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Saturday, September 23, 2006

On Punishing Cruelty to Animals

Chris has a question

ACT is for tougher sentences for violent crime, as am I. But, do you support this idea: For any conviction of cruelty to animals, an automatic life-time ban on owning or managing animals? I mean, if you are going to get tough on people who hurt and abuse other people, surely it makes sense to get tougher on the scum that are cruel to animals? Some of the present sentences handed down recently for quite horrific instances of animal cruelty are absolutely pathetic. What do you think?

I'm certainly with you on tougher penalties for animal cruelty. Whether its torturing kittens or deliberately leaving cattle in a paddock with no water or shade for three days, I consider animal cruelty right up there on the crime scale.

Generally I think penalties are too soft for most crime, but cruelty to animals (and children) should both be dealt with much more seriously.

That said, I don't support lifetime penalties for any crime except the most heinous murders.

I do believe in redemption and I think almost everybody should be left with at least a little hope in their lives.

The guy who neglected his farm stock in his '20s, when he was way out of his depth and struggling to hold his marriage together, may not be the same guy who in his '60s wants a cat for company.

So I do believe animal cruelty should be taken seriously, but think we have to be bit more flexible than issuing blanket lifetime bans.

10 Comments:

Blogger Murray said...

Well if this is the benchmark then we're looking at compulsory steralisation for child abuse then aren't we.

This is not a well thought out policy.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Don't get your drift, sorry, Murray.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I agree with what you have written, Trevor. My thinking was more from the heart than the head. Although maybe if someone actually started calling for lifetime bans then tougher sentences might follow as some sort of compromise.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Murray said...

An offence results in a lifetime punishment.

Kick a cat, never allowed to own one again - abuse a child, never allowed to have another.

Drive drunk never allowed to drive again.

There's balance or proportionality with this proposal.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Be unfaithful to a wife, never be allowed to marry again

Go bankrupt once, never be allowed to own a business again.

Fail to tape Sopranos once, never be allowed to watch it again.

Sorry Murray, but i don't go in for such inflexible penal regimes.

I think Dostoyevsky got it right in "Crime and Punishment"

Raskolnikov murdered two old ladies with a hatchet. The Russian authorities didn't hang the piece of shit. They sent him to do hard labour in Siberia.

After 12 years or so his self righteous attitude started to change. Eventually he was able to reform himself and start a new life.

Moral-even the worst of us can change. A good penal system must try to keep some hope alive.

12:45 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I assumed Murray was mocking my idea with sarcasm.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Murray said...

That would be my point. A lifetime punishment is not proprotional justice.

Chris there's usaully no confusion when I'm mocking someone. Being a 5th generation NCO there's usually no trouble communicating sarcasm.

Trevor is the irony sensor off today?

11:57 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Its all becoming clear now....

2:54 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I thought it was fairly obvious, but also very humourless. The idea was really that calling for tougher sentences - in the extreme - would hopefully lead to compromise tougher sentences in the future. The question is, are the parties who claim to be tough on crime also willing to be tougher on crimes against animals.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I take it Murray is supportive of the death penalty for murder, as that is proportionate?

12:49 PM  

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