Prison and the death sentence

Do not solve the problem of crime

November 21st 2012
The natural human tendency is to want to punish those who have behaved badly. But what is the purpose in wanting to punish? Is it the hope that they will improve, or simply the wish to enforce justice and settle scores? To punish a wrongdoer without giving them a means of mending their ways is called revenge, not justice. So many believe that putting criminals in prison teaches them a lesson! Not at all; they often become worse than they were. And there are others who think that by condemning them to death they are performing a cleansing. But when people exterminate mosquitoes without dealing with the swamps, the mosquitoes return with a vengeance – haven’t you noticed? And there is a particular kind of mosquito at large in our society. To avoid being stung, we should not allow them conditions where they will only proliferate.