Is death an appropriate punishment for rape?
"If a man committed Rape, Manslaughter or Robbery they would be hung up in a cage so people could see their slow death"
A more hopeful society might try to reform them with prison punishment like modern irl australia. a more authoritarian country might just execute them like modern irl china.
Prison reform is the ideal, execution on the spot is the hardline, slow death in a cage is the vindictive and cruel.
Onto your question, I can't say death is ever "justified" because personally I believe we don't have the right to strip away someone's life. But at the same time (perhaps hypocritically I'll admit), I do believe that we should punish others for committing crimes. Otherwise, this wouldn't be civilization if people could just do whatever freely and injure others. With regards to rape, I disagree with those that tread on it lightly, thinking that if a MC mass slaughters people it's ok, but when it's rape it's suddenly a thousand times worse. This is wrong on two different levels. One, slaughtering others is not ok. Two, rape is indeed more damaging than others might expect. At least those killed died a swift, relatively peaceful/not suffering death. Rape on the other hand causes ineradicable trauma that can lead to the slowest and painful deaths due to the psychological torture leading to possibly physical as well including death by suicide.
Is death the right punishment? I say too easy. He/She should rot in prison to face himself/herself as well as the scrutiny of others as the victim, survivor will likely have to face too. If he/she one day comes to realize the gravity of their actions, then good for them. I do wish them all the best. But that doesn't mean they should get away scot-free---that includes a quick death. Eh, so maybe death is a merciful punishment. I don't know. These sorts of issues are tough.
Where an unemployed guy with no contribution to society and a long list of criminal record decides to break into a house and rape a girl, death would be justified, I would say.
If you think it by modern standards, otherwise this is a dumb statement.
With rape, if the person who was the victim should decide other than death, however, I believe a minimum punishment should be applied.
But, death is a blessing, which is why they hung in public refused to feed etc, which for those times was an ideal punishment because of resources.
* though it depends on what you mean by rape
I don't believe you can always have true justice without torture.
Since its simpler and less debatable ("how bad is rape"), I'll use the example of a serial killer. If someone kills three people, it seems reasonable for him to die thrice to atone. Or equivalent. Since dying thrice is impossible, we'd have to use torture.
But we all know we cannot be torturers without becoming a sick bastard in the process. Therefore, there are things too heinous for a good person to punish proportionately. (What if we get some other person to do the torture? Semantics. )
Rape is one of them.
But killing is still the right thing to do. Because they cannot be left alone. Unless there's an effective prison. Personally, I don't hold much hope for those.
So what other choice is there?
Exile to an uninhabited place is another theoretical option that's even further from justice. I know of no good example (Australia doesn't count for many reasons).
If the MC isn't a good person then they can try torture. No guarantees that that's proportionate. irl torture is/was done for other reasons. Like information, malice, or to incite fear. When has anyone heard of torture being done because it was just? Maybe the electric chair, but I'd put that squarely in the "incite fear" category, with justice being coincidental.
Just goes to show the impossibility of playing god.
Most people consider rape a unjust acts that should be punished, but you can create weird hypotheticals around it. For example, what if a rapist who raped hundreds of people was raped themselves as punishment.
Is that justifiable? Is it a case of an eye for an eye? In that case, should the rapist be punished in that same matter hundreds of times? Let not forget about the individual punishing the rapist with rape. Should they be punished or are they a hero? If you don’t punish the so called “hero” then you’re being inconsistent. If you argue that the situation is what determines punishment, you’re still being inconsistent. So you have to create a working definition to define “justice” in a way that meets how you would apply it. You could argue that rape is not an acceptable punishment, then why is death?
I could continue this same line of reasoning for death as a punishment, but it would arrive at the same problem. What would be justifiable would also be inconsistent, and if you don’t care about that, then justice is determined by emotion and not reason.
So rather than say is it true justice, its more apt to ask how people feel about it. Because, it seems to me that justice is more about emotion than reason.
But seriously, a rapist should be locked up and forced to reflect on what they've done. There are worst thing in life than death after all. Realizing the weight of their actions can be a true personal living hell for some.
Can you recover from death? No
If you ask me murder/death is 100 times worse than rape. Rape is something you can always recover from, emotional trauma will pass with time or through professional help, worst case scenario you get STD's and/or pregnant, but with modern medicine you can deal with those. Death however, is something permanent that there is no return from.
So no, I don't believe death is a appropriate punishment for a rapist.
Would I kill a rapist, who for example raped one of my family members if the opportunity presented itself? Probably yes, but would I be right to do so? No.
Killing rapist in stories often seems like a cheap way to give justification for the MC to kill someone and let them earn some easy "good guy" points, instead of you know, letting the local law deal with it.
As for how they should be punished depends on the setting of your story, but generally speaking imprisonment or chemical castration is much more appropriate as a punishment, rather than outright killing them.
But that's just my opinion, generally speaking I only consider death as a appropriate punishment for murderers.
Zen607 Wrote: Can you recover from rape? Yes
...Rape is something you can always recover from, emotional trauma will pass with time or through professional help, worst case scenario you get STD's and/or pregnant, but with modern medicine you can deal with those.
You are so wrong it pains me. Not trying to attack you, and I debated writing this on grounds of being too patronising but... what the hell, I can't say nothing.
Quote:Death however, is something permanent that there is no return from.
By the way, I don't have a problem with this argument. I agree, but it seems pointless in the face of practicalities.
Quote:Killing rapist in stories often seems like a cheap way to give justification for the MC to kill someone and let them earn some easy "good guy" points, instead of you know, letting the local law deal with it.
This I agree completely with.
But back to my point. I want you to reconsider whether any victim can "always recover". Assuming you weren't trying to exaggerate (but if you were... please don't on this kind of topic).
Don't want to rant, so here are the points
- Some people are weaker than others
- Not everyone has access to professional help (including first world countries - it is expensive)
- Not all professional help is effective
- Rape can screw people up mentally a lot
- Time, like the old mantra that it heals all wounds. It'd be great if it were true.
Therefore, some people do not have a high chance to recover.
But, to be fair
- The average person is remarkably strong
- Some won't even need professional help
- Professional help is usually effective
- 'rape' often refers to something less severe than what might be assumed
Therefore, I'd say most victims recover.
Back to the topic. Or sort of on topic. It is not unfair to insist rape is for some as bad or worse than murder. For those few, it is drawn out and hopeless - an acute internal struggle with no end bar suicide. Sure, that's what happens when they give up. Can't say I blame 'em, though. I'm only able to fight for so long, too. So if something were bad enough and I didn't find enough hope...
Take or don't, but I hope I've incited you to think. Either way, I've said all I care to.
Another problem to add to the list is whether or not rape is a suitable punishment for rape. If they are a Chaotic Evil character type would they inflict the same evil upon him/her that s/he inflicted upon others? Does that make them guilty also?
Yet another problem is legality when caste systems are in-place. If they are of a higher caste, is it ACTUALLY rape? In some stories, rape is ALWAYS rape. In others, if a nobleman rapes a minor then it is the minor's good fortune to bare the bastard child of someone so powerful. At this point, death for the nobleman (or noblewoman in some cases) would be destructive to justice because the victim of the crime can hypothetically benefit more from being subject to the crime/the crime never being brought to light.
In the end, it honestly just depends on the characters and theme of the story.