Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mitigating circumstances

Theodore Dalrymple:

It is curious how, when it comes to rape, the liberal press, and presumably liberals themselves, suddenly appreciate the value of punishment. They do not say of rape that we must understand the causes of rape before we punish it; that we must understand how men develop into rapists before we lock them away, preferably for a long time; that prison does not work. It is as if, when speaking of rape, it suddenly becomes time to put away childish things, and (to change the metaphor slightly) to talk the only kind of language that rapists understand.
His argument is that other crimes should be taken as seriously as rape:
Thus, the average cost to a burglar of a domestic burglary is approximately 1 day in prison. The question to be asked, then, is not why there are so many burglaries, but so few.
And makes the important, obvious and simple point that if someone commits a crime under the influence of alcohol or a drug, it should be seen as an exacerbating factor, and not as mitigation as is the present case.

Speaking of Dalrymple, here is an interview with the excellent Little Atoms radio show, in which he discusses some of the bizarre hyperbole that is talked about heroin addiction.

No comments: