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prison early release gamble

prisoners gamble with their lives; winning shortens jail term.
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Suppose that in every prison, any prisoner could request at any time to be allowed to play on a very special gambling machine: a wheel "of fortune" is marked in such a way that most of the pins are "win", but some (say, 10% chance) are a "loss." If the prisoner wins, a year is subtracted from his sentence. If he loses, he is automatically and instantly killed in some humane fashion.

Conceivably a serial killer with a very long sentence could defy immense odds and be set free; however, this would be astronomically unlikely.

No one could justifiably complain that this practice is cruel, because no prisoner would ever be forced to play. However, it is probable that a sufficient number of prisoners (especially those with short terms) would be willing to stake their lives that the prison population would be substantially reduced. Consider how people who are poor at risk assessment are disproportionately represented in a prison.

dsm, Jan 25 2004

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       When I saw the idea title I thought you were going to suggest that people, when convicted, get sentenced for a random duration or punishment. An idea which, while horribly unjust, would probably be no worse than the current system.
supercat, Jan 25 2004
  

       Any serial killer who is lucky enough to be set free should conceivably be lucky enough to be struck by lightening as he steps through the gates.
Tiger Lily, Jan 25 2004
  

       why do so many people think that prison overcrowding is a problem?
theircompetitor, Jan 25 2004
  

       uhhh prison overcrowding costs my tax $$$, and its more people who aren't being productive and will just be more messed-up when they're released.
sninctown, Nov 16 2005
  

       Why only give prisoners the priviledge? Why not open a kind of suicide parlour where you can stake your life's savings and spin a wheel to double them? Again, voluntary so perfectly humane. And it would be an effective way of solving the pensions crisis.
kinemojo, Nov 16 2005
  

       If you hate prison enough to see this to be a good idea, you probably wouldn't mind that much if it came up with death.
hidden truths, Nov 16 2005
  
      
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