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There was a spot on the radio this morning about the rights of prisoners. Some Minister saying that prisoners have just been denied their freedom, but still have the same human rights as their victims.


Am I alone in believing that if you transgress the "rules" that keep our society "civilised, and violate the rights of innocent victims, ie robbery, physical abuse, murder etc. Then you have voluntarily forfeited the rights that society has bestowed on you?


You then have to earn those rights back again through atonement, maybe forced to work until you have paid back to your victim exactly the value of what you stole from him,or else stay outside the system until you do.


Surely Our human rights give us a resposibility to society. We have to earn the right to keep our rights by the way we behave towards others.


Am I alone in this thinking, or am I wrong thinking. I'm just totally perplexed as to how Government can say a murderer or thief still has the same rights as the rest of us. It just dosen't add up.


I'm quite happy to be corrected if I am wrong in this, but will need convincing!

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Your question is really hard for me to answer personally as I have been a victim of crime in the past and have sat up in bed many nights wondering what I personally would like to see happen to people who have walked on the rights of other people with their actions.


I guess what it comes down to for me is this: We as a society seem to be missing the picture in the way we almost always react when a crime has been committed as compared to the way we could have acted to prevent the crime outright.


With all apologies to those affected by Hurricane Katrina, our society is like Louisiana inasmuch as that we know our "dams" aren't going to hold back violent crimes, they could come crashing down on us at any time, but we seem to do the minimal work needed to keep our current system going without making necessary changes to fix things.


In the United States we're putting BILLIONS of dollars into a war while we have people starving on our streets, and our education system is going down the tubes. If we took that money and invested it into our schools and educational opportunities, perhaps we'd have less people being lured into becoming criminals.


Furthermore, we need to make changes in the way we process criminals here as well. Jails and Prisons are the forges that turn a petty criminal into a violent criminal, but most people seem content to let things be. If they're off the street, we don't need to worry about them. "Out of sight, out of mind" seems to be the flavor of the week. I'm probably missing something, but it seems clear to me now.


Another thing that really bothers me is how we seem to be paying a lot more attention to the criminal than to his victims. We as a society are being taught to try and elevate the lowest element instead of celebrating those people who don't do anything wrong. When's the last time someone came to your door and said "Congratulations! You haven't done a single thing wrong, and you're a great citizen!" Maybe the government should REWARD those of us without criminal records.


Back to your question; do criminals deserve the same rights as those who have lost their rights through the criminals actions?


If I were posed that question five years ago, I would have responded by saying, "Criminals deserve no better than what they've given. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life."


Today, having had some time to move on and read more about some of the things that cause crimes, I'm a bit more sympathetic but only a bit. They've got more rights than their victims do still. Free cable, free dental and medical care, free food and lodging, and doctors to help with their issues. What's wrong with this picture? Why does it seem we've made it a positive thing to go to jail for awhile? What in the heck does someone with nothing to lose have to keep them from committing crimes?


Ravens8, you're absolutely right.


Sorry I was so long-winded and took so long just to agree with you.

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My serious view,


Hang murderers. castrate/hang child abusers, bring back chain gangs.


We give people rights and what happens; it has F**ked up all of British society. I will say no more.

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A governments most fundamental issue is to uphold the Human Rights for all its citizens, no matter who they are and what they've done. Basically, that's why we have them!

I think that even if you commit a crime, you're still a human being and deserve your rights. Who will uphold them if governments won't? If the Western world won't follow them, why should anyone else?

On the other hand, you could also claim that the Human Rights are written by West for our culture and thus the Rights are quite useless globally, but thats another issue.


I think one thing is important to point out here, what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights really are and what rights you have according to that. I've noticed that a lot of people think that every right is a Human Right, but I think there's not that many people who really know what the Human Rights are (not directed at anyone writing in this thread). Feel free to read them here.


I think that Velvet_Tigress made some really good points here. First, about the prison systems, not just in USA but also here in Sweden. Without treatment the criminals get only worse when they get back out again. Second, as always, we who live our lives without doing anything wrong are not rewarded for that, instead we have to pay for everybody else who are not doing that. How to change that I don't know.


I also understand people who think that criminals get away with their crimes to easy, especially if you've been a victim of it yourself. I know just how pissed off I was when some junkies stole my car two years ago, and I don't think I can imagine how it would feel if something worse happened to me or people close to me. But, I still believe that they should be treated and respected as human beings, and that we need to think "treatment" instead of "revenge", how hard that may be. I'm not sure if I would be able to do that if something would happen though...

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I agree with you, ravens8. At least, as far as "criminal justice" is concerned in the US. By and large, it's a joke! The prison population in this country, thanks in large part to the liberal concept of reform, is at an all-time high. The bleeding hearts in this country have created an unbelievable situation, with prisoners having much better conditions in prison than they do on the streets. We have serial killers and rapists that are kept alive at the taxpayer's expense. Career criminals who have spent more time in prison than they have in society. Again, all at the taxpayer's expense. Talk about the money spent on the war in Iraq, but at least the miserable despot who was responsible for the murder of thousands of his countrymen, for either the rape or mutillation of thousands of others, and for pillaging countless homes and businesses thoughout his nation is now on his way to prison or (hopefully) to his death. I am wondering that maybe if we used some (why not all?) of the money that we waste on the dregs of humanity, on fighting terrorism and tin-horn dictatorships like Hussein and giving people the opportunity of liberty, then maybe we'd all be better off. Even better yet - Put these slimebags who have killed, raped and pillaged and who are taking up space in our prisons, enjoying the comforts of life, and put them in harm's way in Iraq rather than the brave soldiers who have died over there, and continue to die! That way we'd weed out the undesirables, save a ton of money and trade their sorry a$$es for people who really matter.


Any of you hear about Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County in Arizona, USA? Sheriff Arpaio tells inmates who complain about the conditions in his jail that the soldiers in Iraq are facing similar conditions, living in tents in hot weather, and that they didn't commit any crimes. For those of you who don't know about this infamous sheriff, Sheriff Arpaio is a colorful and controversial character who has instituted severe policies at the Maricopa County Jail in Arizona since taking office in 1993. According to his bio on the Maricopa County Web site, he enjoys being known as "America's toughest sheriff." He got nationwide attention when he established the Maricopa County tent city for inmates. More than 2,000 prisoners live without smoking, coffee, pornographic magazines, movies and unrestricted television in his jail. It has been rumored that the prisoners' meals cost less than 40 cents but the cost figure is actually less than 20 cents. Arpaio has also instituted what he calls "Hard Knocks High", the only accredited high school in an American jail. That, along with an anti-drug program, says Arpaio, has resulted in a high percentage of his inmates leaving jail without their addictions and few of them returning.


There should definitely be more sheriffs and corrections officers like Sheriff Arpaio!

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Interesting thoughtfull reply Velvet Tigress, thanks for that.


I'm also inclined to agree with you allfurme, there is no place in any socity for those that have taken the lives of those in their own society.


Aldhissla, I dont think its just a choice between revenge and treatment. There's also punishment. There's nothing wrong with punishment, as long as it decently reflects the severity of the crime.


I say again, if someone transgresses the rights of others, they forfeit their own rights until they atone. They should still have basic human rights such as right to life (unless they have murdered), right to be treated decently etc. but they have forfeited all rights to the things that the rest of us work for and towards, comfort, possessions, acceptance in society, access to friends and family etc. They can work on getting these rights back again if they so chose but only on a like for like basis. The emphasis is on "work" for it, not handed to them on a plate. In other words society should show them the way, but not make it easy for them by doing it for them.


I think treatment is the wrong word. These people aren't sick, they dont need treatment. They choose to commit crime. They have the same choices as everyone else. I don't mind admitting that often I might have been tempted to nick something, shoplift etc. or seriously hurt someone. I would never do it however because I chose not to because i recognise I have a responsibility to the society in which I live.


And before someone says that many criminal elements come form poor backgrounds and are driven to crime - rubbish - They still have the same choices as the rest of us. Many many people from poor backgrounds get off their a**e and change their situation just like we all do. Poverty is a state of mind. In Africa I have talked with people in the past who have had NOTHING except maybe a few cows, a spear, and one or two other trinkets, and yet have exhibited such contentment with life, that it makes you question deeply your own life.


By the way - for those around the world who may not get UK news. The subject that prompted the radio interview this morning was about a prisoner who has been awarded

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Im for termination of ALL dangerous killers, rapists, child molesters & terrorists.

Instead of locking them up, just execute the filth and the most greatest threats to society. Having them wiped out and not living on many years on death row will clear out prisons.

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I have to totally agree with FrBrGr and Eric on this subject. I feel that too many criminals have way too many rights in jail or prison. What gives them a right to television, porn, games, etc? Give them a bed, 3 basic meals a day. No more, no less.

The worst should be removed from this world instead of taxpayers continuing to support them.

I for one will not hesitate to protect myself or Shelley if the need arises. I thank the Founding Fathers for the 2nd Amendment. If this was ever to happen I will do my best to make sure there is not another criminal to put a drain on the criminal justice system.



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Totally agree Beautifullfurs and Kevin.


I also think where a lot of problems arise is in the terminology.


Human rights? - as humans, we do not have any intrinsic rights at all. Out in the natural world we are just the same as every other creature "out there". Creatures will be trying to bite us, drink our blood, lay eggs under our skin, feed off our sweat, kill us because we get too close to their babes, kill us to eat us etc.etc. The only "right" we have is to take our place in the huge mishmash soup of creation and get on with it.


ALL "Human rights" and "rights" that most people talk about, and which government bases it's crass decisions on, are rights conferred by society to ensure that the society survives in a roughly sustainable manner where everyone in it enjoys the freedom to get on with their lives.


It obviously dosen't create a harmonious society when people kill each other or steal or beat up each other. So when these "rights are violated, you are right Kevin, the transgresors should have it pretty rough and basic until they can clearly demonstrate they've atoned. Killing and child abuse are somewhat different. These are crimes, if unchecked, would clearly threaten the evolution and existence of a society. There can never be room for such transgresors, and they should be removed permanently.


Can anyone remember that film, I think Jean Claud whatsisname, set in the future, where violent criminals are all banished to an island somewhere. I quite enjoyed it - bit like a violent adult Lord of the Flies, and intersetingstatement on human dynamics.

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*Attaching Bleeding Heart*


Let's go one step further shall we? Let's enforce Islamic law. Rob someone? Hand is chopped off. Kill someone? Get stoned to death... or we could borrow from the Chinese... and just hold a public execution.


And why stop there? if someone hurts you, you may retaliate without fear of punishment. An eye for an eye literally.


And why are there so many folks in prisons world wide? Due to addictions or pre planned crimes or just being in the wrong spot at the wrong time? Are they all guilty? or are they being held on remand until a congested justice system finds the time to work its way down to them? Are plea bargains the reason for this increase or is it the number of law enforcement officers on the beat/investigating crimes at local/state/federal government behest? Is DNA proving to be a more accurate capturer of criminals? or is it that by maintaining the illegality of certain drugs that allow folks to build empires on ill-gotten gains attributing to the evergrowing prison numbers?


Is it Society as a whole that is responsible, either directly or indirectly through thoughts or inaction. Is it the social divides that are helping this cancer to fester on all societies? Is there an acceptable answer? Never. Abe Lincoln was right. But somewhere there is a kid who knows the answer, and he will come forth and surprise us all......... or she will, if the males listen.


The last person on this planet to have anything like total human rights was the last person to aim a spear at a Mammoth. After that, it has been all downhill.

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As usual, I find that I agree with you.


But, boy! When we disagree, amazes me how far apart we are.



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How many of you have been victims of violent crimes?

That may factor into how some of you may feel about rights for prisonors.


After watching myself nearly bleed to death after being gunned down at point blank, left paralised 70% of his body and the person who shot me got off on a techincalty, You may see things my way also.

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Aldhissla, I dont think its just a choice between revenge and treatment. There's also punishment. There's nothing wrong with punishment, as long as it decently reflects the severity of the crime.

But isn't punishment and revenge more or less the same thing? What is the real purpose of punishment? What good does it really do? (except for the victims who might feel better). We need some sort of treatment, otherwise the criminals won't change. And regarding the death penalty, I believe that no government has the right to execute one of its citizens, no matter what they have done.


Once again, this is my principal. If something would have happened me I would probably think a whole lot different.

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I am certain if I were you I would feel differently.


I am sad for you, Eric. I wish I lived close enough to you that I could give you a hug!


Do you realize for almost 6 years I lived there in Houston? 1979 to 1985 Wish I had known you then.


Actually, I lived in Seabrook. That was before it was so fashionable though. I loved my time in Texas. I always said it was the first foreign country I lived in. Moved to Dubai after that.


Sorry, I went way off-topic.



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That is quite probable. The majority of us here have either not been victims or have been victims of minor offenses.


No doubt that seeing someone we knew to be guilty getting off on a technicality would harden our view, but when the same system can sentence innocent people to death/life there has to be a balance. Without 24/7 monitoring of all activity by us all, this will never happen.


And in itself the word "technicality" could and would open up a whole new can of wormholes.

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That's exactly my point Mr. Barguzin. There are situations, and then there are extremes of situatioins, which people can go to. But when you go to the extremes, that's when it starts taking you away from the moral road (whatever that is - I suspect it's different for different societys).


Why, would you want to go to the extreme MR. B. what purpose would it have. You might just as well go to the opposite extreme which would be to do nothing.


Aldhissla - It may be semantics I'm not sure, but to me revenge would be the selfish satisfaction gained from appeasing your emotions.


Punishment should have nothing to do with emotions. It is merely the consequence of the crime. Cause and effect. If someone commits a crime, he/she should know that it carries consequences. The greater the crime the greater the consequence


I mob would be exacting revenge, an unbiased judge or third party (if such a thing is possible), would be exacting punishment.


Punishment should not be wantonly cruel to satisfy our emotions, but should reflect the crime, in an attempt to teach the miscreant the consequence of particular forms of antisocial behaviour. It should not be bestwed with malice, otherwise it does become revenge. The two I believe are different.


Mr. B. That's where the whole thing becomes flawed - the execution of a "guilty" innocent. There's no easy answer, do nothing? lock people up for life? But this only applies to the minority of murder convictions, and there has to be an answer somewhere. No system can ever be perfect. If it was it could never evolve


Murder is an extreme crime because there's no going back, and it is possibly the ultimate social taboo. I do believe it puts someone outside of society, and the government therefore need no longer treat the murderer as a "citizen"


Interesting point Mr. B about chopping off the hand of a thief. If everyone knew, without a shadow of doubt - steal something, you get your hand chopped off - then it becomes a personal choice - take the chance and lose? - you lose your hand. Cause and effect, it's black and white.


Punishment may not necessarily have to be as extreme as that, but there definately needs to be a black and white consequence to every crime, not a soft option.


The thing is that nowdays, cause and effect works against us all. Punishment no longer reflects the crime, so we are inviting crime as a society.


Eric - What can I say - no words could come close to expressing what I feel for you. No one deserves what happened to you, my thoughts, for what they are worth, are with you.


Sorry this is so long-winded, but it's great to hear all your views, and discuss.


We may all be united in a love for fur, but isn't it fortunate we are not all united in the way we think. Now that WOULD be boring


Right - I need a cup of tea - OH no! someone's stolen the kettle!

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