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

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes | about 6 months ago

7

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 sentence 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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Prison is not about punishment (1)

nobuddy (952985) | about 6 months ago | (#46530361)

It is supposed to be about rehabilitation and reform. Or, when that is impossible, segregating from society to prevent further harm.

When you turn down the road of punishment, you carry nothing but hate with you.

Want some cake? (1)

Sardaukar86 (850333) | about 6 months ago | (#46531297)

When you turn down the road of punishment, you carry nothing but hate with you.

Maybe Humanity is a vile and barbaric species, I don't know. What I do know is that society at its current stage of development needs revenge and punishment to be satisfied that Justice Has Been Done.

I'm not suggesting I'm any better - if someone hurt my loved ones I can imagine I'd have my own desire to 'get medieval on their asses'. I don't think I'm abnormal in this position, but were I to act on these desires then I'd certainly be doing something abnormal and would need to be controlled accordingly.

Point is, society wants to exact a painful sentence in revenge for the pain the criminal has caused society. Technology may allow us to have our cake and eat it too: punish our most heinous criminals for 5 years of a life sentence but make it feel like that life sentence has passed with the use of drugs. Then they can spend the next 5 years in focused rehabilitation. The prisoner didn't actually spend 60 years in prison, it just felt that way to them and it cost us only 10 years of support. It therefore becomes easy for society to dole out rather lengthy periods of internment without having to pay to support them for that length of time. It shouldn't be too hard then for society to see that penance has been served and it may even (hopefully) accept that the person has paid their dues. Maybe they'll even accept the prisoner returning to the workforce.

It's not perfect but it beats incarcerating someone for the rest of their natural life on the public dime.

Re:Want some cake? (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 6 months ago | (#46531413)

>Technology may allow us to have our cake and eat it too:

technologists need to take the high road our current philosphers, pundits, and cretin newspaper men do not.

This has no place in modern technology. exacting a painful sentence for the sake of exacting a painful sentence doesn't bring anyone back from the dead, unmolest or unrape someone, it doesn't get useful answers out of people, it doesn't reform criminals, and it does provide any tangible benefit.

someone has to put their foot down and say no.

Re:Want some cake? (1)

Sardaukar86 (850333) | about 6 months ago | (#46531443)

technologists need to take the high road our current philosphers, pundits, and cretin newspaper men do not. This has no place in modern technology. exacting a painful sentence for the sake of exacting a painful sentence doesn't bring anyone back from the dead, unmolest or unrape someone, it doesn't get useful answers out of people, it doesn't reform criminals, and it does provide any tangible benefit. someone has to put their foot down and say no.

Laudable idealism and certainly a world I'd prefer to live in. Unfortunately, we live in difficult times and although things are not as difficult as other periods that have passed in Mankind's history, things on Earth are far from ideal right now.

It's a false dichotomy but politics have given us few options: execute, incarcerate forever, or release into the community to continue harming others. As I say, this concept isn't ideal by any means but is there the potential for it to put a fourth option on the table?

Re:Prison is not about punishment (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 6 months ago | (#46531407)

more importantly, it doesn't serve any useful purposes.

The concept of torture as a useful device in any pragmatic means is an outdated myth.

Lets call this what this is, torture. (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 6 months ago | (#46531405)

>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

a damn emotionalist revenge driven torture scheme, nothing more. I look forward to the day when these people are not allowed anywhere near research science, or medicine.

A troll-bait surely (1)

cryptic_warrior (3584515) | about 6 months ago | (#46531589)

This can't be serious - is it April 1st yet? ~checks~ nope. In which case it is a downright scary proposition.

I understand that people feel the need for vengeance when wronged, I really do. However, what this alleged "scholar" suggests is barbaric and I would even go as far to say, given the "scholar" in question had a child abuse case at the front of their mind at the time of writing, by their own admission, they were not approaching this objectively. That is no basis for forming any rational opinion - scientific, judicial or anything else for that matter.

Taking just the first linked piece - dose up the prisoner with some psychoactive drug that tricks the mind to believe they spent 1000 years in prison within 8 hours of space-time as we usually experience it. WTF does that achieve??

1. It's not really going to go down well in courts if child beaters are put away for 8 hours - they'll be released and likely shot in the head (if in a country where firearms are rampant), purely because the vengeance factor and emotion is still running high.

2. After being given this time dilating substance (notably unamed in TFA) and believing they have spent 1000 years in prison, the perp is released after a day or so - how seriously messed up are they going to be?? Come out of prison, believing they managed to survive 1000 years, so it must now be 3014 only to discover it is the next day in 2014.

"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?"

Sadist bitch. If you want them dead, just campaign for the death penalty and get it done. What is with the extended torture shit? I can't even begin to grok that. People "get out" of a punishment by dying - oh yes that works... look at me, I'm gone and am now worm fodder with nothing to look forward to other than maggots eating my brain and returning me to the soil, sure glad I dodged that prison sentence he he he..... oh shit, didn't think that through.

Please tell me this is troll-bait, or some gov't BS to subtly poll our opinions on crime, justice and punishment/rehab. If it's not..... we're doomed I tell ye DOOMED!

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