I was recently watching Oprah Winfrey's interview with the formerly abused child Clayton Moss, and I was wondering whether, given the magnitude of the crimes perpetrated by some people, would be the loss of freedom and having to endure the oppressive environment of prison be enough for them? Should taxpayers pay for an individual whose actions and own nature can only be described as execrable, to live and even eventually be executed, when a better use could easily be found for them?
This has lead me to wonder whether more effective means to deal with cases of extreme violence, especially those that are perpetrated with a certain pleasure in the suffering of others, could be found by the penal system. Would more drastic measure be adequate in order to "sanitize" society of people whose cruelty, perversity and degeneracy are place them beyond any possible redemption?
Somehow, a conversation that I had with a fellow animal rights activist some time ago had popped up into my mind. He argued that every single year, millions of animals are sacrificed in the name of medical research and the advancement of science. These creatures, innocent by default, are forced to give their lives so that we can supposedly have a better existence. While the horrors of speciesism have been widely documented, and I will not delve into them, I was wondering is someone who purposefully abuses others and destroys lives just for the thrill of it, be classed as a living being at all. Thus, should they actually have any rights?
What if violent criminals (everything from child abusers to serial killers, murderers, rapists, sadists and cannibals) were classed as "social liabilities" and were to be required to pay their debt to society by becoming the equivalent of "lab rats"? What would be the moral implication, at a societal level, if we purged our monsters by sacrificing them in the name of a greater good?
I was just curious to see what everyone would think.
Does every "human being" deserve respect and a semblance of a life, even when they have proven that they are incapable of giving either thing to anyone or anything else? Would it be legitimate for society at large to claim moral superiority by stripping certain individuals of even their animality? What about animals themselves? Should a harmless creature be less deserving of respect as an evil, destructive, malicious and murderous individual?
I'd really like to see what everyone has to say regarding this matter.