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Treatment of serial killers


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8 replies to this topic

#1 ^Leo^

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 05:39 PM

Basically i feel like anyone who is labeled as a serial killer probably has something very wrong going on with their heads. like they don't believe that what they're doing is wrong in the first place, and that incarceration as a punishment won't do any good. that said i'm not saying that you shouldn't go to prison. if you're killing people then you're a waste of a human life, and that you pretty much deserve whatever you get. what i think should happen is the person in question should be treated for whatever screwed up disorder made them think that killing people would be a good idea in the first place. if you can make them feel remorse for the killings then the prison sentence will have meaning. otherwise it's just a free place to live and be fed.



#2 Mercurius

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 07:26 PM

I feel like zac's post is in reply to someone else but his post is #1...

 

Though in any case, my first thought to this whole thing is

 

"I wonder how Julius Caesar, and hell, pretty much any military head that goes out into the field before the modern age would think of zac saying what he thinks of killers in front of their faces."

 

On the prison sentence...well honestly I never think time in prison is going to change how anybody thinks, except maybe for the worse. You're surrounded by criminals in there. Shiv-making, pruno-drinking, thug-hearted individuals that may actually do something about you if you talk shit about them in their presence. It's unlikely they would endure such a life with nice behavior. Plus if someone actually does make it out, employers aren't going to take kindly to their criminal record in the slightest.

 

Interestingly, I recently learned that back in Ancient Rome, apparently long-term imprisonment wasn't really a thing. Jail was just to hold people for their death penalty.


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#3 kirant

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 11:08 PM

I think this touches on a subject we don't cover enough...what is the point of a prison?  Is it to punish or to rehabilitate?

 

It seems that the USA (and from what I've seen up here, Canada) treats it more as a punishment.  Criminals who are truly sorry for what they did basically serve time and get nothing out of it.  The training programs are basically non-existent and wanting to turn over a new leaf requires waiting until you're free...basically, there's no way to better yourself.  There's a strong suggestion that prisons as punishment become a problematic cycle...many who offend as a minor get sent out with no little hope of getting a better life (you're typically required by law to declare your criminal status, baring you from virtually every job against equally qualified people).  They then re-offend to just make ends meet and get sent straight back to jail.  It's a dangerous cycle and you're basically just paying to keep them out of the main part of society's hands for a while.  Part of prison would seem to be the need to teach exactly how the person has wronged society (not that they wronged) and provide a path to understanding how to become a functional aspect once more.

 

On the other end, treating is purely as rehabilitation is also a dangerous notion.  I can't imagine guys like Anders Breivik will get much out of his time in jail.  Treating him with the fairly reasonable levels of treatment he's getting probably isn't doing much but giving him free room and board for life.  I mean, if you're starving and freezing, it might not be a great life...but you still get something good out of it, right?  I wouldn't doubt if there are people out there willing to game the system into getting a slightly comfortable life...especially in nations where there is a great deal of money put into the well being of their prisoners. 

 

(Side note - My own personal belief is that repeat offenders with intent to repeat should be treated much harsher than they currently are)


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#4 ^Leo^

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 12:30 AM

@mercurius it's kind of a reply to myself actually. I mentioned that I think people should be checked for/rehabilitated of any mental disorders that can cause the extreme behavior that leads to the killers doing whatever it is they did in the discord chat. I really don't think prison does any good for the people that don't think they did anything wrong.

#5 Mercurius

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 02:07 AM

Modern society likes to categorize a lot of things we don't like as mental disorders. What would you think if I told you they may be fully aware of the potential consequences, and yet had the motivation to commit the crime regardless?

 

I don't think someone who is aware of what they are doing and how people think of it is going to find the rehab all that effective or desirable either. Ultimately, what is treating someone for a personality disorder supposed to be? Isn't it nothing more than demanding that they fit into the greater norm of the area than they currently are?

 

If I were the killer, and the authorities told me that I was real damn fucked up in the head and they are intent on fixing me of that, I'd know these three things:

  1. They have no intention of listening to what I'd have to say.
  2. They don't care if I had a reason or not to commit the crime. To them, I've just been infected. Like the atheist equivalent of demonic possession.
  3. I sure as hell don't want to comply to some bitches' disciplinary education who don't even consider how I feel about what I chose to do.

It's definitely how I felt whenever I was lectured for beating someone up in school, for sure. Didn't even have to kill anyone and they pull all the stops on telling you just how wrong and ignorant you are.


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#6 ^Leo^

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 03:35 AM

that's why an important part of it is "checked for,,,". i can think of several circumstances under which i would be perfectly capable of killing someone while i have complete clarity. in none of those cases could i be defined as a serial killer though. 

 

i'm well aware that there's no "one size fits all" way of dealing with this problem. i just don't think the way it's being handled right now is adequate at all.



#7 kirant

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 06:43 AM

Modern society likes to categorize a lot of things we don't like as mental disorders. What would you think if I told you they may be fully aware of the potential consequences, and yet had the motivation to commit the crime regardless?

Assuming we aren't taking a case on insanity or disease which would make them fundamentally unfit for trial (heard the voice of God telling them to do it, etc)...then, good, take your lumps.  We live in a world of exchanges and criminal behaviour is another such exchange; you do something society deems inappropriate and you get punished by the state.  The benefit outweighed the cost, so it made sense to the crime committer.  It should be a short trial and it's unlikely that the punishing party will be too lenient on the "minimum to maximum" scale.  True maximum deeming "unfit for society" exist for most cases of extreme crime regardless...therefore a truly unrepentant person who basically claims they'll do it again as soon as they're free would likely be behind bars for life.  IMO, there should also be a "repeat offender" status for all types of crimes, thereby allowing extreme penalties if the person offends repeatedly without remorse or attempt to avoid their behaviour.

 

We might want to rethink the laws that govern the system but there's nothing wrong with the line of thinking "if it makes sense and I can do it, they I might as well".  But if murder resulted in a literal slap across the cheek and then being set a free man, I think murder would have a lot higher rate.

 

This does lead to an interesting question though - what do we do in the case of lifelong prisoners?  That is, people who (for sake of argument) committed a mass murder at a young age, felt no wrong doing it, was perfectly sane, makes no attempt to correct themselves, and would do it again?  Do we just shove them out of society's eye and feed/house them until they die?  I mean, there are sometimes prisoner transfers if the person is a dual citizen just to shove the problem to another country...but that's just kicking the question to someone else.

 

In that case, is capital punishment a legitimate form of punishment here?  Or is this a situation where we look at these people as possible edge cases and let the rules slide as oppose to let innocent people get executed?  Because...you know exceptions will likely occur for virtually every rule.  Someday, somehow, someone will fall through the cracks.  And our laws typically govern on the rule of letting guilty people walk free as oppose to prosecuting innocent lives.

 

 

I don't think someone who is aware of what they are doing and how people think of it is going to find the rehab all that effective or desirable either. Ultimately, what is treating someone for a personality disorder supposed to be? Isn't it nothing more than demanding that they fit into the greater norm of the area than they currently are?

This leads to a question of how we guide our treatments.  I'd suggest that I don't think going to either extreme makes sense as a "one size fits all" solution.  Ultimately, It seems to me there almost needs to be a two-tier system...one where "punishment for violating agreed upon law" is more appropriate and one where "rehabilitation and bettering" is the end goal. 

 

If I were the killer, and the authorities told me that I was real damn fucked up in the head and they are intent on fixing me of that, I'd know these three things:
  1. They have no intention of listening to what I'd have to say.
  2. They don't care if I had a reason or not to commit the crime. To them, I've just been infected. Like the atheist equivalent of demonic possession.
  3. I sure as hell don't want to comply to some bitches' disciplinary education who don't even consider how I feel about what I chose to do.

It's definitely how I felt whenever I was lectured for beating someone up in school, for sure. Didn't even have to kill anyone and they pull all the stops on telling you just how wrong and ignorant you are.

And I mean...this is where one extreme or the other fails.  If we go full punishment on people, then we get these social failings where people can't escape.  But if we go full rehabilitation, then this sort of thing occurs.  You can offer people the rehabilitation but you can't force them to take it seriously.  So why bother wasting resources on the individual in that case?

 

Taking this back to serial killers, one must wonder what's in the mind of someone who intentionally commits murder (extremely likely premeditated)...I would tend to agree with the above analysis...that there's no sign of guilt in the action if it happens repeatedly. 


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#8 Mercurius

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 02:34 PM

 True maximum deeming "unfit for society" exist for most cases of extreme crime regardless...therefore a truly unrepentant person who basically claims they'll do it again as soon as they're free would likely be behind bars for life.  

I know I was the one who pointed out that there's a possibility these killers are doing it without insanity to blame, but I don't exactly think that many of those would be ready to admit what they did all that easily either if they know they'll have more lenient consequences by pretending they weren't in their right mind. There's the unrepentant one who did what they wanted to do and is satisfied enough with that and then there's the unrepentant one who's totally game for a more comfortable choice by the time they actually get caught. It's entirely possible for many who've decided to kill to feel like they haven't had too much to lose from the beginning.

 

This does lead to an interesting question though - what do we do in the case of lifelong prisoners?  That is, people who (for sake of argument) committed a mass murder at a young age, felt no wrong doing it, was perfectly sane, makes no attempt to correct themselves, and would do it again?  Do we just shove them out of society's eye and feed/house them until they die?

 

If we go full punishment on people, then we get these social failings where people can't escape.  But if we go full rehabilitation, then this sort of thing occurs.  You can offer people the rehabilitation but you can't force them to take it seriously.  So why bother wasting resources on the individual in that case?

Back on the Ancient Rome thing, I also learned recently that in the time where jail was just for those on the death row was a thing, Julius Caesar suggested (for criminals that were part of a movement with his political ally) that instead of the death penalty, they should advocate for life imprisonment as to avoid becoming too authoritarian (forming a precedent for extreme measures being taken more easily in the future) and I think that his ancient argument still applies to this day. (Let's put aside that Caesar became a dictator later on.)

 

There are a number of people who think being armed with lethal rounds in case of a criminal trespassing into their home is too extreme, or even think using rubber bullets is too extreme because the trespasser might die anyway from it (or even...just because it will injure them), and then there's also people who think you should basically let someone breaking into your house to do whatever they want because it's not worth escalating the situation, or well, just because it's wrong to stoop to their level or something. Likewise, there's likely people in power who don't want to set a precedent for going too hardcore on inmates or damage their image towards the aforementioned types of people so they don't lose further trust from the populace(and maybe even the politicians that are their supporters), and end up simply pouring resources into keeping criminals alive just to keep that up. I think it extremely unlikely that you're going to convince the aforementioned types of people of the necessity for pragmatism as someone with the power to actually put those measures into place when a number of them are already ready to slander the ones who are prepared to defend themselves to the extreme as edgelords and psychopaths.


I believe in judgment of humans through their judgment of fiction, for nothing else tells better of their disposition freed from apprehension.


#9 kirant

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Posted 18 December 2016 - 08:31 PM

I know I was the one who pointed out that there's a possibility these killers are doing it without insanity to blame, but I don't exactly think that many of those would be ready to admit what they did all that easily either if they know they'll have more lenient consequences by pretending they weren't in their right mind. There's the unrepentant one who did what they wanted to do and is satisfied enough with that and then there's the unrepentant one who's totally game for a more comfortable choice by the time they actually get caught. It's entirely possible for many who've decided to kill to feel like they haven't had too much to lose from the beginning..

Absolutely true.  However, lack of guilt due to insanity is an extremely high bar.  Since you're required to submit your case for why you're innocent prior to the trial itself, you'd either have to have a strong reason to believe it or just be throwing a Hail Mary and hoping that it works out since there's no other way out.  Few cases use an insanity defence and will likely either attempt to prove that they weren't capable of the crimes (physical location, use of non-solid evidence to draw conclusions, etc) or that they are more deserving of a lesser crime (if the person already admits they've done it).

 

There are many reasons for why it is a rarely used defence (and even rarer, accepted).


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