Philosopher Rebecca Roache led a team of scholars at Oxford to think about the future of punishment. Aeon interviewed her about the project.
Roache: "Some crimes are so bad they require a really long period of punishment, and a lot of people seem to get out of that punishment by dying. And so I thought, why not make prison sentences for particularly odious criminals worse by extending their lives?"
One idea: Give prisoners drugs that make them experience a 1,000-year jail sentence in their mind.
Roache: "There are a number of psychoactive drugs that distort people’s sense of time, so you could imagine developing a pill or a liquid that made someone feel like they were serving a 1,000-year sentence. Of course, there is a widely held view that any amount of tinkering with a person’s brain is unacceptably invasive. But you might not need to interfere with the brain directly."
What about an eternal prison sentence, in other words, a Hell on Earth? Who would deserve such a sentence?
Roache: "Suppose there was some physics experiment that stood a decent chance of generating a black hole that could destroy the planet and all future generations. If someone deliberately set up an experiment like that, I could see that being the kind of supercrime that would justify an eternal sentence."
Hell on earth
(Image: Prison cell with bed inside Alcatraz main building san francisco california, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from timpearcelosgatos's photostream)
Six weeks after Mother Jones published its explosive undercover expose on the abuses, shortcomings and waste in America’s vast private prison system, the Department of Justice has issued a ban on renewal of federal private prison contracts (where they are not able to do this, officials are told to “substantially reduce” the scope of those […]
U.S. military officials are preventing imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning from having contact with her legal team or her friends, following unconfirmed reports that she was hospitalized after a health crisis.
Texas’s prison system must provide safe drinking water to its inmates, a judge in Houston federal court ruled Thursday. The Associated Press reports on a case that saw Texas fight all the way to court to continue supplying arsenic-laden water to prisoners— a position U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison wrote violates “contemporary standards of decency.” […]
These days, there’s definitely no shortage of touchscreen gloves available, but the key is finding ones that consistently work well. These iGloves Touchscreen Gloves are super reliable, and are on sale for just $11.99.Super comfortable and functional, these gloves will keep your hands warm and still let you use any touchscreen, from phones to tablets. The iGloves’ […]
The Black Friday Mac Bundle 2.0 is one of the Boing Boing Store’s best-selling Mac bundles yet, and it’s about to come to an end. If you don’t get your copy now, here’s what you’ll be missing:This bundle comes packing 9 top-rated Mac apps in one package, at the hugely discounted price of just $23.99. […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]