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With modern technology, dismemberment is rendered armless.
The problem with capital punishment,
skirting briskly past pedestrian questions
of morality, is that if you punish the
wrong suspect there's no going back:
They're dead. Consequently, and in many
ways thankfully, the practice isn't called
upon swiftly or in vast numbers. However, this
diminishes the fear of punishment
those considering a capital crime.
A cultural parallel is Sharia law's concept
of the hudud "punishment-fits-the-
crime" penalties, the most notorious of
which is the severing of a thief's hand or
foot. However, hudud punishment
from the same problem as capital
punishment, it is generally not
On the other hand, it is considerably
rectifiable than the death penalty.
My idea is for the adoption of hudud
punishment with the addition of
stasis for severed limbs. Upon the
of an offending limb, in a careful medical
procedure, it is then placed in a
stasis chamber to be kept in perpetuity
until called for. This facilitates three
1.) The reattachment of a severed limb in
the result of a successful appeal by the
defendant, accompanied with a sincere
apology and a pat on the back.
2.) The reattachment of a severed limb
after the fulfilment of a period of good
behaviour, accompanied by a firm
handshake and a congratulatory "well
3.) The attachment of a severed limb
an applicant other than the former owner
upon his or her death.
This may also have the following effects:
1.) As the practice becomes
our prisons will empty and could be
converted into cryo-storage facilities.
This, I believe, would cost a lot less to
maintain than housing a few thousand
inmates and keeping them fed, clothed,
warm and under guard.
2.) A possible reduction in crime for fear
of having something chopped off
with the knowledge that the state is
inclined to carry out such sentences, now
having the ability to repeal them.
3.) (Tenuous) Large boom for prosthetics
industry, increases R&D in the field and
affiliated medical practices.
4.) (Tenuous) Increase in disabled-
facilities to buildings and transport.
1.) Widespread prejudice against the
2.) Secret government Frankenstein-
3.) Ex-con cyborg rampage.
Use the old ones for compost/ivory carvings? [theleopard, Jul 01 2008]
Sounds completely nuts! [theleopard, Jul 01 2008]
||"...it is generally not rectifiable. On the other hand," oh my heavens. What if there are no other hands?
||Ooh, #3 in your first set of practices smacks of Niven's organ banks composed of former criminals. Not that that's a bad thing, mind.
||Neatly sliced bun, one half in the freezer for later.
||How about a device or process that blocks nerve impluses? Then the limb can remain attached, but unusable.
||//What if there are no other hands? //
Well, quite obviously, he was innocent.
||Obviously he's been down on his luck,
poor sod. Give the man a hand!
||Even if the legislators knuckled down and punched this through parliment, in some ham-fisted attempt to control crime, I think you would find that a large percentage of the population would simply vote with their feet.
||Could people have extra limbs grafted on in lieu of the likes of knighthoods and OBEs? That way, the monarch would have to wield a scalpel rather than a sword.
||Wasn't that cool, that thing that's not medically practical yet, that I read about in a science fiction book?
||Hands are grafted now. They aren't fully functional, but it can be done. Also, when i suggested honours be replaced by organs, i envisaged them being grafted onto random parts of the body rather than them actually being used, rather like a coat of arms.
||Yes, transplant tech has come a long way. Cryogenic storage is still lagging.
||[theleo] You're out on a limb with this
one. Frankly, I don't think you've got a leg
to stand on.
||"How did you get caught?"
||"I finally found a lawyer good enough to get my conviction overturned...but it cost me an arm and a leg."
||//Ex-con cyborg rampage//
||It is about time someone applied the benefits of science fiction technology to remedy the shortcomings of Sharia law. In defense of theleopard, I think a few marathon sessions with the SciFi channel will demonstrate that drawbacks #2 and #3 could be true (and prove to be true after the first 20-30 minutes of the show) for nearly every such application, and so should not be considered as particular to this one.
||This reminds me of the rather dark Sci-Fi world of China Mievile's "Perdido Street Station", where convicted criminals are used for limb and skin grafting experiments.
||//Cryogenic storage is still lagging.//
||Hmmm, perhaps you're right, but from
what I can gather, the main hurdle with
cryonics - in storing an entire human
body - is that revival is not yet
demonstrable, mainly due to damage to
the brain. However, human tissue is
often cryogenically frozen in scientific
research. Are whole limbs not demonstrable yet?
||If not, applications for limb replacement
may have to await pending future
technologies to revive the tissue -
which is the brilliant get-out clause
behind cryonic practices. Yeah, sure, it
doesn't work yet, but it *might* do one
day. That's £20,000 please.
||Another possibility is the current
research into limb regrowth [linky],
though still in its infancy.