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View Diary: Not So Fast Summers (270 comments)

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  •  a murderer, serial rapist (none)
    someone who cannot control themselves. Why is it idiotic if the procedure is proven to make him no longer violent? Why is idiotic if it works? Why is it idiotic if it keeps others safe? It is idiotic because of the false significance you place on certain body parts.
    •  Open can, release worms. (4.00)
      I would go so far as to argue that murderers and serial rapists should be given life in prison, where it is much more difficult to assault women.  Besides, I'm sure there are a few historical examples of castrati being violent.

      Your support of castration reeks of sexual revenge, which the justice system is not supposed to be motivated by.  How can you possibly think a form of physical mutilation is an appropriate punishment for anything?.  Of course, if the perp volunteers for it, that's another matter.

      As for ordinary wife-beaters and such, castration would be wholly disproportionate.  We have domestic abuse laws and shelters for a reason.

      I wouldn't quite call your idea idiotic.  Just not very well thought out.

      Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.

      by Cream Puff on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 07:56:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  chemical castration (none)
        involves no chopping, it reduces the amount of testosterone. It has proven to stop violent behavior. Some criminals have asked to be castrated this way and have been denied. Putting them in jail for life is a poor solution when they can become non-violent citizens. I open this can of worms to show how irrationaly we are in regards to men's "balls" - there is more legend here than fact. I am not saying anything about the penis - just reducing the chemical (testosterone) that when in excess can cause violent behavior. No revenge, nothing but logic.  
        •  No less assault (none)
          If a person volunteers for it, that is something different I suppose. But chemical castration is no less assault by the state if it is done per force of law than physical castration. I would be interested in links to your references on the successful use of the technique, it's something that I am interested in and have never heard of a definitive study on the matter.
          •  it is no more invasive (none)
            than a depressed person taking anti-depressants, a menopausal woman taking hormones - in fact that is all it is - hormone therapy for men with too much testosterone. In order to make otherpeople safe it is a better choice than a straight jacket, the death penalty and any current method we now have. I will work on finding you the links.
            •  Except... (none)
              Except that if you want to stop taking pills you can just...stop taking them.

              Pills are not surgery.

              Galatians 6:9-And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

              by Haroshia on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 09:52:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  it is not surgury (none)
                it is injections. We dont let violent criminals walk out of prison before their term is up - some not at all, so why would we let them stop doing something that makes them less violent and keeps others safe? If you have a condition that makes you kill and/or rape then your choices are limited - you either take the medicine that reduces your violence or you sit in jail - most would actually prefer chemical castration but our fear/ignorance of it keeps us from implementing it.
    •  c'mon now (none)

      I always get worked up when people talk about performing nonvoluntary surgery on jocks who get into too many bar fights. Because that's what it WILL come down to.
      It's that whole "cruel and unusual punishment" thing. If we gave everyone a labotomy at birth, that "works" to stop violence too. Why stop at "violent" people? Whatever happened to prevention?
    •  Wow (none)
      I don't even know where to begin. I place no particular emphasis on penises. I am just not sure that you have the correct notion of what the criminal justice system is about.

      The point Republicans, and apparently you as well, fail to understand is that the American Justice System should not be about vengance, it should be about prevention (incarceration) and rehabilitation (education) where possible. Revenge has no place in a Democratic and humane society. Where rehabilitation is impossible we have life in prison. Physical violence against criminals, which includes your suggested castration and the death penalty (not to mention torture and others I am surely forgetting) should not be allowed, because they are neither preventive of future crimes by others and put the state in the role of killing/hurting someone which is not good for anyone.

      •  Quick questions on justice... (none)
        I often see people make similar points on the nature of justice, so I thought I'd ask you some questions. (These are actually real questions, and not any veiled attack.)

        1. Without getting too far afield, if the judicial system is motivated by prevention and rehabilitation, would you advocate arresting people who had not yet committed a crime but were highly predisposed to in order to prevent / rehabilitate them?

        2. Moreover, if someone is an incorrigible car thief so rehabilitation fails, the only preventative measure would seem to be to just to lock the person up forever, which seems to me an extreme and "undeserved" punishment. (As opposed to re-arresting them each time they are released and steal a car.)

        I would like to avoid these possibilities, but I've never quite understood how to logically prevent these without making the justice system, at least in part, retributive (ie. there is an element of "the criminal deserves this", which is similar to but distinct from vengeance).
        •  Answers (none)
          Good questions:

          Here's your answers:

          By it's nature, CJS is punitive, but I believe it should not vengeful. Punishment is in a sense a form of deterence, albeit not very effective as a prevention of crimes by others. However, the likelihood of the person in prison commiting another crime against society while there is very low.

          1) I don't believe in preventetive incarceration for "future crimes". Although incarceration is in a sense just that, I believe that it's impossible to know fore sure what someone will do. If it was actually possible to deterimine what someone "would do" with 100% certainty, then I suppose I would have to call myself undecided on the issue. However, the Constitution would have to be considerably amended to allow such a thing.

          None of these things are simple, however, I just believe that violence by the state in any form in criminal matters is wrong and unhelpful

          2) I do believe in lifetime incarceration for incorrigibles, even thieves, if their crimes are large enough. If someone continually robs banks, then life in prison is fine with me, if they continually shoplife candy bars then no. Thieves are disruptive to society and as such need to be removed.

          •  Thanks for answering! (none)
            Brief responses:
            #1. I didn't so much mean prevention in a "Minority Report" sense as in a more mundane sense. Example: poor teenage males in large cities often end up in gangs. Gangs are breeding grounds for violent antisocial behavior. In a purely preventative / treatment approach, one could "arrest" someone for merely being in a gang and place them in some sort of rehabilitative environment (eg. foster home). This would not require certainly that the person would/did commit a crime, but only an acknowledgement that the person's circumstances are dangerous.

            #2. That seems logical within the framework of prevention/treatment. Ok.

            Thank you for answering!

            •  I attended a conference.... (none)
              on preventing youth violence shortly after the school shooting at Thurston High School in Springfield Oregon.  (I was a grad student at UO at the time)

              The one thing all of the expert presenters agreed on is that although there are lots of "indicators" for violent behavior, the vast majority of people with those indicators never become violent.

              I guess you could say the rate of false positives is extremely high.

              If we get to the point where brain scan technology can predict violent behavior with a lower rate of false positives, then this will become a very difficult ethical issue, IMO.

            •  #1 (none)
              I don't believe in that sort of arrest. I don't think that you can punish someone for their situation (or even help them through rehabilitation) until they commit a crime, it's one of the painful parts of living in a democracy I suppose. Although, for teens, any non-adult the situation is somewhat different, the membership in a gang might be construed as a form of parental neglect and perhaps in that instance it might be okay, I would have to think on it more.
              •  I agree (none)
                with you on this, which leads me to the conclusion that my ideal judicial system is, at its core, retributive: we cannot do anything to an individual (even to "help" him/her) until they are guity of something (ie. "deserve" to be helped/punished). I was just curious if you were able to get around this issue somehow.
                •  Hmmm...disagree slightly (none)
                  It's only retributive if you consider the reason that you are sending them to prison is to punish them. I do not. I think the reason to send them to jail is to prevent them from commiting another crime, and there is two levels, 1) they cannot commit a crime in prison, and 2) they try to rehabilitate. I don't see any conflict.
      •  It occurred to me just now... (none)
        that I didn't read your "where possible" and so I probably thought you were making a stronger statement than you actually were. If so, I apologize. :-)

        Also, I'm not sure if the person to whom you are responding is necessarily talking about vengeance. When a male dog behaves poorly, we often respond by neutering it. We're not punishing the dog for misbehaving; we're just removing the reason he misbehaves. This is just raising that principle to people: fix the person by removing part of their motivation/ability to commit a crime/misbehave. (The grandparent may have been going more for a vengeance aspect, but it's too early in the morning for my subtextual skills to be working.)

        The objection I would raise to it (aside from it making me feel icky) is that it treats human beings not as rational agents able to judge/control their own actions but as biological miscreants that require fixing.

      •  some violent criminals (none)
        are violent because they have too much testosterone. Chemical Castration resolves this. They lose the violent feelings (there are cases where it is done and documented) and can return to society and live among others without being a threat.

        It is a solution and a prevention in cases where the person feels violent because of the overabundance of the chemical testosterone in their system. Before people think this is cruel, or revengeful, I suggest instead of reacting - research.

        We have a logical, humane solution for some male criminals that is discounted purely on misunderstanding. The same type of reactions others may have to gays, based on fear and not reality.

        •  Other fears (none)
          I think some (small? large?) group of people -- well, me at least -- may simply be worried about the existence of a slippery slope where we begin to treat people less as rational agents and more as biochemical machines. Social structures in human culture are generally built on the assumption of rational agency holding primacy over socialization and biochemisty, and I at least prefer it that way. Obviously this is a self-contradictory point of view since it's clearly irrational to deny human irrationality in the face of biochemical and socialization arguments. :-)

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