Quote Originally Posted by Novaheart View Post
It's hard to imagine any child having so little compassion, and I have known some seriously self centered and cold young people. But there was always that clear line that never wanted to be crossed, the line where permanent damage was likely. Sure, there were accidents of misjudging but even the crazy kid in my neighborhood knew better than to beat a child with a baseball bat.
You should take the opportunity to read Lord of the Flies, if you haven't already. Children are not naturally compassionate, they have to be taught that others have feelings and are deserving of consideration. Even the crazy kid in your neighborhood had parents who taught him right from wrong. The kids who commit murder have never gotten that lesson, or they've been taught something else that overrode it. If you want to see a society run by children, look no further than Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, which took children them to participate in their parents' murders, then armed them and let them run wild. The results were horrific, even by the standards of the twentieth century, which also saw Nazism and enough variations on Communism to satisfy the blood lust of the most jaded sadist.

Quote Originally Posted by Novaheart View Post
On another note, how do you feel about lighter sentences in lieu of our public demand for LWOP and DP? In watching Lock Up Abroad, it seems like their prison population is more manageable because they have much fewer lifers. Am I wrong? Wouldn't 30 years and eligible for time-off for good behavior be good?

And what is up with parole? Are we just hearing the one side or is parole nearly impossible to complete without getting into trouble? In particular, the comments that parole in Florida is so difficult that inmates prefer simply to finish their time so as to be free of the system.
Life Without Parole is a reaction to liberal opposition to the Death Penalty. Since liberals object to executing murderers, the best that we can hope for is to lock them up for life, but even that is problematical. Lifers kill because they have nothing better to do, and a trial that takes them out of their cells, permits them to see their family in court, and otherwise breaks up the monotony of their sentences, has little or no punitive value. This is one of the reasons that a death penalty is needed.

The public demand for the death penalty is a rebellion against liberal elites who see crime as a symptom of societal problems, not as an act committed by an independent, responsible individual. Those who seek so-called "root causes" of crime fail to see the obvious, which is that the most basic root cause of crime is the decision of the criminal. No matter what has been done to someone, or what they have seen or been through, at the end of the day, we are still individuals who bear responsibility for our actions. Shorter sentences, more lenient parole criteria and other sympathetic acts on the part of intellectuals who lack empathy for victims of crime, but are heartbroken at the thought of a criminal being executed, end up making the choice to commit a crime more likely, rather than less.