“… for though the law of nature be plain and intelligible to all rational creatures; yet men, being biased by their interest, as well as ignorant for want of study of it, are not apt to allow of it as a law binding to them in the application of it to their particular cases.” John Locke, Two Treatises on Government, § 124. [Download Book]
“It is in the nature of men to rise against the injustice of which they are the victims.” Frédéric Bastiat, The Bastiat Collection, The Law [Download Book]
I chose these two quotes because these gentlemen wrote centuries ago and yet manage to be relevant after all the time. there we have in a nutshell why we hear individuals complain “That’s not fair” because on the one hand we are very selfish and on the other hand we have a sense to resist injustice. Being selfish is not wrong in itself in fact being selfish is a good thing as long as you remain in your limits.
One of the things that is puzzling is that how can putting thieves, rapists, murderers, terrorists and various serious criminals concentrated in one place suppose to achieve. Another thing is what is the objective of punishment? Is it to hurt or reform the criminal? But many law makers talk about stricter punishment as a form deterrent to future criminal which seems to remain since recorded history. So tougher punishments as deterrent seems not to work.
It seems that hurting the criminals does not produce the desired result in fact it makes the person commit crime since coming out of prison he has to carry the title of being in prison and reducing his employability and this prevents the criminal from setting a life even if the person is reformed. Which makes sense since most criminals make a re-entry into prison.
Up until this point it has been assumed that the way to deal with any criminal is to hurt the criminal because that is what he has done by committing crime. But if justice means hurting the criminal because they have hurt someone how better are we then the criminal for believing in this system.
I think its time to think outside the box when giving punishment.