Do you agree with the "basic libertarian punishment theory"? That eye for an eye kind of thing? What do you think about that? Do you agree with that ideology?
Justice is a key facet in any free society. Being that it is such an important virtue for a society to have, the means of attaining it really must be scrutinized to an exhausting extent. So many cases are conditional and circumstantially unique. Justice needs to be able to maintain its integrity, strength and clarity while also being able to apply itself appropriately to each specific instance.
The “eye for an eye” libertarian approach (I’m sure you’re aware that using that phrase oversimplifies the idea, but that is the most succinct phrasal summation I could think of as well) has a morally suitable end-goal. I would hope that all institutes of justice would have the same intent in handling crime and punishment. I agree with the libertarian philosophy because I see the true purpose of justice as making restitution for a violation of another person’s freedom. I don’t believe that “setting precedents” or “teaching them a lesson” have any valid place in legal proceedings. These practices are contrary to the true purpose of justice (which is to ensure and protect freedom) and have proven to be very slippery slopes. It has to be recognized that every individual’s existence is as sacred as her neighbor’s. No exceptions can ever be made for the sake of legal intimidation or to make some kind of statement. The law is the law; and if it is well-legislated, it should be clear enough to speak for itself, rendering “precedents” useless.
To sum this up, a punishment should serve one purpose: to attempt to make just restitution to the victims of a crime. The court should see to it that the responsibility for this restitution lie solely in the hands of the guilty party. I can expound on this, and if you’d like me to, please don’t hesitate to ask.
In the case of murder, it would logically follow that if a man kills your brother, you have the right to kill the murderer. However, it would be against my belief in the inherent culpability of man- his insufficient ability to ever be so certain of anything that it would justify ending another human life. The death penalty is a step that cannot be undone. It is certainly true that even without capital punishment, incredibly harsh sentences may be errantly exacted and could cause undo amounts of suffering on the part of an innocent or partially-innocent person. This is why I believe that such brutal forms of punishment should be implemented only after passing tests of the utmost scrutiny, if not eliminated altogether. Because in reality, the potential for suffering that could result from an innocent man being in solitary confinement or being tortured should certainly outweigh any feeling of satisfaction that the prosecution seeks to achieve from such brutal punishments. Once again, the fallibility of man’s judgement needs to be given as much credence as possible in every situation. With an elimination of the death penalty and the extremely judicious use of cruel punitive measures, we serve to not eliminate, but at the very least to reduce the possible repercussions of a fatal human misjudgment.
It is going to take many years of proper education and an overall increase in awareness for these ideas, which aren’t exactly customary, to start to make sense to enough people that it could be actually implemented and regarded as truly “just” and “fair”. The majority of us just assume that the state knows best how to punish people and that any other way of approaching it is loony. Hopefully with the spread of the internet, awareness of our current system’s horrific, overreaching flaws will spread, and more people will be motivated to think of ways to make our justice system truly just.