Deterrent

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Deterrent

Postby Tailsteak » Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:15 pm

Please answer true or false to the following statements:

1) An essential function of the criminal justice system is to act as a deterrent - knowing the negative consequences of crime helps prevent crime.

2) A good citizen is at all times, on some level, afraid of the police.

If you answered true to the first and false to the second, please explain why.
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Re: Deterrent

Postby crayzz » Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:27 pm

I actually answered false both times but, playing by your rules...

Because, ideally, the police aren't a threat to people who don't want to commit crimes. Not everyone wants to commit crimes all the time.

Hell, the current status quo in many countries is to use the consequences as a deterrent, but not everyone is afraid of the police all the time, including myself. Whether or not I could explain it, it's true.
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Re: Deterrent

Postby luislsacc » Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:19 pm

I awnsered true to the first one, first, as it is, quite literally, textbook - a direct translation from my penal law textbook reads " general function of negative prevention" as the concept defined in the first statement. People should be unwilling to commit crimes because they understand that doing so damages others, but to those who do not care about such damage, the thought that commiting a crime actually impacts them in an unpleasant way is most definitely useful, and I would consider it essential. I will say your first sentence needs to be more specific - there's one major negative consequence of the crime of murder that doesn't even remotely envolve the legal justice system, namely the loss of life. I would change the word "consequences" to "legal ramifications".

To the second one, I'm going to awnser false. Sometimes, as a law-abiding citizen, I'm going to be on the toilet, playing my gameboy, and thinking about how I hate the Hammer Bros. instead of my fear of the police. Functionally, a citizen should be afraid of the police and think about the negative legal ramifications of crime whenever mens rea might start to form, or whenever practising a negligent act is first considered ( such as ignoring a "check engine" light in a car's dashboard). I think it's important to note that the police's core function ( as in, of the core functions, the "coreiest") is not to stop crime, but to catch criminals. Ideally a good citizen is never afraid of the police, as the thought of commiting a crime never crosses their mind, much less the actions that entail actually commiting it.
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Re: Deterrent

Postby snowyowl » Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:52 am

To play Devil's Advocate: true to the first and false to the second because the innocent have nothing to fear from the police.

This of course ignores the myriad complexities of both innocence and fear.
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Re: Deterrent

Postby RyukaTana » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:02 am

I simply don't support the legal system as it exists. Setting aside my being an anarchist, and thus believing all people should be self-governing (this relies on an ideal in which people could remotely be trusted to do so, and yet, I remain an anarchist because I believe if they can't, there is no government that is worthwhile because those involved cannot be trusted to self-govern, much less govern).

So yes, setting that aside, both statements are false. First, laws are not inherently morally or ethically valuable. Second, treating people like inhuman beings after they have committed crimes often serves to cause criminals to become far worse offenders. Punishments should be carefully doled, and should consider the mentality of the individual; or the should be final. Most crimes should be met with proper rehabilitation, and criminals should be branded as pariahs. Third, 'the innocent have nothing to fear' is an asinine mentality that implies law-makers and law enforcement is never corrupt. That would be an almost laughable concept, if it weren't so depressing.

Ugh... This topic as a whole is depressing. Every time I think in depth about how there's a group of assholes out there who ave just been given the social right to harass and manipulate other peoples' lives, and people not only allow it, but thank them for it... Which only leads me to remember that people are too stupid to function as a society without this group. Okay, time to go sleep it off...
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Re: Deterrent

Postby luislsacc » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:42 am

I have to say Ryuka, I don't think you've awnsered the question. Well, yeah, you said both statements are false, but the following exposition doesn't awnser the question or justify your awnser. You mention the way criminals are treated often causes them to be worse offenders, but where does that leave the rest of the population who hasn't ever been convicted of a crime? And I might be wrong, but Tailsteak isn't asking on how to improve this, only if the fact that people are disencouraged to commit a crime because they're aware they'll be punished for it is an essential part of the criminal justice system, and not if the system itself is botched. Not that I wouldn't want to see a discussion on it, I would very much enjoy it actually. And even though your third point seems to adress the second statement, it comes to challenge Snowy's claim that Tailsteak's second statement is false. You yourself said that is was false as well though, and I'm interested in knowing why, and that's why I felt I should point out you didn't adress the question properly.
If someone asks me whether or not I like apples, and I awnser "Not as much as strawberrys.", I'm giving some information but not the one that is directly relevant to the question.
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Re: Deterrent

Postby RyukaTana » Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:36 pm

luislsacc wrote:I have to say Ryuka, I don't think you've awnsered the question. Well, yeah, you said both statements are false, but the following exposition doesn't awnser the question or justify your awnser. You mention the way criminals are treated often causes them to be worse offenders, but where does that leave the rest of the population who hasn't ever been convicted of a crime? And I might be wrong, but Tailsteak isn't asking on how to improve this, only if the fact that people are disencouraged to commit a crime because they're aware they'll be punished for it is an essential part of the criminal justice system, and not if the system itself is botched. Not that I wouldn't want to see a discussion on it, I would very much enjoy it actually. And even though your third point seems to adress the second statement, it comes to challenge Snowy's claim that Tailsteak's second statement is false. You yourself said that is was false as well though, and I'm interested in knowing why, and that's why I felt I should point out you didn't adress the question properly.
If someone asks me whether or not I like apples, and I awnser "Not as much as strawberrys.", I'm giving some information but not the one that is directly relevant to the question.


I didn't say 'not as much as strawberries'. I said, 'no', as you pointed out. I answered both questions as false.

However, no, I don't feel like discussing it further. No debate that I can have in this area is going to do a whole lot more than piss me off. I can't better the system, so I'd rather lay low, manipulate, or circumvent it. If everyone wants to get their pitchforks and torches and slay the beast, I'll happily join, but otherwise, I'm just doing the best I can to avoid it or fuck with it to my benefit.
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Re: Deterrent

Postby Deepbluediver » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:29 pm

Tailsteak wrote:Please answer true or false to the following statements:

1) An essential function of the criminal justice system is to act as a deterrent - knowing the negative consequences of crime helps prevent crime.

2) A good citizen is at all times, on some level, afraid of the police.

If you answered true to the first and false to the second, please explain why.

Unless you're just trying to see what sort of responses people give, I think you need to define some of your terms better: what is a "good citizen"? I presume you mean law-abiding. The bits about "on some level" and "afraid" are trickier; on some level I guess I would fear the plague, but the possibility of it is so remote that it doesn't have any meaningful impact on my life.

My first response is that no, a law-abiding citizen does not have anything to fear from the police. Unless what you are really asking is if people should be afraid that they will be falsely accused and due to a breakdown in the justice system and be convicted of a crime they did not commit. I assume this is the direction your train of thought was headed in based on your first preposition, which involved the justice system, and not, say, police-shootings.

Do I acknowledge the possibility? Yes, the same as I would acknowledge the possibility of a failure in my break lining could cause my car to go careening off a cliff. But do I fear it? No.
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Re: Deterrent

Postby MysticWav » Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:27 am

1) True. (though not the only and arguably not the most important function)

2) False. Police are like trains. Even though to function they require enough force to end me, as long as I pay attention to the crossing signals and stay off the tracks it's nothing I need worry about. And since the signals are well marked, and the tracks are laid out in areas of behavior most people don't want to go anyway, it's not even remotely hard to do so.
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Re: Deterrent

Postby kais » Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:57 am

Well put me down for true true.

First one seems pretty straightforward and there isn't much disagreement on that.

"A good citizen is at all times, on some level, afraid of the police." Seems to me a pretty definitively true statement. I think the key here is "on some level," that doesn't mean you need to be constantly thinking about it, not does it need to be a significant fear, but it should be there. Police screw up. There is a distinct possibility that because of what the police do, your quality of life will significantly decrease.

"A smart person is at all times, to some degree, afraid of their stove" seems to me to be a comparable statement. This one seems blatantly clear to me.

After reading through yalls responses again, I guess it boils down to what fear means. I take fear to mean "acknowledgement of and desire to avoid possibility of harm (any type) coming about due to the actions of" Do any of you regard fear as something distinct from that?
--knowledge is power, guard it well.
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