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Castration and Rape

May 14, 1986

I share unequivocally, the views of Pete Schabarum regarding suitable punishment for murderers, rapists and the like.

Not from the vantage point of vengeance, although vengeance is an understandable emotion and a natural reaction to violent crime. We intuitively know that to forgive and forget these transgressions is to effectively condone them and this is certainly not in the best interests of human survival.

And not from the vantage point of the recognized human need for catharsis when a violent, abhorrent crime has been commited, although we sometimes rationalize this feeling through a "justice-be-done" reaction. Somehow, we feel better when we see the criminal "properly" punished.

And also not from the vantage point of a deterrence. Punishment for the sake of deterring others assumes that the criminal is a rational human being. This is so often not the case. The criminal is often deranged or even suicidal and the most severe deterrent is often useless.

Rather, I agree with Schabarum from the pure societal viewpoint of the common good. For the most part, released violent criminals are not rehabilitated but, rather, become more embittered with society. And history has proved the possibility to be very real that the crime will be repeated. I, therefore, empathize with those who feel insecure when convicted murderers and rapists are released.

I am opposed to both the death penalty and castration. I feel however, that we should be more severe in our prison sentencing as well as our parole system. Life imprisonment without chance of parole appears to be the only reasonable immediate solution for convicted murderers. As for rapists and other violent criminals, put them away for a long, long time.

MARVIN S. EHRENBERG

Claremont

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