Does the punishment fit the crime?
I completely understand the outrage over someone getting a ticket and a day in jail for killing someone with a car. But I also understand the "it could happen to anyone" feeling. If someone spills their coffee and as a result starts a car accident, that's a tragedy, but is it also a crime? If the exact same action could have merely resulted in a fender bender, should we take that into consideration?
Likewise, the kid at Rutgers is clearly an asshole and his actions were despicable, but is it fair to punish him for the extent of someone else's reaction to what he did?
The car accident question seems easier to answer, because I think we generally accept that some things really are just accidents or small mistakes.
The suicide question is harder. Where do you draw the line? If, for example, a woman videotaped herself cheating on her boyfriend and sent him the tape and he viewed and then killed himself is she guilty of anything more than being a heinous bitch? Or what about someone that swindles someone out of their life savings and they then commit suicide? Or even just kids that cruelly make fun of someone on the playground. It's not easy to defend these people because they all basically suck, but what kind of punishment actually does fit their crime?
Posted by kris at May 23, 2011 01:16 PM
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