If you were a judge, which crime would you be quicker to give life for stealing/rape/murder?
Rape, most definitely.
Stealing is just a petty crime that's mildly inconvenient, and material objects can be replaced and/or aren't that super important. Whatever. A light sentence is more than enough. Guy's likely to have learned his lesson after being pelted in the face with the warden's baton a few times.
Murder is bad news, yes, but it's also usually a crime of passion. A one-off, if you will. No sentence will teach him his lesson, because he's probably done killing after his main target is gone. Now, if he's a serial killer, then the choice is a bit trickier, buuuutttt I'd still not be as quick to give a life sentence as I would to...
Rape, on the other hand, is basically the worst thing you can do to another human being. It's all the pain and misery and powerlessness and despair of murder, but without the sweet merciful release of death to at least make your suffering short. It's essentially torture, but of the most personal and traumatic kind. A person who's murdered leaves behind grieving loved ones, but a person who's raped still has grieving loved ones AND the added bonus of trauma, nightmares, self-loathing, paranoia, and all kinds of other psychological horrors, and that's not even considering any lasting scars or physical trauma.
So, as I stated up top, my answer is "rape." Basically the worst thing that could happen to anyone, and thus most deserving of the most severe of punishments.
When you say rape are you including all forms of rape such as "statutory rape" where the age of consent varies from state to state or country to country? or Are you saying just violent rapists should get life?
I guess clarification would be necessary. Of course, I'm talking about violent rape. Statutory rape is just weird--not really worth a life sentence, but still icky.
An 18 year old in California w/17 year old girlfriend/boyfriend could legally be prosecuted for statutory rape & be forced to register as a sex offender (for life) if the 17 year old parents press charges. CDC says avg age for having sex is 17.
Murder. It's the only scenario where the victim can't go on with their life. There is no form of recovery therapy for being killed.
Family, friends, and co-workers have had their loved one stolen. Rape is a horrible crime but there have been many instances of rape victims who have gone on to live productive and fulfilling lives. A few examples are actress Gabrielle Union, Fran Drescher, Oprah Winfrey, Fiona Apple, Lady Gaga...etc There are even more who were molested as children such as Tyler Perry, Marilyn Manson, Axl Rose, Tom Arnold, Carlos Santana, Tim Roth......etc Being a survivor gives one an opportunity to live a meaningful life.
In the U.S. we also have what is called "statutory rape" where the state determines by age if someone is old enough to consent to having sex. An 18 year old who has sex with a 17 year old boyfriend/girlfriend in California could be charged and prosecuted for rape and have to register as a sex offender for life! Had this taken place in numerous other states such as Indiana, Nevada, Alabama, Maine, and so on where the age of consent is 16 there would be no crime. Naturally I don't believe a statutory rapist deserves a life sentence. Nor do I believe the state one lives in determines whether or not they're mature enough to consent to have sex. We've tried 13 year olds as adults for crimes in the U.S. Most states allow 16 year olds to drive/operate a car alone. Out of the 50 states in the U.S. only eleven of them say the age of consent is 18. The vast majority list it at age 16.
Stealing involves money or material things which can be replaced (in most instances). However in the U.S. Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison for ripping off investors for close to $65 billion in a Ponzi scheme. (Senior citizens) lost their retirement savings and homes. Madoff was 71 when he went to prison. Even if his sentence was for only 30 years it would have been the equivalent of a life sentence!.
Ultimately the nature of the crime and it's specifics have an impact on the sentence.
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