Friday 6 June 2014

Crime & Its Suitable Punishment

Not all humans are equal! That's a fact of life and that's the way our society has lived, will continue to live. It is not just a matter of equality in terms of caste, money, status - but also in terms of equality in the eyes of law. Unlike all other inequalities, we are most blind towards inequality in the eyes of law. Fact that there is preferential treatment by law, for some over the others, is neither a surprise nor is it all that hidden.

Our prisons are over-crowded as it is, our judiciary is way over loaded with clearing doesn't make sense to continue with the same system as we have been working with for all these years. I would like to propose two additions to our current system:

1. We make this so-called-under-the-wrap-special-treatment more legalised and profitable for the society at large. I honestly do not believe that same punishment means the same to everybody.

2. As a society, we start a public shaming campaign - no amount of money can easily rub off the embarrassment of being publicly shamed for our wrong doings

My suggestions are obviously referring to the class of people who have the means to outweigh law and outlast their opponents' purse / age / motivation.

It may not be appreciated by all - but I think coming from money isn't such a bad thing. Instead of putting the rich-brat-who-committed-a-crime behind bars - where a lot of money was spent in the trials anyway - a lot of time was wasted in reaching a verdict - wouldn't it be better for the society to have the rich give something to the society? My view is simple, a rich person behind bars does no good to the society.

Consider the alternative - a percentage of wealth of the rich-brat-who-committed-a-crime can be distributed between the government, the plaintiff and the society. This percentage can be decided considering the degree of crime committed.

The government earns money - bulks up its treasury on challan money...the plaintiff is suitably reimbursed for his / her troubles and lastly, the society gets something in return. Let's say - for society, father of the rich-brat-who-committed-a-crime has to donate to education / medical / other R&D projects. For relatively lesser degree crimes - plant a 1000 trees!

Needless to say - percentage of wealth taken away will increase with every count of crime, with degree of crime and mostly on showing a nature to repeat or generally commit a crime. Since parting with money may not be enough of a lesson and / or hindrance for repeating the offences - I suggest the public shaming process.

Part of public shaming is making the offenders suffer by taking away some basic free person comforts - their passports, driving licenses, credit cards etc. - either temporarily or permanently. Once again - depending on the degree of crime(s) committed.

I understand none of this is feasible - even if I assume some of it is probable. Our governments, our administrators, our police, our judiciary, our NGOs...the people, the society - EVERYTHING would need to change, would need to become better than they are at present - more honest at the very least.

Until then - I think, this is food for thought - is there a better way to punish, than saying law is blind and treats everyone as equal!

No comments: