I once believed that our modern systems of judges and courts was somehow civilized, representing an evolution from blood feud and money, now I realize this was a large delusion. The state takes up the responsibility of revenge/vengeance, people are willing to relinquish this responsibility if they feel that the state will take it up, (our laws harken back to kingships btw in which homicide was taxed and a homicides main offence was to undermine the king’s promise of peace: no idle promise)

Anyway, my point is that the government takes up this mantle because it maintains the tax base, social cohesion and etc. We/they don’t actually care about homicide, not equally.

  1. Most garden variety murderers don’t end up in the media (low status unrelated man killing another low status man from noncriminal dispute) because people don’t care or aren’t interested. FAIR ENOUGH: but judges/juries don’t give a flying fuck either, various studies again and again show that up to 50% of garden variety murderers WALK FREE (no criminal charges).

In North America big thefts are routinely punished more severely than HOMICIDE of a low status individual. You get less jail time for killing a black than a white, some large number of homicides in Canada are reported by the police as first degree murder but no one reports that most of these charges are ripped down to manslaughter or less by the time judicial and penal authorities are done.

For example you can find examples (these are real) of routine homicides ending with NO charges: storeclerks blasting unarmed shoplifters to death, one case of a bar owner shooting another unarmed man as he sat in his car (because he feared the man would drive home fetch a weapon and come back, after he had uttered threats and got kicked from the bar) judge ruled it righteous self defence.

These are COMMON occurances, homicide charges being stripped to nothing. However we can find cases of a retired engineer, killing his terminal wife (while he’s like 70) and being sentenced for 25 years WITHOUT PAROLE.

ALMOST no murderers get that kind of obscene sentence, ALMOST none.

You can get away with murder, most people do (blasting unarmed theives dead) but a MERCY KILL=25 years?

govt only cares about SOME homicides, the run of the mill homicides (like a guy here knifing someone’s heart in a dispute) = no jail time.

As in the govt (even juries) seem to care A LOT for certain homicides and NOT GIVE A SHIT over other brutal homicides. The govt treatment of homicide is a sham: playing it up as the worst of crimes, playing it up that it responds with vicious punishment, when in reality 15 year sentence = a 10 year sentence (without parole, which is less) 10= 5 and so forth.

My point is courts are often time less objective than a vigilantee looking for blood, because their only inclined to care about, or even react to homicides SOME of the time.

I could knife someone in the heart and get less of a prison sentence than that retired engineer, for no other reason than thst I perceived threat, someone questioned my honor, someone stealing from me, someone hitting on the gf, all these situations are cross culturally judged as extenuating circumstances, they’re considered provocation enough to lower sentencing or waive it completely.

but 100x types of homicide, like mercy killing and u rot in jail.

what moral or practical application does this serve for the people?


Yup, but this by itself is not necessarily a flaw, but the system’s greatest benefit.

Since the overwhelming majority of black men who are killed, are killed by black men (93 %), it is a little tricky to show that this is discriminatory.

I agree with you about the euthanasia/assisted suicide thing, but there is a reason for this. Jail time is much less of a deterrent for young gangbangers than for seventy-year-old men who have never even had a parking ticket.

The law nowhere is about deterrence though. Mothers would be punished more harshly for infanticide compared with older child homicides, this doesn’t happen, men would be punished in garden variety homicides but up to half walk free, legal systems aren’t about deterrence, they’re just not. The legal systems reflect this almost nowhere, but for these isolated occurances? hard to swallow.

More likely certain homicides just bother people while others don’t, yet theres this pretense that society or the govt care about homicide, like its this vile act, sell this retired engineer down the river, then EMBRACE homicides as legit in other circumstances.

storeclerks blasting unarmed shoplifters to death and walking free because that sort of homicide doesn’t resound with people emotionally is a bit fucked up. You COULD potentially deter that with stricter laws/sentencing, more than you can deter an old man, mercy killing his wife.

Keep in mind, plenty of homicides are thrown out by prosecutors because theres ‘extenuating circumstances’ like the ones I mentioned and more interesting cases.

There are cases like where this American army doctor brutalized his wife and kids (as in killed them) the only reason there was EVER a criminal case brought against the murderer by DEDICATED work by her family to bring him in, theres many cases of convictions of BRUTAL murderers only ever arrived at due to families working endlessly to push cops or even engage in detective work (like the step father did with the murdered woman)

but for the retired engineer theres this total law enforcement smackdown. What i’m saying is a huge part of the population has to deal with family members dying and the murderer walking free, while the govt assrapes big thieves and retired engineers. For instance a friend’s family member was mowed down by a drunk in the prime of her life and the drunk barely served 1 year, but a retird engineer helping a suffering dying woman release warrants 25!?

Even if the guy had walked up and stabbed her in the heart he wouldn’t have gotten 25 years.

The law is all about deterrence. AS you have yourself said, it’s the transference of vengeance from individuals to the state. The state isn’t deterred, of course, but individuals are. As soon as you arrest a criminal, he is removed from society - his enemies cannot get at him.

You can slice up the criminal code as much as you like. I’m not sure how this particular way of doing so acts as a greater deterrent.

Does a two-year sentence legitimise the crime?

We can argue specific penalties without throwing out the whole system.

I agree, but I’d like to know the specific case you’re talking about.

But yes, we do see to care more about some homicides than others. Some homicides are, plain and simple, legal. Shouldn’t it be that way? When you kill in self-defense - that is a homicide. Should that be illegal?

Infanticide is a common form of homicide for mothers, deterrence would suggest punishing common baby killing more than uncommon older child murder, right?

Or step parents are the greatest risk factor ever examined in relation to child abuse above drug abuse and poverty, step parents don’t face particularly harsh sentencing compared to natural parents for child abuse, though they are up to 20x-100x more likely to kill or abuse the children.

The law isn’t about deterrence, more like vengeance, the two occassionally overlap but not ALWAYS.

Self defence within reason not blasting a hole in an unarmed thief or unarmed dude sitting outside your bar, in his car.

I don’t see why. Murder is less common than assault, yet the penalty for murder is (usually) more severe.

You’re not getting it. It’s about both. It’s about social order.

Of course. But arguing specific cases is, again, difficult absent details.

That might* be true, consider about 50% of killers in garden variety homicide go free. But either way you’ll go to jail longer for assaulting a middle-age, middle class citizen than to KILL a lower class one. (esp where the homicide victim has no family).

  1. Sentencing is about revenge, the amount to which the government punishes someone is linked to the severity of the crime, BUT JUST AS MUCH linked to the status of the individual killed, not about deterrence or giving everyone a fair slice of justice because plenty of “detterable” crimes don’t have much to deter them.

Assault is considered a lesser crime but is routinely sentenced almost as harshly as murder, more harshly depending who you assault, in the case of infanticide and murder of older children the crimes seem somewhat comparable BUT infanticidal mothers are given wrist slaps compared to murderers of older children.

Theres situations which cross culturally lead to acceptance of infanticide (deformed offspring, no support both economically and parentally) anyway, these infanticidal mothers are often judged sane, in comparison with the way more common labeling of insane (by police and other authorities) of mothers butchering older children.

basically: Infanticide can happen naturally, someone allocating scarce resources in a desperate way can kill their offspring due to darwinian concerns, the same allocation of resources doesn’t apply to someone butchering a 3-5 year old, appropriately, HUMANS, JUDGE one crime as more “evil” or deserving of more punishment than the other, they judge one as sane, the other as crazy and DON’T sentence the same. You get a slap on the wrist for infanticide (when they’re comparable crimes) AND infanticide is WAY more common.

Assault is more common than murder but less of a crime (even still you can get off on murder lighter, commonly) but we can understand that it requires more punishment even though its less common, but in the case of step parents or infanticide we’re talking fairly equal crimes (child abuse and homicide respectively) and with these equal crimes theres no sentencing meant to deter those LIKELY to commit the crime vs those UNLIKELY.

In the case of older child murder, mothers are sentenced and judged way worse, though the crime is rare. Thats the OPPOSITE of detterence.

Seriously if we take 1 genetic father, 1 step, they both abuse or kill a “their child” the law isn’t going to reflect different sentencing based to deter future crimes, if they did step parents would face harsher punishments bzsed on the fact that they probably are highly deterable (20x-100x more likely to abuse childern) see 20x to 100x its not static, the risks of step parents being abusive fluctuates a lot based on location (its observed higher than genetic parents everywhere) but something is dettering step parents in some places, and they are less violent.

If theres a variance in step parental abuse rates based on location, theres no reason to believe that stricter sentencing for step parental abuse, on the basis its 20x-100x more likely to come from them, wouldn’t work.

  1. There is no way to deter mothers killing older childern, they tend to try and commit suicide right after, suggesting some ultimate removal from rationality, psychological analysis of these people (when they survive) displays what initial police categorization surmised: their whackjobs.

Infanticide is preventable its by definition RESOURCE ALLOCATION, we could address that problem, but we slap them on the wrist and the unpreventable crime of killing older childern is punished severely.

Theres too much evolved judgement in humans to pretend the law is actually about deterrence, to many glaring examples of where the law has nothing to do with deterrence and everything to do with punishing crimes.

I think that if you check the facts, you will find out that this is incorrect. You can’t very well judge this by news reports alone. But there are web sites that will give you the facts about criminal sentencing. These vary by state, of course, which accounts for some o the effect that you here complain about.

Well, I’m not sure everyone would agree.

Your position seems to assume that people examine an array of crimes and their punishments, and so choose which crimes they commit accordingly. While it’s true that people may stop short of killing while they are beating the piss out of someone, for fear of a longer jail term or execution, I’m not sure this formula rightly applies to choices between different types of murder.

But deterrence isn’t the only reason for laws, as we have said. Deterring the family of the victim from taking vengeance has always been part of criminal law. You may be just now realising it, but it’s no secret. So yes, the murder of a homeless person with no family might be judged less harshly - by a jury in particular. But that’s not the “system” any more than it’s the ordinary citizen’s view. And 'twas ever thus.

I don’t base this off the news but statistics, let me elucidate further though. Murder is considered one of the worst crimes (according to public opinion) but 50% of THE MOST COMMON, murderers go free. (low status, young males, arising from a noncriminal dispute). Now, its probably true, that when these people commit assault the sentence is less, more people go free. HOWEVER and this is my point: If a lowstatus person assaults or STEALS A LOT from a highstatus person the sentence is WORSE than if he had killed a lowstatus person.

As in ASSAULT is SENTENCED more harshly than MURDER if its lowstatus people murdering each other (bar encounter or etc). and if middle class/middle aged people are envolved in the assault.

As in I’d get a bigger/harsher sentence for beating a lawyer, engineer or X than I would for killing someone at the bar, though if i assaulted another bar patron i’d get less than if i murdered them.

(high property damage/big thefts are commonly sentenced harsher than homicide in North America. it happens a lot)

and my point is society/govt disenfranchises the poor/low status not because of greed but a human evolved attitude that some homicides are understandable. (when they happen to lowstatus or familyless people)

The murder of an infant compared to a five year old is different and people DO not agree that they are equal crimes, demonstrations to the contrary are rife in cross cultural examinations of homicide. Humans everywhere accept infanticide in variety of circumstances, this evolved empathy for such blatant self interest shouldn’t be an extenuating circumstance in the court room, we don’t live in hunter gatherer societies theres no reason to pretend that infanticide has a real place in modern society, if madness can’t excuse child murder, darwinian self interest shouldn’t either. Thats what infanticide is.

No, I don’t think people do, which is why I think detterence is nonsense (as a workable system) my argument is the legal systems DO NOT TRY AND DETER, thats not their goal. My point is that no one sentenced the retired engineer for 25 years to deter other old people from mercy killing, and nothing about the legal systems address detterence even slightly.

It deters the family of the victim while taking no responsibility to punish or ‘deter’ those who commit crimes against lowstatus people, as in if my brother was murdered there’d be plenty of pressure for me NOT to take revenge but no pressure to arrest or punish the murderer past the joke 3 years TOPS and LIKELY walking free for it.

In Canada the penality for uxoricide is a declining function of her age, but mariticide of one’s husband is an inreasing function of his.

victim valuation BASED ON AGE/SEX concerns, theres too much evolved judgement within human minds for legal systems to be fair. Should a murderer be PUNISHED MORE because he killed a fertile woman? opposed to a less fertile one?

the system is “designed” that way, at least its set up to allow human minds (unrestrained by objectivity) to make snap judgements, and the human mind whether its juries or judges have systematic flaws which need addressing, our laws/penalties shouldn’t reflect trends in tribal bloodmoney laws, or homicide laws from ancient societies.

Tribes distinguish between fertile/less fertile women (you pay more for killing fertile women ) why the fuck does this apply in modern courts? because we’re evolved to value people more or less, this shouldn’t apply to the law, which should address grievances with some manner of fairness.

50% of those convicted? Can I see a source?

If I understand your point, then I think I agree. The main role that deterrence plays here is to deter the victim’s family from individual acts of vengeance upon the murderer. But this is accepted as historical fact, and had been for a very long time. It’s not as if you have to make news when you post - I sure don’t. But I’m not sure what you are upset about. That’s a perfectly good reason for a law.

Again, I don’t think the stats bear this out. Is there some source that you can point to? I have known a couple of guys who did much more time than that for murder. I knew two guys who did more than three years for manslaughter. Are these just anomalies? Are we talking about the same thing? The stat that matters is the stat about those convicted of the crime of murder - many who are charged plea out to a lesser charge, or are convicted only of a lesser charge.

The point is a large sum of people aren’t convicted of a CRIME AT ALL for commiting homicide:

Homicide, 1972 Detroit homicide analysis: 121 homicides (garden variety) 57 offenders (47.1%) were not convicted of any crime (56 cases dismissed mainly as “justifiable” “excusable” or “self defence”) of 64 convicted offenders, only 2 were found guilty of first degree murder, 12 of second degree murder and 34 of manslaughter, and 16 of lesser charges.

manslaughter sentence was 3-5 years, with parole available at 18 months.

thats an example, and most first degree murder charges (as categorized by police end up manslaughter or a lesser charges in the end)

According to Wilbanks 1984 study of 1980 homicides (Miami cases) the majority of solved homicides led to no sentencing at all and maybe 1 in 8 was as severe as the engineer (roswell gilbert).

So…? (this data on how much punishment convicted killers serve is not published often, rare shit)

it matters that close to 50% of killers (admited killers) aren’t convicted BECAUSE THEIR NOT EVEN CHARGED, thats part of my point. The same offence vs a different person would have them rot in jail, but when its garden variety murder, 50% of the time no one cares to even try and get a criminal conviction, they don’t even put criminal charges. (in obviously criminal cases).

Not to mention juries/judges basing prison sentences BASED ON FERTILITY???

  1. Most 1st degree murder classifications get dropped* to manslaughter.
  2. Even still, 3 years+ for manslaughter is on the rarer side.

The law is about dettering familial vegeance which is good, the law is not about punishing or detering HOMICIDE but only some homicides, my point is that a LOT OF FAMILIES watch MURDERERS walk free because it benefits the government BUT the SAME ACTS get punished SEVERELY when it BENEFITS them to do so.

I’m not sure whats acceptable about THAT, OR: Fertility of the victim effecting a killer’s punishment, whether they have kin, whether it was infanticide vs other murder. etc etc

Okay - but here you are finally drawing a distinction between homicide and unlawful killing.

Do we know that there is something wrong here? Maybe fifty-six cases actually were lawful homicides. Self-defense. Would it be somehow better if we put people who killed in self-defense in jail?

Usually, manslaughter is killing unintentionally, as I am sure you know. You seem to be making the very odd point that all homicide is somehow equal. And that there is something wrong with treating different kinds of homicide differently. Sure - people don’t get convicted for self-defense homicide, mainly because it’s not against the law. Are you saying that it should be? Of course there would be no sentencing, if there was no crime.

I’m just not getting you, here, Cy.

But killing is not a crime. Again, some killing is legal.

I’m lost.

But you haven’t shown this. Self-defense killing and other justifiable homicide (the defense of another, for instance) isn’t murder. Neither is manslaughter.

You seem to be equating “homicide” with “murder”, which is plainly incorrect.

Okay Faust, here:

Most first degree murder classifications made by police are reduced to manslaughter or less in the end. Most initial classifications of PLANNED INTENT are REDUCED to manslaughter. That doesn’t actually mean they were, a lot of them aren’t.

Self defence is one category Faust, “excusable” and “justifiable” are 2 others.

I’ll give you two examples: those homicides INCLUDED: storeclerks SHOOTING to death unarmed shoplifters (thats the specifics Faust) and self defence: a bar onwer blasting to death an unarmed man sitting in his car, who had been forced out of the bar and had uttered threats, the shooter FEARED he’d ride home, fetch a weapon and come back.

Its excusable or justifiable to shoot and kill unarmed tresspassers and thiefs but NOT excusable or justifiable to mercy kill? Is it cool to blast an unarmed thief? I mean, shit a store clerk? Should I be allowed to shoot dead all the thiefs during my walmart shift?

My point is that manslaughter is the REDUCED charge not an acccurate discription of the original crimes and that the homicides that end up “excusable” or "justifiable " rarely are either, self defence: should be allowed but plenty of killers get off on self defence when they shouldn’t.

Its not self defence to shoot and kill an unarmed man you suspect might drive off to fetch a weapon… its murder, likely 1st degree. You thought he might go do this, so you plan to prevent it by putting a hole in them.

This IS my point. Some killing should be legal, there should be different sentences based on intent, a manslaughter should have a lesser sentence, self defence ending in homicide should sometimes legal. My point is this:

  1. A bunch of legitimate homicides which aren’t manslaughter OR self defence get PUT in those categories. Making them legal. (shooting an unarmed man because he might go get a weapon to death, as he sits in his car, can only barely be called self defence)
  2. Besides self defence a lot of homicides are called “justifiable” or “excusable” (shooting dead unarmed thieves). When they’re not.

Assume you had a son, assume he tried to steal a jacket (unarmed ) and was shot to death by the CLERK, would you think the clerk walking free is fair? Or do you think trigger happy clerks should pay for killing unarmed thieves? Do you think the fact he was a thief makes it “excusable” or “justifiable” to kill them? I don’t.

If its excusable or justifiable to kill depending on circumstances (it is according to the govt) whys it more excusable or justifiable to kill unarmed thieves than to mercy kill someone begging for death or blasting a unarmed dude in his car.

OUTSIDE OF THIS, why should the penalty for wife murder be worse the more fertile she is? Why the penalty for husband murder is worse the older he is? Should the legal systems value young women over old ones? old men over young ones? or is this a fucked up human bias we shouldn’t see in the law?

Nope, you’ve just misunderstood. homicide and murder are obviously different. Manslaughter is homicide, my point is murders get reclassified as lesser homicides all the time and unlawful homicides (killers) end up serving almost nothing.

Do you honestly believe that only 2 of 121 Detroit 1972 homicides (in the analysis) were 1st degree murder? That would be rich, right? Only 2 of 121 committed 1sr degree murder? Only 2 were sentenced as THAT, many more committed the act.