Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Death Penalty - Finland

In Finland the maximum punishment is 12 years in prison. Death penalty is not even discussed as it's considered immoral and barbaric. If you kill a killer, what is the difference between you two? The saying: "eye for an eye until the whole world is blind" says it all.

Prison conditions in Finland are humane and violence is rare. Prison sentences are also quite short. I believe the average being somewhere around one to two years for the first timers (if you even have to stay in prison at all) and four to six years for repeat-offenders, murder convictions excluded but manslaughter punishments included.

There has been much talk in Finland about our punishments being too soft, especially considering certain crimes, like rape. Rapists often get a conviction of one to two years with an immediate probation!

"The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons." - Fyodor Dostoevsky

What do you think? Should the punishment be as cruel as the crime or a chance for society to try and change the criminal in a positive way.

The latter is what the prison sentences are about in Finland; education, work... Long sentences easily alienate prisoners from life outside the walls, making it hard to get hold of day to day life after their release and in this way making it more probable that they will break the law again.


6 Comments:

Blogger Jock said...

Hi Sampsa,

What a great prisional system! If the things were just like this in Brazil would be great.

I got your point about "Eye for an eye". But I think that a rapist, for example, should NEVER return to the society. You can say that the death penalty is barbarious, and I think it too. So, if this is so terrible, I think that he should never get out of the prision.

In Brazil, it´s very rare to see an ex-criminal, that gou out of jail and becomes a "right human". Probably because of our system in prisions - nobody works, it´s a violent environment, nobody reads.

I´d like to give an example. Inside the prision they have its own laws. The criminal consider rape as such a violent crime, and when the rapists get inside the prision, they suffer huge violence by the other criminals. So they have this "welfare conduct". If even the criminals believe that rape is a terrible crime, why shouldn´t us? Why not punish this individual from perpetual sentence? Because I think that a rapist douesn´t have the minimum conscious about life, about love, etc.

So, if death penalty seems barbarian, I think we should have at least a perpetual sentence.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Tomas said...

Death Penalty ...
I was warned against a danger of indulging in the deep breathing on a street in a busy town. However, I have opened my window towards the world. My curiosity overcame the fear of nasty smell that was disguised under the beauty of the modern design and I was richly rewarded. The wonderful chirping of a tiny bird blanketed out the roar of the motors. I was looking at the rapid stream of cars, but I saw the wonderful picture, the smiling portrait of the sunbeam, the divine sparkle that washed my eyesight and put me into the wonderment. In a fraction of a second, I was freed from the local prejudices and the divine love stretched out my hands. I joyfully embraced the whole world.

We see not what is touched by us, but what flows from the heart. This outlook opens a door into the world of eternal light that knows no shadows.

I am the Lithuanian

10:49 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Scandy countries are the most civilised counries ive ever been to. We should emulate them in every way way. (erm aprt from the suicide)

11:02 PM  
Blogger Sampsa said...

David mentioned high suiciderate in Scandinavia. I think Finland is in the "top three" in the most suicidal countries list.

One reason could be found in our extreme winter (it's like living in a freezer with lights cut off) and another reason might be our barbaric dringking habits. You can read more about them here: WSJ: Alcohol Pickle

8:17 AM  
Blogger Tomas said...

"Death Penalty" is a tricky question. I even dare to say that it is the hardest question that literally touches the minds of each one, who dare to claim being human. Personally I had the various musings on that theme, therefore I am exceptionally happy for that’s the past already. Though it has taken some time to grasp consciously what it means to be the Catholic but I became free from confusion of the thoughts about the revenge that people name as the justice ultimately.

I am not going to rewrite the Bible. We all will dye one day and no one knows where that will happen. However, the Christians know that the death is not the end but the exam, the door into the eternity. We all were worthy of the death, but Jesus was crucified for we could enjoy the eternal life. That puts everything in a new light.

Do we comprehend what the acceptance of God's caring love means in practice? Do I myself participate in the sharing of the divine light? How does my own words relate to my actions?
Thank you for the project "One at all" I see it as a horizontal line of the Christian Cross where the vertical symbolize our relationship with God and the horizontal line reminds the need to recognize myself in the eyes of other, to name the foreigner my dear brother in spirit for to enjoy indeed the life.

I am sorry just for one. I am writing with a vocabulary in hand and therefore my Lithuanian-English may fail to express in words what is burning in my heart, yet I hope you understood me right. I would be happy to answer any of your questions.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Super E! & Bestia! said...

wow!
in Mexico ( and I'm saying it here since i've been having trouble to sign in to my blogger account) the situation is so similar to Venezuela and Brazil that is scary. Indeed prisions are overcrowded, there is no death penalty and the system has so many holes and contradictions in it that it's sometimes almost imposible to put someone in jail. Particularly, if this "one" is a "powerful one".

See? So you get the small fish in jail and the big fish are still out creating the proper situations for crime in large scale. Here I'm talking about drug traffic, and some other organized mafias.

I used to belive that death penalty might be an option. Eventually as I got a little more of spiritual insight I got to the point where it seems to me that indeed if we go "and eye for and eye" in the end we will be nothing but blinded people.

It might sound weird, but after all, the probable solution for crime is not in the punishment but in creating the conditions for the development of a healthy society. Of course , this can't take place as long as we keep ignoring our spiritual selfs and leaving spirituality to religious and esoteric practices. If we keep ignoring this, we will continue seeing and thinking of ourselves as incomplete beings. An incomplete being can't expect a healthy, and fully alive being who takes care of himself ( herself) and of the world he/she lives in.

2:10 PM  

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