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Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences 914

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Like something out of the movie Inception, Rhiannon Williams reports in the Telegraph that Dr. Rebecca Roache, in charge of a team of scholars focused upon the ways futuristic technologies might transform punishment, claims the prison sentences of serious criminals could be made worse by distorting prisoners' minds into thinking time was passing more slowly. '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,' says Roache. Roache says when she began researching this topic, she was thinking a lot about Daniel Pelka, a four-year-old boy who was starved and beaten to death by his mother and stepfather.

'I had wondered whether the best way to achieve justice in cases like that was to prolong death as long as possible. 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?' Thirty years in prison is currently the most severe punishment available in the UK legal system. 'To me, these questions about technology are interesting because they force us to rethink the truisms we currently hold about punishment. When we ask ourselves whether it's inhumane to inflict a certain technology on someone, we have to make sure it's not just the unfamiliarity that spooks us,' says Roache. 'Is it really OK to lock someone up for the best part of the only life they will ever have, or might it be more humane to tinker with their brains and set them free? When we ask that question, the goal isn't simply to imagine a bunch of futuristic punishments — the goal is to look at today's punishments through the lens of the future.'"
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Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences

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  • Dude (Score:5, Funny)

    by JustOK ( 667959 ) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @08:48AM (#46532729) Journal
    Have you ever looked at your handcuffs? I mean, really LOOKED at them?
  • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @08:57AM (#46532821) Homepage

    desire to go to the toilet

    I wanted to, but I couldn't work out how to use the three seashells.

  • Re:Barbaric (Score:4, Funny)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @08:59AM (#46532859) Journal

    Justice is not an eye for an eye. Justice is not torture. Justice is not becoming what you seek to destroy.

    Precisely! That's why we need to use Science to enhance our criminals so that justice can be 10, maybe even 100, eyes for an eye without running into pesky human limits!

  • by Tim the Gecko ( 745081 ) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @09:28AM (#46533207)

    The 18th amendment made life seem longer by depriving people of alcohol. It's already been abolished.

  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @10:15AM (#46533839) Homepage Journal

    Tests have already been done on countless millions of people. None of them complained about being dead, said they'd rather be doing something else, or petitioned to be made no-longer dead. Zero.

    Our common sense (and some very strong instincts) tell us it's an extremely bad thing, but thousands of years of observations suggest that once it happens, nobody really cares anymore.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20, 2014 @10:17AM (#46533861)

    Hugh Pickens DOT Com...
      Destroying Slashdot One Article At A Time!

  • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @11:10AM (#46534451) Homepage Journal

    No I don't. I think that's another and big problem, but not even the main one here.

    And from that, I extrapolate that you don't actually know what I was saying. And rather than be a jerk about it, I'll try rephrasing.

    Looking ahead and seeing consequences of actions is one of the most defining characteristics between future successful children and unsuccessful children, and one can extrapolate that(perhaps too far) to suggest that maybe people who commit crimes don't really have that mindset when they do. To claim more punishment is more deterrence only makes sense when you're trying to combat incentive.

    Preposition #1: No rational chain of logic can lead someone to committing any of the crimes that currently have the death penalty in face of even relatively minor punishments(like say 10 years in jail)
    Preposition #2: Some people are quite irrational
    Preposition #3: Murder or rape in general are definitely signs of irrationality.
    Preposition #4: Deterrence by death penalty intends people to rationally reconsider their premeditated crimes
    Conclusion: The people who commit felonies that might have the death penalty aren't going to be swayed by increased measures for detterence.

    That was the argument I was implicitly trying to make.

The road to ruin is always in good repair, and the travellers pay the expense of it. -- Josh Billings