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Thread: Should punishment fit the crime or the outcome?

  1. #1
    Tobzie
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    Should punishment fit the crime or the outcome?

    For example: Should a drunk driver who runs someone over get an equal punishment to that of someone just caught drink driving?
    and: should attempted murder get the same punishment as murder?

    In my opinion the answer is yes to both because the individual has done the same thing. If you get in your car drunk you know the possible consequences, just because you are unlucky enough to run someone over doesn't mean you should get a longer sentence than someone who gets stopped for weaving.
    And just because a person is stupid enough not to pull off a murder doesn't mean they should get a shorter sentence. The person still requires just as much punishment/rehabilitation.

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    @Tobzie

    What you're asking is related to intent.

    In the case of the drunks, the murderer should get the harsher punishment because their drunk driving led to something worse.

    But when it comes to old-fashioned murder, intent matters. Attempting to murder someone and succeeding are the same thing.

    It's all about intent.

  3. #3
    Tobzie
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    But the drunk driver didn't intend to kill anyone, he intended to get home easily without having to get a taxi. Killing or not killing someone doesn't change his intent.

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    As I wrote, it's a tough call to make.

    I tend to lean towards punishing the outcome. Most law cases that I've seen also go that way.

    Attempted murder isn't the same as murder. Since you didn't actually kill somoene, you didn't violate that law.

  5. #5
    110 Dead LEO's in 08 shield772's Avatar
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    Ok, if a drunk driver kills someone they willed be charged with DUI and vehicular homicide, attempted murder is a different charge than murder, and with murder there are degrees, you also have manslaughter and it's degrees and then there is justifiable homicide which is killing in the defense of yourself or another. and these all speak to the act, the intent, and the outcome.

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    Away The Bacon Guy's Avatar
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    Why punish the crime at all? Punishment achieves nothing other than increasing overall suffering. A sentence for a crime should act as a deterrent and nothing more.

    The important question here is whether charging the unlucky drunk drivers with murder/manslaughter will deter potential drunk drivers from getting in the car. I'm not sure about this. Perhaps it will deter them by giving them a lot to lose by getting into a vehicle drunk. Perhaps it will do nothing but increase overall suffering. It would certainly be unjust to give an unlucky drunk driver a harsher sentence than a lucky one. Personally, I don't think this can be justified by the mere possibility of deterring other drunk drivers, unless there is hard evidence that it will work.

    In the case of murder and attempted murder, I am much surer. Instead of being emotional about the issue and saying "He killed therefore he must be punished", one should look at what will actually be achieved by the given sentence. A murderer and an attempted murderer pose the same threat to society and should therefore both be given the same deterrent.

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    Don't make the mistake of calling a drunk driver anything other than a criminal.

    That's one thing I won't mess with. It's so easy to think you're okay, and if you're in a situation where something bad happens and it's asked if it wouldn't have happened if you hadn't been drinking, you're screwed.

    As far as murder and attempted murder, you can what-if it to death, or you can agree with Bacon. I get the impression, Bacon (and correct me if I'm wrong) that you want to punish the intent or potential instead of the outcome (if you punish at all, that is).

    The question I feel I should ask is this:

    Should the drunk driver that kills someone get the same, lesser punishment as the drunk driver that didn't? Or should they drunk driver that didn't kill get the same punishment as though he did?

    Which do you think is the greater deterrent?

    I know that the Air Force, in recent times, really throws the book at you for drunk driving on the assumption that you caused damage.

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    Away The Bacon Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by: Fonceai
    Should the drunk driver that kills someone get the same, lesser punishment as the drunk driver that didn't? Or should they drunk driver that didn't kill get the same punishment as though he did?

    Which do you think is the greater deterrent?
    Ideally, they would both get the same punishment, one which is appropriate for deterring the potential drunk drivers but still respects their rights to a proportional sentence. Since the intent in each case was only to drink drive, not to kill, they are of equal danger to society and should therefore be given equal sentences. Punishing the outcome doesn't figure into it at all. Punishing them both equally is the only just way.

    As to the question of which is a better deterrent, I must confess I'm not sure. I don't think a harsher sentence would be any more of a deterrent, since I think it is being caught which is the deterrent, rather than the punishment itself (as mentioned in the vigilante justice thread). However, I think being charged with murder would be much more of a deterrent than simple drink driving. On the other hand, it's hard to know how many drink drivers would actually consider the possibility of murder when getting in their vehicle. In short, there are too many unknowns for me to make a call on this.

    My personal feeling is that they should both be charged with drink driving, regardless of the outcome of the crime. This is just based on my personal belief in fairness and justice. I don't know which would be best for society overall.

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    I'm mostly interested in what you think personally.

    I would lean towards compounded punishments.

    Both get the punishment for drunk driving. But the murderer gets punished for vehicular manslaughter too.

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    Magma kubedawg's Avatar
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    "Penalties against drug use should not be more damaging to an individual than the use of the drug itself."
    -President Jimmy Carter: Message to Congress, August 2, 1977

    Aside from that, I think that the person drinking, unless forced, should be punished for murder in the 2nd degree. It was not premeditated that they would want to kill another person. The reason I don't think it should be 3rd degree murder is because that person has to have some responsibility for their actions. They chose to drink, therefore, once they get into that vehicle, they put themselves and other people at risk.
    "You can only see as far as you think."

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    spanked assassin hobokitty's Avatar
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    fuckin alchies :P

    A drunk driver who hasen't killed anyone yet should get off with a warning and if attempted again should be charged with drunk driving. Someone who kills another while drunk driving should be put in jail for a long time as punishment. Everyone pretty much knows the risks of driving drunk, heh anyone with common sense that is.

  12. #12
    Logical Phallussy Autolykos's Avatar
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    Personally, I don't think anyone caught driving drunk should be given a warning. Given sufficient material evidence, they should be arrested on the spot.

    By the way, this is coming from someone who almost did get a DUI once. I'm not proud of it by any means.

    - Rob
    "I'd rather be free and alive!" -- Ron Paul

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