Newspapers seem to be filled with reports of rape, robbery and murder every day. It would look as though our world is infested with criminals and their numbers are increasing. Despite reports of this sort, I believe the majority of human beings are law-abiding peaceful people. It is just that good people are not newsworthy. Still, there are criminals; and there are punishments meted out to those who get caught.
In my country, the form of punishment depends on the type and severity of the crime committed. A convicted house-breaker would probably be jailed for a few months whereas an armed robber may be jailed longer and given a few strokes of the rotation as well.
The rotation is a unique form of punishment here and from what I hear it is an effective deterrent against going back to criminal activities. Those who have been caned are said to require hospitalization in order to recover. If that is so, the rotation must indeed be a very much feared tool of punishment.
Embezzlement and other misappropriation of money are punishable by fines and in more severe cases by imprisonment.
By large, the most common form of punishment that is meted out is imprisonment. It is the punishment for rape, robbery as well as homicide. The length of imprisonment varies with the crime committed. An extortionist may be jailed a few months while a murderer may be jailed for life. Even so few spend their whole life in prison. The repented prisoner is often granted parole. Criminals sitting out long jail sentences may even benefit from their stay in jail. They may learn a trade or two so that they can lead useful lives when they are eventually released.
Some ex-convicts, however, revert back to crime once they have completed their sentences. For these hard-core criminals, the only alternative left is to restrict their movements. So many thugs and trouble-makers are sent to remote towns so that they can be monitored regularly. Besides, the opportunity for mischief is less in a small town. Unavoidably though, small-town crooks might learn something from these restricted residents in their midst and then graduate on to big time.
However, for those who have committed the following crimes, there is only one way out the hangman’s noose. Drug-trafficking, illegal possession of firearms and murder are all punishable by death. Many drug-traffickers, terrorists, and murderers have already been hanged for their crimes. The death sentence is the ultimate punishment that can be given to a criminal. It is the most feared, but despite this threat of death, many people still take enormous risks smuggling drugs, keeping firearms and plotting murder. For these daring but foolhardy people, their date with the hangman is very real indeed if they persist. A fortunate few may have their death sentence commuted to life imprisonment but for the majority in death-row, the noose awaits.
Without exception, all convicts are punished. Few are rehabilitated. This is the situation not only here but all over the world. Efforts to re-educate and to reform convicts are minimal. There are huge problems associated with such effort and more often than not, convicts are simply left on their own. Some repent while some do not. Maybe it would be beneficial for society as a whole if more effort, no doubt difficult, is taken to increase the number who repent. in that way, crime would surely be lessened and the newspaper would have more pleasant things to report.
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