Softening on Crime

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Softening on Crime

Postby Gloominary on August 16th, 2017, 5:44 pm 

Why have punishments for crime softened in the west in last two or three centuries?

I have a few theories:

One is it was harder to catch criminals back then, so when you did catch them, you had to make an example of them.

Two is people had more of a sense of community, togetherness, so when you transgressed the law, people were more hurt by it, more offended.

Three is life was poorer, nastier, brutal and shorter, people were harder, tougher, it took more to deter them from committing crimes, and they had a stronger stomach for violence, they weren't as apprehensive about dishing it out.

The king and the aristocracy made the laws, and they were often above them, so they had nothing to lose by making tough laws, and everything to gain, for it was their own order they were maintaining, why break their own self serving order, and why not strengthen as much as possible?

We have more resources now, to quarantine and rehabilitate people, back then they didn't have the means to take care of criminals, certainly not very well, so conditions were poorer, and punishments swift, execution, amputation.
Not only do we have more material resources, but we have more psychological ones at our disposal, we have more effective drugs now at our disposal for treating the sorts of mental illnesses that're thought to exacerbate violent or criminal tendencies, and we have more counselling and therapy at our disposal now as well.

It was believed laws were made by or at least given the okay by the Gods, so you weren't just breaking a villages law, or a towns, but the divine, objective and absolute law.

Laws always change, but perhaps now more than ever, as the pace of society is changing, and society is continually updating, reassessing and evaluating its morals and values, and so the law is viewed as more arbitrary now, less absolute.
We're also more familiar with how things are done in other countries, and even in other provinces or states, which makes laws seem even less immutable.

Females are having more of a say in politics, and there may be a tendency for females to be more lenient when doling out punishments, at least when the crime doesn't affect them personally.

While sometimes it can seem like it's worse than ever, crime, violence has decreased significantly since the medieval era, and so it may seem less necessary to root or stamp it out quickly when it's found.
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Re: Softening on Crime

Postby Braininvat on August 16th, 2017, 6:02 pm 

Gloominary » August 16th, 2017, 2:44 pm wrote:Why have punishments for crime softened in the west in last two or three centuries?
....

Females are having more of a say in politics, and there may be a tendency for females to be more lenient when doling out punishments, at least when the crime doesn't affect them personally.



At SPCF, we request that statements like that be supported with citations to research in the relevant field. Don't worry, you don't have to be Stephen Pinker, but maybe a little bit of data would be helpful, in regard to female judges, DAs, and legislators, and degrees of lenience.
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