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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ostracizing Sociopaths

It seems that Saudi Arabians are on to something.  This article describes how one pervert in that country got his comeuppance.  Government officials beheaded a man convicted of attacking a woman and snapping nude photos of her in order to blackmail her for sex.  Beheading may be a particularly effective deterrent against violent crime.  In Saudi Arabia, people convicted of murder, drug trafficking, rape and armed robbery can be executed -- usually with a sword.

In 2010, Saudis executed 27 people, or about .0001 percent of their population of roughly 27,000,000.  For the same year, the US executed 46 prisoners out of 308,000,000, or .000015 percent of the total.  It seems as though there is a correlation between the number of executions and the per capita crime rates in the US and in Saudi Arabia.  According to this report, among the top 60 countries in the world, America stands eighth.  The Saudis are not even among the top 60.

One might conclude that the death penalty is an effective deterrent to crime in general.  The United Kingdom has no capital punishment, and they stand at number five in per capita crime.  Actually, of the top 15 nations in crime, only the US and Dominica have the death penalty.  The correlation is significant.

Even if the effects of capital punishment on overall crime are difficult to establish, it is an effective deterrent against repeat offenders.  The rate of recidivism among those executed for crimes stands worldwide at 0%.  Perhaps if US inmates did not have an average stay on death row of over 10 years, capital punishment would be a better deterrent.  In Saudi Arabia, justice is swift and certain. 

Opponents of the death penalty argue that because people continue to commit murders, capital punishment does not work.  This is specious reasoning.  It is impossible to prove that an event never took place, or to prove the negative; therefore, it is also impossible to quantify the extent to which murders were not committed.  The fact is that execution permanently ostracizes offenders.

People have been casting wrongdoers out of their societies as long as there have been tribes.  We have every right to protect the weak from further harm at the hands of sociopaths.  Pedophiles represent one of the most valid arguments in favor of executions.  Mental health professionals agree almost unanimously that it is impossible to rehabilitate people who commit sexual assaults against children.  Having sex with a child who is too young to understand sexual consent is rape.

Protecting kids from predators is vital to any society, and it is imperative that we cull perpetrators from the herd.  However, incarceration is expensive.  According to Wikipedia, the US spent $68,747,203,000 on corrections in 2006.  States nationwide are releasing inmates because of overcrowding.  Since pedophiles cannot be rehabilitated, they can never safely be released from prison.  The logical answer is permanent ostracism.  Children are simply too important.

May your gods be with you.

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