I know you’re all torn up to hear that Eric Rudolph is miserable in prison.1http://www.ajc.com/hp/content/shared-gen/ap/National/Eric_Rudolph.html?cxntnid=amn121106e
“Using solitary confinement, Supermax is designed to inflict as much misery and pain as is constitutionally permissible,” he wrote in a letter.
No, really? That’s part of that whole deterrent factor, ya know? Jail isn’t supposed to be a vacation. Maybe you should have considered the possibility of losing a little time in the mountains before you took to being a bomber, Rudolph?
Of course, he still has his life to complain about, unlike some of his victims.
My real question, I suppose, is why is this news? What is our attention being redirected away from?
3 thoughts on “Aw, poor widdle terrorist!”
This would be all well and good, it’s just that harsher punishments demonstrably have no effect whatsoever on deterrence rates. Improving detection rates do increase deterrence, however, and also have the added bonus of not torturing or otherwise mistreating people.
Of course, for most crimes you simply can’t deter people; crimes of passion, crimes of compulsion, crimes resulting from a rational cost-benefit analysis (murdering someone for their life insurance, for example).
Either way, mistreating prisoners solves nothing except satisfying those who crave to mistreat others. We lock up people because they commit crimes against other human beings; that does not give us the right to commit crimes against them. Criminals are human, and what separates us from criminals is that we respect other human beings. Throwing that out of the window simply lowers us to their level.
I find it quite horrifying that someone living in the supposed land of the freeâ€”who presumably opposes the tyrannous government of the world’s dictatorshipsâ€”endorses the government’s mistreatment of those it opposes.
I don’t think he’s being mistreated at all. In fact, if you follow the link to the article, you’ll find he isn’t being tortured or anything — he’s simply being held in a maximum security prison. He’s lost his freedom.
I absolutely believe he should have been given the death penalty instead of being in that prison. He isn’t going to be “rehabilitated” in any way. He’s going to be in that prison for the rest of his life, at a very high cost. It would be better for him and for everyone else if he were simply put to death.
Better detection rates? I have no idea what you’re referring to there, but it wasn’t too hard to notice the bombings Rudolph committed. Should his criminal tendencies have been detected earlier? That would have been good, yes. Unfortunately, as far as I know, the closest he came to any kind of trouble that would have gotten him into treatment was the supposed marijuana use that got him kicked out of the military.
There is absolutely no reason to keep him locked in a tiny cell for 23 hours a day; it’s just restriction for restriction’s sake. He would have also lost his freedom if you’d have locked him up in a well-secured prison but still given him adequate exercise time, space, contact with other human beings, etc. He’d still be just as much of a danger to society (i.e. none at all) and it would cost just as little to house him.
As for the death penalty, it costs more than imprisoning someone for life, FYI, and comes with a plethora of additional problemsâ€”the fallibility of prosecutors being one major one, the hypocrisy of decrying murder while murdering criminals being another.
Detection rates are the proportion of crimes committed that are actually detected and the perpetrators prosecuted. Harsher punishments do not deter people (and this has been shown time and time again), since criminals know thatâ€”in the vast majority of casesâ€”they simply won’t be caught; they balance risk and punishment and no matter how harsh the punishment, low detection rates balance it out. You could have 100% detection rates and absolutely no punishment aspect to prison, and all crimes would be deterred; this doesn’t work the other way.
In this case the perpetrator has been caught, but that the prospect of life in a supermax prison ipso facto did absolutely nothing to deter him.
In conclusion, I reiterate what I said before: harsh punishments solve absolutely nothing except satiating the general public’s lust for revenge. Whether or not that’s a good thing depends on whether you enjoy that revenge, I guess.
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