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Monday, March 21, 2005

Judicious Reform

No, I don't mean the judges who are even now usurping legislative power and weakening our democracy. I have had a few ideas recently, probably due to protein.

First, we know that the blogosphere, society at large, and many other venues for complaining can be described as networks. Hopefully, the state of the network advances until there is a consensus, as people cross-post, engage in cool ripostes over the water cooler, or holler belligerently over the spilled beer and pretzels at their local saloon. All of these methods of communication, however crude, gradually lead to a consensus opinion, or a few competing ones. This phenomena can be observed in any online bulletin board over a period of months.

There is a large community of court watchers who communicate via online bulletin boards. They are presumably better informed than the rest of us about the legal system, but their massed brainpower is what I want to tap into. It should be possible to mine their discussions and retrieve the consensus opinions and all pertinent facts supporting each. An unbiased observer, or perhaps a judge, could make use of this information to reach a better judgement. The effect is similar to having a larger jury, except that since the court watchers don't get to vote, they are easier to manage.

Some people are launching the perennial complaint about sex offender registration. It occurs to me that we could require all sex offenders to wear a large scarlet letter, which would protect society and offer a deterrent. Primarily, it would cause the criminal to suffer, but that's more of a bonus than a rationale. This, in addition to increased gun ownership, would free the courts from having to deal with a lengthy appeals process, and would rapidly decrease the number of sex offenders.

The local Young Democrats, in a seeming non sequitur, are launching a major campaign against spousal rape. Because that's the big issue in Washington right now, guys. Actually, that is an issue that deserves more attention than it gets, so here's a link. Here's a link which mentions AZ, and probably explains the local YDs' action. Also, I think some local Republican might've cast a vote that was soft on it. I might address this some more in an upcoming post on Effeminism.

While spousal rape should be punished as harshly as that between strangers, even under a system where the same punishments apply, there will be a difference in sentencing because the premeditation, use of a weapon, et cetera will not apply as often. The wife will also, sadly, be less willing to pursue capital punishment.

All that leads up to my last recommendation today: public floggings. Severe ones. It is humane, cost effective, and meets the needs of the legal system. Beating a man nearly to death and leaving him in the stocks to scab would be preferable to jail time, especially for crimes like spousal rape.

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