Forcing a bread and water diet on Navy personnel is now illegal

Good news everybody! If you're in the Navy or Marines, it's now illegal to throw you in the brig and feed you nothing but bread and water as a punishment.

Yes, The American military is still into this sort of bullshit.

From Task & Purpose:

As Navy Times’ Geoff Ziezulewicz reports, the Obama-era Military Justice Act of 2016 and subsequent Trump administration amendment in March 2018 will outlaw the archaic punishment after Jan. 1, 2019.

The military’s Uniform Code of Military Justice previously allowed Navy commanders to confine personnel in the grade of E-3 and below who were attached or embarked upon a vessel to receive only bread and water for up to three consecutive days.

“Rations furnished a person undergoing such confinement shall consist solely of bread and water. The rations will be served three times daily at the normal time of meals, and the amount of bread and water shall not be restricted,” the order reads.

In order to offset the lack of nutrients, personnel that were subjected to the all-you-can-eat penal buffet (get your minds out of the gutter) were, as part of the Uniform Code of Military Justice's deal, to be excluded from any sort of duties or physical exercise. So that's nice.

From what I understand, the punishment was a rare one--but not that rare. According to The Navy Times, the Commanding Officer of the USS Shiloh submitted the cruiser's sailors to it so often that the Shiloh's crew, the base it sailed out of, and even taxi drivers plying their trade in and around the base knew the ship as the "USS Bread & Water." Read the rest

Shenzhen drivers punishment for misusing headlights: stare into them

Shenzhen, China police posted on social media that drivers who use their headlights inappropriately are being punished by staring into headlights for five minutes. Read the rest

Hell on Earth: how to imprison a person for 1,000 years

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) Read the rest