My view: Freedom and Limits are to an extent conflicting ideologies. Currently, we use a concept called society (and its formal & informal laws) to strike a balance between the freedom and restraint.
So how does society control a person who essentially wants to be free?
One of the answers is fear. The fear that if you abuse your freedom, you will lose it.
That's where punishment comes in - a publicized punishment banishes you to the corners of society where the you have lesser freedom to commit your misdeeds. AND to discourage the next generation of miscreants.
If you accept society and the need for laws, then you also have to accept a way to control the honoring of those laws.
Control can be exercised by relocation - sending you to a society where your deeds are not crimes - but we don't have that. So the next option is punishment in *this* society. and it's a fairly popular one.
Where things have gone wrong is that for THIS society to function effectively, we need criminals to support the existence of lawyers, cops, courts, etc.
In other words, my opinion is that when crime crosses a certain percentage, the society needs to become harsher. By not limiting this percentage, we have become overdependent on the existence of crime to maintain the economic balance.
Discouraging criminal activity, of course. The system was put in place to protect society from criminals, not to take revenge out on criminals. A judge does not say "You effing bastard, I hate you and that is why I'm sentencing you to death." No, he says "Mr. Smith, the ladies and gentlemen of the jury find you guilty for first degree murder you are being sentenced to death. May god have mercy on your soul."
If we had no justice system, there would be no discouraging-so in fact we would be ENCOURAGING criminals. Think about it.
should be discouraging criminal activity, but In America it doesn't work that way because of the lideral and their fight for the good life in prison.
I visited this small country at the foot of Himalaya call Sikkim. there is no crime, people were laughing at me for trying to lock my motel room. Their punishment is so crual that nobody commits crime, I heard that's true in Singapore too. Explain that to ACLU and other human rights organization.
I will have to disagree with your perspective of our justice system. While I disagree with many political practices occurring in America-our justice system is where I take pride when comparing to the rest of the world. Innocent until proven guilty is a very lucky commodity and it aids in keeping innocent their freedom and the guilty their justice.
We are probably not talking about the same thing. In America Prison doesn't discourage criminal, they actually become better criminal.
The recidivism rate for hanging is very low. So is the cost.
Revenge, largely. This is why you write down things like constitutions in moments of clarity.
I think for the majority it's about revenge, to me preventing and discouraging is more important but I have no clue what methods that would require to do effectively because I don't think the current system works.