The faith healing parents who killed their daughter post invoked lots of interesting responses. One question that came out was whether it is right or barbaric to punish people for their actions.
There’s a part of me that wants retribution for heinous crimes. I’d like the man that rapes and murders little girls to suffer greatly. Yet there’s another part of me that says, “No, that won’t bring those little girls back. The man is sick in the head. He needs help, not punishment.”
As one commenter said:
I’m quite astonished that so many people here seem so keen to just whip these fanatics. As enraged as I am over their stupidity, there is no fine large enough or jail sentence long enough to bring that innocent child back to life. We have to work with what we’ve got, and what we’ve got are loonies that belong in the loony bin.
The loony bin is great for loonies. But what about a serial killer? Should they be thrown in there, too — putting the other loonies at risk? And if they have to be locked in a tiny cell and live miserably, is keeping them alive any better than killing them for their crimes?
Rehabilitating murderers, for instance, seems very risky though I think the goal is admirable. How can we know they’ll never kill another person? It seems that once someone decides to unjustly take the life of another person, their own life is forfeit. They have shown themselves to be a danger to society. Locking them up is an unsatisfying life for them (or should be), and it is extremely expensive for us. Capital punishment, however, could be done inexpensively and with little suffering for the murderer (which is probably more humane than they were to their victims).
What do you think? Should we punish criminals for their crimes? Or should we simply try to rehabilitate them then release them? Or should we just lock them away for life and then pay for it?
Here’s a hypothetical situation to make your answers more personal. Imagine a man rapes and kills your daughter, along with 12 other girls. What should be done with this man?
Or, as a commenter pointed out, you can change the question to elicit a conflicting emotion: If your daughter raped and killed 12 little girls, what do you think should be done to her?