ground floor apartment at the far end of the block was both our mom’s watchdog and AP/Reuters reporter. Our silly behinds hadn’t reached the other side of the street before she had called both mothers.

What neither my friend nor I knew was that this lady, retired, knew both our name and our family histories back to slavery times on all side of both of our families. . Sheesh! We had been under Big Sister’s Ever Present Eye the whole time.

Two points about this true story. Point number one: The lady on the corner assumed the right and the responsibility to keep us in check, and our moms implicitly and explicitly assented to, endorsed, and actively participated in the conspiracy. Point number two: Nobody called CPS when we were being dragged back to our apartments and up the three steps, and nobody called CPS when they heard my friend and I wailing from inside two apartments.

I believe that’s why so few from our generation, relatively speaking, have been incarcerated as adults.

Nowadays, however, the “mothers” would scream curse words at Big Sister and tell her to stay out of their “bid’nis” (business), and at the first sign that a child was being “beaten” here come the keystone cops dragging concerned parents’ children away for child abuse. Garbage in, garbage out.

By the way, have you digested that federal thing yet? Or, to ask it another way, under which two sovereign jurisdictions to you live?
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by Shirina on Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:40 pm

Could you provide a link to that database please.
I can, sure, but it changes daily just so you know.

http://www.wxii12.com/slideshow/news/23634386/detail.html
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by Shirina on Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:07 pm

I believe that’s why so few from our generation, relatively speaking, have been incarcerated as adults.
I think the issue is decidedly more complex than parents not beating the crap out of their kids as a form of punishment. Strange how that works, though. Police are not even allowed to beat prisoners unless the prisoner poses a direct threat to the officers, yet we are encouraged by some to beat our own children.

No, the issue, I think, has more to do with the number of laws. I really wish I had saved this particular research study so I can't provide a link - at least not straight away - but it showed how religious nations have far more laws than secular nations, and America is no exception. The more laws there are, the easier it is to run afoul of one, and the greater chance you have of ending up in jail. When I was perusing our local arrest database, there were charges I swear sounded as if they were invented on the spot just to add weight to the prosecutor's case. For instance, one of the charges was, "operating and maintaining a motor vehicle for the purpose of distributing drugs." Now, I think it's pretty safe to say that most people, even drug dealers, do not have a separate work vehicle that they only use to sell drugs from. Therefore, if you own a car for any reason and you are caught with drugs, you can be slapped with that charge.

Another set of buffoonish laws center around drinking alcohol. Not only is driving while intoxicated illegal, so is being drunk in public, which means you can neither drive OR walk home without breaking the law. Even if the police find you sleeping off a stupor in your car, you can be busted for DUI (Driving Under the Influence) even if you never put the key in the ignition. Many, many thousands fall prey to these laws.

One has to remember that the vast majority of people do not serve hard time. They might spend a month or two in the county jail for repeated misdemeanors; someone driving without a license may be stopped by police two or three times and fined in increasing amounts before being put in jail, but the law was broken repeatedly, thus jail was the next step in enforcement.

Even though the US is a nation of laws, almost all of them have little bearing on the lives of an honest person. I don't feel oppressed or any less free than anyone else. However, if you engage in criminal behavior, there are numerous charges that can be levied against you for one criminal act. That increases the likelihood of seeing jail time instead of probation, community service, or just a fine.
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by Guest on Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:39 pm

RockOnBrother wrote:
I believe that’s why so few from our generation, relatively speaking, have been incarcerated as adults.
Shirina wrote:
I think the issue is decidedly more complex than parents not beating the crap out of their kids as a form of punishment. Strange how that works, though. Police are not even allowed to beat prisoners unless the prisoner poses a direct threat to the officers, yet we are encouraged by some to beat our own children.

I didn’t say that our mothers were “beating the crap out of their kids as a form of punishment.” Those are your words; hence, the denotations and connotations thereof belong to you, not me.

Since you’ve brought it up, I will expand upon what happened behind the closed doors of adjoining apartments.

My friend and I got the disobedience beaten out of our minds, hearts, and souls. As you can see, “crap” had nothing to do with it. Further, this was not done “as a form of punishment”; this was done as a form of discipline, part of a twenty-year-long pattern of instilling discipline, particularly self-discipline, into the minds, hearts, and souls of a couple of three and a half years old knuckleheads who, by the passage of time, would be physically grown males in fourteen and a half years, and who, by genetics/culture, would be physically grown Black males in fourteen and a half years.

My mother desired that her son, me, become more than just a “physically grown Black males in fourteen and a half years”; she desired that her son become a Black man in fourteen and a half years. Moreover, she was willing to, and did do, everything she knew how to do to ensure, as best she could, that her son would become a Black man in fourteen and a half years.

She succeeded,
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:28 pm

The single concern that emerges from the above opinions is for personal property.

Correspondents are clearly far more worried about their property than they are about themselves.

That's inverted logic. I can buy a replacement for a stolen object, but how do you restore lost contentment?
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by Shirina on Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:21 pm

My friend and I got the disobedience beaten out of our minds, hearts, and souls
As I said, you had the crap beaten out of you.
She succeeded
Yes, but causing physical pain to another human being, much less your own child, may or may not have contributed to that success. I find it an unresolvable dichotomy to hit your children while simultaneously teaching them that it's wrong to hit. For all we know, the penchant for hitting children for 18 years results in a more violent society instead of the other way around. Bad behavior among youth is always assumed to be caused by the lack of a good "ass whoopin'" but there's no way to know that. In fact, kids are growing up faster than at any previous point in history, and I often wonder if "spankings" are even effective against these types of children. My parents, neither set of them, ever laid a hand on me in an effort to cause me pain and I certainly didn't grow up to be a "wild child." Even though my personal upbringing is anecdotal, I doubt I'm a unique breed. This should cause one to question the validity of corporal punishment; it would stand to reason that other factors in parenting are far more necessary for a child to grow up into a well behaved adult.

Oh, I'm not against spanking at an early age when it is more about causing humiliation and shame than it is pain, but in the later years, spankings are meant to hurt. Where, in any other segment of our society, is inflicting pain acceptable? It's not acceptable in prisons, it's not acceptable in military boot camp, in fact, nowhere in America is it tolerated unless the cop, prison guard, military instructor, etc. is in real danger. Yet we strive to inflict pain on our own children. That doesn't make a lot of sense, and believe me, the children KNOW about this hypocrisy. They're not the gullible little saps some people think they are.

I'm sure you'll disagree, but it's just some food for thought.
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by oftenwrong on Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:58 pm

"It's not acceptable in prisons, it's not acceptable in military boot camp, in fact, nowhere in America is it tolerated unless the cop, prison guard, military instructor, etc. is in real danger.

Abu Graeve was not America, even while totally under US control.
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by astra on Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:16 pm

I
find it an unresolvable dichotomy to hit your children while simultaneously teaching them that it's wrong to hit.

Thing is Shirina, it always made me adjudge the size of my antagonist, (if things were going to resort to pugilism! Very Happy )

Further, it always made me "weigh up the risks" if I was going to get away with whatever, or not. Even when the chances of "success" were 100-1 (in my guestimation) I always ended up with a thick ear. Like Rock, my parents had a SPY. (I was 48 years old when I found this out!) If I had found out at the time, this person's life would have been terrible and to hell with the consequenses! I was getting the blame of dobbing my pals in trouble so got earache from them! (well not just earache) but learning is such sweet pain!
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by True Blue on Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:37 pm

Rock,

What you describe above is child abuse and I don't condone child abuse. Swearing, screaming and denigrating a child as is the want of some these days is also child abuse.

People can avoid abusing their children and still raise them well imparting good manners, kindness and consideration for others.

Shirina,

Thanks for the link... I'll check that out a bit latter on today.

On the matter of racism, I'm with Rock... I think racism is still a very large factor impacting American society.

I think sometimes, we European types who are not inclined towards racism and perhaps like me, you never have been... we can forget that we are an exception rather than the rule.

It is also difficult for European types to understand just what racism is since we are lucking enough to enjoy white privilege and take that privilege for granted.

Having travelled extensively in developing nations however, I have had the opportunity to experience racism first hand... rather shocking and confronting at first, but it is quite amazing how quickly you can become accustomed to it and interact with it to ensure your needs are met.



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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by True Blue on Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:39 pm

On the matter of racism, I just want to clarify that it is a human trait and not a white trait.

Racism, is about more than skin colour... it is about cultural differences also.
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:37 am

RockOnBrother wrote:
My friend and I got the disobedience beaten out of our minds, hearts, and souls
Shirina wrote:
As I said, you had the crap beaten out of you.

You said that before, you were erroneous before, and you are erroneous again.

My friend and I got the disobedience beaten out of our minds, hearts, and souls; “crap” had nothing to do with it.

RockOnBrother wrote:
She succeeded
Shirina wrote:
Yes…

Had you stopped right there, prior to “but”, you’d have been good to go.

I’ve a question for you which I want you to answer to yourself only, as the answer “ain’t nobody else’s bid’niz” but yours. How many male children have you raised into adult decency, into manhood?

My mother succeeded in all attempts to raise male children into men. She didn’t do it alone; my father, his brothers and brothers-in-law (my uncles) and my grandfather; my grandmother, aunts, and great aunts (including some aunts who were genetically first cousins once removed), and even my grandfather whose death preceded my birth by two decades, all contributed.

That being said, my mother’s track record speaks for itself; one hundred percent of the male children that she attempted to raise into adult decency were raised into adult decency. She raised men, Black men, and each Black man that she raised has raised Black men, so her extended track record is one hundred percent through two generations.

My mother beat the disobedience out of her knuckleheaded son’s minds, hearts, and souls that fateful day that resides in my memory in a special place of honor. As I said, “crap” had nothing to do with it.

Shirina wrote:
… but causing physical pain to another human being, much less your own child, may or may not have contributed to that success.

Causing physical pain to this son’s behind was one crucial reason for the success. I cherish the memory of that pain, which kept me obedient and safe (I know what it feels like to get hit by a car) until I grew and matured sufficiently to understand the importance to one’s survival of obeying those who not only have your best interests at heart, but would sacrifice their own lives in a heartbeat to ensure your safety and survival.

“Greater love has no one than this; that a person lay down his life for his friends.” My mother would have laid down her life for me; she demanded (usually quietly) my obedience, she deserved my obedience, and I am a man rather than a grown boy right now because she got my obedience.

Shirina wrote:
I find it an unresolvable dichotomy to hit your children while simultaneously teaching them that it's wrong to hit.

Perhaps you need to study under the tutelage of a mother with a perfect track record. I suggest you find such a person near you by (a) locating a family of grown male brothers who are all men rather than grown boys. And (b) “backtracking to their mother. In social science research, past performance is the best indicator of future performance.

If you find someone whose past performance has resulted in present day men, that’s the person at whose feet you should study.
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by True Blue on Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:53 am

RockOnBrother wrote:My friend and I got the disobedience beaten out of our minds, hearts, and souls.

Meaning you no disrespect, i must say that this is wrong. It is slave talk. You can't see that because you know no different to that.

There are ways of teaching children that appeals to the universal morality of goodness so that correcting disobedience is less violent, negative and fear ridden. Children are being indoctrinated into society as much as they are the family of that society. Society does not demand that disobedience be that which you would never contemplate. Disobedience is sometimes necessary as a means to affect change on many levels... from adventure to politics. Disobedience is an advantage of our species. It should not be beaten out of a person. We don't not want a society of slaves who do not challenge the world.
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:05 am

RockOnBrother wrote:My friend and I got the disobedience beaten out of our minds, hearts, and souls.
True Blue wrote:
Meaning you no disrespect, i must say that this is wrong.

You are in error, my Ozzie friend. No disrespect taken; you speak your mind, honestly, without regard to niceties that serve no purpose save to obscure one’s true thoughts and intent. That’s one reason I like Aussies, and I’ve liked every Aussie I’ve met so far.

True Blue wrote:
It is slave talk. You can't see that because you know no different to that.

Once again, as my mentor, Bugs Q. Bunny (that’s my hero’s picture to the top left of this post), says, “He don’t know me very well, do he?

My unwitting comrade in revelation, you’ve opened the door that I’ve been wanting someone to open on this forum since March 2011. If you were alive and cognizant of (to Aussies) world events at the time, you know that Black Americans, Black Men, Black Women, all uppercase intentional, stood tall and strong against and for liberty and justice for all during the turbulent 1960’s. I was there.

I was one of the Black Men. I willingly sacrificed in ways unthinkable to young men of the 21st Century. Moreover, my friend, I rubbed shoulders with giants, one of whom, in the words of Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg in 1863, “gave the last full measure of devotion” to “that cause” exemplified by the words of Bobby Seale, “All Power to All People.”

Through the 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s, and 2000’s, I remained one of those Black Men. In 2011, I still remain one of those Black men.

One uncle, the bravest human being of either gender and any ethnicity I’ve ever personally met, got blown off a hill at Anzio by German 88 mm fire trying to save the second soldier in five minutes; had he not landed on the soldier’s body after the fall, my uncle would have died. Although his job required him to stay behind (US Army regulations), he always went into harm’s way with is soldiers.

My uncle received the Purple Heart and Silver Star for his actions hat day; he mourned for the rest of his life that soldier he tried to save whose death saved my uncle’s life.

Had I ever wavered in standing tall and proud for liberty and justice for all, I would have had to look my uncle in his face and explain to him why his nephew backed down in the face of evil.

One of the lullabies sung by me to all of my children.



Perhaps you know me bit better. I hope so.

True Blue wrote:
There are ways of teaching children that appeals to the universal morality of goodness so that correcting disobedience is less violent, negative and fear ridden.

One practitioner of this ideology had a son that habitually disobeyed the father. The kid was a good king, never malicious, just hard-headed and disobedient when he felt he wanted to explore. Kind of like me at three and a half years old.

One thing the son would do was play in the driveway while vehicles were moving thereon. His dad did as you advise, using verbal correction, eschewing anything “violent, negative”, or “fear ridden.”

The father left the house to run errands one Saturday morning. The son, who had repeatedly been verbally admonished to not play in the driveway while vehicles were moving, died instantaneously when his father backed his pickup truck over his son’s body.

The father’s commitment to “teaching children [in a way] that appeals to the universal morality of goodness so that correcting disobedience is less violent, negative and fear ridden” didn’t work out so well for the son, the father, the mother, or anyone else that loved the son. The father is the first cousin, more like a brother, of a personal friend. This happened in 2003; the boy is still dead.

Post Note: True Blue, these are the manner of men with whom my uncle endured German 88 bombardment at Anzio; different time, different nationalities, different ethnicities, same caliber o men, quiet heroes doing their jobs.



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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by True Blue on Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:47 pm

I'll get back to your post when I'm at home. Smile
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by Guest on Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:22 pm


True Blue,

Cool. Don't miss the last two videos. I cry every time I view them.
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by Shirina on Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:07 pm

That being said, my mother’s track record speaks for itself; one hundred percent of the male children that she attempted to raise into adult decency were raised into adult decency.

Well, Rock, I hope you realize that I think you're a good and decent man, even if we often disagree (though we'll always agree about CVNs haha), and that is a testament to your mother's parenting skills. However, I can't agree that beating the crap, disobedience or whatever else out of a child is the right way to handle things. I would be okay (but uncomfortable) with hitting a child as a last resort for repeated disobedience after other methods have failed. I don't believe hitting should be the first resort, but parents who spank often do just that, and they'll spank for the smallest of reasons. One thing I have noticed is that children aren't allowed to have accidents, and many parents punish children for making mistakes, not for disobedience which is why I'm against the concept. I would argue that most parents are not good enough at controlling their own anger to avoid hitting children for ONLY the right reasons. If, for instance, you display your precious Ming vase nearby where your child plays, hitting the child for breaking it in the course of permitted normal play is just wrong. Yet many parents, angry over the broken vase, would spank the child for ... something. I've seen it happen.

I'm especially against hitting older children, for that's when parents actually reach for a weapon - and a switch, belt, big wooden spoon, etc is, in fact, a weapon when used to inflict bodily harm. If you cannot inflict corporal punishment with your open hand, then it's time to come up with a different method. That's what I believe.
she demanded (usually quietly) my obedience, she deserved my obedience, and I am a man rather than a grown boy right now because she got my obedience.
Of course she did, Rock. I'm certainly not saying otherwise.
If you find someone whose past performance has resulted in present day men, that’s the person at whose feet you should study.
I know lots of families like this. I even had a very good friend who was in a family of five brothers being raised by a single mom. Did hitting take place? Sure ... but only for the most severe breaches of the rules, and it stopped once they hit adolescence. Then other methods were used. You mentioned a father who only gave verbal warnings to a child who was ultimately killed in his own driveway. The problem there is that no other form of punishment was given - and I'm not advocating no punishments for disobedience. And, if a child was young enough for a driveway to be dangerous, then I have no problem with spanking.

It's just that too many parents can easily turn into this:
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by GreatNPowerfulOz on Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:22 pm

corporal punishment instills a visceral understand that there's a price to be paid for disobedience that no "talking to" ever will...

the problem is knowing how to effective apply it while not stooping to abuse.

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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:10 am

RockOnBrother wrote:
That being said, my mother’s track record speaks for itself; one hundred percent of the male children that she attempted to raise into adult decency were raised into adult decency.
Shirina wrote:
Well, Rock, I hope you realize that I think you're a good and decent man, even if we often disagree (though we'll always agree about CVNs haha), and that is a testament to your mother's parenting skills.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You honor my mother with your words. Any claim that I might have to decency is because “that boy was raised”, and my mother was a key player in that raising, so crucial that, without her, it might not have happened.

Another key player was my Dad. When six feet something Chris Brown smacked the fire out of five feet nothing Rihanna, I found myself in simultaneous arguments with several folks who maintained that it was partially or fully Rihanna’s fault because of what she said and did to Chris Brown.

Eighth grade art class immediately came to mind. Four key characters; me; a cowardly male brat, “Tom”; a large girl, “Sapphire” (thank you, Kingfish); and a boy’s vice principal with a high pitched voice, “Mr. Green.”

I could draw a little bit once upon a time. Tom, jealous of my work, started hitting me at every opportunity as he walked about getting art supplies. I told the fool to back off, and that I’d wipe the blacktop with his ugly face after school, but he was having none of that, knowing full well that I never fought during class.

Well, never say never, because, after maybe a quarter hour of this, I’d had enough, and tore into Tom like a Tasmanian devil. Tom was “getting’ a beat down” to put it mildly. Next thing I know, Sapphire races across the room and k nocks me silly, hollering, “You leave my boyfriend alone!” On a quick side note, what in God’s name are junior high school knuckleheads doing running around talking about “boyfriend” and “girlfriend?” She should’ve been playing with Barbie dolls, and he should’ve been building fighter jets out of Legos. Or something!

Back to the story, Sapphire was tearing me up, but every time she hit me, I hit Tom twice, once for him, and once for her. The girl’s vice principal and the boy’s vice principal, Mr. Green, arrived to cart us off the appropriate vice principal’ office. Mr. Green made a point of telling Tom and me, that letters were going home to parents in that evenings mail. I figured the letter would get to my house the next day or the day after, tops.

When Dad got home that evening, I was ready for my sit down talk. I told him about the fight (a bit fearfully, because I had broken the rule about not fighting in class), I told him about being taken to Mr. Green’s office, and I told him about the punishment the school was imposing.

Then I got to the most important part. “Dad, I didn’t hit Sapphire. No matter what the letter says, I hit Tom, but I didn’t touch Sapphire.”

You probably see where I’m going with this. When Chris bloodied Rihanna’s face, I called Dad and asked if he remembered the incident I’ve described. He did indeed. I asked him, again, what would have happened to me had I hit Sapphire. Dad mentioned something about death, my not being alive today, or some such. You see, neither my dad nor my uncles played that. We were taught that the only time a boy or man lays his hands on a girl or woman with oppositional force is in order to prevent her, you, or another from suffering great bodily harm and/or death.

That’s been passed on through the next generation male children, all of whom have known for years that, if any of them were to lay his hands on woman with malice, they would have hell to play when the surviving members of my dad’s generation got to them.

Hell, I didn’t have a choice but to be raised. Or maybe I did, but the alternative was too gruesome to contemplate.

Side not re CVNs: Yep. And the myopic suits in London are finally building a CV or two for the Royal Navy, God bless their bespectacled souls.

Shirina wrote:
However, I can't agree that beating the cr*p, disobedience or whatever else out of a child is the right way to handle things. I would be okay (but uncomfortable) with hitting a child as a last resort for repeated disobedience after other methods have failed.

Ideologues, like the ones whose absolutism the parents of the boy whose father backed over and crushed their son slavishly adhered, call all physical discipline “abuse.” In my informed opinion (more on that below), such slavish loyalty is blasphemy, as YHVH Elohim’s admonition, “Thou shall have no other Gods before me”, includes renowned psychologists/authors who hole PhD’s from top tier schools.

Interestingly, you’ve almost nailed my mother’s method down. However, she didn’t use physical pain to one’s posterior regions as a last resort, but as a next step. Here’s the drill in a nutshell:

Step 1: Teach. Mom always taught first. She taught thoroughly, with plenty of opportunity for feedback to ensure that the child knew and understood, to the best of that child’s ability, the expectations and consequences. And I can testify; oh, did she teach, thoroughly, ad infinitum, ad nauseoum. No child of 80 IQ or above could miss the lesson. Going back to three and a half, shucks, I knew full well my boundaries and why.

Step 2 (usually): Enforce the rule in the least harsh manner as possible. If a glance would do it, cool, we were good. If a few words would do, not as cool, but we were still good. If a non-physical punishment would do, not cool at all, but if heeded, we were still good. Last was physical discipline, which was decidedly uncool, but if heeded, we were still good. The exception to this progression is explained below.

Step 2(a) Enforce: If the infraction involved safety, immediate physical discipline would occur. If one dodges a bullet once, as my friend and I did by crossing the street without being hit by a car, she didn’t chance that second bullet. Moreover, by wandering outside of the area where neighbors kept watch, we were putting ourselves in danger of being molested and/or abducted and/or murdered. In such instance, pain aversion therapy was instituted, such that the next time my three and a half year old genius mind even thought about crossing that street, my butt hurt.

Step 3: Re-teach. If either step 2 or 2(a) occurred, obviously the child didn’t get the lesson the first time, so Mom would meticulously teach it again, with feedback built in to ensure complete comprehension of the expectations and consequences.

This three step procedure was repeated as many times as necessary, until the child got the lesson and owned the lesson. Notice the teach-enforce-teach progression and cycle. If my mom was on her way to see Nat King Cole or Billy Eckstine in concert and her child was in need of enforcement, she put off whatever she was doing, enforced, then re-taught meticulously, taking as long as it took. If that meant missing Nat or Billy, she’d catch ‘em next time.

One last point. A full grown woman or man is supposed to be uncomfortable hitting a child. That’s why I didn’t try to soft-soap my words by saying “administered corporal punishment”, as if the pretty terminology somehow softens the blow. It doesn’t. But a person’s gotta do what a person’s gotta do, particularly if the consequences of not doing it are possibly calamitous.

Shirina wrote:
… the cr*p, disobedience or whatever else out of a child…

Don’t mix these up. When one beats the cr*p out of a child, one is doing so for reasons other than instilling discipline. When one beats the disobedience out of a child, one’s focus is upon the objective and the goal. As to whatever, if one is beating a child for whatever reason other than to beat the disobedience out of the child, one is not instilling discipline; one is again doing so for reasons other than instilling discipline.

Also don’t mix up “punishment” and “discipline.” The first is retribution, and a child doesn’t need retribution, a child needs raising in such a way that she/he grows into adult decency. That’s why this differentiation is important. Notice that the root word of discipline is disciple, verb or noun, to teach deeply such that the student owns and becomes the lesson, and the person who owns and become the lesson, respectively.

Going back to three and a half years old, that painful experience was a crucial step in ensuring that by the time I was five, I looked both ways before crossing a street, and I didn’t play in driveways when moving vehicles were present therein. I owned the lesson and I had become the lesson.

Shirina wrote:
… many parents punish children for making mistakes, not for disobedience…

… most parents are not good enough at controlling their own anger to avoid hitting children for ONLY the right reasons.

If, for instance, you display your precious Ming vase nearby where your child plays, hitting the child for breaking it in the course of permitted normal play is just wrong.

I'm especially against hitting older children…

… that's when parents actually reach for a weapon…

If you cannot inflict corporal punishment with your open hand, then it's time to come up with a different method…

It's just that too many parents can easily turn into this:

[video]

All good points.

I promised more later about my informed opinion. I was a child protective services child abuse and neglect investigator for awhile, complete with limited peace officer status and powers, emphasis on limited. The extensive training I and my peers received was excellent, broad, and comprehensive. I was qualified by state law, training, and acquired skills, knowledge, and expertise to counsel parents in all matters pertaining to effective parenting sans abuse and neglect.

All of the points you’ve raised directly above were foci of our counseling/teaching of abusive and/or neglectful/potentially abusive and/or neglectful parents.

Moreover, what you see and hear on the video you’ve provided is mild compared to some of my “war” stories. If you want to hear a few, either here or via pm, let me know.
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:19 am


Shirina,

I forgot this. My absolute personal boycott of Chris Brown continues, and will continue until he exhibits repentance (the real deal) and publicly apologizes to Rihanna. I own the lesson and I have become the lesson.


Last edited by RockOnBrother on Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by witchfinder on Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:07 pm

Here are some very interesting facts

The United Kingdom no longer uses the death penalty for any crime, the last person executed in the UK was almost 50 years ago.

The death penalty in the United States is a matter for individual states to decide upon, the state which has executed more people than any other is Texas.

In 2010 there were a total of 1,249 murders in Texas ( pop 25 million )

In 2010 there were a total of 619 murders in England ( pop 51 million )

Now - convince me that the death penalty is a deterant
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Re: Compared to other Western nations, is the USA excessively punitive towards its citizens?

Post by Shirina on Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:31 pm

Now - convince me that the death penalty is a deterant
I won't even try because I know there's no such thing as a deterrent for a criminal. The vast majority of criminals do not believe they'll be caught (there are a few exceptions, of course). The one thing the death penalty does that no other form of punishment can do is to guarantee that the criminal will never commit another act of crime. I do believe that our capital punishment system is arbitrary. Sending a person to death row for killing a convenience store clerk in a fit of panic while giving a serial child rapist 20 years and some counseling is hardly befitting of a good system. But my objections arise over how the decision to execute is reached, and who ends up dying.
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