Should Flogging Be an Alternative to Prison?

Grand KnoutAdam Cohen asks in TIME:

Flogging someone with a cane causes intense pain and permanent bodily damage. An Australian who was flogged for drug trafficking in Malaysia in the 1970s recalled that the cane “chewed hungrily through layers of” his “skin and soft tissue” and “left furrows” on him that were “bloody pulp.”

It’s tough stuff and generally considered a barbaric punishment that the 21st century Western world would and should never consider. That makes it a bit startling to find a new book by a serious U.S. academic arguing that the U.S. should start flogging criminals. Peter Moskos’ In Defense of Flogging might seem like a satire — akin to Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” an essay advocating the eating of children — but it is as serious as a wooden stick lashing into a blood-splattered back.

Despite what you may think, Moskos is not pushing flogging as part of a “get tougher on criminals” campaign. In fact Moskos, who teaches at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, begins not by arguing that the justice system is too soft on criminals, but the opposite. So before you accuse him of advocating a cruel and unusual form of punishment, he offers this reminder: in the U.S., there are 2.3 million inmates incarcerated in barbaric conditions. American prisons are bleak and violent, and sexual assault is rampant.

And, Moskos points out, imprisonment is not just cruel — it is ineffective. The original idea for the penitentiary was that criminals would become penitent and turn away from their lives of crime. Today, prisons are criminogenic — they help train inmates in how to commit crimes on release …

Story continues at TIME.

87 Comments on "Should Flogging Be an Alternative to Prison?"

  1. Flogging should be reserved for Congress and corporate fat cats.

  2. Flogging should be reserved for Congress and corporate fat cats.

  3. Flogging should be reserved for Congress and corporate fat cats.

  4. Flogging should be reserved for Congress and corporate fat cats.

  5. Not unless were going to flog people who write drug policy.

  6. Flogging should be reserved for Congress and corporate fat cats.

  7. jasonpaulhayes | Jul 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm |

    Not unless were going to flog people who write drug policy.

  8. Can we Flog people for failed Drug Policy that leads to Flogging?

  9. jasonpaulhayes | Jul 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm |

    Can we Flog people for failed Drug Policy that leads to Flogging?

  10. E.B. Wolf | Jul 10, 2011 at 5:56 pm |

    “Flogging, Moskos argues, is an appealing alternative. Why not give convicts a choice, he says: let them substitute flogging for imprisonment under a formula of two lashes for every year of their sentence.There would, he says, be advantages all around. Convicts would be able to replace soul-crushing years behind bars with intense but short-lived physical pain. When the flogging was over, they could get on with their lives. For those who say flogging is too cruel, Moskos has a simple retort: it would only be imposed if the convicts themselves chose it.”

    As long as the choice is left up to the convict, I see no problem. Given the choice, I’d choose 10 lashes over 5 years any day of the week.

  11. E.B. Wolf | Jul 10, 2011 at 1:56 pm |

    “Flogging, Moskos argues, is an appealing alternative. Why not give convicts a choice, he says: let them substitute flogging for imprisonment under a formula of two lashes for every year of their sentence.There would, he says, be advantages all around. Convicts would be able to replace soul-crushing years behind bars with intense but short-lived physical pain. When the flogging was over, they could get on with their lives. For those who say flogging is too cruel, Moskos has a simple retort: it would only be imposed if the convicts themselves chose it.”

    As long as the choice is left up to the convict, I see no problem. Given the choice, I’d choose 10 lashes over 5 years any day of the week.

  12. Considering that prisons are essentially the places America sends disobedient people to get raped , I’d say flogging is a civilized alternative.

  13. Considering that prisons are essentially the places America sends disobedient people to get raped , I’d say flogging is a civilized alternative.

  14. it’s some kind of freudian spanking complex

  15. it’s some kind of freudian spanking complex

  16. Rex Vestri | Jul 10, 2011 at 7:20 pm |

    Flogging for the corporate/financial criminals on Wall Street – YES.
    Flogging for victims of our failed drug policy and draconian drug laws – DEFINITELY NOT.

    ….Oh, and flogging for DICK Cheney, Dubya, and company – YES, vigorously.

  17. Rex Vestri | Jul 10, 2011 at 3:20 pm |

    Flogging for the corporate/financial criminals on Wall Street – YES.
    Flogging for violent criminals – YES.
    Flogging for victims of our failed drug policy and draconian drug laws – DEFINITELY NOT.

  18. Chris Mounce | Jul 10, 2011 at 7:26 pm |

    The floggings will continue to moral improves.

  19. Chris Mounce | Jul 10, 2011 at 3:26 pm |

    The floggings will continue to moral improves.

  20. Anonymous | Jul 10, 2011 at 8:05 pm |

    There were plenty of societies that only had punishments and didn’t have a concept of prison beyond the basic holding until the punishment was administered. On one hand, it’s great because justice is quick and direct. On the other hand, if the person is innocent, then mistakes could be worse, but I guess it would be better than the alternative of a great deal of time spent in prison.

  21. There were plenty of societies that only had punishments and didn’t have a concept of prison beyond the basic holding until the punishment was administered. On one hand, it’s great because justice is quick and direct. On the other hand, if the person is innocent, then mistakes could be worse, but I guess it would be better than the alternative of a great deal of time spent in prison.

  22. Anonymous | Jul 10, 2011 at 9:02 pm |

    Hit me, beat me -teach me LOVE.

  23. GoodDoktorBad | Jul 10, 2011 at 5:02 pm |

    Hit me, beat me -teach me LOVE.

  24. ill take a less amount years usually given butas solitary confinement and pass on the flogging and the rape.

  25. ill take a less amount years usually given butas solitary confinement and pass on the flogging and the rape.

  26. Anonymous | Jul 10, 2011 at 9:25 pm |

    I’d take a few lashes in order to avoid being poked in the cornhole for several months or years.

  27. StillAtMyMoms | Jul 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm |

    I’d take a few lashes in order to avoid being poked in the cornhole for several months or years.

  28. DeepCough | Jul 10, 2011 at 10:02 pm |

    Does no one care about the 8th Amendment anymore, the Amendment that is supposed to protect us all from “cruel and unusual punishment?”

  29. DeepCough | Jul 10, 2011 at 6:02 pm |

    Does no one care about the 8th Amendment anymore, the Amendment that is supposed to protect us all from “cruel and unusual punishment?”

    • Hadrian999 | Jul 10, 2011 at 6:04 pm |

      if we abide by that amendment modern prisons would all be outlawed

    • Marklar_Prime | Jul 10, 2011 at 6:38 pm |

      What is more cruel than taking a man from his family and punishing those innocents with the loss of a husband or father when a short period of healing could see him back at the business of providing for them and being a part of their lives? Truly it is the non-violent criminals and their families who deserve this sort of a choice.

  30. Hadrian999 | Jul 10, 2011 at 10:04 pm |

    if abide by that amendment modern prisons would all be outlawed

  31. What is more cruel than taking a man from his family and punishing those innocents with the loss of a husband or father when a short period of healing could see him back at the business of providing for them and being a part of their lives? Truly it is the non-violent criminals and their families who deserve this sort of a choice.

  32. this guy has to be a fucking idiot to think our prisons are barbaric compared to countless other countries. our prisons are a vacation compared to many prison systems around the world. however, it would most definitely save an enormous amount of our money. he does, however, make a fair point about our prisons being “criminogenic.” but this is also not a certainty. you cannot say what each person incarcerated acquires from their time. people will always be afraid of prison for the sheer likelihood that you will get raped.

  33. this guy has to be a fucking idiot to think our prisons are barbaric compared to countless other countries. our prisons are a vacation compared to many prison systems around the world. however, it would most definitely save an enormous amount of our money. he does, however, make a fair point about our prisons being “criminogenic.” but this is also not a certainty. you cannot say what each person incarcerated acquires from their time. people will always be afraid of prison for the sheer likelihood that you will get raped.

  34. Anonymous | Jul 10, 2011 at 11:46 pm |

    Better to be flogged and endure public embarrassment for the stupidity of your behavior, than to be thrown in a cage like an animal.
    Better to be physically scarred in reminder of your crimes, then mentally scarred for life by a prison sentence.

    Laws need to be simpler and back to basics. No raping, killing,  or stealing allowed. I’m not a religious person, but basically something like the ten commandments. Very basic and eliminating the need for so many lawyers. 
    Punishment should be publicly carried out so the public can begin to take some responsibility for their own problems and the solutions to them. Less cops, less laws, more social responsibility. 

    Only the worst of criminals should be caged. 

    Oh, and stop throwing people in jail for taking drugs. Punish them for damage they do to others, not for damage they might do to themselves. 

    ….and as long as you don’t hurt others, suicide should be perfectly legal.  

  35. GoodDoktorBad | Jul 10, 2011 at 7:46 pm |

    Better to be flogged and endure public embarrassment for the stupidity of your behavior, than to be thrown in a cage like an animal.
    Better to be physically scarred in reminder of your crimes, then mentally scarred for life by a prison sentence.

    Laws need to be simpler and back to basics. No raping, killing,  or stealing allowed. I’m not a religious person, but basically something like the ten commandments. Very basic and eliminating the need for so many lawyers. 
    Punishment should be publicly carried out so the public can begin to take some responsibility for their own problems and the solutions to them. Less cops, less laws, more social responsibility. 

    Only the worst of criminals should be caged. 

    Oh, and stop throwing people in jail for taking drugs. Punish them for damage they do to others, not for damage they might do to themselves. 

    ….and as long as you don’t hurt others, suicide should be perfectly legal.  

    • NarwhalNecropsy | Jul 10, 2011 at 8:00 pm |

      I agree with ALMOST everything you said. I dont believe suicide should be legal, it hurts many around you indirectly. It is an extremly selfish act (except in the case of termial illness and suffering). To me it’s kind of like abortion. It needs to be allowed, but monitored.

      • GoodDoktorBad | Jul 10, 2011 at 8:44 pm |

        If it’s your life to live then it should be your life to end. It may bring pain to those around you, but death is a part of life. We all have to live with it whether we like it or not. 

        The law is largely irrelevant to anyone determined to end their life anyway. You can’t arrest a dead man.

  36. Anonymous | Jul 10, 2011 at 11:57 pm |

    how did said Australian get the cane instead of the noose? Malaysia’s punishment for drug trafficking is death.

  37. releasethedogs | Jul 10, 2011 at 7:57 pm |

    how did said Australian get the cane instead of the noose? Malaysia’s punishment for drug trafficking is death.

    • Butter Knife | Jul 11, 2011 at 1:07 am |

      Perhaps the Malaysian government felt it would be unwise to execute an Australian national?

      Or maybe he was a small-time customer, rather than a trafficker, and as such didn’t meet their standards for hanging?

      • releasethedogs | Jul 11, 2011 at 1:40 am |

        They have routinely put to death other foreign nationals as has Singapore and Indonesia. It’s not like it is a secret that that is the penalty in that country. Any how he is lucky.

  38. NarwhalNecropsy | Jul 11, 2011 at 12:00 am |

    I agree with ALMOST everything you said. I dont believe suicide should be legal, it hurts many around you indirectly. It is an extremly selfish act (except in the case of termial illness and suffering). To me it’s kind of like abortion. It needs to be allowed, but monitored.

  39. Anonymous | Jul 11, 2011 at 12:44 am |

    If it’s your life to live then it should be your life to end. It may bring pain to those around you, but death is a part of life. We all have to live with it whether we like it or not. 

    The law is largely irrelevant to anyone determined to end their life anyway. You can’t arrest a dead man.

  40. Anonymous | Jul 11, 2011 at 12:44 am |

    If it’s your life to live then it should be your life to end. It may bring pain to those around you, but death is a part of life. We all have to live with it whether we like it or not. 

    The law is largely irrelevant to anyone determined to end their life anyway. You can’t arrest a dead man.

  41. E.B. Wolf | Jul 11, 2011 at 1:09 am |

    Of course not, Silly. Laws don’t apply to them.

  42. Anonymous | Jul 11, 2011 at 1:38 am |

    Punishment isn’t anything more than a dominance game and a frustrated revenge at the fact no one has control over anything in this world apart from their own actions. In the end, whether it be stoning, flogging, imprisonment, etc., it all makes us cruelly childish and barbaric.

  43. Punishment isn’t anything more than a dominance game and a frustrated revenge at the fact no one has control over anything in this world apart from their own actions. In the end, whether it be stoning, flogging, imprisonment, etc., it all makes us cruelly childish and barbaric.

    • Butter Knife | Jul 11, 2011 at 1:05 am |

      You’re right, there should be no legal consequences to anything… it’s all just wasted effort.

      So what, pray tell, are we supposed to do when somebody commits a murder, or rape, or assault? Just tell them not to do it again and let them walk away? No amount of punishment can undo any of those things un-happen, so you’re right, there’s no sense wasting anyone’s time with punishment and frustrated revenge. Surely the sensitive, mature, civilized course of action would be to… uh… let it slide? I’m actually not sure. Got any bright ideas?

      • Rehabilitation, of course. Cops and prison guards are not doctors; they do not have the tools or knowledge to help those who made a mistake and need help. As for repeat offenders who cannot be rehabilitated, I’m completely pro sterilizing/castrating rapists and some serial killers (particularly those who participate in genocide) need to be put down like the filthy dogs they are. Currently, an overwhelming majority of our prison population consists of nonviolent offenders who committed monetary or drug crimes. I’m a strong advocate of abolishing the monetary system, and it seems quite obvious to me that drugs are a health issue and not a criminal one. If the monetary system were abolished, the majority of ‘crimes’ would disappear in a transition to resource-based economies built on true supply and demand. That would give us more than enough resources to focus on curing the real evils, like rape and murder, which quite obviously are not being hindered at all by current methods. Taking them off the streets just to keep them alive to rot is a waste of everyone’s time. If they can be rehabilitated they need the chance to do so. If they cannot… why bother keeping people like that around? The only practical reasons for doing so would be slave labor and experimentation, or perhaps a modern-day gladiator type scenario where Spike TV gets to film all the violent psychopaths ripping each other apart (which wouldn’t really be practical, I know, but it’d sure as hell be entertaining).

  44. Butter Knife | Jul 11, 2011 at 5:05 am |

    You’re right, there should be no legal consequences to anything… it’s all just wasted effort.

    So what, pray tell, are we supposed to do when somebody commits a murder, or rape, or assault? Just tell them not to do it again and let them walk away? No amount of punishment can undo any of those things un-happen, so you’re right, there’s no sense wasting anyone’s time with punishment and frustrated revenge. Surely the sensitive, mature, civilized course of action would be to… uh… let it slide? I’m actually not sure. Got any bright ideas?

  45. Butter Knife | Jul 11, 2011 at 5:05 am |

    You’re right, there should be no legal consequences to anything… it’s all just wasted effort.

    So what, pray tell, are we supposed to do when somebody commits a murder, or rape, or assault? Just tell them not to do it again and let them walk away? No amount of punishment can undo any of those things un-happen, so you’re right, there’s no sense wasting anyone’s time with punishment and frustrated revenge. Surely the sensitive, mature, civilized course of action would be to… uh… let it slide? I’m actually not sure. Got any bright ideas?

  46. Butter Knife | Jul 11, 2011 at 5:07 am |

    Perhaps the Malaysian government felt it would be unwise to execute an Australian national?

    Or maybe he was a small-time customer, rather than a trafficker, and as such didn’t meet their standards for hanging?

  47. Butter Knife | Jul 11, 2011 at 5:07 am |

    Perhaps the Malaysian government felt it would be unwise to execute an Australian national?

    Or maybe he was a small-time customer, rather than a trafficker, and as such didn’t meet their standards for hanging?

  48. Butter Knife | Jul 11, 2011 at 5:07 am |

    Perhaps the Malaysian government felt it would be unwise to execute an Australian national?

    Or maybe he was a small-time customer, rather than a trafficker, and as such didn’t meet their standards for hanging?

  49. Butter Knife | Jul 11, 2011 at 5:07 am |

    Perhaps the Malaysian government felt it would be unwise to execute an Australian national?

    Or maybe he was a small-time customer, rather than a trafficker, and as such didn’t meet their standards for hanging?

  50. Anonymous | Jul 11, 2011 at 5:35 am |

    Rehabilitation, of course. Cops and prison guards are not doctors; they do not have the tools or knowledge to help those who made a mistake and need help. As for repeat offenders who cannot be rehabilitated, I’m completely pro sterilizing/castrating rapists and some serial killers (particularly those who participate in genocide) need to be put down like the filthy dogs they are. Currently, an overwhelming majority of our prison population consists of nonviolent offenders who committed monetary or drug crimes. I’m a strong advocate of abolishing the monetary system, and it seems quite obvious to me that drugs are a health issue and not a criminal one. If the monetary system were abolished, the majority of ‘crimes’ would disappear in a transition to resource-based economies built on true supply and demand. That would give us more than enough resources to focus on curing the real evils, like rape and murder, which quite obviously are not being hindered at all by current methods. Taking them off the streets just to keep them alive to rot is a waste of everyone’s time. If they can be rehabilitated they need the chance to do so. If they cannot… why bother keeping people like that around? The only practical reasons for doing so would be slave labor and experimentation, or perhaps a modern-day gladiator type scenario where Spike TV gets to film all the violent psychopaths ripping each other apart (which wouldn’t really be practical, I know, but it’d sure as hell be entertaining).

  51. Anonymous | Jul 11, 2011 at 5:40 am |

    They have routinely put to death other foreign nationals as has Singapore and Indonesia. It’s not like it is a secret that that is the penalty in that country. Any how he is lucky.

  52. Butter Knife | Jul 11, 2011 at 8:02 am |

    Here’s my problem with flogging: it doesn’t properly account for the three primary goals of our correctional system. Of course, I don’t believe that the current system does either, but I’ll get to why I think it does a marginally better job down the line.

    The first goal is pretty straightforward: punishment. One of the goals is simply to punish those who break the law. Prison does this, as does flogging. Incidentally, prisons do not need to be particularly sadistic, violent or even unpleasant to accomplish this: the loss of personal freedom, removal of contact with family/social groupings, lack of comfort (ie. poor-tasting food, rough clothing, small beds with hard mattresses, etc.), boredom and other intended effects of imprisonment are more than adequate at providing negative reinforcement, even where all basic needs are met and prisoners are in no particular physical danger or distress.

    The second goal is to prevent further criminal acts. Prison accomplishes this by literally, physically, placing those who have committed crimes in a location where they lack the ability to continue doing so. Obviously this isn’t fool proof, as we know that many prisoners continue to engage in criminal activities while incarcerated, but it does create very substantial barriers to doing so, and generally prevents them from being committed against the public at large. While prisons have substantial room for improvement in this regard, flogging does nothing to address it in any meaningful way.

    The third, which I don’t believe is adequately addressed by either the current system or the flogging proposal, is rehabilitation. That said, where prisons are generally inadequate in their rehabilitative attempts (although a few are known to take this point seriously, and some have even made headway into achieving it), flogging once again fails to even consider it as an option. Prisoners could, for instance, be required to attend classes toward earning a GED, or be given job training, during their incarceration. Flogging, by nature of the brief duration, is clearly unsuited to such attempts at actual corrective action.

    I think it’s an interesting idea, and would certainly help to solve many of the problems our system currently faces, including cost, but for all but a very few crimes I’m unconvinced that it would be a good idea to implement, and most of those crimes I would rather see legalized instead.

  53. Butter Knife | Jul 11, 2011 at 4:02 am |

    Here’s my problem with flogging: it doesn’t properly account for the three primary goals of our correctional system. Of course, I don’t believe that the current system does either, but I’ll get to why I think it does a marginally better job down the line.

    The first goal is pretty straightforward: punishment. One of the goals is simply to punish those who break the law. Prison does this, as does flogging. Incidentally, prisons do not need to be particularly sadistic, violent or even unpleasant to accomplish this: the loss of personal freedom, removal of contact with family/social groupings, lack of comfort (ie. poor-tasting food, rough clothing, small beds with hard mattresses, etc.), boredom and other intended effects of imprisonment are more than adequate at providing negative reinforcement, even where all basic needs are met and prisoners are in no particular physical danger or distress.

    The second goal is to prevent further criminal acts. Prison accomplishes this by literally, physically, placing those who have committed crimes in a location where they lack the ability to continue doing so. Obviously this isn’t fool proof, as we know that many prisoners continue to engage in criminal activities while incarcerated, but it does create very substantial barriers to doing so, and generally prevents them from being committed against the public at large. While prisons have substantial room for improvement in this regard, flogging does nothing to address it in any meaningful way.

    The third, which I don’t believe is adequately addressed by either the current system or the flogging proposal, is rehabilitation. That said, where prisons are generally inadequate in their rehabilitative attempts (although a few are known to take this point seriously, and some have even made headway into achieving it), flogging once again fails to even consider it as an option. Prisoners could, for instance, be required to attend classes toward earning a GED, or be given job training, during their incarceration. Flogging, by nature of the brief duration, is clearly unsuited to such attempts at actual corrective action.

    I think it’s an interesting idea, and would certainly help to solve many of the problems our system currently faces, including cost, but for all but a very few crimes I’m unconvinced that it would be a good idea to implement, and most of those crimes I would rather see legalized instead.

  54. Elliottzac | Jul 11, 2011 at 8:11 am |

    i would agree that i would’ve learnt more of a lesson from a flogging than the 3 yrs i served for drug crimes, i came out of prison a harder crim than when i went in… end of story.. Australian zAc

  55. Elliottzac | Jul 11, 2011 at 4:11 am |

    i would agree that i would’ve learnt more of a lesson from a flogging than the 3 yrs i served for drug crimes, i came out of prison a harder crim than when i went in… end of story.. Australian zAc

  56. Tuna Ghost | Jul 11, 2011 at 9:12 am |

    I can see flogging for drug offenses, but incarceration for violent crimes is supposed to take years from the offenders.  Thats the form the punishment is supposed to take–robbing them of time they would have otherwise spent living, working, loving, etc.  

  57. Tuna Ghost | Jul 11, 2011 at 5:12 am |

    I can see flogging for drug offenses, but incarceration for violent crimes is supposed to take years from the offenders.  Thats the form the punishment is supposed to take–robbing them of time they would have otherwise spent living, working, loving, etc.  

  58. Bnorthrup1 | Jul 11, 2011 at 12:11 pm |

    Is all this fear of prison rape an urban Myth?  It must happen sometimes, but there have been prosecutions of prison administrators who let it happen.  Not that it isn’t good to be afraid. But some people think it is ok to treat “bad” people badly.

     All the notes in this discussion seem to agree that there are some people who lack the ability to be rehabilitated.  Sociopaths lacking empathy.   There is no sence in caning them, and they actually learned how to be violent from violence perpetrated on them.  They can be taught behavior but never allowed to be unwatched.

    I heard It costs between $30,000 and $200,000 to lock someone up for a year. Ironic IF they just needed rent money.  Cost and education is a legitimite factor in this discussion.

    The most important reason against the death penalty, I feel, is the fact that governments all over the world murder their own people with the justice systems.  America is made of the same humans I’ve seen all over the planet.  We are just a step and luck away from social failure. We should never forget that when we give power to our representatives.

  59. Bnorthrup1 | Jul 11, 2011 at 8:11 am |

    Is all this fear of prison rape an urban Myth?  It must happen sometimes, but there have been prosecutions of prison administrators who let it happen.  Not that it isn’t good to be afraid. But some people think it is ok to treat “bad” people badly.

     All the notes in this discussion seem to agree that there are some people who lack the ability to be rehabilitated.  Sociopaths lacking empathy.   There is no sence in caning them, and they actually learned how to be violent from violence perpetrated on them.  They can be taught behavior but never allowed to be unwatched.

    I heard It costs between $30,000 and $200,000 to lock someone up for a year. Ironic IF they just needed rent money.  Cost and education is a legitimite factor in this discussion.

    The most important reason against the death penalty, I feel, is the fact that governments all over the world murder their own people with the justice systems.  America is made of the same humans I’ve seen all over the planet.  We are just a step and luck away from social failure. We should never forget that when we give power to our representatives.

  60. The sting of it is the realization that flogging IS more civilized and reasonable than what we subject people to now. Flogging may not be the answer, but as a comparison, just beating the shit out of someone and letting them go is actually merciful compared to the years of horror, misery, hopelessness and potential death we advocate as a crime prevention/rehabilitation technique now.

    At present, our system perpetuates repeat offenses, trains and even upgrades criminals from small time to hardcore, and generally follows people even after their sentence with additional punishments that never seem to end…including lengthy probationary periods and fees that are easy to violate…adding more jail time to the final tab. Once you’re sucked in..there is a vested interest in never letting you completely out.

    I think its a lot more telling with regard to how badly we need reform…when a few minutes of excruciating physical torture looks appealing as an alternative. 

  61. The sting of it is the realization that flogging IS more civilized and reasonable than what we subject people to now. Flogging may not be the answer, but as a comparison, just beating the shit out of someone and letting them go is actually merciful compared to the years of horror, misery, hopelessness and potential death we advocate as a crime prevention/rehabilitation technique now.

    At present, our system perpetuates repeat offenses, trains and even upgrades criminals from small time to hardcore, and generally follows people even after their sentence with additional punishments that never seem to end…including lengthy probationary periods and fees that are easy to violate…adding more jail time to the final tab. Once you’re sucked in..there is a vested interest in never letting you completely out.

    I think its a lot more telling with regard to how badly we need reform…when a few minutes of excruciating physical torture looks appealing as an alternative. 

    • Bigdickmegaherz | Jul 11, 2011 at 11:13 am |

      I’d rather have the shit beat out of me and be able to show I’ve learned a lesson, than wait 12 years forget the lesson and become meaner because of constant anguish.

  62. Anonymous | Jul 11, 2011 at 2:05 pm |

    Positively fucking medieval.

  63. cakey pig | Jul 11, 2011 at 10:05 am |

    Positively fucking medieval.

  64. Bigdickmegaherz | Jul 11, 2011 at 3:13 pm |

    I’d rather have the shit beat out of me and be able to show I’ve learned a lesson, than wait 12 years forget the lesson and become meaner because of constant anguish.

  65. Inane Plastic Nobody | Jul 11, 2011 at 3:31 pm |

    How does replacing an archaic and ineffective means of punishment with another archaic and ineffective means of punishment improve the situation?

  66. How does replacing an archaic and ineffective means of punishment with another archaic and ineffective means of punishment improve the situation?

  67. prison and flogging are both forms of punishment. this type of discipline may work on children, not adults.  would flogging somebody be more gratifying than simply imprisoning them?  maybe, if you’re sick.  still, somebody has to do the flogging which is an act of violence. just like somebody has to murder someone on death row.  two wrongs will never equal a right, no matter how you form the equation.   

  68. prison and flogging are both forms of punishment. this type of discipline may work on children, not adults.  would flogging somebody be more gratifying than simply imprisoning them?  maybe, if you’re sick.  still, somebody has to do the flogging which is an act of violence. just like somebody has to murder someone on death row.  two wrongs will never equal a right, no matter how you form the equation.   

  69. No matter what someone has done does not mean there is to be
    cruelty, always debasing for all concerned, in the name of justice. No brainer
    that prisons and mental / physical suffering equally cruel, and pointless per
    history, except that prisons are a breeding ground of self perpetuation. Where
    to from here? Greater but more controlled inclusion in community? Even as an
    allegory there is a cautionary message in the death of Jesus, a man represented
    as retaining throughout his life the innocence of a newborn baby of
    uncompromised love and righteousness, crying out: Forgive them for they know
    not what they do!!!, applies as much to those meting out “justice”, as he gets
    pinned to a crucifixion cross.
     

  70. No matter what someone has done does not mean there is to be
    cruelty, always debasing for all concerned, in the name of justice. No brainer
    that prisons and mental / physical suffering equally cruel, and pointless per
    history, except that prisons are a breeding ground of self perpetuation. Where
    to from here? Greater but more controlled inclusion in community? Even as an
    allegory there is a cautionary message in the death of Jesus, a man represented
    as retaining throughout his life the innocence of a newborn baby of
    uncompromised love and righteousness, crying out: Forgive them for they know
    not what they do!!!, applies as much to those meting out “justice”, as he gets
    pinned to a crucifixion cross.
     

  71. punishment SHOULD be something you dont want done again, not like prison where people want to return because its 3 hots n a cot.

  72. punishment SHOULD be something you dont want done again, not like prison where people want to return because its 3 hots n a cot.

  73. punishment SHOULD be something you dont want done again, not like prison where people want to return because its 3 hots n a cot.

  74. I find it frightening when I hear people advocating any form of punishment that would move back civilization 150 or more years.  Sure, its efficient. It gives people who feel harmed by the criminal a feeling of revenge.  But at what cost to the greater society?

    IMHO, there are three causes of crime.  The first is economic need.  The second is mental illness.  And the third is a combination of unjust laws and corrupt government.  Until you address those three issues, NO systemic change in how we deal with crime will be effective, because you are not removing the causes.

    Finally, whether you believe in the western “What goes around, comes around”, or are more oriented to an eastern style view of Karma, what we do as individuals OR as a society does indeed come back on us.  If someone hurts someone else, they’ll get back that karma in spite of anything we do in response–but if we respond with punishment, now our response will be earning retribution as well.  It is a self-regenerating cycle, one which can only be stopped by ending the way we deal with crime.

    Look to economic programs, training, psychotherapy (and that science is still in the dark ages), a thorough review of our entire legal structure starting with drug laws, and a massive wholesale cleanup of corruption within our own government to find solutions. 

    Anything short of that will only perpetuate the problem.

  75. I find it frightening when I hear people advocating any form of punishment that would move back civilization 150 or more years.  Sure, its efficient. It gives people who feel harmed by the criminal a feeling of revenge.  But at what cost to the greater society?

    IMHO, there are three causes of crime.  The first is economic need.  The second is mental illness.  And the third is a combination of unjust laws and corrupt government.  Until you address those three issues, NO systemic change in how we deal with crime will be effective, because you are not removing the causes.

    Finally, whether you believe in the western “What goes around, comes around”, or are more oriented to an eastern style view of Karma, what we do as individuals OR as a society does indeed come back on us.  If someone hurts someone else, they’ll get back that karma in spite of anything we do in response–but if we respond with punishment, now our response will be earning retribution as well.  It is a self-regenerating cycle, one which can only be stopped by ending the way we deal with crime.

    Look to economic programs, training, psychotherapy (and that science is still in the dark ages), a thorough review of our entire legal structure starting with drug laws, and a massive wholesale cleanup of corruption within our own government to find solutions. 

    Anything short of that will only perpetuate the problem.

  76. Scottdutra | Jul 16, 2011 at 4:41 pm |

    yep democrats and repubics…anyone who votes for spending over collected revenues and anyone who advocates raising taxes

  77. Scottdutra | Jul 16, 2011 at 12:41 pm |

    yep democrats and repubics…anyone who votes for spending over collected revenues and anyone who advocates raising taxes

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