[ExI] punishment

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Thu Mar 26 13:25:21 UTC 2009

2009/3/26 Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com>:

> In turn, I wonder why somebody with a life, as opposed to death,
> sentence, should be actively prevented from suicide, to an extent that
> has no equivalent for ordinary citizens, as if death were "too easy an
> escape" (a bizarre idea in particular for legal systems where worse,
> not lesser, crimes are punished with death), let alone the choice to
> go instead for a letal injection administered by the prison system.

The fact that prisoners are not allowed to suicide does not seem to me
to be because it's considered "too easy an escape", but rather because
death is seen as a very, very bad thing. That's consistent with
capital punishment being the worst sentence a prisoner can get, and
consistent with this sentence being most often given for murder, the
worst crime. It's also worth noting that while prisoners may have
suicidal moments or suicidal periods, very rarely is this sustained
over time. Even clinical depression is in the majority of cases
episodic and self-limiting, with the available treatments (when they
work) only serving to shorten the period of illness. Often just
keeping patients safe until the suicidal impulses pass is enough.

Stathis Papaioannou

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