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Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences

Unknown Lamer posted about 7 months ago | from the miles-was-never-the-same dept.

Crime 914

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Like something out of the movie Inception, Rhiannon Williams reports in the Telegraph that Dr. Rebecca Roache, in charge of a team of scholars focused upon the ways futuristic technologies might transform punishment, claims the prison sentences of serious criminals could be made worse by distorting prisoners' minds into thinking time was passing more slowly. 'There are a number of psychoactive drugs that distort people's sense of time, so you could imagine developing a pill or a liquid that made someone feel like they were serving a 1,000-year sentence,' says Roache. Roache says when she began researching this topic, she was thinking a lot about Daniel Pelka, a four-year-old boy who was starved and beaten to death by his mother and stepfather.

'I had wondered whether the best way to achieve justice in cases like that was to prolong death as long as possible. Some crimes are so bad they require a really long period of punishment, and a lot of people seem to get out of that punishment by dying. And so I thought, why not make prison sentences for particularly odious criminals worse by extending their lives?' Thirty years in prison is currently the most severe punishment available in the UK legal system. 'To me, these questions about technology are interesting because they force us to rethink the truisms we currently hold about punishment. When we ask ourselves whether it's inhumane to inflict a certain technology on someone, we have to make sure it's not just the unfamiliarity that spooks us,' says Roache. 'Is it really OK to lock someone up for the best part of the only life they will ever have, or might it be more humane to tinker with their brains and set them free? When we ask that question, the goal isn't simply to imagine a bunch of futuristic punishments — the goal is to look at today's punishments through the lens of the future.'"

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Ridiculous. (5, Insightful)

Kojiro Ganryu Sasaki (895364) | about 7 months ago | (#46532725)

That's ridiculous. If we wanted to cause as much damage to the criminals as possible, why not simply reinstate torture?

That's basically what she seems to want.

(no we shouldn't do that)

Re:Ridiculous. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532765)

This. ... "and a lot of people seem to get out of that punishment by dying"

They didn't get out of anything, they're dead.

Re:Ridiculous. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532827)

No. death is much easier

Re: Ridiculous. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532905)

Says you. How about you test that on yourself before trying to convince us without any data to back up your claim?

Re: Ridiculous. (5, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | about 7 months ago | (#46532767)

That's what I was thinking. The whole summary made me sick. Justice isn't a code word for vengence.

There's an argument to be made for execution, if someone is deemed beyond redemption, but to invent drugs to extend punishment is horrible. Unless the idea is someone can be released in a week, and become productive rather than a drain on society.

Re: Ridiculous. (5, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 7 months ago | (#46532947)

1000 years subject time, all spent strapped to a gurney and looking at the ceiling and you think they're going to come out of it as a productive member of society? Not to mention submitting someone to 1000 years of that torture in less time than it takes for a lawyer to file an appeal, that's just a great idea for justice. I sincerely hope the author of this piece was being satirical... the alternative is that she's a raging sociopath.

Ma-Ma (1)

Immerial (1093103) | about 7 months ago | (#46532787)

What was her name again? ;) Are you sure she not advocating both? Maybe she's seen the latest Judge Dredd movie.

Re:Ridiculous. (5, Insightful)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 7 months ago | (#46532801)

Absolutely. If they are going to use drugs to exact harsher "punishment", then they might as well start looking for a drug that causes intense pain and suffering. While they're about it, why don't they semi-starve the prisoners and ensure that they can never get more than a few minutes sleep.

This is the most objectionable story I've ever seen on Slashdot.

Re:Ridiculous. (5, Insightful)

Like2Byte (542992) | about 7 months ago | (#46532837)

Exactly. This is simply inhumane. Regardless of the otrocities commited by the convicted, we cannot, as a society, debase ourselves by resorting to torture of the mind, body, or soul.

The department of corrections is supposed to be "correcting" human behaviour, not damaging it. Too much of that happens in prisons as it is. Now this doctor wants to exacerbate that?

Whatever organization that she received her doctorate from should revoke it immediately!

Re:Ridiculous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532845)

The idea presented in the article sound very cruel and unusual (eight amendment for you in the US). You might as well bring out the breaking wheel, cross or boiling pot. No, I don't support any of these ideas.

Re:Ridiculous. (1)

dbarron (286) | about 7 months ago | (#46532869)

Perhaps some kind of burrowing parasitic worms?

Re:Ridiculous. (3, Insightful)

newcastlejon (1483695) | about 7 months ago | (#46532851)

I'm not worried about this actually happening. It'd be shot down by the ECHR and at best would just give the Telegraph another reason to complain about them.

I'm more concerned that someone who calls themself a doctor could even concieve of such a thing; I'm going to have to assume that Ms Roache isn't that kind of doctor, otherwise I'm in danger of losing any lingering faith I have in the innate goodness of Man.

Re:Ridiculous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532863)

Agreed, let's just allow torture; just under the guise of innovation.

Re:Ridiculous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532877)

No we should. It would be worse than torture. No matter how heinous the crime, a civilised society can not punish people this way. People change, people learn from their errors. What if the person was innocent? Perhaps she should try it on herself first and experience what even one year of solitude would feel like.

Re:Ridiculous. (4, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | about 7 months ago | (#46532911)

And it's a TV show plot.

The Sentence [wikipedia.org]

Re:Ridiculous. (1)

illogict (889976) | about 7 months ago | (#46533027)

THANK YOU.
I’ve been looking for this for years now, couldn’t get a hold of it.

Re:Ridiculous. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532943)

On other hand, this could actually be used positively. If someone is sentenced to thirty years, but they only had to spend 10 real years (but 30 with time dilation drug) - then they come out into a society that isn't all that changed, comparatively, and easier for them to readjust back into, having served their time.

There's bad and good with every technological use.

Re:Ridiculous. (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 7 months ago | (#46532959)

She also seems to hint at a more bleeding hearts approach, letting criminals serve sentences of normal duration in subjective time, whilst keeping them in jail for a much shorter real-time interval.

Sentencing should serve a number of objectives: deterrence (scaring others into not breaking the law), correction (rehabilitating the criminal), prevention (keeping people in jail is a good way to keep them from doing more crimes), and revenge (feeding the public's sense of justice). Shortening real jail terms while letting inmates subjectively do their given time might help correction a little bit, at the cost of prevention. Perhaps that could be useful for first offenders or criminals with an expected low chance of recidivism. Subjectively lengthening current jail terms seems to serve only deterrence (the effect of which is proven to level off quickly with increased sentences) and revenge, the more pointless of objectives. And don't ask how this will help correction... how sane is someone going to come out of a 1000 year sentence?

All this seems needlessly cruel and detrimental to the more important aspects of punishment.

Re:Ridiculous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532997)

This seems wonderful. If we could make someone's brain feel like it spent 30 years in prison when actually they were only there for 30 days not only would the intent of the punishment have been applied and hopefully given the individual the time to rehabilitate but it would also let them have their life back after they were rehabilitaed. Additionally, having shorter real-time sentences that are perceived by the punished as the full duration would solve all problems of over crowding in prisons. So long as some form of rehabilitation is able to be processed during this period, this seems like a truely remarkable discovery!

Looking at this as an option to make punishments worse or last longer seems to miss the mark in my opinion. But the practical uses for this seem to go on an on. If this allows for multiplied moments of concious thought, could we have great thinkers take this treatment when they need to pontificate for long periods of time? Will this be like Goku stepping into the time chamber to get a year of training in only a day? That would be pretty awesome!

Re:Ridiculous. (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 7 months ago | (#46533005)

Of course, said drug wouldn't just be used on criminals... I'm sure it will be used as another means to extract confessions, or help a country's propaganda campaigns when they suddenly get a bunch of people confessing to being spies and turning in their families and friends.

Re:Ridiculous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46533033)

First off the is another /. repeat article from a few days ago.

Second by putting persons in a cage, it is a torture. You hear and read what goes on inside of prisons, besides rape, your pretty much back to racist segregation, the whites "HAVE TO" stay with the whites, the black "HAVE TO" stay with the blacks ect. And if your imprisoned for something that should'nt even be considered a "harsh" criminal act, or even if you are, and you just want to serve your time, you have no choice but to as your told by the other prisoners that have been inside for sometime, which will lead you to commit acts against prison rules/laws, and get you more time, if not ruin any chance at early parole if caught.

The entire system itself is fucked up, from the absurd laws, to the absurd [defunct] court systems, then you have to deal with prison. People should serve there time, and it shouldn't be "club fed". But it shouldn't be a complete house of horrors. To this day I do not understand how putting some people in a cage, like animals, with animals, and expecting them to come out "reformed" has worked?

Having said that torture would only exacerbate that.. Which is your [I think] your point.

It will get to a point where The Clock Work Orange, experiments will start to come into play. They'll try one thing and fail, then another that works, then they'll have another system in place for EVERYONE, to see if they have any criminal thoughts, and to 'fix' them before they commit any crimes. A possible future world that thankfully I will not be part of.

Re:Ridiculous. (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 7 months ago | (#46533045)

That's ridiculous. If we wanted to cause as much damage to the criminals as possible, why not simply reinstate torture?

That's basically what she seems to want.

(no we shouldn't do that)

Exactly. This article has more "thefuck?" in it than almost any I've seen on Slashdot. And they even missed the lede: the Scifi tie-in is obviously the Star Trek DS9 episode "Hard Time". Duh.

But seriously, life without parole (not a thing in the UK? look into it) is pretty severe, prisons are designed to be brutal (far too effective at punishment and far too ineffective at rehabilitation) so unless we want a whole new section of the penal system designed for "extra" punishment of heinous offenders then we should probably be more concerned with rehabilitating the non-heinous offenders before the prison system swallows the government up.

Re:Ridiculous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46533049)

I agree, and to extend your thought....

If we torture people for offenses, then there is no justification for releasing them back to the population.

We know that torture makes people who are very difficult to live with. People who are very unstable. People who then become painfully disconnected with society.

Why would we want a punishment so severe that we guarantee this person will either be a ward of the state, or an unwanted, released to population ward of the state. This isn't just torture, it's effectively a death sentence were the criminal gets to die in prison with (or without) a few day trips into the population.

Dude (4, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | about 7 months ago | (#46532729)

Have you ever looked at your handcuffs? I mean, really LOOKED at them?

Thirty years in prison (5, Informative)

Threni (635302) | about 7 months ago | (#46532731)

"Thirty years in prison is currently the most severe punishment available in the UK legal system."

No, it's not. People get 30-year minimum sentences, for instance, and there are a number of prisoners on whole-life sentences:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Thirty years in prison (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 7 months ago | (#46532909)

Perhaps 30 years is the maximum for a single crime. However, many people are convicted of multiple crimes, and serve each sentence in series rather than in parallel, so people could indeed get sentenced to hundreds of years, while still only getting 30 years for individual charges.

Pulse (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532739)

Sounds like the drug "pulse" described by sci-fi writer Walter Mosley in the book Futureland. Worth a read.

More like the movie Demolition Man (3, Insightful)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 7 months ago | (#46532741)

Like something out of the movie Inception

I just hope there aren't unintended consequences, as there were in that movie.

Re:More like the movie Demolition Man (2)

Threni (635302) | about 7 months ago | (#46532763)

> I just hope there aren't unintended consequences, as there were in that movie.

Confusion, tiredness, desire to go to the toilet and not return?

Re:More like the movie Demolition Man (5, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#46532821)

desire to go to the toilet

I wanted to, but I couldn't work out how to use the three seashells.

Re:More like the movie Demolition Man (2)

rahulov (1871994) | about 7 months ago | (#46533065)

More like sci-fi mini series: Black Mirror : episode: White bear -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

It will never fly in the US (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532743)

This seems to be the very definition of "cruel and unusual".

Re:It will never fly in the US (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 7 months ago | (#46532817)

This seems to be the very definition of "cruel and unusual".

We can be pretty creative about what fits through the 8th Amendment here in the Land Of The Free...

Now, this commie-pinko entitlement liberal nonsense about providing free life extension medicine to a bunch of undeserving criminals... That might be a harder sell.

Re:It will never fly in the US (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46533069)

This seems to be the very definition of "cruel and unusual".

Never fly?

Yeah, right.

We have a "Constitutional scholar" for President, and he ignores the Constitution. Hey, he's got a pen and a phone. Gag.

Prison is more than punishment (2)

impala (20564) | about 7 months ago | (#46532751)

Imprisoning criminals is trying to do a few things:
* punishment for the criminal
* deterrent for would-be criminals
* protecting the public from re-offence
* rehabilitation of prisoners
Drugs could be used in all these areas?

Re:Prison is more than punishment (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#46532833)

So could whipping, removal of body parts and branding.

Re:Prison is more than punishment (5, Insightful)

Ardyvee (2447206) | about 7 months ago | (#46532885)

I don't think a 1000 years punishments would do much to... rehabilitate prisoners. If anything, it'll break them beyond breaking or turn them into madmen that will be your worst enemy on they get out.

The idea of "punishment" for a crime makes little sense beyond a certain point. Sure, you want to punish behaviors as a way to reduce them (the same way we punish kids for behaving incorrectly) but there gets a point where going beyond in the scale of punishment is futile and even counter productive, specially because most of the time all you are doing is giving the satisfaction to the victims that somebody is still being punished (paying for what they did), instead of becoming a better person (which should be the aim of jail time but isn't).

And, on topic: if living for 1000 years for a normal person would usually result in worse than bad results (loss of friends, lack of usual boundaries/inhibitions because you just need to wait), never mind them being locked up (imagine watching the same place and for years at a time, following the same routine over and over again, or in the case of the drug, watching a wall for the equivalent of months at a time)... It'd take a specially strong mind to withstand that and still be functional afterwards. And it's that kind of people that you don't want locked up ever (instead you want them following the law, or for the second option, dead). If you just lock them up, they are going to hate you afterwards for it, if they don't try to escape during sentence.

Re:Prison is more than punishment (2)

chielk (2015556) | about 7 months ago | (#46532921)

I feel that sometimes the most important thing it tries to achieve is to satisfy the victims' or society's desire for revenge.

Re:Prison is more than punishment (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 7 months ago | (#46532955)

* Satisfying the public's hunger to see those who violate the social rules made to suffer.

Humans are not all peace-and-love hippies. They are vicious, hateful bunch.

Cruel and unusual punishment (4, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about 7 months ago | (#46532753)

IS she looking to abolish the 18th amendment and the universal declaration of human rights

What a dimwit (2)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 7 months ago | (#46532757)

Science has proven punishment doesn't work and this person thinks the answer is extended punishment?

This is the problem with specialization and non-communication of important findings from one specialty to another.

Re:What a dimwit (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 7 months ago | (#46533035)

non-communication of important findings from one specialty to another.

No cross training required, she claims to be a doctor, IIRC the prime directive of the medical profession is - "First do no harm". If she still wants to rid the world of "evil" after contemplating that oath, then she should at least have the courtesy to start by healing her own mind first.

Barbaric (4, Insightful)

MasseKid (1294554) | about 7 months ago | (#46532759)

Justice is not an eye for an eye. Justice is not torture. Justice is not becoming what you seek to destroy.

Re:Barbaric (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532819)

Justice is not an eye for an eye. Justice is not torture. Justice is not becoming what you seek to destroy.

Exactly, that is "revenge", not "justice".

Re:Barbaric (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 7 months ago | (#46532859)

Justice is not an eye for an eye. Justice is not torture. Justice is not becoming what you seek to destroy.

Precisely! That's why we need to use Science to enhance our criminals so that justice can be 10, maybe even 100, eyes for an eye without running into pesky human limits!

Vlad the impaler (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532761)

Probably the worst form of torture and guaranteed death possibly inflicted on a human?

WHAT THE FUCK!!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532775)

Seriosuly

What the fuck. As a previous poster mentioned this is tantamount to torture.

Why not look forward to virtual hells (4, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | about 7 months ago | (#46532779)

Iain M Banks takes this to the extreme in Surface Detail. You could have indefinite suffering for almost eternity - as long as your civilisation works on accelerated time.

Thirty years in prison is currently the most sever (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532781)

No its not.

You can be sentenced to a whole life tariff which means you will never be released.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_prisoners_with_whole-life_tariffs Gives a list of some criminals under this sentence.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/feb/26/lee-rigby-killers-michael-adebolajo-adebowale-whole-life-ruling

His accomplice, Michael Adebowale, 22, who stabbed at the soldier's torso, was ordered to serve a minimum of 45 years in jail. Both men had been convicted unanimously by a jury in December.

Not useful (4, Insightful)

shellster_dude (1261444) | about 7 months ago | (#46532783)

The foremost point of prison is to keep bad individuals where they can't harm the general populace, and to punish them for their actions, with the hope that they will correct their behavior.

Using a time dilation drug does in lieu of actual time served does nothing to help keep them off the street.
Using a time dilation drug as well as a normal sentence amounts to psychological torture or near torture, and won't help with any corrective process which might have prevented repeat offense.

Bottom line: drugs like this have no place in or penal system, regardless of the ethical ramifications of using them on prisoners.

Re:Not useful (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 7 months ago | (#46533047)

Using a time dilation drug does in lieu of actual time served does nothing to help keep them off the street.

On the other hand, using a time dilation drug allows them to serve a 30 year sentence in 3 years (for example), thus allowing them to have a useful post-prison life.

This as opposed to 30 years in jail leaving you with a 50-something....

Oh god (4, Insightful)

N1AK (864906) | about 7 months ago | (#46532785)

Some crimes are so bad they require a really long period of punishment,

Am I the only the person a little disturbed that we've got scholars focused on the future of punishment coming up with shit like this? We already have ways we could make imprisonment worse, we could torture prisoners incessantly throughout their incarceration but don't because we're trying to show more humanity and restraint than those we lock up... Are they seriously dumb enough to think someone who commits a horrible crime with a 30 year sentence was going to reconsider if they could get an imaginary 60 years or 600 years? Does anyone think that injecting someone with a drug to make them feel like they are somewhere unpleasent for drastically longer is somehow not torture when injecting them with a drug that would cause them pain for a short period of time is?

I expect this kind of primal bollocks to be popular with the population at large but I'd, perhaps naively, thought that people who were informed and trying to put together a rational case would know better.

Re:Oh god (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#46532865)

Am I the only the person a little disturbed that we've got scholars focused on the future of punishment coming up with shit like this?

Judging by the responses so far, thankfully, no.

Re:Oh god (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532883)

Dr. Rebecca Goebbels... I wonder who pays her salary. That guy must be proud of himself.

Re:Oh god (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#46532923)

Am I the only the person a little disturbed that we've got scholars focused on the future of punishment coming up with shit like this?

Am I the only person a little disturbed that all you parrots are happy to keep saying "the future of punishment"? Punishment is bullshit. Rehabilitate or GTFO.

Re:Oh god (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 7 months ago | (#46532967)

Indeed. The burden of operating a civilized society means you cannot allow any heinous act, no matter how evil, to bring society down to that same malevolent level.

IMHO, the US government has failed in this regard of late with the War on Terror.

Re:Oh god (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532977)

What sort of psychotic person would come out at the end? Sensory deprivation and you think it lasts 1000 years?! You would either create a zen meditation master, a stone cold killer with no morals, or a vegetable.

Zen meditation master as all they could do is wait.
Stone cold killer as there would be 0 consequences in their mind.
Most likely a vegetable as the body would probably shut down and cause perm brain damage.

There are plenty of studies on what long term sensory deprivation does.

And SN beat SD to this?!

Old (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532793)

The Outer Limits (1995-2002), Season 2 episode 22, "The Sentence"

Re:Old (1)

azadrozny (576352) | about 7 months ago | (#46532993)

Also DS9, Season 4, "Hard Time"

Why waste the money? (0)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 7 months ago | (#46532805)

Why should we waste money on people who obviously have chosen not to abide by the simple rules of society. It's not as if not stealing, murdering or raping are new concepts.

We as a society no longer have the time or resources to continue to coddle criminals. Recidivists should not constantly be leeching off the public dole with free room and board.

Removing these people from society has multiple benefits including not having to worry if they're going to commit another, more violent, crime, not having to house and feed them for years at a time and if we're really lucky, taking them out of the gene pool so they can't reproduce.

Hideous (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532809)

This woman sounds like a pyscho. I wonder what is in Dr. Rebecca Roache's past that makes her think she can redefine "justice" along these lines? This is almost Lovecraftian in its evil.

What about rehabilitation? (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 7 months ago | (#46532811)

What about rehabilitation? Sure some people do bad things, really bad things. But putting them on drugs to make a sentence seem longer isn't going to make them better members of society when they eventually get out. Solitary confinement also makes things seem longer, but eventually they get out and they go right on doing what they did before, because you didn't fix the underlying problem. If you just want them in jail for as long as possible, and don't strive to rehabilitate them, you might as well invoke the death penalty. The point of the justice system shouldn't be just to punish people, but rehabilitate them so they can be more useful members of society.

Re:What about rehabilitation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532987)

And judical systems with a close focus on rehabilitation fare a lot better than those bound to some kind of punishment.
Getting people socially adjusted and enable them to realise their mistake is a lot more important than some kind of revenge or punishment.

That and I would seriously fear people who had been socially isolated for centuries, even if those are just simulated.

We do this already (5, Insightful)

unixcorn (120825) | about 7 months ago | (#46532823)

A convicted felon, even once they serve their sentence, is still a pariah in the US. Their record follows them so they can't get jobs, they are shunned by society and in some cases they are put on lists so neighbors can keep their kids away from them. I think we do a pretty good job of torturing criminals for their entire lives, while we wonder why the recidivism rate is so high. As a caveat, I have to say that our "correctional" institutions probably don't do much real correction so the guys on the lists probably need a watchful eye on them.

Something very similar happened in Dredd(2012) (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532825)

There is a drug called SloMo used to do something just like this.

Optional way to shorten sentence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532829)

Instead of a year in prison, you serve a month with time dialation. Save the prison money of keeping you, while still getting the punishment.

or, we could. .. (2)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 7 months ago | (#46532847)

Perhaps use this type of drug to allow a prisoner to serve their twenty year sentence in considerably less "real time". That way they still serve their time and can get out young enough to attempt to contribute to society. I would think that the threat of a 1000 year sentence would scare the crap out of at least some criminals, though not all.

Re:or, we could. .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532945)

So would torture. One idea of serving time is rehabilitation. Having a different perspective. Having had time to think about what you did and should do.

Basically this woman suggests using the equivalent of a combination of electroshock therapy and torture on convicted felons.

Do we really want this kind of Dr Mengele thinking?

Sadists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532867)

What the fuck is wrong with these people? Researching new ways to torture people should get your medical license removed.

Subjective vs objective time (1)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 7 months ago | (#46532871)

Subjective time (your experience of time) is not measurable, so the entire premise of this article doesn't make sense. You can't tell 20 minutes from 21 minutes without a clock, or five days from six days without light cues. Drugs can alter your experience of time, but not in the way suggested. You won't experience one year of being doped up as a hundred years, but as one year of being doped up.

Because Justice Isn't About Revenge (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 7 months ago | (#46532873)

Justice isn't about revenge and not even about punishment. Though I see how you could make that mistake in the police state you live in. It's about removing someone who's an ongoing threat to society until such time as they are no longer a threat to society. The fact that it's so often used for revenge and for enslaving entire generations of otherwise-peaceful drug users is an indication that your society is broken. Someone who would come up with an idea like this sounds just as evil as the people they envision punishing. Sure, let's take helpless people under our control and torture them for what seems like an eternity. That's brilliant.

By all means (1)

durin (72931) | about 7 months ago | (#46532875)

Let's fuck up already fucked-up persons more. Way to go civilized society.

Someone stop the world, I want to get off here.

really, more punishment? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532879)

We really want to focus on more punishment and less rehabilitation?

Crimes require nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532881)

"Some crimes are so bad they require a really long period of punishment"

No. Dr. Rebecca Roache's sense of -revenge- requires this. Emotions have fuck all to do with -justice-. Brain tinkering to dilute time ffs. Perhaps Rebecca needs to watch some Clockwatch Orange.

Human Condition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532889)

It is a sad thing indeed that with a drug that could allow someone to experience a sensation and emotion for a thousand years, this person's first thoughts turned to how to use the drug for punishment and misery.

Load me up a syringe, I'm off to the tropics with all the ones I love.

Reform (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532895)

What about trying to reform them? Or are we giving up on fellow human beings and treat their actions as something inherent in themselves?

Like 3-D Printers And Fabbed Firearms - Enough!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532901)

Why are all of these advances geared toward warfare for some reason?

When 3-D Printers are making advances and hopefully never declining in capabilities, all around the net is "firearms! printing guns! oh no danger!" instead of, "Look what we as humanity can do for each other, look how many things the poor will have access to instead of being shoved into factories?"

Wouldn't you rather have read this:

"WHATEVER has a recent story that is more science fiction than fact about the potential for drugs that slow down human perception of time to enable ENJOYABLE ACTIVITIES FOR RECREATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF OURSELVES AS A SPECIES feel longer than the normal human lifespan.

Like all good science fiction, it isn't so much about the technology as it is about the questions it provokes. Like which would be more USEFUL helping someone to IMPROVE the rest of their Unnatural lifespan LEARNING AND ENJOYING R&R or only making them feel as if THEY HAD A LONGER TIME ON EARTH FOR IMPROVEMENT AND ENJOYMENT?"

It's always fucking negative.

GUNS! PRISON! SUFFER! OBEY!

BANG BANG! DON'T DROP THE SOAP! HA HA let's make light of situations which are harmful, welcome to another shitty broadcast watch us smile unless you have the VISION to see how really EVIL we fucking are!

RE: Same topic (for context)
@ http://soylentnews.org/article... [soylentnews.org]

What a waste of taxpayer money ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532903)

This is too obnoxious for Ig Nobel, we need a new prize ... how about the Mengele award?

Great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532907)

According to current tendency in penalization of crimes this is what I expect in the future:
1 day sentence, but of course it will feel like 1000 years. This will make world safer place, won't it?

Fuck you, bitch (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 7 months ago | (#46532913)

What a monster. Let's make an experiment where we put this Dr. Rebecca Roache behind bars in a normal fashion for just 1 year without any fancy drugs, and she'd be surprised how long and uncomfortable even that time will feel.

um (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#46532915)

So this is some random scientist doing a thought experiment that's already been done in thousands of scifi books for the past 100 years or so. It's equivalent to saying "Some time in the future, we could fly criminals to another planet and use it as a penal colony!" Ok, yea, I read that book... so why is this news? If we're just making up technology that doesn't exist how about a pill that makes them not want to commit crimes?

Doing it wrong... (5, Interesting)

flogger (524072) | about 7 months ago | (#46532917)

Use this pill on Friday night and make the weekend seem like it last for 5 years instead of 20 minutes.
Maybe I could give it to my spouse before sex.

any notion of justice is based completely on mercy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532925)

takes out the media centered fear hate & violence features which are obsoletely fatal & based on histories of hysterical generational abuse

Bleach? (1)

James Ruiz (3570201) | about 7 months ago | (#46532927)

Am I the only one of thinking about the manga Bleach and the Espada battle?

am i the only one (1)

xmousex (661995) | about 7 months ago | (#46532935)

I read time dilation and immediately thought about how much more i could get done today with that drug.

This whole prison thing seems like an odd deviation from what should be the real topic.

Cost savings (1)

Lord Grey (463613) | about 7 months ago | (#46532941)

I agree that extending a prison sentence seems a little barbaric. But what about looking at this from a pure cost-saving viewpoint? Instead of sentencing a prisoner to 10 years (or whatever is normal for their offense) and keeping them in prison that long, use the drug and keep them in prison for only one year but make them feel like 10 years have passed. Huge cost savings to the public, right there.

Interesting (1)

Tmackiller (959837) | about 7 months ago | (#46532963)

Surely instead of lengthening the actual sentece, you could say, make a prisoners perception of 15 minutes last 15 years, therefore rehabilitating them with a pill. Of course I'm only musing, it is of course a rediculous concept.

Star Trek covered this (5, Insightful)

kairu (879636) | about 7 months ago | (#46532969)

While reading this article, I find it hard to believe that "Roache says when she began researching this topic, she was thinking a lot about Daniel Pelka". Not to insult the inspiration, but it seems like a lot of other sci-fi related shows have already covered this. The one that is on the top of my mind is "Star Trek: Deep Space 9" ("Hard Time", Season 2, Episode 25) where Miles O'Brien's mind has been altered to create memories of being incarcerated for 20 years on an alien world on charges of espionage and sedition.

Isn't this basically the same thing (except, you know, for actual criminals)?

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H... [wikipedia.org]

But there's a Catch. Catch-22 (1)

retroworks (652802) | about 7 months ago | (#46532973)

“Dunbar loved shooting skeet because he hated every minute of it and the time passed so slowly. He had figured out that a single hour on the skeet-shooting range with people like Havermeyer and Appleby could be worth as much as eleven-times-seventeen years." As author Joseph Heller's Dunbar character saw it, the more miserable you are, the slower time passes, and the longer (relatively) you live.

Heading is inflamatory for no reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532981)

If you read between the lines, it's implied that one could do a 10 year sentence in a fraction of the time, possibly with earlier rehabilitation and a chance to live out the rest of their life.

However, if the drugs are shown to impede the cognitive change that needs to happen for rehabilitation, then this would have no practical or moral application.

Eternal Stranglehold of The Twisted Mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46532985)

Does this pill mean I'll have my very own clone of Kirsten Dunst in her undies jumping on my bed while smokin' some weed?

rip off (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 7 months ago | (#46533009)

She ripped off the idea from pretty much every sci fi show ever. Why not just have the prison orbit a black hole?

kneejerk reactions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46533013)

A lot of the reactions in this thread seem to be the knee-jerk reactions feared by the author.

Is it really OK to lock someone up for the best part of the only life they will ever have, or might it be more humane to tinker with their brains and set them free?

I think this is an interesting idea. What if someone commits a crime at age 25, gets 50 years of punishment. We give them the drug, the serve 5 actual years, but it feels like 50 for them. Their one and only life has not been taken away from them, but they've been forced to spend 50 years thinking about what they'd done. Kind of like an adult time-out. An interview can be done to see if the person really was rehabilited at the end of the 5 years, and if not, they serve out the ACTUAL 50 years like normal. Sounds like a win to me. 1000 year sentences truly is abusive/torture and a dumb idea, but there are good ways to apply this technology.

Torture for eternity ... no mistakes (1)

fygment (444210) | about 7 months ago | (#46533021)

Say someone was wrongly convicted, are the effects reversible?
All discussion of crime and punishment seems to assume a certain infallibility in the system of conviction. That is an incorrect assumption as has been proven time and again and again and again.

The most chilling part however is that the technology is likely here and now. It's use in the justice system is unlikely in the near-term. HOWEVER, that doesn't prevent it's use in more covert systems of punishment and persuasion.

Now a suspect can undergo torture for what seems like ... eternity.

90s Outer Limits did it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46533029)

"The Sentence" is about the creator of a time dilation prison simulation getting stuck inside it accidentally.

Room 101 anybody? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46533037)

Do we really need to get every goddamn piece of 1984 implemented?

Or . . . (1)

Kimomaru (2579489) | about 7 months ago | (#46533039)

Maybe she can focus on why people do these things to start with and work on technology that can prevent these occurences? Our beef is with the crime itself and the damage it do? I think Roache missed the larger point.

On the good side (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46533041)

It could result in people serving short sentences, like a year or so, in much less time. Normal punishment, served in shortened time, could lead to less disruption.

Huh. Weird. (1)

bistromath007 (1253428) | about 7 months ago | (#46533051)

Usually people do not just come right out and admit that they are evil unless they're cartoon characters.

The idea that somebody with "Dr." in front of their name would even think of "punishment" as a desirable concept is profoundly disgusting.

No... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46533067)

This is incredibly evil..

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