Bias Against Torture
- Suggest adding the whipping post to America’s system of criminal justice and most people recoil in horror. But offer a choice between five years in prison or 10 lashes and almost everybody picks the lash. What does that say about prison? -
- Not even the most progressive reformer has a plan to reduce the prison population by 85 percent. I do: Bring back the lash. Give convicts the choice of flogging in lieu of incarceration...
- Of course some people are simply too dangerous to release — pedophiles, terrorists and the truly psychopathic, for instance. But they’re relatively few in number. … Incarceration destroys families and jobs, exactly what people need to have in order to stay away from crime.
- 12% of its “detained” kids are sexually abused each year, versus 4% of adult prisoners. 0.3% of US non-prisoners report rape each year, versus a world median of ~0.05%. -
- I might rather be branded with an iron, or hang in a stockade for a few days, than suffer at large chance of rape. Branding or stockades seem less cruel than rape in pretty much any book. -
- Compared to prison, punishments like torture, exile, and execution are not only much cheaper (the US spends $68B/yr on prisons), but they can also be monitored more easily, letting citizens better see just how much punishment is actually being imposed
- This also seems a sad example of empire bias. We assume prison rape is the sort of thing a large organization should be able to control, so we presume modest “reform” is sufficient. It’s not.
- Stunning stat:... 95 percent of the youth making such [sex abuse] allegations said they were victimized by female staff.
- Torture has two benefits over imprisonment. It’s cheaper for the state to impose and it doesn’t prevent the criminal from engaging in useful labors (such as parenting and working at a job) for long periods of time. -
- The primary disadvantage of torture is that it doesn’t result in the incapacitation of criminals and so leaves them free to strike again....Many convicted criminals, however, don’t pose a risk to society. Men convicted of securities fraud, for example, are frequently barred from the stock market and so their freedom won’t endanger society. Because of its far lower cost, the U.S. should torture rather than imprison criminals who don’t need to be removed from society.
- Imagine a society like ours, but with a moral norm against ever using a right hand to hurt anyone. They kill, rape, torture, and so on, but always with their left hand, never with their right. They are proud to live in a civilized society, and are disgusted by barbaric societies where right-handed harm is common. Their disgust sometimes makes them war against barbarians, to civilize them. But even in war they are careful to show their moral superiority by only killing with their left hands. Are these people as moral as they believe? -