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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Sarkozy: Castrate Rapists

French minister for the interior wants to introduce chemical castration for repeat sex offenders. What on earth is it? Is it like the elastic bands used on lambs, so things shrivel up and drop off? In which case I don't see why they shouldn't just do it mechanically. And if not, then it probably requires some kind of repeat treatment, which seems like a risky proposition. People do give the police the slip, and those intending to re-offend are most likely to do so, I would have thought.
I often wonder about amputation as a punishment. It seems harsh. There is no recognition in the law, as far as I know, of the idea in moral theology that, for example, stealing by someone who is in need from someone who has more than he needs is not stealing, though there is between murder and manslaughter. Still, presumably just as there are different sentences handed down anyway for crimes all labelled "theft", there could be some criteria for the kind of theft for which one could have one's hand cut off. But then the convict would perhaps not be able to make a living. Would he then be kept at the taxpayer's expense?
Is amputation ever permissible? A jail sentence has an element of "fresh start" about it. Once you are out, you are again a citizen in (more or less) good standing. You have paid for your crime. If a member is cut off, then it will never grow back again, unless you are a starfish. You pay for your crime to the end of your life.
Much to be said on the subject, but I must dash.