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Crime and Punishment
 

The U.S. Census Bureau in their 2010 Statistical Abstract shows 467 violent crimes per 100,000 capita in 2007 (the latest data shown on their website).

The Washington Post reported on February 29, 2008 that more than one in 100 adults in the United States was in jail or prison, an all-time high that was costing state governments nearly $50 billion a year and the federal government $5 billion more. With more than 2.3 million people then behind bars, the United States led the world in both the number and percentage of residents it incarcerates.

For 2009, the FBI website shows 1,318,398 violent crimes (as contrasted with property crimes), and of these 15,241 were murder or negligent manslaughter.

Incarceration alone, besides imposing a direct financial burden on society, doesn't take into account that a crime affects many people besides the direct victims. Murder, for example, has lasting affects on the family, relatives and friends of the victim, as well as on those of the murderer.

I think the punishment should fit the crime, including the crime affects beyond the direct victims. I think our society has become much too tolerant of crime, especially "white-collar" crime. I think there should be more emphasis on deterrent than on rehabilitation. I think a starting point for deterrents are:
    
- Establish a national cemetery for criminals, similar to those of history (Colle díInferno),
     - Subject criminals to televised public torture commensurate with their crimes,
     - Confine the worst criminals on an island similar to Franceís historical Devilís Island
            (this has the secondary benefit of elimination of some mainland prisons),
     - Confiscate all personal wealth of a criminal and all family wealth attributed to the crimes.
     - Those with advanced knowledge of the crime should be considered co-committers.
     - Loss of citizenship for all violent crimes and for major property crimes.
     - More than just the proverbial "an eye for an eye" -- two eyes for an eye, plus an arm and a leg

What do you think?

In his epic narrative poem "Inferno", the first in his trilogy "The Divine Comedy", Dante classifies sinners according to the 9 circles of Hell. The worst sinners, the Traitors, are reserved for the ninth circle.

Circle One - Those in limbo Circle Six - The heretics
Circle Two - The lustful Circle Seven - The violent
Circle Three - The gluttonous Circle Eight - The Faudulent
Circle Four - The hoarders Circle Nine- Traitors
Circle Five - The wrathful    (traitors to kindred, country, guests, lords)

I think defining crimes and the associated punishments are so critical to our society that they should included as an attachment to our Constitution and included in our new Constitution.

What do you think?

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